And it's getting easier for those developers to create games that rival what bigger publishers put out. Although indie games have generally not compared well graphically to major releases, the companies licensing game development software have recently changed their terms to include smaller developers.
For instance, Epic Games, whose "Unreal Engine 3" powered some of the biggest titles of the previous console generation, unveiled a new pricing strategy for its "Unreal Engine 4" in March, abandoning the traditional licensing model for a flat monthly fee and a small percentage of any retail sales. In the past, developers paid hundreds of thousands of dollars—and a per-game royalty to use Epic's software.
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