Unexpected: Unreal Tournament will be completely free and transparent

Epic Games has just announced that the studio will commence development of a new Unreal Tournament today. And you’re being told straight away. The last Unreal Tournament was released way back in 2007, and Epic is planning to do things a bit differently this time around. 

It will be free. Completely free. No microtransactions, just download it and play it without dropping a dime. And Epic wants the community to be involved. “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,” said project lead Steve Polge. 

Epic’s going transparent. The developers will be communicating with prospective players and UE4 developers through the official forums, and providing updates via Twitch, where the announcement was first made

Even with the team of UT veterans, Epic says it’s going to take a while, with months to go before it’s in a playable state. But throughout development, everyone is going to be kept in the loop, the studio assures.

And Epic wants modders and other devs to get involved while it’s being developed. All code and content will be available on GitHub for UE4 developers. A marketplace is in the works, which will be used by modders and UE4 devs to promote their creations and make them available to a larger audience, and they’ll be able to decide if they want to give them away for free or sell their work. 

"If you know what you want, you can make it part of the game," said Polge.

“A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don’t yet have everything figured out,” explains Polge. “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.”

Tutorials, videos on YouTube, Twitch streams exist to help out UE4 developers, and specific tutorials for Unreal Tournament will be created as well. 

If you want to get more detail on the plans for the next Unreal Tournament or get involved, developing mods you can take a gander at the official Wiki and forums


4 Years ago

letting modders do it and keeping it free is a good way to go, afterall it was the mods why people played the earlier games.

my only disappointment is the talk of a market place, easily obtainable free maps, mods and mutators are what made UT work, looking some behind a paywall I feel would be detrimental to how the game flows.

but with them doing it this way I do have hope for this game despite my worries.

4 Years ago

"We’ll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content. Earnings from the marketplace will be split between the mod/content developer, and Epic. That’s how we plan to pay for the game. "

Kind of a daring experiment for them. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.

I mean the UT games have traditionally been moddable, but over most of the past decade Epic have been primarily console focused. In that time it's like there's been whole schools of "community oriented" development that've been evolving, led by indies, major MMO's, and even Valve with their multiplayer games.

With this move, Epic seem to be jumping in at the deep end. Leaves them at a distinct disadvantage in one sense, but in another, if they've been paying attention they may have just learned enough to side-step major pitfalls. It sounds like they're already side-stepping a MAJOR one in that even though they're making an Arena shooter again (not as popular as they once were), the lack of P2P automatically cuts out the possibility of Pay-2-Win (which would probably kill an arena shooter from the start).

I was ready to dismiss UT4 pretty much as soon as it was announced, but I have to admit, I didn't expect them to pull something like this.