Question Regarding EULA and Revenue

I have a question regarding the EULA that fits in a grey area, which I’m having trouble figuring out.

I’m working on a project which is technically free, what i’m receiving funding through Patreon to support growth of the project. It is solely run by myself at the moment. There is one tier that doesn’t offer that is just as support for the project ($1), with no special advantages and the rest offer early access to content the game, but in the end all content will be released for free with no ads or additional revenue a few weeks later. Would the donations be considered revenue?

Thanks! :smiley:


If the person who gives you money is receiving the game in return, then that money counts as revenue, but only for the cost of the game, so for instance if they get the game plus a T-Shirt, then the cost of the T-Shirt doesn’t count, just the cost of the game.

While someone from Epic may contradict me, a Commercial Product is one defined as a product for sale. Moreover, Gross Revenue is regarding revenue pertaining to the Commercial Product which your company released using the Unreal Engine 4. If your company obtains funds not directly related to the commercial sale of a Commercial Product (such as from venture capitalists or private donations) you are not legally required to give that money to any third party (such as Epic).

If you create a product and that product is given away without sales it is not a Commercial Product. However, if it is a “free” product which includes other methods of obtaining profit such as Downloadable Content or Microtransactions then this makes it a Commercial Product and gross revenue from those profit sources must be paid towards Epic.

If one of the Staff can confirm this, that would be great. The project in no way will be receiving money on a commercial level. I enjoy developing games so making a full time effort to make games for free just through Patreon is a dream come true while still offering those that don’t have money to play the game.

They’ve said it before in response to this question–if you are giving them the game in return then the cost of the game counts as revenue, but not anything else.

Yes, if you exchange a Commercial Product through any means whether it is the Steam store or a promise to produce later (as in with Kickstarter) it is still revenue. But if a product has no commercial value (free with no other forms of obtaining profit) nothing obtained through Kickstarter would in any way be relevant. Essentially then everyone is getting it free regardless of whether they got it from Kickstarter even if Kickstarter promises something such as “if you donate we will let you preview the program before we release it for free to everyone.”

I’m guessing the case is that any money attributed to the game, whether its free or not, you still have to pay a royalty. I could be wrong but I would still love to hear from the staff. I’m posting here for convenience, but if I do not get a response, i’ll have to email the royalty department. haha

If the game is free then it wouldn’t need to be a reward, but if they get Alpha access or something like that–they’re still paying for a copy of the game that other people aren’t getting for free, in which case it isn’t free and it counts as revenue.
If someone has to give you money to get the game in return, it counts as revenue.
And again, it only counts for the value of the game, not any other extra stuff.

The one thing that’s confusing, if you never intend to sell it, then you don’t know what the value of the game is

If the game is never for sale, it’s value is zero.

See the EULA section 4. In this case, it works as follows:

  • Money received in exchange a user receiving early access to the game does count as revenue (and royalties are due), even if the game is made available for free to other folks later.

  • Money received that’s not tied to access to the game or in-game benefits (such as in-game items) does not count as revenue.

Exactly. You’ll get early access to the game but the value of the money is to support me and only me. Its the whole point behind Patreon. To support those behind the content.