In an interview with Cliff Bleszinski during the Triangle Game Conference earlier this year, GN asked, "Using the least exaggerated amount possible, how much do developers normally pay for Unreal Engine licensing?" Cliff's answer was simple, "Like a bazillion dollars."
I'm not sure if it was my disappointed look I shot him or the general groan of gamers in the room, but Epic Games recently announced the release of their Unreal Development Kit, the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 for all sprouting developers.
The Unreal Engine is famous for its original series, Unreal Tournament, and the more recent one, Gears of War. Modders have had access to mapping tools for some time, but nothing near as powerful as UDK offers (at least, not without an indentured servitude program).
Mark Rein, the vice president of Epic Games said, "I'm excited about the possibilities the Unreal Development Kit opens to those who are looking to get into the game business but don't otherwise have the means to acquire world-class technology and tools like ours. UDK is Unreal Engine 3, which has been used to create games in a wide range of genres, as well as military simulations, 3D architectural walkthroughs, animated movies and more. Users are only limited by their imaginations. Go ahead make something Unreal!"
Download the full development kit now at UDK.com