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The license isn't very clear about revenue reporting

I was about to sign up for the new $19/mo subscription offering, but when I read the license it seems a bit unclear.

Specifically, the EULA seems to suggest that once a product is about to be released, it's necessary to send an email to notify Epic and then another email every quarter with revenue details. What it doesn't offer is any way to STOP selling the game. What happens when the game is removed from sale and there's no revenue being generated? There is no exit/break clause in the contract for the customer to terminate it themselves and no instructions on what to do when the game stops selling.

Taking it literally, I would have to email epic every 3 months for the rest of my life.... and the only way to stop would be to ask Epic to invoke the termination clause which would then mean I have to destroy my game. Not cool!

It also doesn't make it clear what to do if a game is in beta testing, or released but isn't generating revenue (because it's underperforming) - do we need to send empty returns in those cases or only when money is made?

It would seem sensible to me for Epic to add a line in there somewhere which says "It is not necessary to submit a revenue statement or royalty payment for any quarter in which there is no attributable revenue" or something of the sort...

I tried emailing about this but just got a 1 line response pointing me to the web site, which isn't reassuring at all.

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asked Mar 21 '14 at 11:26 AM in Legal & Licensing

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avatar image Nick Darnell ♦♦ STAFF Mar 21 '14 at 02:48 PM

My apologies for the response you received. I'll get you a good response :)

avatar image [EPIC] Daniel Vogel STAFF Mar 21 '14 at 06:31 PM

"I tried emailing about this but just got a 1 line response pointing me to the web site, which isn't reassuring at all."

I'm sorry you received such an unhelpful response. Would you mind letting me know which email address you reached out to so we can improve this for others going forward?


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3 answers: sort voted first

These are very good points.

"Release" can be nebulous in a product that goes through open and closed betas. Generally, we'd like to hear about your product's "release" before it becomes available to the general public where anybody can obtain it, and before you start receiving revenue from anyone whether the public or beta testers.

Once your game has gone through its life cycle and is no longer available for sale, you can notify us in email and stop sending royalty reports. If more nuance is needed, we'll address this better as the issue arises.

Good luck!

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 03:06 PM

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Tim Sweeney STAFF
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avatar image Tim Sweeney STAFF Apr 24 '14 at 03:09 PM

With the release of Unreal Engine version 4.1, we've updated the EULA to accommodate this long-tail / low-revenue situation:

Now, the first $3000 of gross revenue per product per quarter is exempt from royalties. And, if gross revenue is less than $3000 in a given quarter, then you don't need to file a royalty report.

So, for example, if your game makes $2500 in a quarter, then you don't have to pay anything or file a report. If your game makes $4000, then the royalty due is $50, which is 5% of ($4000 minus $3000).

avatar image Chrustec Apr 30 '14 at 02:37 AM

This is fantastic news :) - way clearer than the initial EULA and much more indie friendly too Thanks Tim and Epic :)

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OMG Tim replied... now that's what I call a good response!

Thanks for clearing that up.

@Lennard I guess this is kind of a bug report... just the bug is in the EULA.

Would be cool if what we've shared here today could be added into the next draft somehow :)

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 10:39 PM

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This is the bug tracker as well as support platform, hence the (perhaps a bit bold) reply. In my experience most staff members are really friendly and willing to help you out. You can always send an e-mail to licensing@unrealengine.com.

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answered Mar 21 '14 at 11:41 AM

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