Epic Games has announced that the company will no longer take royalties on the first $1 million in revenue from games made in its Unreal Engine (via PC Gamer).

This is a big change, because the company used to ask for five per cent in royalties after a commercial Unreal Engine game secured revenue of $3,000 per quarter. Also, this new $1 million threshold is for lifetime revenue, rather than quarterly revenue. The news came with the reveal of Unreal Engine 5, and its tech demo of PlayStation 5 footage was appropriately unreal. 

However, this royalty scheme will apply to all versions of the engine, and games made in Unreal Engine 4 will be transferred to Unreal Engine 5 (which is very good news for Final Fantasy VII Remake). Using Unreal Engine 5,  developers will no longer have to worry about polygon counts as the software will stream ultra-complex 3D assets composed of hundreds of millions or even billions of polygons at the maximum level of detail possible. Additionally, the engine will scale the assets to make them feasible, from a PlayStation 5 to an iOS smartphone.

“If you’ve got bespoke assets like those statues, generating the high resolution mesh is one thing, but then generating one that performs well and looks good from different view distances, it’s actually quite a lot of work, and we wanted to remove that,” said Kim Libreri, chief technical officer at Epic Games. “It was a couple of years worth of experimentation before we landed where we did.”

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