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Engineering visualization or game?

My company is looking to create real-time visualizations for some of our engineering experiments targeted at engineering students. As an example, tuning the control system of a servo motor while looking at graphs may teach the curriculum, but it doesn't engage the student the same way that an interactive 3D simulation would. That same physical hardware and control system can be networked to an Unreal visualization where that same servo now represents a motor in a virtual robot arm. If the physical control system is poorly tuned, then the virtual robot will also perform poorly picking up a virtual box.

Despite the intention of this being a real-time engineering visualization tool to augment physical hardware, I can also see the view of this still being considered a game with a custom control input. In any case though, it would still be interactive, but then from the technical implementation point of view it also isn't that far removed from "interactive amusement park rides". The EULA appears to be a bit grey on the definition of what constitutes a game and where this example lands in the royalty requirements. I would appreciate any clarification on the issue. Thanks!

Product Version: UE 4.16
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asked Jun 30 '17 at 01:13 AM in Legal & Licensing

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Dr. Widgit
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2 answers: sort voted first

Thanks for reaching out - your proposed use of the engine sounds like a great idea. High level, regarding the EULA it's not the case that only games are subject to the royalty. Generally speaking, any revenue for a product that meets the definition of a Product is subject to a royalty, unless one of the royalty exclusions apply. I don't think any of the royalty exclusions apply in this case. But if you're talking about a hardware/software combination, it may make sense to reach out to Epic to negotiate a custom deal.

I'm assuming that you are proposing a new product that you create and design yourself rather than custom work-for-hire which is unique to one client and developed at the direction of that client. If that were the case, the work-for-hire fees would be royalty free.

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answered Jun 30 '17 at 01:45 PM

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atypic STAFF
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Thank you atypic, that does clarify things. This is indeed planned as a new product, but we plan to treat this as a separate software package from our primary hardware and software offerings to keep a clear delineation as far as the royalties go so I think we can still fit within the standard EULA without complication.

Just to expand on your answer for the sake of anyone else looking at this question, definitions from the EULA:

Product” means any product developed under this Agreement that is made using the Licensed Technology or that combines the Licensed Technology with any other software or content, regardless of how much or little of the Licensed Technology is used.

Licensed Technology” means any or all of the Engine Code and the Content, including as modified by you under the License.

Thanks!

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answered Jun 30 '17 at 05:45 PM

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Dr. Widgit
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