Epic MegaGrants: 2023 recap

Epic MegaGrants is now in its fifth year, and what a year it’s been. The program has now supported over 2,100 projects in over 100 unique countries. 

From powerful, open-source tools that benefit the entire industry, to Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) experiences that are showcasing new opportunities for indie game developers and other innovative creators, we’ve been blown away by the breadth and quality of the projects you’ve produced with a little help from MegaGrants. So let’s take a look back at the last 12 months.

We kicked off the year in January with an entire week of MegaGrants content, shining the spotlight on some of our favorite projects from 2022. Among these, we looked at how a solo dev fulfilled his dream by making the critically-acclaimed adventure game Omno—his way; we revealed how Kibwe became the first animated film produced in Mozambique to be created with UE5; and we shared how Kaia’s Discoveries is using real-time animation to transform learning into fun for preschoolers. We also offered some tips for making your MegaGrants application stand out
Courtesy of Studio Inkyfox
At GDC, we announced the expansion of Epic MegaGrants to include UEFN projects, and we’re thrilled to see the first few of these reach fruition; you can check out two of them later in this post. 

We look forward to supporting more projects that test the limits of what’s possible with UEFN and expand the types of content available to players in Fortnite. Whether you’d like to introduce a new game genre, experiment with new mechanics, or create something else entirely, we’d love to hear from you

Also at GDC, our Playable booth featured several MegaGrants recipients, including Dracma Studios, KeokeN Interactive B.V., Far From Home, Arctic Hazard, Minitaka Dynamics, Gamma Minus UG, Mad Head Games, Pancake Games, and Unreliable Narrators. They showcased an amazing array of titles—many of them still works in progress—that included everything from management sims like RAILGRADE to atmospheric sci-fi adventures like Deliver us Mars. Since then, we’ve seen several of them release to great reviews.
Courtesy of KeokeN Interactive
Throughout the year, we continued to highlight the MegaGrant community every week on our social channels. You can explore #EpicMegaMondays for the latest.

Last year also saw the launch of a new livestream series. Unreal Engine: Learning from Games, or UE:LFG for short, is where we play a game with a developer and talk to them about the creation process, getting some great insights in the process. Since its debut in January, we’ve streamed 14 episodes. You can check them all out in this playlist

So as we take a pause to reflect on all the great projects this year has brought us, why not take the time to consider if you have an idea for a project that’s worthy of one of next year’s MegaGrants? If you think you’ve got an Unreal Engine or UEFN project that fits the bill, check out how to apply. We’ll be accepting applications for 2024 starting on January 19.

To get inspired, check out this selection of some of the most impressive and innovative projects from this year’s recipient list. We hope you have as much fun watching them as we did picking them.

About Cannons + Sparrows
About Cannons + Sparrows

Shortly after hatching from a bird’s egg, you’ll explore the visually stunning world of About Cannons + Sparrows (created by the developer of the same name) as a small cannon. The sidescrolling Metroidvania platformer-puzzler features a 3D environment that has you journeying on a quest of self-discovery as you encounter challenging battles, navigate intricate puzzles, and unlock new movement and combat abilities.

Boti: Byteland Overclocked
Purple Ray Studio

Dropped into the colorful world of computers and technology, data robot Boti is out to save Byteland from viruses and malware with the help of his friends One and Zero. The 3D platformer neatly fuses classic platforming moves—like double jumps, dash, hover, and glide—with a splash of innovation. Play on your own or with a friend in the co-op mode.

Domus Mortem
Wertandrew

This intriguing UEFN game combines elements of horror, investigation, and escape into a fully realized experience. Domus Mortem incorporates a unique clue system, as well as a full soundtrack, voice lines, and audio design tied to player action. 

Nirvana Noir
Feral Cat Den

In this sequel to 2021’s Genesis Noir, players return to the neo-noir adventure game to play through two realities: one in which the Big Bang never happened and the other, an explosion of color and crime. Your new lover is tangled in rumors of a Bigger Bang. Can you unravel its mystery and prevent it from leveling the cosmic city?

Plucky Squire
All Possible Futures

Follow the magical adventures of Jot and his friends as they make the leap from their colorful story book into the three-dimensional world outside of its pages. The adventure kicks off when Humgrump realizes he's the villain of the story—destined to forever lose against the powers of good—and kicks Jot and his pals out of the book.

’Stached
Patch Animation

On its surface, ‘Stached is about an old man and a hermit crab battling over a prized possession. But ultimately the animated short is about loss, the difficulties of letting go, and renewed hope. The project is in development by Patch Animation and Engine House, employing Unreal Engine as their rendering tool of choice and using a fully remote production pipeline.

These are just a few of the wonderful projects we saw in 2023. Here’s a complete list of Epic MegaGrant recipients that have agreed to be part of this announcement:

Games


That's it for 2023 from the MegaGrants Team! We wish you all a very Happy Holiday season and look forward to giving more amazing Unreal Engine and UEFN projects a helping hand in 2024.

What are you waiting for?

The Epic MegaGrants program supports both Unreal Engine and Unreal Editor for Fortnite (UEFN) projects. You can download the tools for free today and get your ideas rolling.