If you build it, they will cum

Schrodicker’s Game Engine Box 2016, Volume 1

Who is there to trust with developing your porn games?

LewdGamer has compiled a list of popular game engines, and how they actually feel about porn games.

The surge of independent game developers has been steadily climbing over the years, whether it be genuinely good ideas springing forth like Enter the Gungeon, a new tedium in the office driving ambitions for more mobile games, or pay-to-snowflake MOBAs that have minuscule differences with different waifus for flavor. Porn games don’t really get that much attention, though: above the point of ecchi, it’s usually confined to more tried and true projects, such as visual novels, platformers, text adventures, and one-off simulators. What’s going to become the Dwarf Fortress, the Crysis, the Deus Ex of porn games? Well you’re in luck. You don’t have to settle for flash anymore if you’re planning on joining this gold rush. Thanks to a little digging, here’s where you keep your dirty secrets with, and keep them safe from the eyes of censorship via corporate judo.

Unreal Engine 4 has made a lot of changes over the years in its EULA. One of the said changes is that porn has been moved away from being reviled in the Unreal Development Kit to ambivalent – there is no part in the EULA in Unreal Engine 4 that disallows porn anymore, as long as it isn’t illegal to any applicable law.

The only catch to its terms of service now is that, once you sell any game, each game will have a five percent cut going to Unreal for each calendar quarter once the game grosses $3,000. That’s it – it doesn’t matter if you stream or make videos of the game to get ad revenue. When it comes to crowdfunded campaigns, any backer tier that does not have a game is also exempt from the five percent, but any tier that sells a copy of the game will be counted as part of Unreal’s five percent revenue.

If you wish to sell some of your assets to the Unreal Marketplace instead, they have a few rules as well, such as:

You must have all rights to redistribute all components of the content. The content must not use any trademarks/logos/brands that you do not own. The content must not contain anything that may be deemed offensive. Public domain content cannot be the majority of your submission.

If you are interested in testing out the limits of Unreal Engine 4, you can try out such VR demos such as Unreal Sex Apartment or UE4 Private Dance.

Unreal Engine 4’s rating:Pretty good

Unity has a lot of brand recognition for having polished tech demos, while having a large userbase and a large amount of documentation and tutorials from first and third parties. According to the EULA of the Unity 5 game engine, there are currently no rules that prohibit pornographic content from being published with Unity. Most of the terms are more preoccupied that developers don’t get a free ride with the Unity personal license, which requires that the developer to upgrade to the Pro game engine license if they gross $100,000 per year. It doesn’t matter if this is for commercial use as a business, for non-profit or educational purposes, or for solo use, all that matters is how much you make with the Unity game engine. Thankfully, it doesn’t count your annual income into the equation.

Unfortunately, all assets in the store are under the watchful eye of the Unity game engine, as stated in the Unity asset store terms:

While Unity does not undertake any legal obligation to monitor, pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Assets or their content from the Unity Asset Store, Unity reserves the right to do so, and if Unity is notified by Provider or otherwise becomes aware and determines in its sole discretion that an Asset or any portion thereof…is pornographic, obscene or otherwise violates Unity’s hosting policies or other terms of service as may be updated by Unity from time to time in its sole discretion…

Although there is no concrete proof that there is a problem with pornographic or obscene content, you have to keep in mind that former EA CEO John Riccitiello is now the CEO of Unity as a replacement. Although John was there for the early years of EA, his return from 2007 until 2014 (when EA became recognized for being the worst company in America – twice !) could have lead to Unity being so fixated on freemium as it is today, such as walling off mobile licensing to add-ons if developed around the personal license. It’ll do the job, but there might be changes starting around the Unity 6 game engine license if they don’t make their intentions known. Trust at your own risk.

Unity’s rating:Okay, I guess

Similarly, while Game Maker Studio is still a very popular engine for first-time developers, it’s not exactly safe to develop porn games for. Under YoYo Games’ EULA (the developers of Game Maker Studio):

5.4. Takedown right. We reserve the right to remove Publisher Property from the YYG Platforms temporarily or permanently if we are: (1) requested to do so by its Publisher, or (2) required by a competent law enforcement authority; or (3) notified or become aware that the Publisher Property or any part of it…Is pornographic, inappropriate or otherwise breaches any of our rules…

The good news is, if you read the fine print, that this mostly affects fan games. If you’re your own publisher, there is no reason another publisher would take down your project (unless it’s out of envy). Likewise, your project would have to draw the ire of YoYo Games to be taken down first, which would be an honor in hindsight. Most likely, anyone’s first project filled with any level of obscene shit will probably be safe, for now.

Game Maker’s rating:AVOID

If you don’t need a particularly strong engine, want more profit for your investment, and/or just like Linux and all that it stands for, the Godot game engine is right up your alley for porn games. Using the MIT license as its distribution model, it’s compatible with other copyleft licenses such as GPL while still retaining the right to sell the end product for profit. Another perk is that, unlike Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, there are no hard laws on what can and cannot be made or prohibited—including porn games.

The only gripe the Godot game engine is that 3D might not be as advanced as the other two engines, but the source code is freely available on GitHub for anyone to submit the cure to your ails. Need some more polygons or better lighting on dat ass? Make your own modifications and optimizations, and show it to the team! If they can’t merge it to the gold source for future updates, fork it!

Godot’s rating:RADICAL!

If we’ve haven’t covered a game engine you’re interested in, let us know in the comments below for a follow-up article covering said engine.

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[EDIT: A commenter by the name of Doddler has brought to light on linking the wrong EULA for Unity. Although it is safe to publish porn games with Unity, asset store items are hosted by Unity’s site and have another set of rules.]

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