Does Unreal Engine Cost Money?

If you’re exploring game development or other creative projects, you might be considering Unreal Engine and wondering about its costs. This blog post will provide a comprehensive overview of Unreal Engine’s pricing structure, ensuring you have all the details needed to make an informed decision.

Free to Use

Unreal Engine is available to download and use for free. This accessibility means that developers, educators, and small businesses can start using the engine without any initial financial commitment. Here are the specific details:

  1. Game Developers: You can use Unreal Engine for free, with royalties only kicking in after your game generates over $1 million USD in gross product revenue.
  2. Individuals and Small Businesses: If your annual gross revenue is less than $1 million USD, you can use Unreal Engine for free.
  3. Educators and Schools: There are no revenue limits, allowing educational institutions to integrate Unreal Engine into their curriculum without cost.

Included Features for Free Users:

  • Access to the source code.
  • All platforms and features are available.
  • Forums and comprehensive documentation through the Epic Developer Community.

Royalty-Based Model

For those who exceed the $1 million USD revenue threshold, Unreal Engine operates on a royalty-based model. Here’s how it works:

  • Threshold: Once your product surpasses $1 million USD in lifetime gross revenue, a 5% royalty on all subsequent gross revenue is applied.
  • Royalty Exemptions: Revenues generated from sales on the Epic Games Store are royalty-free.

Actions for Royalty Payments:

  • After shipping your game or application, submit the Release Notification Form.
  • Report your royalties each quarter.

New Pricing Plan for Non-Game Developers

With the release of Unreal Engine 5.4, Epic Games introduced a new pricing plan specifically for non-game developers. This plan applies to industries such as film, television production, automotive infotainment, and immersive experiences. Here are the key details:

  1. Annual Subscription Fee: Non-game developers will need to pay an annual fee of $1,850 per seat (user).
  2. Bundled Tools: This fee includes access to Unreal Engine, Twinmotion (a real-time visualization tool), and RealityCapture (a photogrammetry software).
  3. Epic Direct Support: Available as an additional purchase for licensees with 10 or more seats.

Seat-Based Licensing:

  • Eligibility: If you’ve generated more than $1 million in the past 12 months and are not creating a game or application that relies on engine code at runtime and will be licensed to third-party end users.
  • Cost: $1,850 per seat per year, plus applicable taxes.

Special Considerations

There are several exemptions and special cases to be aware of:

  • Revenue-Based Exemption: Companies earning less than $1 million in annual gross revenue are exempt from the new subscription fee.
  • Educational and Hobbyist Use: Students, educators, and hobbyists can continue to use Unreal Engine for free.
  • Plugin Developers: Those developing plugins for Unreal Engine can still use it without charge, with Epic Games taking its share through the revenue model in the Unreal Engine Marketplace.


Unreal Engine provides a flexible and accessible pricing model that caters to a wide range of developers and industries. The engine itself is free to use, with royalties only applying to highly successful projects. The new subscription model for non-game developers offers a structured cost for professional use in various fields beyond gaming.

By understanding these costs, developers can make informed decisions about incorporating Unreal Engine into their workflows. For more detailed information, visit Unreal Engine’s official pricing page.

Your Game. Our Insights.
Complete Observability.

© 2024

Let's get in touch.

It’s time to GetGud!