Epic Games is Making a New, Free Unreal Tournament Game

Epic Games is Making a New, Free Unreal Tournament Game

Epic Games is talking about UE4, Unreal Tournament, and VR on their Twitch channel. Watch it here live!

Part One of the Epic stream is over. Here are the major points to take away from the Unreal Tournament annoucement (with stream notes following below):

  • Epic Games is now working on a new Unreal Tournament title
  • Unreal Tournament 2014, as we're calling it for now, is going to be free. Epic Games says it is not free-to-play, as they've made the distinction several times now.
  • Through the Unreal Engine 4 editor, the community is going to be actively involved right from the start
  • Mods, skins, and other in-game content can be developed by the community, then sold or given away for free. There's no restrictions on what can or cannot be sold or distributed gratis. (This sounds a lot like free-to-play...)
  • The first game mode will be Deathmatch, with others to follow.
  • Forums and Wiki are coming soon.

Epic also has a new blog post up about Unreal Tournament, which confirms a few other details. For starts, development will be focused on Windows, Mac, and Linux first, so this is decidedly a PC release for now. Furthermore, the wiki for Unreal Tournament is now live -- check it out here. The forums are going to be part of the Unreal Engine board.

Stream Updates:
Epic Games is making a new Unreal Tournament, and they want community feedback from the get-go. The new UT title will be 100 percent free, says Epic, and they are stressing that it is not "free-to-play." So it sounds like micro-transactions aren't going to be a major factor going forward, at least internally.

"We are going to start development today," said Steve Polge, Senior Programmer and UT Project Lead.

Also on screen during the Twitch stream: Lead Level Designer David Spalinski, and Community Manager Stacey "Flak" Conley.

Epic is taking a ground-up approach to the new Unreal Tournament, asking for Unreal Engine subscribers for contributions on day one. I think micro-transactions will come into play here -- users making skins and levels, and selling them in some sort of marketplace -- but that's just speculation.

Regarding mods and the marketplace: The marketplace, which is in the early stages with UE4, is going to serve the community as well as Epic. The marketplace will allow contributors to give content away for free, or sell it -- it's totally up to the user. Mods are going to be a big factor in the marketplace, be it free content or paid mods for specific kinds of competition.

"Everyone's feedback is going to be invaluable," said Spalinski. This really sounds like a community collaboration not typically seen in game development -- at least while a game is still being built.

Senior Programmer Joe "Dr. Sin" Wilcox is coming on-screen now in the stream.

Polge: "Our process really depends on play-testing and iterating...weapon balancing...movement." Community involvement will let the UT team iterate ideas that they might not normally have time for.

Initial game types: Core Deathmatch experience is coming first.

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Give me assault or give me death (with no respawns). I'm so excited, look at my username, give me a flak cannon, give me the game!

It can be great and it can be total shit honestly, its an interesting system that can backfire.

Since the UE4 uses that "blueprint" thingy mutators will probably be incredibly easy to create.

I was expecting them to say it was going to be F2P, not "absolutely free".

With so many shitty mobas being all the rage nowadays, it's definitely refreshing to see not only an actual shooter, but Unreal Tournament itself!.

I'm brimming with joy right now :)

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'm all for good F2P models, I even love Dota 2's F2P model and I want more of that, so I'm not dissing out either the F2P model or the moba genre in general (even though LoL and Dota 2 are the only mobas I care about at all).

Ach, I started really looking forward to a new UT game when the new engine came out. Not really much chance of a free game getting ported to consoles. I'll just sit in the corner and wait for the next engine to come out or something.
Awesome of them to make it free though, though I have no idea how they can afford to make a game like this and get nothing back for it. There'll probably be some kind of small payment in there somewhere, but it sounds like it won't be invasive.

SupahGamuh:
I was expecting them to say it was going to be F2P, not "absolutely free".

With so many shitty mobas being all the rage nowadays, it's definitely refreshing to see not only an actual shooter, but Unreal Tournament itself!.

