Tuesday, March 12th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

New pricing for Unreal Engine, Twinmotion and RealityCapture

Epic Games has announced new pricing for game engine and real-time renderer Unreal Engine, real-time visualization tool Twinmotion, and photogrammetry app RealityCapture.

From next month, studios with revenues over $1 million/year will pay a fee of $1,850/seat/year to use Unreal Engine for non-games work like VFX, previs and visualization.

Both Twinmotion and RealityCapture will also be included in the subscription.

For studios with revenues over $1 million/year, Twinmotion and RealityCapture will become rental-only, with subscriptions costing $445/seat/year and $1,250/seat/year.

Users beneath the revenue threshold will be able to continue to use Unreal Engine for free on non-games projects, and will become able to use Twinmotion and RealityCapture for free.

Why is Epic Games changing its prices?
Epic Games announced that it would be introducing seat-based licensing for Unreal Engine last year in the wake of the cashflow crisis that led it to lay off 16% of its staff.

The company says that that the changes are “designed to make long-term Unreal Engine development sustainable” while “keeping our tools free to as many people as possible”.

Who is affected by the changes to the pricing of Unreal Engine?
For game developers, the cost of using Unreal Engine is unaffected: they will continue to pay a 5% royalty on products that exceed $1 million in lifetime gross revenue.

Studios creating non-games content, for which Unreal Engine could previously be used for free, will begin to pay a per-seat subscription if they have gross revenues over $1 million/year.

That applies to the creation of linear content like visual effects, animation, visualizations and broadcast graphics; to previs and virtual production work; and to large firms that use Unreal Engine code in internal tools or services like product configurators.

However, it does not apply to plugin developers, with Epic commenting: “We’re grateful you’re helping to improve the Unreal Engine ecosystem for everyone.”

How much will you have to pay to use Unreal Engine in future?
When he first announced the changes, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney commented that the new pricing would not be “be unusually expensive, or unusually inexpensive”.

At $1,850/seat/year, a subscription to Unreal Engine will cost slightly less than an annual subscription to key DCC tools like Maya or a floating license of Houdini Core.

It will be considerably more expensive than most offline renderers: more than three times the price of an annual subscription to Arnold and V-Ray, or a perpetual license of RenderMan.

However, the threshold at which fees are applied – gross revenues of over $1 million/year – is much more generous than most other CG tools developers’ definitions of an ‘indie user’.

And below that earnings threshold, Unreal Engine remains completely free.

How is the price of Twinmotion and RealityCapture changing?
It’s a similar story with Epic Games’ other key software products: you only pay if you earn over $1 million/year in gross revenue.

Twinmotion, currently available as a $749 perpetual license, will become rental-only, with subscriptions priced at $445/seat/year.

For everyone else, the software will become completely free – and that’s for the full version, not the current resolution-limited non-commercial Community Edition.

RealityCapture, currently available as a discounted $1,250 perpetual license or via a pay-per-input model, will become rental-only, with subscriptions priced at $1,250/seat/year.

For users with gross revenue under $1 million/year, it will become completely free.

When will the new pricing begin?
Epic Games is giving studios around a month’s notice, with the changes due to come into force with the releases of the next versions of the software, all due in “late April” 2024.

For Unreal Engine, the new pricing and EULA will begin with the release of Unreal Engine 5.4.

For Twinmotion, the new pricing will begin with the release of Twinmotion 2023.2.4.

For RealityCapture, it will begin with the release of RealityCapture 1.4.

Are there any other important changes to Epic Games’ software?
Epic Games has posted FAQs about the pricing changes on its blog, which go into more detail about how the earnings threshold will be applied.

One other interesting tidbit is that Epic ultimately aims to unify the three applications, planning to “fully integrate Twinmotion and RealityCapture with Unreal Engine by the end of 2025”.

Read Epic Games’ FAQs about the upcoming pricing changes to Unreal Engine

Read more about the upcoming pricing changes to Twinmotion

Read more about the upcoming pricing changes to RealityCapture

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