Epic Games today announced at GDC that the company is set to turbo-charge their long-running developer grant initiative with ‘MegaGrants’ and the largest pool of funds yet, $100,000,000.

Epic have been running developer-focused funding initiatives for many years now, with the original ‘Unreal Dev Grants’ fund announced back in 2015. Since then, VR developers have featured prominently among the fund recipients awarded—many of which we’ve covered on this very site. In many ways, those grants have reflected Epic and Unreal Engine’s early and consistently prominent support of VR since the early days of VR’s latest resurgence.

Now, possibly reflecting the company’s bulging coffers, swelled by the ultra-successful battle royale shooter Fortnite, the company has now announced its first ‘MegaGrants’ initiative. The program now boasts a vast loot pool totaling $100,000,000—all of it potentially up for grabs for budding developers who make the grade, VR devs among them—should you choose to use Unreal Engine to power your project.

Interested? As a guideline, Epic Games have release key submission categories for the Epic MegaGrants which include:

Game Developers: UE4 dev teams of all sizes can apply for an Epic MegaGrant to help make their projects succeed. Developers can also apply for a grant to help transition existing or in-development games to UE4.

Media & Entertainment: Individuals or teams applying UE4 to film, television and other visual media, location-based entertainment, and live events are eligible to apply for an Epic MegaGrant.

Enterprise: Innovative teams and individuals leveraging UE4 in other non-gaming verticals, including architecture, automotive, manufacturing, simulation, product design, advertising and other areas, may apply for an Epic MegaGrant.

Education: Students and educators can earn funding for Unreal Engine research, curriculum, student projects and university programs. Grants will also be given to schools implementing Unreal Engine into classrooms and programs.

Grants to developers range between $5,000 and $500,000 for each award and “cover a variety of endeavors to further ignite creativity and technological advancement within the 3D graphics community.”

SEE ALSO
Magic Leap is Giving Away 500 AR Headsets as Part of Epic's $100M Unreal MegaGrants

Importantly for those developers wary of inadvertently losing control over their precious gaming concepts, Epic Games clarifies that “All grant recipients will continue to own their IP and will be free to publish however they wish.” Also, Epic Games is giving itself leeway for the time frame that these funds will be doled out stating “Submissions will be evaluated, and grants awarded, on a continual rolling basis as funds allow, with no firm deadlines to submit.”

Developers who bravely decide to step into the still budding VR industry fray still face uphill challenges making their projects profitable, or even getting funds to make them happen in the first place. Epic’s MegaGrants could offer small startups and indie developers wanting to build their VR project the cash-fuel required to start, or to keep going. And if there’s one thing the entire VR community can agree on, it’s that influx of original, quality VR content that’s sorely needed to accelerate interest in VR gaming and entertainment, and see the industry grow.

Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney said of the announcement “At Epic we succeed when developers succeed. With Epic MegaGrants we’re reinvesting in all areas of the Unreal Engine development community and also committing to accelerate the open sourcing of content, tools, and knowledge.”

To read more on the MegaGrants initiative, head to the Epic Games website here.

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  • HybridEnergy

    Oh please yes please content more games I beg of you. We’ve got more headset options now than games.

    • Rosko

      Better quality rather than more. There is so much crap out there already.

      • wow

        too bad I can’t upvote you 100x for that comment

      • HybridEnergy

        That’s a given. I don’t want to play crap obviously, otherwise we’re up to our neck in indie junk.

      • HybridEnergy

        but I just realized it’s EPIC and the shit they just pulled with Metro Exodus. I’m not installing their shit.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          oh dear, you have to buy Metro through their store, oh dear, what a hell… at least you CAN buy and play it on the PC, it isn’t a serious problem as with console exclusives..

          • HybridEnergy

            I will do no such thing.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Well, then don’t be a hypocrite and don’t buy from steam as well, they also have games which are only exclusive to steam, and they also paid developers (in the past)..
            The developers/publisher are very happy with the sales of Metro through Epic, as it already outsold it’s predecessor on steam by a mile. So all the bitching about boycotting does seem to be all just talk, and people just realized they only have themselves if they don’t buy it through Epic. You can also say you support the developer as they have a much larger cut through the Epic Store than through Steam. So in the end, it’s YOU that’s only thinking of yourself not others.

          • NooYawker

            Are you an Epic employee?

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Nope, but I wouldn’t mind being one.. Just like I wouldn’t mind being a valve employee..

          • Tesla

            Are you working for Epic? You make people tired with your shit.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            ah, you also make people tired with your shit…. so great, we both bore the shit out of people..

          • NooYawker

            Just block him, he’s an obvious troll for Epic.

          • HybridEnergy

            This is a tired old argument. The jealousy of STEAM by these companies though is consistently everywhere.

          • NooYawker

            And you shouldn’t, these EPIC assholes are trying to convince devs to create exclusives on the fucking PC! don’t give in to this bullshit.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Yes but all the headset sucks, there’s no standard and it’s start with the device before the apps, which there are already numerous off and it’s no incident that the demand for consumer apps has slowed-down while corporate app/experience is still going strong (for now, until they all realise their headset takes the dust, is impractical and there’s no ROI unless they make it a public experience app).

      • HybridEnergy

        My headsets don’t suck, I’m happy with them. I just want more games now to be honest.

        • Lucidfeuer

          Maybe, but I’ve never seen anyone not get the VR fatigue due to how limited they are wether in FOV, in resolution, in glare, in confort etc…

          • HybridEnergy

            That’s true to some extant, for me it was the tether but I solved it…expensive solution for that adapter but it was what I need to get over that garbage cable I hated.

