Really, this is the reason why Ubisoft and other publishing studios / developers choose to build their own engine from the ground up? Not the fact that, in the long run, it’s more financially viable? Ubisoft’s used the their Anvil engine (sure, they’ve iterated on it consistently) on all of their Assassin’s Creed titles.
Whereas, if they had utilized Unreal Engine, they’d have to pay licensing / royalty fees and so forth on all those titles. They’ve cut out that process, by using their own. Even if it costs them more in the short-term, they can re-use the same engine on numerous other projects without paying Epic any cash.
In the end, there’s numerous reasons why developers choose to develop their own engine or licence an existing one. So, it’s best not to make sure blanket-face statements. As, what works for one, won’t work for everyone.
I can’t quite wrap my head around this statement right here. There’s a whole host of free engines out there, along with others which offer a relatively long-cost entrance fee (even CryEngine, for example). They aren’t associated with ‘amateur zombie shooters’ to my knowledge. In fact, I think the whole zombie craze has been slowing down a fair amount as of late - at least, in comparison to a couple of years back.
However, have you seen any of the work that’s coming out of indie studios that are harnessing Unreal Engine 4? It’s not quite ‘amateur zombie shooters’, to say the least. In fact, far from it. You only need look at some of the recent titles that have been given grants from Epic or take a peek at the work in progress sub-forum.
Is there going to be zombie titles using the engine? Sure. Are some of them going to be amateur? Sure. That wouldn’t change if the engine was free or maintained its former subscription fee. Is that what the engine will be known for in ‘one or two years’, as you say? Certainly not.
To sum-up, though. You should find what works for you. If UE4 doesn’t fit your criteria and CryEngine does? Then move to CryEngine. It seems relatively simple. If not, work on implementing what you feel is missing in Unreal Engine.