Epic to Release Free Unreal Engine

I saw over at Slashdot Games who saw over at Fragging for Fun Clan that Epic is slated to release a free version of the Unreal engine with no content or source code for non-commercial and educational use. Epic is doing this mainly so that people can begin to use the Unreal engine for non-gaming purposes, though it's unclear whether or not gamers can still use it. There will be no content whatsoever so anything you do will be from scratch. It's strictly on Windows for now but will be ported to Linux and Mac if there's demand for it. The download will be pretty small at around 20MB. People who want to use this stripped down version without support or source code for commercial purposes can license the engine for "considerably less than the US$350,000+ we charge for (a) game"

It's a pretty smart move on Epic's part, you get more people familiar with your engine and tools while opening up a new market for licensing the Unreal engine for non-gaming use. You can't make a MOD and distribute it with this since MODs usually rely on Epic code in UT2k3, so it's a win-win situation.


Anyone else suprised how long the Unreal engine's legs have been?  It's still got new games coming out using and it was first released, what 5 years ago?

To be fair, the Unreal Engine has been rewritten several times over since Unreal came out. The way someone like id or Valve does it is that they rewrite most of the engine and call it the "Doom" or "Source" engine. It has a lifespan while they work on the next generation, then the old is retired and the next generation comes out with a new name. Epic simply took a modular approach, rewriting each bit piece by piece and still calling it the "Unreal" engine. It goes through many more iterations that way but the end result is the same, it gets rewritten several times over.

Im not really impressed with the Unreal tools or engine.

The prolific nature of mods for Quake and Half Life I attribute to Worldcraft or Hammer editor as its now called.

Nothing is better or quicker or more intuitive than Worldcraft is.