“Let’s do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us,” Epic says in a newly published blog post. The company is offering much more than lip service on their new community focus. The new game will be jointly developed by a small team of veteran Unreal Tournament devs at Epic, fans, and Unreal Engine 4 developers. “From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open,” Epic states.
Epic wants the community to be involved in every facet of the game: artwork, mechanics, weapon balancing, game modes, and even the core deathmatch experience. All of the code will be freely available to any Unreal Engine 4 developer via Github.
While the game will be free (not free-to-play, meaning no microtransactions), Epic is taking a page from Valve’s Team Fortress 2 and other games like Forza Motorsport in the eventual release of a marketplace. Here, fans, artists, and developers will be encouraged to release mods, maps, and other items as either free or paid content. A revenue split between marketplace sellers and Epic will be instituted, and this is actually how Epic plans to recoup costs for the development process.
Diehard Unreal Tournament fans will be pleased to hear that the new game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS, and development will be focused on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, Epic is discussing the blueprint for Unreal Engine 4 on their Twitch channel, including VR initiatives for the Oculus Rift and Sony's Project Morpheus. This means we may very well see an Oculus Rift version of Unreal Tournament, and it’s not unreasonable to expect an eventual VR-supported version for the PlayStation 4.
I’ve reached out to Epic on that front and will keep you posted on any developments.
This is a wonderful initiative. Between this and Fortnite, Epic is showing a resurgence of support for the PC platform. As I said earlier this month, a new Unreal Tournament would be the perfect flagship for Unreal Engine 4, and I’m thrilled that Epic is making this a truly collaborative, community effort.
By the way, last week’s tease prompted me to re-install Unreal Tournament III, and it’s shocking how well this 7 year old game stands up to modern PC shooters. It even looks stunning in 4K.