The free edition of Unreal Engine 3 is nearing its millionth install, vendor Epic Games has said.
The UDK is Epic’s own alternative to Unreal Engine 3 that is completely free to download and operate, and has proven popular among indies and enthusiasts.
Since release in November 2009, the Unreal Development Kit has been downloaded more than 900,000 times, Epic said.[Update: Epic has said the figure has been drawn from unique installs. If it was counting the gross number of downloads the figure would be far higher, Epic Games said.]
The figures have been released days after it was revealed that Epic’s free-engine rival, the CryEngine 3 SDK, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times in less than a week.
UDK is tied to different royalty rates than Unreal Engine 3. The tech costs nothing for developers to download and create content with, though a one-off $99 fee is charged if a user wants to produce a commercial game.
In terms of royalty rates, Epic has said it will not take anything from a UDK game’s first $50,000 in sales. Instead, it takes a 25 per cent share of subsequent revenues after the threshold.
However, Epic only calculates its 25 per cent after separate charges are incurred from a game’s digital distributor – such as Apple and Google which each take 30 per cent from games hosted on their mobile platforms.
Unreal Development Kit powers numerous independent games across computers and mobiles, with PC titles such as Hawken and Sanctum using the tech, along with iOS projects The Dark Meadow and Save Our Sheep.
A new video of the tech can be found below.