Epic Games Launches New $100 Million Grant Program

Digital Disrupters-Tim Sweeney-Getty-H 2018
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CEO Tim Sweeney unveiled the Epic MegaGrants program during the company's keynote presentation at the GDC convention.

Fueled by the massive financial success of its free-to-play Battle Royale shooter Fortnite, Epic Games is giving back with a new $100 million grant program called Epic MegaGrants.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney revealed the new program during his company's keynote speech at the GDC convention in San Francisco on Wednesday morning. "This is our way of sharing Fortnite's epic success with others," said Sweeney.

MegaGrants follows the completion of Epic's previous grant program, Unreal Dev Grants, that awarded its final $500,000 earlier this week to meet its stated $5 million goal. As with the Unreal Dev Grants, MegaGrants will award funds to applicants with "no strings attached" to help developers across gaming, filmmaking and education who use Epic's Unreal Engine. The awards range from $5,000 to $500,000.

Sweeney stressed that the MegaGrants program was created to help its recipients meet their financial needs. "We're here to help financially as much as we can. There are no commercial hooks back to Epic," he said.

Epic's keynote focused largely around its proprietary game engine, Unreal, which is used by many in the industry, as well as the company's online store front, the Epic Games Store. The store launched last December and allows developers to keep 88 percent of the sales they earn on the platform.

Also introduced during the presentation were new free online services provided by Epic for developers that it said can be used "for any engine and on any store." Such features include access to game analytics that provide insights on new players, engagement and demographics.