The Unreal Engine logo on a black background with the number 5.4 crudely written in red to one side.
Image via Destructoid / "Unreal Engine" logo via Epic Games.

Unreal Engine 5.4 will introduce a ‘non-game pricing model’ in April

Won't affect game development studios, fortunately.

No doubt about it, Unreal Engine is probably the world’s most popular video game development toolkits. It’s also free to use, with Epic Games taking a cut whenever games earn above a certain threshold. However, if you’re a non-game company, you will need to pay for the software soon enough.

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In a recent news post over on the Unreal Engine website, a new pricing scheme is being introduced with the release of version 5.4 in April. This will only affect those who are working on non-gaming projects, but there are at least a few additional criteria to go with that.

The post goes on to say that non-game outfits will need to pay a “seat based” fee on an annual basis, but only if they meet the following:

  • You are a company that generates over $1 million in annual gross revenue
  • You do not create games
  • And you do not create applications licensed to third-party end users and rely on Unreal Engine code at runtime

Fear not, video game studios

The price “per seat” will be $1,850 and – just to reiterate – is only intended for companies that are using Unreal for something that’s not a game. Examples given include linear content for film and TV, “immersive experiences” that aren’t sold to the public, such as theme park rides, and products that “incorporate Unreal Engine code at runtime and are not licensed to third parties.”

However, if you’re a games company, the new pricing structure will not affect you. In the past, Epic Games has charged a 5% fee for any titles powered by UE that earn over $1 million in “lifetime gross revenue”. This is not being changed.

Unreal Engine will also continue to be free for “students, educators, hobbyists, and companies generating less than $1 million in annual gross revenue.” Are you hearing this, Unity?


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Andrew Heaton
Andrew has been a gamer since the 17th century Restoration period. He now writes for a number of online publications, contributing news and other articles. He does not own a powdered wig.