Epic Games has made a pretty epic decision — it is going to offer the latest version of its game engine, the Unreal Engine 4, for free for anyone to use and make games with.

Polygon reports that, since the beginning, Epic Games has been looking to open up its newest game engine to a "wider audience" than its previous engines. It started out charging a monthly fee of $19 for Unreal Engine 4, which was significantly less than its normally expensive licensing fees that it marketed to big-budget gaming companies with huge development teams. Now, Epic has decided to make the engine free-to-download and has promised that its future updates will also be free. Of course, if you want your game to use the Unreal Engine 4 commercially, it will come at a cost. Bigger studios and companies will have to negotiate their deals with Epic directly.

"The state of Unreal is strong, and we've realized that as we take away barriers, more people are able to fulfill their creative visions and shape the future of the medium we love. That's why we're taking away the last barrier to entry, and going free," Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games explained. "It's a simple arrangement in which we succeed only when you succeed."

And to be honest, it's true. The free software supports Windows PC, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, virtual reality formats (Oculus Rift and Gear VR), Linux, SteamOS and HTML5. As long as you're a registered developer for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, you can also use these platforms. Epic is going above and beyond and offering prorated refunds for anyone who originally paid for Unreal Engine for as well as giving subscribers a $30 credit for the Unreal Engine Marketplace. Bravo Epic, bravo.

You can check out the video above to hear Sweeney talk about why the company decided to make Unreal Engine 4 free in his own words and check out the tech demo trailer below to see just what the Unreal Engine 4 can do.

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