I’m a student who saw Epic’s UE4 November Game Jam announcement Twitch stream, and they showed off a microtransaction example in a mobile game. I tried reading through their documentation on the licensing, but it’s been confusing to process. I started thinking about how funds would go to Epic in the case of the developers selling content that wasn’t strictly related to the Unreal Engine. What would happen (in regards to the payment and licensing of UE4) if someone released a game that was free-to-play, and had microtransactions, but didn’t sell anything as a microtransaction for the game that was built off of a uniquely UE4 system? I mean, if someone sold a new texture for a character skin on a separate website that could be used for their game, but wasn’t necessarily tied directly to their game’s asset, then would Epic take a cut of that, since it’s not sold in-game (on a platform built using UE4) or part of an explicit UE4 asset (file type would probably just be a jpeg of some kind)? Or what if it the marketplace was open and the character skin was sold by a community member rather than an original game studio team member? Then, in that case, would it make a difference whether the asset was created using an in-game editing tool vs. an external one?
This dips into “paid mods” territory at the end I suppose which, as I understand it, is not a very supported proposition in the community. In isolating the studio team member case then, what exactly is the line that gets drawn saying, “Because you did X, the asset / resource / THING that was sold is something Epic acquires a portion of profits from.”
Does that mean there are ways developers could create content to be sold that could be used for their game, but not necessarily directly tied to it, at a paid rate, without Epic taking a cut? If so, is this something Epic may plan on “patching” in amendments to their licensing structure?
It just doesn’t seem terribly clear to me since the initial sale of the game product is free-to-play, i.e. no 5% to be sent to Epic from strictly game sales.