Fortnite developer, Epic Games, has agreed to give Blender $1.2 million over the next three years as part of its MegaGrants program. Recently, Epic has been incredibly generous, which Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeny described as “[their] way of sharing Fortnite’s unbelievable success.”
— Blender (@Blender) July 15, 2019
Blender is a free and open-source program that helps users design 3D objects for use in creations from animation to video games. The generous donation is especially remarkable since Epic Games has its own 3D engine, Unreal Engine. Epic Games stated that their grant has “no strings attached”. Consequently, this means Blender has no obligation to use or promote Epic Games’ storefront or engine.
Epic Games announced the MegaGrants initiative at the Game Developers Conference in March of 2019. There, they promised to give $100 million to not just to game developers, but anyone interested in working with 3D models. This is only the beginning of the program, so we can expect many further donations in the future.
Epic’s generosity here isn’t uncharacteristic of them. In fact, their MegaGrants program is an evolution of an older program. Epic’s Unreal Dev Grants program launched in 2015 to give $5 million in grants to indie developers. It ended shortly before the MegaGrants announcement in March 2019. In fact, we at Indie Ranger have covered games made possible by Epic Games here.
In short, this is a huge deal for indie developers. Having better and more accessible programs to use makes it easier to create games. The Epic Games Store has relatively bare shelves compared to its competitors, but that may change. Epic Games offers a higher revenue split than platforms like Steam or GOG. In addition to Epic’s grants and growing popularity, the Epic Games Store could become an indie powerhouse. We at Indie Ranger are eager to see how the Epic Games Store grows and improves over time.
Additional information regarding Epic MegaGrants, check out their page.