Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney kicked off the company’s annual Game Developers Conference keynote with some big news for creators: a commitment to hand out $100 million to game makers, film and TV creators, students, educators, tool developers, essentially anyone working to enhance 3D graphics and inspire creativity.
The Epic MegaGrants is an evolution of Epic’s Unreal Dev Grants program, which delivered $5 million in funds starting in 2015. The final grant from that program was awarded earlier this week.
“This is no-strings-attached grant funding,” Sweeney said. “You don’t need to use our engine, it doesn’t need to be in our store.”
This is our way of sharing ‘Fortnite’s’ unbelievable success.”
The awards will range from $5,000 to $500,000 and cover a variety of endeavors to further ignite creativity and technological advancement within the 3D graphics community. All grant recipients will continue to own their IP and will be free to publish however they wish. Submissions will be evaluated, and grants awarded, on a continual rolling basis as funds allow, with no firm deadlines to submit.
The key submission categories for the grants include:
- Game Developers: UE4 dev teams of all sizes can apply for an Epic MegaGrant to help make their projects succeed. Developers can also apply for a grant to help transition existing or in-development games to UE4.
- Media & Entertainment: Individuals or teams applying UE4 to film, television and other visual media, location-based entertainment, and live events are eligible to apply for an Epic MegaGrant.
- Enterprise: Innovative teams and individuals leveraging UE4 in other non-gaming verticals, including architecture, automotive, manufacturing, simulation, product design, advertising, and other areas, may apply for an Epic MegaGrant.
- Education: Students and educators can earn funding for Unreal Engine research, curriculum, student projects and university programs. Grants will also be given to schools implementing Unreal Engine into classrooms and programs.
- Tools and open-source development: Teams and individuals can submit an application for a new tool, plans to port existing tools to UE4, or for creating tools that integrate existing software with UE4. Applications can also be submitted for new open-source tools (including tools that provide interoperability) or any enhancement for existing open-source projects related to 3D graphics.
Additional details will be published on the official website for the Epic MegaGrants: unrealengine.com/megagrants.