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Unreal Tournament returns, will be 100% free

3 min read

The insta-gibs are on the house

It’s official! Epic Games has a new Unreal Tournament game on the way, and it’s going to be completely free, moddable and developed alongside gamers.

“We’re happy to announce that we’re going to do this together, with you,” senior programmer Steve Polge said in a press release.

We know that fans of the game are as passionate about Unreal Tournament as we are. We know that you have great ideas and strong opinions about where the game should go and what it should be. So let’s do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us.

According to Epic, this is the current plan that they’re working with for the Unreal revival:

• We’ve created a small team of UT veterans that are beginning work on the project starting today.
• From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We’ll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates.
• If you are a fan and you want to participate, create a free account and join the forum discussion.
• All code and content will be available live to UE4 developers on GitHub.
• The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS.
• Development will be focused on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Of course, there’ll be a catch or two, as the idea of a F2P Unreal Tournament no doubt has some of you feeling a familiar chill on the back of your neck. But Epic is at least aware of these concerns. According to the PR, the manner in which this version of Unreal will make cash for Epic is that a marketplace will be established where mods and other content can be sold.

Profits will be split between the artist/developer and Epic, essentially paying for the development and upkeep of the game.

“A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don’t yet have everything figured out. Things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we’ll have to work through them together,” Polge said.

There will be a lot of tough decisions to make, and not every feature will make it into the game. But if you’re a fan of Unreal Tournament, a UE4 developer, or a future modder – or if you just want to learn how we make games – we hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be fun.

There’s a ton of love out there for Unreal Tournament still. Hell, I still play the 2004 game on Friday nights with a ton of mods installed. It’s an interesting strategy from Epic though. Instead of nickel and diming cash out of players with the usual F2P method, they’re making a genuine move to provide something that is proper free and playable.

Recouping some of the costs from the fan development side makes sense really. You’re given a set of tools from Epic, you pay your dues and you get to make some coin as well. It’s a solid plan overall, and everyone wins.

Last Updated: May 9, 2014

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