Ever since Unreal Engine 4 was released a couple of years ago, I’ve been hoping that Epic would surprise us all by announcing a new title in the classic Unreal Tournament series. Well, today, that’s happened, and there sure is a lot to take in and contemplate. For starters, the game is not going to be called UT4; instead, it’s simply Unreal Tournament. Further, it’s going to be free, but not “free-to-play” in the money-gouging sense.
Development quite literally begins today on the new game, and the company admits that it’s going to take many months before something playable becomes available. The development team is composed of some UT veterans, and from the very first line of code, the community can give its input. Epic knows just how important the UT series is to fans, so it’s not looking to screw things up. It wants to build the game that fans want.
As development progresses, the company will hold occasional Twitch.tv conversations to give us updates. For those who want to input their thoughts, you’ll want to sign up on the official forums and do so there.
The reason Epic can make this next Unreal Tournament free is that it follows the likes of Team Fortress 2 by offering a marketplace. Here, user-made content and mods can be sold, or given-away at the developer’s discretion. A cut of the sales will go both to the developer of the content and also Epic.
As someone who was hoping for a traditional UT release, this announcement made me feel a little uneasy at first. But, because the company is so intent on having the community add its input, I’m suddenly having a lot more faith in it. And for those curious, yes, it will be available for all three major OSes.