Ending my UE4 subscription... and the reasons why.

As I believe I’ve made the decision to at least temporarily end my subscription to Unreal Engine 4 as of tonight - I went looking for threads where people might be talking about similar things, to gather my thoughts and maybe provide some feedback in the same place as others as to why I am doing so. I couldn’t really find much discussion to that effect; I found one old thread that was only passably relevant so I’ve instead decided to just make a new post.

I’ve been using Unreal Engine since UE2 (Still love UT2004!), and did professional development on UE3 and UDK as a designer. Career forces had me switch to another well-known engine, but with the events of GDC and the new pricing model I was VERY excited to return to Unreal Engine, feeling the spirit of a pricing model that would make possible what I truly wanted to accomplish as an indie developer.

Out the gate I was so impressed with the rendering performance and visual effects that there was no question I’d be going with UE4. I had a rough playable demo working via blueprint relatively quickly which impressed my team. But as I got more serious about what I wanted to do, I ran into problems. In UE3/UDK I was pretty handy just using Kismet and modifying Unrealscript. Blueprint, which is supposedly more powerful and versatile - should have met my needs - but to be honest, I find it cumbersome and convoluted in comparison to Kismet. Simple things like sharing a variable, typical math operations, or running a score up requires a lot more work and setup, and everything feels a lot more restrictive when it comes to flow control. I feel like I need to work backwards and know ahead of time exactly how to set something up. Following tutorial videos solved some problems, but when the videos themselves seem to not know why something had to be done a certain way (for instance having to create several nodes just to get a “Cast To” node to appear instead of just typing it in), it feels like a huge step backward from Kismet where never once did I have to follow a video to figure something out. Small problems would begin to pile up, and I would spend hours looking up solutions, which decimated my productivity. I would go to answerhub for solutions, but this only worked in the beginning. In the first month or so, my questions would get prompt attention and I’d have my problems resolved relatively quickly. I was not only pleased, I was impressed, and felt my $19/mo was more than well spent. The second month and beyond, it was a totally different story; I posted 3 times with no solution - and I’m not feeling much like spamming a board if there’s really no one listening. There could be dozens of questions I could be asking but if one simple one is given no attention after several attempts, didn’t give me any faith that something more complicated or critical would be answered down the line. I felt that being able to have some of my questions answered was a huge part of what I was paying the $19/month for, and it would be what I’d tell my fellow devs when encouraging a decision to switch “well, if you pay them by the month, they have to help you, right?”. I suppose I was mistaken that a subscription payment would be any guarantee of support attention.

There were more serious things such as engine crashes and blueprint data corruption. At one point the engine caused a bluescreen of death when I closed it, and some of the blueprint files I was working on turned into empty files full of zeroes, which was a pretty terrifying setback. I’m sure it sounds crazy… but the dev I talked to about it on answerhub could provide no insight into what had happened or how to avoid it other than that it shouldn’t happen.

In the end, what it boils down to is “am I definitely going to ship a game with this?”. The monthly fee we pay is a waste if we don’t actually ship something on it. Early on I had every confidence, but as the clunkiness of Blueprint became more apparent and odd things not working for no logical reason began to pile up - I became less productive and it has become a painful game of wondering if anyone will answer my answerhub questions or if my problems will be magically resolved in the next incremental update, and as the hope of either has faded, the $19 a month becomes a bleeding out and a detriment to my productivity. That’s money I could have spent on some plug-ins or better lunches. Its also time and effort that could have been spent developing on another engine that would ship the game, that won’t be carried over. I have every desire for Epic to get their cut of my game if it ships on the UE4, but if I am getting frustrated, having to pay for the engine being in a not-quite stable, not quite complete state where I can’t be confidently productive becomes a bigger burden as I wonder if “another month” will fix things. While I don’t feel like the monthly I’ve been paying for UE4 has been a total waste, I feel that if I continue at this point, it will be.

That being said, I am still very enthusiastic and supportive of the 5% pricing model that is being used for UE4, and sort of wish that I could apply that sort of deal to developing a game with UE3/UDK (I miss Kismet), but I know there isn’t much hope in that since all the attention will be on UE4 from here on out it seems. I sincerely hope that the engine will mature, blueprint will evolve to be more intuitive, and that answerhub will get staffed up to handle the volume - so I’ll be able to seriously consider using the engine again for a future project - its just that right now I need to be able to ship something quickly and reliably, and at this point there are too many stumbling blocks and unknowns. If you are a Epic developer or are another UE4 user, thank you for taking the time in reading this; hopefully this can be taken as feedback or inspire others to voice their opinions as well.


