Epic Games is offering developers a “no strings attached” piece of their recently established development fund, a financial grant pool that tops out at $5,000,000 worth of cash. The funds are earmarked for projects with working prototypes, that are built in and around the company’s game engine, Unreal Engine 4.
Epic will be awarding developers anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 in grant money to get their UE4 projects off the ground, and the good news is you don’t even have to relinquish your first born to a life of company servitude. On the contrary, Epic says that projects deemed innovative enough to qualify will retain intellectual property rights, and “are free to publish however you wish, and can use the grant funds without any restrictions or obligations to Epic.”
Grants aren’t just going to game developers either. The North Carolina based company wants to fund nearly anything you can make using their game engine, including, but not limited to; animated features, architectural visualizations, Marketplace content, mods, engine extensions, class projects, curricula, or tutorials—essentially giving “anyone making cool things with UE4” a chance to kickstart their project.
Considering Epic Games is the company that helped define modern gaming with Unreal Tournament and their Gears of War series, and actively champion VR as one of the first game engines to support the Oculus Rift, this also means that VR devs looking for cash—regardless of whether they’re currently soliciting funds from crowdsourcing platforms, Epic says—can get into the action too.
Tim Sweeny, founder of Epic and developer of Unreal Engine, told this to Engadget recently regarding his thoughts on VR’s future impact:
It’s going to change the world. The hardware is going to double in quality every few years for another decade, to the point where, 10 years from now, it’s going to be hard to tell the difference between virtual reality and the real world.”
So what’s the catch? Well, it doesn’t really sound like there is one. The submissions page is devoid of all legalese and doesn’t provide exhaustive forms, or any of the rigid directives you’d expect that sort of money to come with, leading us to believe that they’re… surprisingly cool about it all.
So stop selling blood plasma for rent money and go check it out already.