Unreal Diaries: 'What you see today on the new Marketplace is only the beginning'

Epic on what's in store for its marketplace and making UE4 free for schools
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The Unreal Engine Marketplace is officially open for business, which means Unreal Engine 4 developers can now buy and sell premium user-created content for use in their projects.

In addition to all of Epic’s free releases, the new Unreal Engine Marketplace offers a variety of asset packs including environments, props, characters, sounds, materials, animated meshes and a host of other items.

“What you see today on the new Marketplace is only the beginning,” says Deke Waters, Epic’s senior engine producer.

“We’ll continue to add our own Epic-created content, such as complete projects, showcases, demos and tutorials that developers can use for learning and for their own projects.”

Epic has published a Marketplace Trello board where the community can vote for candidates that are through the initial triage phase. This, along with the Marketplace submissions form, is easily discoverable through the new forum where developers can make requests for desired items and discuss their work.

FEES WAIVED FOR ACADEMIA

While financial transactions are new to the Marketplace, they’re now a thing of the past for educators. Epic has made Unreal Engine 4 free to schools and universities in its latest move to support students and teachers, and to help companies that licence the engine to find and hire qualified developers.

Under Epic’s academic initiative, Unreal Engine 4 can be installed and used on all school-owned computers, and personal copies are provided free of charge to students enrolled in video games development, computer science, art, architecture, simulation and visualisation programmes at any educational institution.

“Nothing is stopping students from honing the skills needed to enter the range of fields using Unreal Engine technology, from entertainment software and film to visualisation, healthcare simulation and military training,” adds Unreal Engine general manager Ray Davis.

“Students who know Unreal Engine technology have a huge advantage when it comes to job placement.”

As with the subscriber version, schools and their students receive access to the engine’s entire C++ source code, Blueprint visual scripting system, regular updates and so forth.

Students retain indefinite access to any versions of the engine used during their coursework which gives them the option to turn their class projects into shipping projects at any time. Games launched commercially are subject to the standard five per cent royalty after €3,000 in revenue per game per quarter.

Schools and universities can access UE4 at www.unrealengine.com/education.

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