Thank you very much for the feedback. We greatly appreciate you reaching out us with this so that we can continue to improve.

If you wouldn’t mind emailing me at Paul dot Oliver at EpicGames with the answerhub questions you posted that went unanswered, I would like a chance to review them to see how we could have done better.

Canceling your subscription will not remove your ability to use the forums or answerhub. You will also maintain access to the versions of the engine you had. I hope that even with a canceled subscription you still use the tools and ask questions when you get stuck. We can’t wait to see what you build!

Thanks again for taking the time to provide this feedback, it’s greatly appreciated.

Paul Oliver

P.s. I’ll be leaving for GamesCom on Friday, but i’ll do my best to keep up on email.

Thanks, princemoonrise for the detailed feedback, and for your long-time support of the Unreal Engine (Loved UT2004 myself :slight_smile: ). We are working hard to ensure that we are providing a great service to our community of developers, so this sort of feedback is invaluable to us as we continue to improve and enhance the engine, as well as developer experience in the tool-set. We want to remove any barriers we can in order to see you guys succeed!

I’d love to chat with you more about your experience and what you feel we can be doing better. you should have a message in your inbox - let’s chat if we can!


Surprising enough, I had the exact same experience with the answerhub. For first month answers came in very quickly, and were often very high quality, but now it may take a week for anyone to even notice the question, and that is with commenting to the question every 3 hours or so (to keep it from falling to the second page, where it will never be found). Maybe giving people a slider so they could rate how important is the question for them (sure there would be people ranking it very top every time, but possibly being able to downvote the ranking would push them down to prevent further abusement?), so things that people are “Interested to know” would be held a little bit lower than those that are “crucial for further advancement”. Also I have started receiving TONS of “question matched” messages, and it really makes me feel like I was paid for answering them… Hey, I get why would you want to send few a day, but 1-2 an hour, are you kidding me? When I wake up, I have got 20 questions it wants me to answer to, at least half of them from areas I have no experience in. I am currently working on a filter that would let through answers to my question, but block all your “question matched”-spam.
Also having some tutorial series (similar to the one on blueprint, where they showcased many of the basic nodes) in which it is shown in 3-4 minute videos how do you do a certain thing in UE4 C++, you know, things like “how do you spawn an actor”, “what kind of math operations do you have access to”, "how to create a actor through c++ (=making the class be spawned), and other such questions people coming from other languages like C# or Unrealscript, as well as people with no programming experience what so ever, would like to know. Sure much of it is probably in those long tutorial series’, butit is a bit irritating to have to watch through hours of making a 2rd person battery pickingup game to get answer to a basic question, that nobody in answerhub wants to answer to.

Sorry for universal negative tone, but I tried to make a little collection of “what is wrong with UE4”. That being said, I still see this being the best option of the ones I know (Cryengine and it’s clunky workflow or unity with it’s clunky renderer and high starting payment, practically a nobrainer).
Things that I would like to be fixed:
-limit the question matching, and allow for excluding topics (I may have answered a bunch of really low level blueprint questions, but that does not mean I understand the deep mechanics of it or I even would use it anymore actively)
-create a series of “C+±quickie” episodes that would allow for getting started with programming.


You can disable/set those notifications in your user settings.

Just a short hint for getting a faster answer -> make sure to also post questions into the forum :slight_smile: (many guys from the community are just active in here)

will look into that :slight_smile:

I thought I had replied to this, but I can’t see it…? I guess I’ll rewrite it then (maybe my internet failed me once again, wouldn’t be the first time :P)

For longer questions, yes, especially the ones related to programming, the forums are far better option, but I feel like for simple questions it’s “too grand”. Simple questions on C++ are the hard ones to decide, they usually don’t get answered in the answerhub, and I am unsure if it’s “acceptable” to ask such things in the forums…

Just ask them :slight_smile: There is no rule what you should post into the forum or not (except of love mantra +0321434 threads :p) -> important is that you get a fast answer

+1 for the love mantra not being asked! :slight_smile:

@DoctorPC: Feel free to ask your questions anywhere for feedback and solutions. The only times you’ll see the staff suggest a question be posted on AnswerHub rather than the forums is if it’s a Crash, Bug, or something that would be better served there. Those types of questions work better for AnswerHub because they can be assigned to determine the reason for the crash or bug. Those are prioritized in a lot of cases to get a clear repro so we can submit a bug report or crash report to make sure it is addressed by a developer.

