Epic acquires Megascans creator Quixel, photorealistic assets now free in Unreal Engine 4

Written by Neil Soutter on Thu, Nov 14, 2019 9:55 AM

Epic Games has announced it has acquired Quixel, the software firm which created Megascans, for an undisclosed sum. Quixel’s Megascans are huge libraries of ultra-high quality 2D and 3D photogrammetry assets which have been used in games such as Battlefield V, Metro Exodus, and Destiny 2, as well as in huge movies such as The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Black Panther, and Pacific Rim: Uprising.

Photogrammetry is a method through which objects are photographed and recorded and then reconstructed in a 3D space, offering up near photorealistic objects with a comparatively minimal performance hit. For any old developer to do this would be an immense amount of work, which is where Megascans comes in.

Developers have been able to buy assets and subscriptions for Megascans but, following Epic’s acquisition of Quixel, the feature is now being rolled into Unreal Engine 4 (version 4.24) as a completely free feature. This means a free Quixel Megascans library of over 10,000 assets which developers can use in their games as they wish. Anyone who has already paid or subscribed for Megascans from Quixel will be given a full refund of the money they’ve spent.

“Building photorealistic 3D content is an expensive endeavor in game development and film production. By coming together with Quixel to make Megascans free for all use in Unreal Engine, this level of artistry is now available to everyone from triple-A studios to indies,” said Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games.

“Our mission at Quixel has always been to make the world more accessible for everyone through ultra-high resolution scanning,” said Quixel cofounder Teddy Bergsman. “As part of Epic Games, we’re now able to accelerate this vision as we grow the Megascans library, speed up the development of Bridge and Mixer, and improve integrations with all major 3D software and renderers.”

The extra cash injection from Epic Games means Quixel can now redouble its efforts on adding more Megascans assets and they’re already promising a huge uptick in the quantity and quality of photogrammetry assets which will be available in UE4.

It’s another big play from Epic Games and they’re in a formidable position in terms of Unreal Engine 4. It’s comfortably the biggest game engine in the world right now for AAA game development and this doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. Having both UE4 and Fortnite in its locker means Epic are a huge force in gaming, and  the success of UE4 likely means Epic is well prepared to take the hits from any drop in Fortnite’s popularity, or any failure of the Epic Games Store.

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00:01 Nov-16-2019

Holy moly, I'm so there, dude!

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18:31 Nov-14-2019

i've been interested in learning UE4 for quite some time, but man after this im jumping in as soon as i can

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19:29 Nov-14-2019

The engine is free to use. But you need the Epic Games launcher.


It's really good. At first, a bit challenging for someone brand new to game development but you'll get the hang of it. It uses blueprints as visual scripting or you can do it the hard way and learn C++

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21:10 Nov-14-2019

"free to use", a lot of people seem to forget that it isn't actually free and can actually cost a ton of money in the end. They take a 5% cut on each sale. I think I would recommend taking a look at Godot first. It's fairly new compared to the other engines out there, but it's completely free and people say it's easier to use than UE4 too.

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22:19 Nov-14-2019

It's free to use unless you plan to sell your games commercially. Then you need to licence the engine and Epic takes 5% cut of each sale.

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23:14 Nov-14-2019

Yeah, so not really free for a lot of people. Most people will probably try and make money from a game. It's just a warning for people so they don't start developing there and then find out EGS takes a lot of money from you if you plan to sell your game.

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05:46 Nov-15-2019

Free to use. Not free to sell your game. There's a difference with what i said.


I've heard about Godot and even gave it a quick try. No it's not easier to use. It's not for me.

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10:19 Nov-15-2019

I know there's a difference, that's why I pointed it out for other people that aren't the best at the English language. Probably not easier for you, because you're used to UE4. It's like that with a ton of programs, so don't change if you have a faster workflow in UE4. Godot is still worth the mention in my opinion, I'm interested to see what people can do with it. All other engines out now have been out for over a decade now and it's nice to see a new option

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20:10 Nov-15-2019

You're right. I'm also interested.

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22:40 Nov-20-2019

i mean as a total beginner into game development i surely won't aim to make a sell right away, the first 2-3 years will be joking around and learning how the engine works and stuff like that

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08:16 Nov-21-2019

Same here. But with stuff like this happening it does make things a little easier.

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18:24 Nov-14-2019

I knew this type of thing would happen. Now video games will need true artistry to stand out from the crowd.

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17:44 Nov-14-2019

If this keeps up, making games will become a lot like putting together LEGO blocks.

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07:06 Nov-16-2019

and the day that happens gamers will take their favorite games deconstruct it and resemble it to make something completely different and as the cycle continues we will truly Have a Digital world more crazier that Ready Player ONE

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17:53 Nov-16-2019

Now that would be a sight to behold.

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15:20 Nov-14-2019

1 tb storage / game in 3...2...1...

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15:38 Nov-14-2019

Nah, that probably won't happen for at least another 10 years. I hope for huge jumps in storage space for consumer drives by then.

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19:55 Nov-14-2019

Seagate are hoping to push 56TB HDD's by 2026, so probs

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19:59 Nov-14-2019

That's way too small!


We need f**king petabyte drives.


J/K

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00:02 Nov-16-2019

Jokes aside - I'd actually like a drive that big... but then again... putting all your eggs in one basket never ends well :D

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07:09 Nov-16-2019

aye and the cost alone would kill us. except if the mobile industry decides to handle the Ridiculous R&D Cost and orders huge Volumes leaving us with affordable rates like the memory market now then we might all get happy !!!

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15:02 Nov-14-2019

I heard of Quixel years ago, they make truly amazing textures!

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07:12 Nov-16-2019

I heard about them right after I saw Blade Runner 2049 they had a demo reel with their assets in it blew my mind it totally beats IMAX quality for real and by quite a huge margin

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12:54 Nov-14-2019

holy brown sausage this is insane ._.

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15:03 Nov-14-2019

IKR

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