With the recent news that Unreal Engine was permanently waiving engine royalties for the first $1 million in app revenue, we were reminded of a similar program for VR apps based on Unreal Engine 4 that Oculus established back in 2016. We reached out to Oculus which confirmed that the program, which covers UE4 royalties for the first $5 million in revenue, is still in place and will continue through 2025.
Back in 2016, just a few months after Oculus launched its first Rift headset, the company announced a UE4 Royalty Payment program.
Although Epic Games announced last week that it will permanently waive Unreal Engine royalties for the first $1 million in app revenue, Oculus confirmed that its own program remains in place to cover Unreal Engine 4 royalties for the first $5 million in revenue from the Oculus store, per-app, through 2025.
While the change to Epic’s own royalty structure makes the Oculus program just a little less sweet, it’s still effectively free money back into the pockets of developers building VR apps with UE4.
Previously the program would have saved developers up to $250,000 per application; with the core changes to Unreal Engine’s royalty structure, the Oculus program will now save developers up to $200,000 (assuming all revenue from the Oculus store), though that first $50,000 will still get waived anyway given Epic’s new policy.
An Oculus spokesperson told Road to VR that the royalty waiver program only applies to Unreal Engine 4, but the company will consider extending it Unreal Engine 5 as well, which is due out in 2021. The company also clarified that the calculation for covering royalties on the first $5 million in revenue is based on gross revenue (which means before the 30% Oculus store cut).
While the Oculus royalty waiver program is applicable for apps on Quest, Rift, and Go, we aren’t clear on whether or not the same app launched on two or more headsets would be counted as a single app or separate apps in the eyes of the program. We’ve reached out to Oculus for clarity.