The developers of What Remains of Edith Finch are releasing a selection of assets from the game for free on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. The release means developers can use environmental models, props, and materials from the game in their work, completely free of charge. The BAFTA award-winning game from 2017 was developed by Giant Sparrow and published by Annapurna Interactive.
According to Epic, the asset collection includes over 3,000 meshes, including textures and materials. It covers the Finch’s family home, the main setting for the game, as well as other locations like the beach and the fantasy realm that serves as the backdrop for one of the game’s most memorable sequences.
Epic is no stranger to releasing assets from its own games for free. In the past, it’s made content available from its Infinity Blade games as well as Paragon available to developers, which joins a large amount of other free content available on its marketplace. In the case of Paragon, Epic said the assets released were made at a cost of around $17,000,000, meaning they represent a huge amount of free material for developers.
However, it’s less common to see free assets made available from non-Epic produced games, and there could be more to come. Epic says the content from What Remains of Edith Finch is the first in a series of free content coming from “teams across the community,” suggesting we might see assets released from other Unreal Engine developers in the future.
It’s a cool initiative for developers, but at its core, it’s designed to make the Unreal Engine a more attractive tool to work with over competitors like Unity. That’s important for Epic since it takes a 5 percent cut of an Unreal Engine game’s revenue once a title passes $1 million in sales.
“Epic Games’ approach is to lead with generosity,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said at the Game Developers Conference last March. “The services, the engine, and store are all here to serve the 7.5 million developers who have chosen Epic’s engine.”