Epic Games has released the first major update to Unreal Engine 4 since its public launch as a $19 per month subscription-based service at the 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC).
With the release of Unreal Engine 4.1, all subscribers who are registered Xbox or PlayStation developers, including members of the [email protected] independent developer program, can receive access to the engine’s complete source code for their respective console platforms, at no extra cost.
For the past two years, some of the world’s leading console developers have been using UE4 to build their next-generation games, so the widespread console availability of this engine is highly notable for the indie developer community.
The 4.1 update also includes SteamOS and Linux support, refined iOS and Android workflow, new game templates both for C++ programmers and designers using Blueprint visual scripting, and more than 100 improvements based on community feedback. In addition, Epic’s Elemental demo is now available for free for subscribers from the engine’s Marketplace so that developers can learn from its construction and use its assets in their own projects.
As a demonstration of UE4’s high-end console support, the engine includes “Shooter Game,” a sample project created by Epic and released for free on Marketplace. The sample is now undergoing certification on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Driven by feedback from the community and informed by Epic’s experience building games such as “Fortnite,” Unreal Engine 4 is evolving at an incredible pace. Its first month has seen thousands of development forks created on GitHub to improve and extend the engine in an open, collaborative manner. Starting now, developers on GitHub can see Epic’s internal development process in real-time, with live-streaming source code updates.