They released a free Unreal Engine 3 development kit:
Source: http://pc.gamespy.com/articles/104/1042594p1.htmlEpic Games has announced that a free version of Unreal Engine 3, the Unreal Development Kit, is now available to the public. The UDK features all the current updates that UE3 has, and will continue to be updated as Epic Games develops new technology for the engine. Though the engine is free for noncommercial use (ie universities, researchers or hobbyists) those looking to launch commercial endeavors must agree with Epic's licensing terms, which include licensing fees. The current build of UDK is for PC use only, but console development is, "under consideration."
- Immediate access to Unreal Engine 3, the critically acclaimed 3D game engine technology for cross-platform game development.
- Easy content creation with the Unreal Editor, a fully integrated suite of top-tier development tools, which comes complete with:
- Unreal Content Browser, a revolutionary tool for browsing, searching and organizing game assets with collaborative metadata tagging system.
- UnrealScript object-oriented programming language and Unreal Kismet, a visual scripting system that enables rapid prototyping on the fly.
- Unreal Matinee, a powerful tool with movie director-class controls for building in-game cinematics and gorgeous cut scenes.
- Unreal Cascade, an advanced particle physics and environmental effects editor that aids the creation of fire, fog, explosions and other visuals.
- NVIDIA PhysX-powered physics system with Unreal PhAT visual modeling tool for creating character and object physics rigs.
- Unreal Lightmass, a global illumination system that dramatically lights and shadows with minimal effort required by artists and designers.
- AnimSet Viewer and AnimTree Editor, which give animators precise control over every muscle and bone movement.
- Time saved thanks to technology integrations with leading game development middleware tools including SpeedTree, Bink Video, and FaceFX.
- Output of standalone applications: Games created with UDK run entirely on their own with no additional software required. This means anyone can make UDK content and distribute it for free.