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Epic launches free Unreal Engine 3 software

Unreal Development Kit made available to game makers at no cost

A free standalone version of Unreal Engine 3 has been released by Epic Games, giving aspiring developers and professionals alike the chance to use Epic's 3D engine technology for free.

The Unreal Development Kit can be downloaded by anyone and gives users access to the game engine technology, Unreal Editor, Unreal Content Browser, UnrealScript and other tools (a full feature set is listed on the website).

For non-commercial and educational uses the software will be free, although terms will apply to developers making games commercially.

"I'm excited about the possibilities the Unreal Development Kit opens to those who are looking to get into the game business but don't otherwise have the means to acquire world-class technology and tools like ours," said Mark Rein, VP of Epic. "UDK is Unreal Engine 3, which has been used to create games in a wide range of genres, as well as military simulations, 3D architectural walkthroughs, animated movies and more. Users are only limited by their imaginations."

Epic will support the software with regular upgraded builds. While the kit is initially only for use on PC, the company says console support is under consideration.

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