By sheer coincidence, I'm sure, both Epic Games and Crytek have announced subscription based services for developers to gain access to their respective engines. Unreal Engine 4 can be accessed for $19 a month along with a 5% royalty fee on gross revenue, while Crytek's CryEngine's "first tier" is available to indie developers at $9.90 a month with no royalties. Other CryEngine "tiers" have yet to be announced.
Both Epic Games and Crytek's services guarantee access to the entirety of each engine's source code so long as a developer keeps paying their subscription. Epic goes onto say that even after unsubscribing developers will continue to have access to the UE4 tools, putting the burden on Epic to deliver monthly content worth returning for. When did engines become MMOs?
It says something that Epic Games and Crytek have come to the same conclusions -- that getting developers to start making games on their engines should be a simple and affordable process. Once that's done, the profit comes easily when the games are finished with royalties. The two parties do seem to disagree when it comes to indies, however, as Epic sees good profits there versus Crytek just wanting more indie games built on CryEngine.
Developers can subscribe to the Unreal Engine 4 today for $19.00 a month, while a $9.90 monthly subscription to CryEngine won't begin until May as the company works out its different "tiers".