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Royalties on Itch.io Tip The Creator and Gamejolt Pay What You Want?

Hello! So I am planning on making a game that I will upload to itch.io and gamejolt. So my question is do I have to pay royalties on donations I get from the game. For example on itch.io I would have it set so that people have the option $0 or donate and anyone that donates won't get anything other than the game like everyone else. I know what you're thinking, Not another person asking about royalties again! Look it up for god's sake. But when I search about royalties on donations for itch.io I'm getting mixed opinions which leaves me dumbfounded. I'm not sure if tip the creator on itch.io is considered tied to product access and the same for gamejolt and that's my question. As in the EULA it states that no royalty is owed on: Revenue from donations for a Product which are not tied to Product access or in-Product benefits. Well thanks for taking your time the read this and I hope I can get an official answer on this as it's driving me mad.

Product Version: UE 4.20
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asked Jul 26 '18 at 05:58 PM in Legal & Licensing

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Under the facts you've described ($0 option and donors get nothing additional), you will not owe royalties.

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answered Jul 27 '18 at 05:00 PM

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SonsOfKorhal STAFF
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avatar image Dev7234 Jul 31 '18 at 03:44 PM

Would the same apply for gamejolt where when you download the game you get the option to pay what you want with $0 being the minimum price and no in game benefits or anything. Might I also add that this will be on the game page itself as you probably know if you've downloaded anything from itch.io or gamejolt. Also will I still have to add the unreal engine trademark and all that stuff to the game or no? I'm sorry to bother you with all these questions it's just I take this stuff really seriously as I don't want to get into any legal issues. Thanks again for taking your time to read this.

avatar image SonsOfKorhal STAFF Jul 31 '18 at 04:01 PM

Yes, if the donations are entirely optional and not tied to any benefits, no royalty is owed. You still need to comply with the notice requirements under the EULA.

avatar image Dev7234 Jul 31 '18 at 04:27 PM

Once I ship the game would It be considered a commercial game and need to comply with the unreal engine 4 commercial game deployment guidelines or no? Also what are the notice requirements under the EULA, do you just mean the EULA in general or something specific? Thanks for the fast response earlier. :)

avatar image SonsOfKorhal STAFF Aug 01 '18 at 03:24 PM

The UE4 EULA is available here: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/eula. Notice requirements are in Section 12.

This agreement governs all of your use of UE4, whether or not you ship the game commercially.

avatar image Dev7234 Aug 01 '18 at 09:23 PM

That link gives me an error 404 page not found. Under the circumstances I have stated above would my game have to follow the commercial game deployment guidelines at this link https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/release even if I am not paying royalties. Thanks again.

avatar image SonsOfKorhal STAFF Aug 01 '18 at 09:35 PM

Sorry about that. Looks like the period was captured in the hyperlink. https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/eula should work.

Yes. The commercial deployment guidelines are intended for royalty bearing products, but the checklist on that page recites requirements from the EULA that apply to all Products. You should still fill out the release form. The royalty payment and tracking section will not apply to you.

avatar image Dev7234 Aug 01 '18 at 11:01 PM

Thanks so much for your responses Korhal, they've been really helpful. Just out of curiosity if I was to release a free game without an EULA or credits to Epic not knowing that is was required for non commercial games and Epic were to find out about this what would the punishment be, would they just ask me to remove the game or would I be able to correct myself/ would there be any legal issues there other than asking me to remove the game until I add in the EULA or would they be able to go to court with me etc.

avatar image Dev7234 Aug 01 '18 at 11:27 PM

Also If I was to have released a free game in the past without notifying Epic as I did not know I had to, would I be able to notify Epic now/ would there be any legal problems there like court cases etc.

avatar image SonsOfKorhal STAFF Aug 02 '18 at 01:54 PM

The release form isn't technically required unless you are making money, so you're fine. I suggested you fill it out anyway because it's helpful for us to keep track. Hope that helps!

avatar image Dev7234 Aug 02 '18 at 03:24 PM

Would credits and writing an EULA have been required when I shipped a free game in the past without them?/ Can I correct myself by updating a free game I've made in the past with an EULA and credits as I didn't know I needed them? I am referring to a free game I released over 2 months ago, I never notified Epic and It didn't have an EULA written in a file nor did it state credits to Epic.

avatar image SonsOfKorhal STAFF Aug 02 '18 at 03:34 PM

Yes, you can correct by updating.

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