Epic Games is bringing back Unreal Tournament using the Unreal Engine 4. That last installment released in 2007 on the PC, and later on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Since then, Epic Games has been mostly focused on their Gears of War franchise and their upcoming title Fortnite. There isn’t any sort of release window or even what platforms it will be available on yet, but there is a good chance it will be exclusive on the PC and maybe ported to the PS4 and Xbox One later on. Now in terms of development of the game, they actually began development today. Usually game developers like to announce their games when they have a little something to show and when they’ve got a good portion of the game already coded. This new Unreal Tournament will not be developed like any normal game though. In fact, this is the first time I’ve seen something like this happen in a AAA game development. Epic Games will be allowing users with the Unreal 4 Engine SDK to actually help in programming and designing Unreal Tournament. Below is a video from the official developers for the new Unreal Tournament:
The biggest reason why this is so brilliant is not that it allows the community to provide literal direct input into the game, but because it will allow for more Unreal 4 SDK users to experiment with their software. I imagine the people contributing to the game will not be paid, but will be recognized of course, and this allows Epic Games to provide a few key members of the team to oversee the development while the grunt work is being done by those users who actually want to work on this project instead of it being just a job to some. The downside is that some of the users may not be as experienced as some, but that’s why the work together on the project and hopefully communicate their own ideas. If you wish to be a part of the team, all you need is the Unreal 4 SDK kit which is $19/month and gives you a pretty sweet setup in return. To get development updates for Unreal Tournament; check up on their Twitch channel where they’ll provide live updates on progress, go to their forums and make a free account, and of course frequent their dev wiki page.
Their plan is to start off with their veterans working on the project now and have all the development open to the public and allow collaboration between their small team, the fans, and the Unreal Engine 4 users. As well as ALL of the code and content for this game will be made public through the UE4 subscription through GitHub. Don’t expect for the game to up and running anytime soon though, in fact they said they don’t even expect a playable build for a few months since the development is literally starting from scratch. The good part though is that the game will be completely free, and not a free-to-play model like in Star Wars: The Old Republic. There will however, be a marketplace for Unreal Tournament where modders, developers, and artists can post their user generated content for sale or simply give away at the discretion of the user of course. If you happen to sell content for Unreal Tournament, profits will be divided among those at Epic and you of course. This is how they are offsetting the cost of the project, in hopes that the community provides its own market. This I have no problem with whatsoever, because the content being sold isn’t forced upon us and it is completely optional to the gamer and their experience with Unreal Tournament. I imagine that most content will be dramatically different that what the core experience would even be like as with most user-generated content produced.
So needless to say, as a long term Unreal Tournament fan I’m very excited about this and I can’t wait to see what Epic and the Unreal community put together for this great project.