Unreal Engine developers have a new potential source of funding today, as Epic Games announced a $5 million grant program to provide “no strings attached” support for projects it sees promise.
The grants, available in blocks ranging from $5,000 to $50,000, will be available to select projects that are already in the “working prototype” stage, as Epic puts it. A “small group” of judges at Epic will decide which projects are worth the money, according to a Gamasutra interview with Epic co-founder Tim Sweeney.
Projects of all shapes and sizes are eligible; there are no restrictions on project platform or developer location, and non-interactive movies and art projects are also eligible, says Epic. The company also does not want to share in the property rights of subsidy projects. “Your project remains yours; you own your IP and publishing rights, and you can spend any grant money however you want,” Sweeney writes in the announcement post. “Epic’s goal is simply to help UE4 developers succeed, because if you succeed, we succeed.”
The folks at Epic know what it’s like to compete for funding; the team’s early work on projects such as ZZT was propelled by Sweeney’s income from cutting grass and co-founder Mark Rein’s credit card.
Interested developers can find more information on the Epic website or simply email the proposal address with a video and text description of their project.
At last year’s Game Developer’s Conference, Epic announced a radically new $19/month subscription plan for Unreal Engine 4 and released the full source code for the engine on GitHub.