Epic: Multiple licensing deals for iPhone engine

Epic: Multiple licensing deals for iPhone engine

By Rob Crossley

September 2nd 2010 at 3:24PM

Unreal vendor to â??work with licensees directly to find best fit in each situationâ??

Epic Games will offer multiple licensing models for its iPhone-customised Unreal Engine, the firm’s vice president has said.

Mark Rein told Develop today that the engine vendor will “work with licensees directly to figure out the best fit for each situation”.

But the company believes further discussion at the company is needed to evaluate how to partner with developers selling their games at bottom-tier prices on the App Store.

Epic Games offers out its Unreal Development Kit to PC developers for free, and asks for $99 payment if the tech becomes used in a commercial capacity. If a game is released with the kit, Epic takes 25 per cent of all revenues after the first $5,000.

This model, as Epic president Mike Capps has suggested, may not be an ideal fit for iPhone devs selling their games at rock-bottom prices.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Capps said: “I think generally we're going to be in the same range as the UDK, for folks who are just doing mobile where, we don't even want to know about until you start making money, because I don't need 2,000 business relationships where I make 38 cents. It's not worth it. But once folks get successful, we take a percentage off of that.”

However, Rein tells Develop that no plan is set in stone.

“To be honest we really don't have an answer for those people this week or even this month,” he said.

“For them, a UDK-style pricing model and non-source code license would make good sense but currently UDK only lets you build PC games at the moment so this was purely theoretical.

“For now we're focused on working with developers who want to bring the highest quality games to mobile platforms and more importantly, the type of games where our technology makes the most sense and adds the most value. For those folks we'll work with them to figure out a suitable licensing model.”

He added that Epic’s priority is to work with UE3 licensees “who are already familiar with the tools and pipeline and want to leverage those skills to make kick-ass mobile games”.

He added: “The second step is dealing with folks who see the potential of UE3 on mobile, and other platforms, and want to make a higher level of game for those platforms like our folks at Chair are doing with Project Sword on iOS and did on XBLA with Shadow Complex.

“For these companies there will be a more traditional licensing model with full source code and support.”