Modding: Legal Dev package distribution? - Marketplace content?

Hello, I have currently a small early access game on steam (UE4 - 4.12.5) (I am open to upgrade if really needed)

And I got a decent amount of requests for modding support, after searching for a while I still have some questions on the legal side of things (+ one technical):

A - Do I really need to use a Development package to enable plug and play modding (via steam workshop for instance)?

B - If yes, then as I understood, I am not allowed to do so, is there a way to request a special license? even for a really small indie game, nowhere near the size of Ark or Squad?

C - I have some Marketplace content, from what I found on the subject this add some trouble. Can I discuss the individual content creators who made the assets some kind of advanced license, or permission? or do I really need to remove all externally licensed content (I also have some content from other sources, such as external 3D models markets like turbo squid or CGTrader)? As I am 95% a programmer and it’s mostly a one man team game currently this would be a clear stop for modding support, at least until the team expand a little bit.

Thanks a lot for reading :slight_smile:

I’ll address your three questions in turn.

A - I’m sorry but I don’t understand what you mean by Development package. Can you explain?

B - You are permitted under the UE4 EULA to enable modding, but you can only distribute a custom modding editor (or other kind of Editing Tool as defined in the EULA) via the UnrealEngine GitHub depo. In other words, you can only distribute the editor to folks who have already agreed to the EULA.

C - You are permitted to redistribute Marketplace content if the distribution is pre-baked, although I understand this is not necessarily an easy process. If you have permission from the Marketplace seller, you can do what you and the seller agree.

Thanks for your fast reply!

A- As far as I understood, the only way to enable plug and play modding such as steam workshop, is to use Development Build configuration for the game packaging.

Because we can’t load uasset files at runtime on shipping builds. From my research, we are not allowed to do that because the EULA states that we cannot ship editor/engine content, and apparently the devloppement build does.

For example this thread says you can’t:

And this thread says you can,with the exception of marketplace content:

What is the actual status about this? is shipping Development build prohibited?

B- Does this also apply to a cropped version of my project files? Which could be an alternative solution as a “modding tool” (of course engine would be downloaded via the official epic launcher)

C - Thanks!

Re: B - you can redist your uproject files how you like.

Re: A - I’ll see if one of the devs to take a look.

Response from dev:

There is no need to use a Development build. It’s not the case that shipping builds can’t load (cooked) .uasset files. Also, it’s easy to make a .pak file of assets that are part of the mod.

Thanks a lot!