Hot on the heels of Epic announcing that the Unreal Engine 4 will be free, both Valve and Unity have announced at the Game Developers Conference 2015 (GDC 2015) that their latest game engines will come to developers without a penny.
Unity on Wednesday launched the first stable release of Unity 5 engine, and with its full-featured personal edition made it free for everyone to use. If you want to release a professional game using it, you can buy a professional licence for $1,500 (roughly Rs. 93,000 ) or $75 (roughly Rs. 4,650 ) for a monthly subscription, gaining a few premium features like, game performance reporting, prioritised bug handling, and pro-versions of Unity Analytics and Cloud Build alongside. Unity powers games such as Republique Remastered (pictured above), Alto's Adventure, and Hitman Go.
Speaking to GamesIndustry, new Unity CEO John Riccitiello claimed that the company's approach is different from the competition.
"When we say it's free, it's free. When we say $75 a month, it's $75 a month. Yeah, you can buy other stuff from us. We're not a one-trick pony, but we're not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales," he said.
Meanwhile, Half-Life 2 maker and creator of Steam, Valve has announced that Source 2 will be free as well.
"Given how important user generated content is becoming, Source 2 is designed not for just the professional developer, but enabling gamers themselves to participate in the creation and development of their favourite games," Valve's Jay Stelly said.
"We will be making Source 2 available for free to content developers. This combined with recent announcements by Epic and Unity will help continue the PCs dominance as the premier content authoring platform."
Stelly's wording leaves us with more questions than answers. What does Valve define as a "content developer"? Will it be completely free or will there be a royalty attached to it like the Unreal Engine 4 (5 percent on earnings after $3,000)?
Nonetheless, these questions should be answered soon enough. With Valve, Unity, and Epic announcing that the latest iterations of their engines will be available for free, it's a good a time as any to be a game developer.