In a surprising move today, Epic Games dropped a major bombshell of an announcement for developers in that they are now making Unreal Engine 4 available for free for everyone, including future updates.
Essentially, Epic is allowing anyone to download the engine and use it for everything from game development, education, architecture, and visualization to VR, animation, and movies. When a game ships, Epic will take a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter. This arrangement ensures that Epic only succeeds when a game does.
Epic previously charged a monthly fee for the engine's use, but this new arrangement should increase their exposure quite a bit if it takes off among developers, and may pose quite a threat to competing engines like Unity and CryEngine.
Source: Epic Games
What are your thoughts on Unreal Engine 4 being made free to everyone?