The Unreal Engine 2019 keynote just ended with several new Unreal Engine announcements. Just like we did with Unity and Google, we have created a condensed version of the keynote presentation available here and embedded below. Highlights of this keynote include a new mega grant program worth over $100,000,000, additional exclusives to the Unreal store, a Humble Bundle partnership, new and completely free online services we previously discussed here, the new Chaos physics system, Live++ hot reloading in C++ and more.
To kick off this year’s Game Developers Conference, Epic Games announced the creation of Epic MegaGrants, a new $100 million commitment to support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers worldwide who are doing incredible things with Unreal Engine or improving open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.
Epic MegaGrants marks an evolution from the earlier Unreal Dev Grants program, a $5 million fund initially launched in 2015, which just awarded its final grants earlier this week.
Awards from Epic MegaGrants will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and will cover a wide variety of endeavors to further strengthen creativity and innovation within the 3D community. This includes projects built with Unreal Engine or developers enhancing open-source 3D content creation, whether or not it integrates with or relates to UE4.
Revealed onstage during the “State of Unreal,” Chaos is Unreal Engine’s new high-performance physics and destruction system coming in early access to Unreal Engine 4.23. The real-time tech demo is set within the world of Robo Recall. With Chaos, users can achieve cinematic-quality visuals in real time in scenes with massive-scale levels of destruction, with unprecedented artist control over content creation. In addition to the initial feature set, Epic will release demo content for Chaos physics and destruction within the 4.23 window.
Epic Online Services are free offerings that will make it easier and faster for developers to successfully launch, operate and scale high-quality games. Built from Epic’s experience with Fortnite, which has nearly 250 million players, Epic Online Services provides a single SDK that works across any platform, game engine, and store to help developers give their players a unified, cross-platform social experience. In addition to game analytics and the ticketing system, the growing library of tools includes sentiment analysis, cloud storage, voice communications, and matchmaking. To access the SDK now, visit dev.epicgames.com/services.
The Epic Games store launched in December 2018 with the goal of achieving a more open, fair, and profitable platform for developers and publishers, disrupting the industry by offering an 88% revenue share, a great free game every two weeks, and major exclusives. Today Epic announced that the store has grown to 85,000,000 PC players, with its Support-A-Creator program surpassing more than 55,000 creators. Epic also revealed nearly two dozen games coming to the store, along with store performance metrics.
Epic Games is also partnering with Humble Bundle to enable developers to sell their Epic Games store titles on the Humble Store, including Epic store exclusives. Epic will receive no revenue share from the sale of those games purchased through the Humble Store. The partnership will launch with keys redeemable on the Epic Games store, and soon Epic will enable players to link their Epic and Humble accounts for direct purchasing.
To watch our condensed down to under 12 minutes version of the keynote, check out the video below.