Epic Games, developer of the popular Unreal Engine 4 gaming engine, is offering US$5m in grants to budding developers that show real promise.
Announcing its philanthropic decision on its blog, the company wanted to offer those attempting to put their creative ideas into a finished product the chance to get their hands on funding the company described as having ‘no strings attached’.
Totalling US$5m, the fund will be distributed in grants ranging from US$5,000 to US$50,000, for developers looking to use the Unreal Engine 4, which has been used in the development of some of the most popular games around, including Gears of War, Street Fighter V and the company’s own series, Unreal Tournament 4.
Any projects that have reached the working prototype stage are eligible for the grants and in a move that is certainly going to attract praise, will allow the receiver of the grant to go about their own business with no lingering ties to Epic Games, including their own intellectual property rights and distribution.
A screenshot from Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 demo. Image via K putt/Flickr
Last March, Epic Games made headlines for its decision to offer its engine to developers through a subscription for US$19.99, which is considerably cheap when compared with the wider gaming industry.
Speaking of the decision to open up the grants, Tim Sweeney of Epic Games said, “We know this firsthand, as Epic’s early projects were built on shoestring budgets funded by such sources as Tim Sweeney’s lawn-mowing earnings, and Mark Rein’s credit card (before they took it away from him!) A small budget can make all the difference in shipping a project with the content, marketing materials, and promotional expenses necessary for it to gain traction.”