Epic Games — the makers of Fortnite — just announced its newest grant program to help fund developers, entrepreneurs, and educators who use its Unreal Engine.
The grant could be a great chance for black game developers and techies to get their names out there. According to a Nielsen study, more than 70 percent of African Americans are likely to start gaming. However, this group is has a dismal population in the developer community.
Another study by the International Game Developers Association said that the game development industry isn’t necessarily a welcoming a place and more than half said they witnessed or experience inequality on the job.
Epic Games is extending the grants to a wide variety of professionals in an effort to enhance various industries.
“There are many ways to build something incredible in or around the UE4 and 3D graphics universe,” Epic Games said. “For example, 3D digital creation tools, and learning materials about UE4 such as books, lesson plans, and videos are examples of eligible projects.”
The Epic MegaGrants total $100 million with award amounts ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 in funding. Awardees can also continue with their own IPs and publish whenever they want.
The projects don’t have to be Unreal Engine specific — the grants are open to those working on developments within other engines or toolsets.
Epic MegaGrants is a larger version of its old initiative Unreal Dev Grants, which only totaled $5 million.
“Simply put, we succeed when you succeed. We’re incredibly proud of the UE4 community and want to do what we can to grow that community,” Epic Games said on its website. “Epic wants to help you focus more on creation and worry less about keeping the lights on.”
Award recipients will receive the funds to assist in game development, enterprise, media and entertainment, students and educational uses, and software tool development.