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Epic Games announces new Unreal Tournament, to be publicly developed and totally free

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Following last week’s teaserly announcement, Epic Games has revealed a new Unreal Tournament that the team says will be completely free, to be developed by Epic Games in collaboration with Unreal Engine 4 developers and the community.

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According to Epic Games, development on the new Unreal Tournament – simply called Unreal Tournament – will kick off today, May 8th, and the team is inviting developers familiar with Unreal Engine 4 as well as the passionate fanbase to contribute to the creation of the game, all starting from scratch today.

In an official announcement post, senior programmer and Unreal Tournament project lead Steve Polge wrote:

“Work on the future of Unreal Tournament begins today, and we’re happy to announce that we’re going to do this together, with you. 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.”


Epic was keen to point out that the new Unreal Tournament won’t just be free-to-play, it will be completely free, despite the fact that the studio has put together a small team of Unreal Tournament veterans who will be building the foundations for the game from today.

Epic is also keen to keep development of Unreal Tournament open and free to contributors:

“From the very first line of code,” writes Polge, “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.”

The team will be sticking closely to the roots of Unreal Tournament as a competitive first-person shooter, and while it will take “many months until the game is playable by gamers,” we can expect it to arrive on Windows, Mac and Linux. No console version of the game is planned at the moment.

The plan on Epic’s side is to create an online marketplace where “developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content,” with earnings from this marketplace to be split between the creator of that content and Epic. “That’s how we plan to pay for the game,” says Polge.

Polge signed off by saying:

“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. 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.”


What do you think of the announcement? It’s certainly a new way to approach the development of a professionally produced game.

You can make your way to Polge’s announcement post to find out how to contribute to the game if you’re excited and passionate enough (and are able to create levels, models, textures and more) to make the cut and help development.


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