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Cost of licensing game engines for console development?


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#1 john_miller   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

I'm a research analyst in the gaming space looking for some more info on the economics of game development, specifically the costs of licensing FPS game engines like Unreal and CryEngine when creating titles for xbox.

My current understanding is that a license for either of these engines might cost as much as $400k.

Is that correct?

Is that license fee paid yearly?

Is there any additional royalty based on sales that goes back to the engine developer?

Thanks!

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8477

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

Perhaps this topic will get answered better in the Business forum. Moving.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18371

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:10 PM

I'm a research analyst in the gaming space looking for some more info on the economics of game development, specifically the costs of licensing FPS game engines like Unreal and CryEngine when creating titles for xbox.

1) My current understanding is that a license for either of these engines might cost as much as $400k. Is that correct?

2) Is that license fee paid yearly?

3) Is there any additional royalty based on sales that goes back to the engine developer?

Terms and conditions of each business deal are generally kept confidential.

1) In the business world, cost is whatever you negotiate. It may be $400k for one game, or $40k for a smaller business, or a charity case with no cost except showing an in-game ad for another game. A major company like EA who licenses engines for many products over many years is going to be on very different negotiating terms than a startup studio.

2) It is often the case that when a product is a one-time drop, the cost is also a one-time drop. Maintenance and updates over time tends to require a longer-term payment.

3) Depends on the negotiation. Royalties are a difficult thing generally; they require additional bookkeeping and are subject to Hollywood Accounting problems.
Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#4 kdog77   Members   -  Reputation: 229

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:07 PM

As Frob points out, most of the terms of middleware commercial licenses are subject to non-disclosure obligations. Pricing info is guarded closely b/c it is pretty competitive market and developers are certainly sensitive to costs. You may want to reach out to FPS developers and ask them on average what their middleware costs are on a typical FPS project as a percentage of the budget. That should get you the same info without getting too specific. Good luck!
Kevin Reilly
Email: kevin.reilly.law@gmail.com
Twitter: kreilly77

#5 Green_Gill   Members   -  Reputation: 139

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:10 PM

I have an engine (I have a few actually, but only one is modern). I collect them, but only the ones that don't restrict me.

Am I giving it away? Yes.
Am I just giving it away? No.

It's designed for team use, so less people requesting it is pointless. It's also incomplete so someone incapable of coding the engine is likely also incapable of finishing it. Basically, what I'm looking for is a game engine developer who needs to save himself 3 years of time... and can code an engine that would take an average developer 150 years, in 5. (Assuming programmer productivity doubles each year, this is to be expected).

Would I sell it: Hell yeah, I'd totally sell a copy for as much as it would cost for me to have it finished. Then I'd get the finished engine and you... might not... if the developer you hire isn't up to the task. Posted Image Suggestion: Ask for an update once I get it finished.

It's funny... I always wished I could just get this far... now I'm here and I only want to go further.

Edited by Green_Gill, 13 December 2012 - 11:12 PM.


#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8477

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

I have an engine (I have a few actually, but only one is modern). I collect them, but only the ones that don't restrict me.

Am I giving it away? Yes.
Am I just giving it away? No.

It's designed for team use, so less people requesting it is pointless. It's also incomplete so someone incapable of coding the engine is likely also incapable of finishing it. Basically, what I'm looking for is a game engine developer who needs to save himself 3 years of time... and can code an engine that would take an average developer 150 years, in 5. (Assuming programmer productivity doubles each year, this is to be expected).

Would I sell it: Hell yeah, I'd totally sell a copy for as much as it would cost for me to have it finished.


This reads VERY much like an advertisement -- AND it's a response to an 11-month-old thread. I'm closing this thread.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.




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