This is a question that comes up quite often in video comments, is it legal to use the assets from the asset store of one game engine, in a different game engine? Perhaps you want to take advantage of giveaways or sales that are happening on a game engine that you don’t use? Or perhaps you’ve decided your current game engine isn’t right for you anymore and you don’t want to leave your purchases behind? Today we will look at the legality of using Unity, Unreal and Godot engine assets in other game engines.
Godot is the most straight forward of the three, as it does not yet have a commercial asset store. All of the assets in its current asset library are free and open source and can be used according to those licenses:
The Asset Library is different – all assets are distributed free of charge, and under a host of open source licenses (such as the MIT license, the GPL, and the Boost Software License). This makes the AssetLib more similar to the software repositories of a Linux distribution.https://docs.godotengine.org/en/stable/community/asset_library/what_is_assetlib.html
Unreal also makes it crystal clear, thanks to this handy Unreal Engine marketplace FAQ:
Can I use these products in other gaming engines, like Source or Unity?
Any Marketplace products that have not been created by Epic Games can be used in other engines unless otherwise specified. Please note that products purchased from the Marketplace cannot be sold back to the Marketplace after alteration.
This means you cannot use assets created by Epic Games, such as the Paragon Assets, or MetaHumans, as well as assets owned by Epic Games such as Quixel Megascans in other engines, but the vast majority of Unreal Engine marketplace assets can be used in other game engines.
Unity are the least specific about what you can and cannot do, but the key part of the license agreement from the Asset Store terms is this part:
2.2.1 Non-Restricted Assets. The following concerns only Assets that are not Restricted Assets: Subject to the restrictions set forth in this EULA, Licensor hereby grants to the END-USER a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide, and perpetual license to the Asset solely:
(a) to incorporate the Asset, together with substantial, original content not obtained through the Unity Asset Store, into an electronic application or digital media that has a purpose, features, and functions beyond the display, performance, distribution, or use of Assets (“Licensed Product”) as an embedded component of that Licensed Product, such that the Asset does not comprise a substantial portion of the Licensed Product;
(b) to reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, and distribute the Asset as incorporated and embedded in that Licensed Product;
(c) to incorporate the Asset into physical advertising materials and reproduce, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit and distribute the Asset as incorporated into those materials solely for marketing purposes with respect to the Licensed Product;
(d) monetize the Asset within and for use within a Licensed Product, including via in-app purchases; and
(e) except as set forth in 22.214.171.124 below, modify the Assets in connection with (a), (b), (c), and (d).
126.96.36.199 Limitations on License. Without limiting the foregoing, END-USER may not, and has no right to,
(a) share the costs related to purchasing an Asset and then let any third party that has contributed to such purchase use such Asset (forum pooling),
(b) enable a customer or user of a Licensed Product to sell, transfer, distribute, lease, or lend the Assets for commercial gain or commercialize Assets within a Licensed Product,
(c) without express authorization, monetize an Asset in a Licensed Product where the Licensed Product’s primary purpose is to create user-generated content,
(d) use, reproduce, duplicate, publicly display, publicly perform, copy, modify, adapt, translate, prepare derivative works of, distribute, transfer, license, sublicense, rent, lease, lend, sell, trade, resell, or otherwise commercialize or monetize any Asset except as expressly permitted in this EULA.
(e) if the Asset is a software development kit (“SDK”), modify the SDK except as instructed or authorized by Provider in writing (including instruction or authorization in Asset documentation) or include the SDK within END-USER’s Licensed Product at runtime.
(f) without express authorization, use Assets in any digital representation of value, ownership, or contractual rights.
This results in a similar situation to Unreal Engine, where assets under the standard asset store licensing agreement can be used in other game engine. On the other hand, Unity published assets are often under the Unity Companion License:
1. Unity Companion Use. Exercise of the license granted herein is permitted as long as it is in connection with the authoring and/or distribution of applications, software, or other content under a valid Unity content authoring and rendering engine software license (“Engine License”). That means, for example, as long as you authored content using the Work under an Engine License, you may distribute the Work in connection with that content as you see fit under this License. No other exercise of the license granted herein is permitted, and in no event may the Work be used for competitive analysis or to develop a competing product or service.
Which clearly states these assets can only be used with Unity products.
TL;DR. Can you use commercial assets from one game engine in another game engine? Most of the time, yes, unless the asset comes directly from the engine maker or has a special license preventing it. So always be sure to check the license.
If you are looking for HOW to use assets from one game engine in another engine, we’ve got you covered!
- Unity to Godot in Seconds
- Unreal to Godot, Blender or Unity
- Exporting from Unity to Other Game Engines
- Move From Unity to Unreal in Minutes
You can learn more about the legalities of using assets from one game engine in another game engine in the video below.