Anyone interested in video game development will be happy to know that Epic Games have announced today that they are making their latest engine, Unreal Engine 4, available for the low, low price of free. If you’re a student, educator, or institution, that is. For those unaware, the Unreal Engine 4 is the newest engine in a series of engines from the creators of the Gears of Wars and Unreal Tournament series that most developers use to create their games. Epic Games leases out their tools and kits to budding developers for a fee of $19 a month. While that’s not too hefty a fee, even something that miniscule can be hard to put out when you’re a young, new aspiring developer. Epic Games believes in the next generation of gamers, so that is why they are alleviating all boundaries and obstacles that would otherwise hinder students on a limited budget.

This will definitely promote new ideas and advancement in the industry, as colleges, universities, and schools will now be able to provide their classes with the equipment and tools they deserve at no extra charge. Having attended a school that had inadequate and insufficient resources for their game and web development classes, I can understand the need that this will be filling. Not only will this allow institutions to acquire development classes for the first time (if they don’t already have them), they will have access to teach and learn the most advanced and widely-used engine in the industry today.

Epic Games believes that not only will it expand the gaming industry, but the engine will help students that aren’t necessarily studying video game development. Students studying film, animation, virtual reality, medicine, military industries, and more will all benefit from learning the ins and outs of the Unreal Engine 4. This can lead to more jobs, opportunities, and overall advances in technology. Though it is important to note that any actual games made using the engine will still have to adhere to Epic Games’ 5% royalty fee, if sold in the market. Let us know in the comments what you think about this news and if you’re someone that is interested in taking advantage of this opportunity.