          • Kommkast

            …Must just be me, I’ve never had an issue. I usually stop because I’m physically exhausted after flailing around for an hour or so.

  • Tesla

    VR suffers from total lack of AAA titles. Arcade shit games are a problem.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, what stops you from making those games?

      • Tesla

        I don’t have 20 millions to spend. Big companies have, Epic included.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          You don’t need 20 million to spend. The UnrealEngine is free, there are a lot of free assets, so with some learning you can create you own games using free content. And later if you actually have some money to spend, you can buy some stuff. The Epic market place (OR Unity for that matter) has a lot of content. You can always make a prototype with the free content and show people what you want, and maybe they will help you..

      • NooYawker

        WOW. You just keep making moronic responses don’t you!! Go make your own VR game?? I tire of your trolling for Epic. Time to block the troll.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Oh dear, talk about moronic responses. You keep making them yourself.. Yes, why not make your own VR game? I’m pretty serious. There are so many tutorials around, excellent assets for free to get you started..

  • fuyou2

    And What The Fuck Are UNITY DOING??? jack shit….

  • fuyou2

    UNITY STILL FUCKING CHARGING 30/70 SPLIT….

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Well, what stops you from using the UnrealEngine? it’s a bit more of a professional engine than Unity.. (not that Unity is bad, it’s a great engine).

  • JesuSaveSouls

    Epic games is really nice giving away a free game every two weeks.Hopefully more vr titles.If your not using their client and choose not to accept the game you miss out.It only stays free if you take the gift…thereafter it goes back to full price.Some features like that make it superior to steam.

  • NooYawker

    The Epic store scans your steam cache and sends it to themselves. But they promise they don’t look at it and they’re not spying.

    • Lucidfeuer

      Blame Steam or your OS for that if it’s not secure in a first place.

      • NooYawker

        Cal me crazy but I tend to blame the criminal.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No they don’t. Yes they scan the steamcache, but the information will only be send to their servers After you want to import the steamlist, and it is also only used for that, nothing more nothing less.. Scanning and using other application’s config files happens a lot, Nvidia’s Geforce experience (and AMD’s counterpart) do exactly the same..
      And it’s Valve’s fault if they store critical information without any encryption on a PC. I don’t see any problems with other launchers using the same information if they have the same kind of capabilities.. Let’s not forget the Steam client scans your PC also, and they DO send the info to their servers, but you agreed to it when you installed their ‘spyware’…

      • NooYawker

        It scanned and made a copy before you gave it permission. It was another one of those “mistakes” companies keep making and the CEO admitted it.
        I uninstalled Epic. Completely useless and I don’t trust them to not make more “mistakes”

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Well, you better uninstall steam and gog galaxy too then, because they also do stuff like that.
          it doesn’t matter if they scanned and made a copy before you gave permission, it’s what was done with the data before you gave permission. And it’s a freely accessible file, so why wouldn’t other applications who have the same functionalities use it? When I would have made a launcher I also would check if Steam and galaxy were available and check if there are settings I could use so I can give my user a better experience (or the same experience as with the other launchers).
          As I said, it’s very normal for applications to read other applications their settings (from configuration files to registry).
          Don’t make it into something it isn’t.
          As I said, if they uploaded the data before you gave permission and would do surveys and datatracking with it for their own purposes, yeah THAN it would be a different matter. But the information never left your computer and after you gave permission, only the needed data was uploaded and only for YOUR benefits, they didn’t do anything with it (for marketing purposes or stuff like that)..

          • NooYawker

            Cut your bullshit, EPIC got caught doing something underhanded. Don’t start your “everyone does it” lies.

            I’m happy with steam I uninstalled EPIC now go cry about it.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            No, someone started bitching about something very small and trivial. Epic didn’t do anything really wrong..

            Yeah go on, keep using a launcher that doesn’t care about your privacy.. I don’t care if you’re not using EPIC, it’s just you shouldn’t talk BS about something that isn’t a problem as nothing interesting happened or got screwed.

          • NooYawker

            Small and trivial?? EPIC spied on my computer PERIOD. You may not care but a lot of people do. Stop spreading your lies.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            Oh please get you head out of your ass. EPIC did not spy on your computer. If they uploaded the complete file and then analysed it for themselves and did something with it for their own benifit, yeah, than you would be right. BUT THEY DIDN’T!
            So YOU stop spreading lies.. Steam is just as bad.
            It’s not about not caring, it’s about knowing what actually was going on and not being such a blind horse and think the worst. As a developer myself I know perfectly well what they did and how they did it. There isn’ any conspiracy going on, they weren’t spying on you (if they were, there are far more interesting information to be found on your computer than in a simple steam configurationfile).
            And if you really want to bitch, than you should bitch at valve for making it the competition so easy to extract data from their files, having everything unencrypted if it’s actual personal information.
            Again, if epic was uploading the complete config file to their servers right after copying it from steam, yeah THEN you might have something to bitch about.
            Now stop crying and stop spreading your own damn lies about things you clearly don’t seem to know anyhting about.

    • Larry J

      It doesn’t stop there, it tracks all the apps on your device, your cookies from websites and on and on.
      There were something like 279 logged connections to Epic from one users laptop after having it installed for a few hours and running some programs. Everything from Spades to Notepad had a tracking.js to Epic.

      • NooYawker

        Glad I uninstalled it. I’ll never use Epic again.

  • Very nice initiative by Epic