Good news for anyone interested in independent game development today from Epic - they've increased the threshold for royalties for their Unreal Development Kit by a factor of ten!
This means that, if you're making your own game, you can use the UDK completely royalty-free as long as you're making less than USD$50,000. So if you're an independent games developer - or thinking about becoming one! - then this means you can earn a pretty reasonable chunk of cash while keeping your costs low. From the official statement:
We're really excited about folks making some amazing things with UDK and we realize that a lot of you are just started in the business so not having to pay royalties on your first $50,000 should help you get a financial footing toward building a quality game development business.
One thing some folks didn't seem to realize is that whether you sell your product through digital distribution (or a retail location) the company doing the sale to the end user (called the "retailer") takes a cut (typically around 30%) for their efforts. The price they sell it for is called the retail price. The amount of money they pay to you on each sale is called the wholesale amount. When you pay us royalties you pay on the wholesale amount, i.e. the money you actually receive.
There are some examples of the UDK royalty structure in their forum post
AusGamers is proud to be an official mirror partner for the Unreal Development kit; you can grab the latest version of it now from our speedy file server
, and we've also got a video which runs you through the UDK features
. Get cracking!