Epic’s Unreal game engine is the premier game development software for professional game studios. And starting last year, anyone can get access to their software (previously $100,000 per license) for a measly $20/month, plus 5% gross sales. On the surface, this seems insane and unsustainable considering the hundreds of man-years that go into its development. Epic isn’t crazy, they just remembered the cardinal rule of professional tool building: your customers use your product to make money. So instead of charging a massive up-front fee, they encourage customers to explore their toolset and build whatever they want. If you make a hit game, Epic makes their money. This approach is proving effective for Epic, particularly in next-gen consoles where it’s been difficult for indie game developers to make inroads.