Aside from that feel free to ask questions here as well! I’ve suggested on a lot of AnswerHub post for some questions to be asked here instead/as well because they could generate a good discussion or help other users who may want to discuss different methods rather than get a singular answer.

As everyone else has said, feel free to post wherever :slight_smile: The forums are much easier to discuss more complex topics / development processes and theories, while the answerhub is best for a more specific problems.

This is what I have thought, but seems like those specific problems could be better answered here than in answerhub, at least the ones related to programming, as it seems to me forums are attracting more programmers, while answerhub is filled with artists and designers.

EDIT: now when I took a look at the C++ discussion, it is filled with questions comparable to mine, and suddenly it looks very welcoming and pleasant place to go to <3 -Thanks!

Paul and Chance, thank you for reading my post and for your thoughtful responses, I will be preparing additional responses via email but just thought I should do a quick reply here as acknowledgement.

I did consider the forums when I wasn’t getting answers on the hub, but it seemed the forums would have problems the times I tried to use them; one day it was completely dead/down, and other times its just flooded with those love potion spam posts. I checked back a few hours later to look to see if there were responses to this very post and the feedback board had been blown up again. I’m a little puzzled as to why the spam problem hasn’t been fixed yet, obviously everyone is aware of it, people are making jokes about it, work has to be done to maintain it… but it still happens. Its almost guaranteed that there will be UE4 projects shipping with inside jokes about love mantra blah blah blah at this rate… But yes, its hard to take the forum seriously as a means of solving problems when things like that are going on. Also, it seemed like whenever I would research problems and solve them, answerhub would generally be where I would find the solutions, with youtube being a close second.

Another thing about answerhub that I found a bit awkward, is how the “depth” of the questions clash, with no way to differentiate them or give them priority to the right people. You may have a section like blueprint - but more often than not, you will have a very basic question posted by someone with a passing interest in the engine like “Can I use UE4 to make an action platformer” or “Where can I find a tutorial to make an FPS”. Yet on the same page and in the same context, someone (like me) who has invested hundreds of hours into the engine and is legitimately stuck, may be posting a question with specific steps, screen captures of blueprint networks, and other things that would make it easy for someone who knows to answer. But you can’t tell the difference. Either the people who have the answers aren’t seeing these types of questions front and center or its getting lost in the muck of non-technical “Can I make X game in blueprint” questions. It feels like there needs to be some kind of indicator if a person asking a question invested half an hour taking screen caps, pasting example code, or doing other things indicative of needing specific engine-related help versus something less specific and more out of curiosity.

Anyway, thank you again for your attention and I will be in touch with you soon.

Thanks for the feedback, and I look forward to hearing from you.

In response to the forum spam - A lot of attention has been given towards solutions for this, and it’s still a high priority of ours. We’ve made some progress here, though we’ve also encountered some interesting obstacles in tackling the problem, and unfortunately are stuck with a good bit of manual removal at this very moment. However, we are actively pursuing more preventative measures to fight some of this off.

Thanks again for the feedback.

I just had to post at what an excellent idea that is. I’m going to have to start writing down some of the bad english coming from the nightly waves of love mantra spam from now on.

hhahahahaha hell yeah to this! It’s happening right now if you’re needing reference material :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Sorry for hijacking this thread, just wanted to agree with Zurael on a great idea :smiley:

This isn’t exactly how I envisioned Unreal Engine 4 inspiring great ideas, but hey, at least its something…? :smiley:

:stuck_out_tongue: You guys have stolen my idea. has all of this already in the story.
Make sure to post your stuff into the forum when you have made a game with it. :slight_smile:

Epic could use Stackoverflow (://stackoverflow/questions/tagged/unreal-engine4) instead of AnswerHub.

That way it encourages people to answer.

I did indeed cancel my subscription, but guess what? THEY BILLED ME FOR THE NEXT MONTH ANYWAY. I received the “We miss you already; sorry to see you cancel” email immediately when I had canceled, which was before my rebill/expiration of the prior month’s time. NOT COOL, Epic… I guess I’ll have to have this looked into. :confused: