Epic Games has unveiled a new $5 million grant program that offers between $5,000 and $50,000 to any developer who is using the Unreal Engine 4 to design their game. Better still, the developer cedes nothing to get the grant – no IP rights, no publishing restrictions, and no stipulations on how the grant money is used.
In fact, the only stipulations to getting the grant seem to be using Unreal Engine 4 and being at a stage the grant page describes as “working prototype”. The grant page even suggests that the creation doesn’t need to be a game at all, and that a particularly interesting program or piece of film is also eligible.
This is a pretty smooth move by Epic, which is facing more and more competition from the likes of Crytek’s CryEngine and open-source Unity enginge – which is particularly popular for first time studios and mobile game developers. It gets developers interested and experimenting with the Unreal Engine, and publicity for this has the benefit of not only helping developers, but increasing everyone’s awareness about Epic’s games and engines. However cynical that may sound, Epic is doing something that will likely be immensely useful for developers, students, and indie studios making their way into the business.
Epic’s Grant Page has more information for hopeful developers and programmers, if you’re interested in checking it out.