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The Epic MegaGrants initiative effectively replaces 2015’s Unreal Dev Grants programme, and offers a big pot of money to developers and associated projects.

At the beginning of this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, there was quite a big announcement. It was so big that you could be forgotten for missing other announcements. Even other big ones. But in this instance – and particularly if you’re involved in video game development or ancillary activities – this is one you’re not going to want to miss.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative, announced by Epic during its GDC 2019 keynote, features a whopping fund of $100m. Yes, that’s one hundred million US dollars, for clarity’s sake. So that leaves us all with three questions:

  1. What is the Epic MegaGrants initiative for?
  2. How much of that $100m can you get?
  3. How exactly does one get access to this pot of gold?

So we’ll try to answer them roughly in order.

First of all, the Epic MegaGrants initiative is for “game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers worldwide who are doing incredible things with Unreal Engine or improving open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community”.

The obvious takeaway here is for game developers using Unreal Engine 4 – and you can also “apply for a grant to fund transitioning your existing or in-development game to UE4,” and we all know who that’s aimed at – but if you’re using Unreal in business, media, or education, you can apply. Ditto if you’re working on tools or systems to provide support to these other activities.

As for the amounts, individual Epic MegaGrants will “range from $5,000 to $500,000” with projects assessed and grants awarded on a case-by-case basis. You can apply without a value in mind, but there is a tickbox on the application form to request a particular amount of funding; doing so will prompt applicants to explain the figure.

And to access it, you simply fill in an application form on the Epic MegaGrants page. You can apply as both an individual or on behalf of a company, but you will need to provide some details of your project. You can’t just promise Mr Sweeney that you’ll make the next Fortnite and he’ll bung you half a million dollars… we don’t think. Maybe we’ll give it a try and report back.

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