One of the big news items of 2010 in the world of iOS was the unveiling of the Unreal Engine on the platform. Epic Citadel [Free] was the first taste we got of this fantastic engine, with Infinity Blade [5.99] hitting the scene a little later as the first real game using the engine. Since then, there hasn't been a whole lot of activity with the Unreal Engine on the App Store. Trendy Entertainment released both Dungeon Defenders [99¢] and Chicken Coup [99¢] but that's about it as far as UDK games on the App Store is concerned.

Why so few games? Well, it all comes down to licensing. Previously, the Unreal Engine was free to use until you crossed the $5,000 mark in sales. This made using the Unreal Development Kit a little hard to swallow for most developers, especially as the proverbial pie was sliced so many times between Apple's percentage, any potential publisher's percentage, and Epic's percentage. This didn't leave much left for the actual developer, and unless you could guarantee that your game would be wildly successful, it didn't make much sense to use.

Mark Rein recently announced that this royalty threshold has been increased to $50,000, which hopefully will be much more enticing to developers. We'll still need to see how this all plays out over the next year, but from we're sitting, the Unreal Engine seems even more appealing now. If you were a developer that previously wrote off using the UDK because of royalty fees, it may be time to reconsider.

  • Colin

    Ha! Did you guys actually read the post? They have an entire paragraph explaining that your not paying royalties on the "proverbial pie" but only on the wholesale amount: "When you pay us royalties you pay on the wholesale amount, i.e. the money you actually receive."

    It's still cool though!

  • SoulShading

    To me, Unreal engine is still for the biggest fishes of the pond. For the small fishes, i don't think it's possible to make money between Apple taking the first share then splitting the rest between a publisher and Epic and then getting whatever remains IF anything.


      I think the biggest fishes in the pond wouldn't bother with UDK either. Companies like Gameloft and EA would get a full direct license to Unreal Engine 3 which should enable them full access to the engine source code so they can modify it to their needs and give them direct support with Unreal Engine engineers for feature requests and troubleshooting. The likelihood of big developers using UE3 in multiple games also means they can probably work out better per game licensing costs.

  • Anonymous

    Epic is so cheap..They made tons of money...give it free at least on mobiles.

  • Robert

    The dealbreaker for me is that you have to use windows to develop an ios game using unreal.....That is ridiculous - I don't even have a Windows machine and am certainly not going to be getting one.

    So there is no Unreal Engine in my future.

    • Mailkonfushus


      its power user 101

      • Bindings

        Lol. You do not understand. I don't want to run windows - not because I can't afford to buy a machine but because I a do not want to spend my time using it. It is too flaky and frustrating - too many bad memories.

        No windows no unreal dev

      • Andrzej Raczynski

        lol, that's i keep saying about mac os 🙂 its all relative.

  • Mailkonfushus

    50k is definitely more royal sounding

  • Oliver

    Bindings: I hear ya. Windows has gotten a bit better but it's still a mess. And for the most part, pretty much a joke compared to OS X. BUT, and this is a big BUT, Mac seems to have total disregard for real time 3d. Mac's just now barely made it to Open GL 3.2 and whatever that means, it runs like sh!t compared to DirectX on the same cards. We're paying twice as much for cards that are gonna run half the speed in OS X. I know the average user doesn't care, but they should really put that as a warning on $6000 mac pros. Hopefully now that Steam is on Mac they'll fix this retardation.

    Seriously, the only way to fly these days is dual booting a screaming fast Hackintosh:

  • Nick

    What happened to Crytek?

  • Travis Tameirao

    I'm disappointing we haven't seen a FPS with the Unreal Engine as of yet.

  • Gameguy

    That is awesome forget Unity!!!