I'm brimming with joy right now :)

Calling what is almost an entire genre shitty is very far fetched...
Especially when you consider that your basis seems to be on their choice of monetization, which admitedly, some games cant utilize well.

JasonKaotic:
Ach, I started really looking forward to a new UT game when the new engine came out. Not really much chance of a free game getting ported to consoles.
Awesome of them to make it free though, though I have no idea how they can afford to make a game like this and get nothing back for it. There'll probably be some kind of small payment in there somewhere, but it sounds like it won't be invasive.

From my understanding, what they're going to do is once the game is more complete (I don't know if a project like this could ever truly be finished) they're going to make a marketplace where people can put content they've created and sell it with Epic taking a cut, similar to Dota 2's marketplace (although with actual content instead of cosmetics). It's hard to say how successful it will be, but it's certainly interesting and very, very fair.

Honestly though, they don't even really need to make money off of this game. Epic makes far more money off of Unreal Engine than they do making games, and getting an active community of people developing for UE4 is way more valuable than whatever money they make off of this game.

I'm excited though. I can't wait to see what comes of this.

ohnoitsabear:
getting an active community of people developing for UE4 is way more valuable than whatever money they make off of this game.

THERE'S their angle! very saavy. Modding is the gateway drug to developing.

I don't trust this and I'm still not sure about it. One of the things that made UT so great wasn't just the fact that the game it self was awesome but also because it was generous and packed with content. There's not even a mention of bots and bots play a big part in UT games.

I for one love play with friends, but don't enjoy playing with strangers over the internet for that I prefer bots.

I'm exited for once. Assuming the game plays more like UT2k4 or classic Unreal Tournament this could be a lot of fun. Unreal Tournament basically lived and breathed off of community based support, so hearing their plan on how the game is going to be funded and developed sounds interesting in a good way.

Charcharo:
Calling what is almost an entire genre shitty is very far fetched...
Especially when you consider that your basis seems to be on their choice of monetization, which admitedly, some games cant utilize well.

I wasn't criticizing the F2P model in general, on the contrary, I'm all for it when it's done right, with my moba statement, I don't care for anything that isn't either LoL or Dota 2, so I want to clarify that I meant that it seems like there's a new moba for anything nowadays, Lord of The Rings, DC Universe, King of Fighters, Magicka, Dead Island, you name it, if there isn't moba of it, it's very likely it's in the making, also I meant that we don't get to see new good* shooters, especially on the F2P realm.

*By good, I'm subjectively basing anything that isn't a military shooter blatantly cloning CoD and it's twitch based, pretty much like the Unreal Tournament franchise in general. Also, I want to clarify that this game may not be good in the first place, again, I was being subjective when I say "good".

Reading some other articles, this is actually going to be source-available. They are are going to have it up on Github, updated throughout development. This is some pretty exciting stuff.

SupahGamuh:
I was expecting them to say it was going to be F2P, not "absolutely free".

With so many shitty mobas being all the rage nowadays, it's definitely refreshing to see not only an actual shooter, but Unreal Tournament itself!.

I'm brimming with joy right now :)

it is free to play

they are going to use mods to monetize the game, which is fine in my opinion, TF2 and Dota 2 pretty much do the exact same thing

ntfwc:
Reading some other articles, this is actually going to be source-available. They are are going to have it up on Github, updated throughout development. This is some pretty exciting stuff.

Whoa... They are making an Unreal Tournament game open source...

This will be good because it gives them a chance to show everyone how the engine works and gives people a chance to read up on coding for the engine and then dive into a working example to see how it all connects together to make the game work.

It sounds like they want to emulate TF2's current model and success but without the initial developer support. At least Valve developed several different game modes initially.

Fucking excellent. I'd already resigned myself to never seeing an Unreal Tournament again. But never say never it seems.

No console support? That's superlame...

Zira:
No console support? That's superlame...

This game was never for peasants... Quick FPS that require reaction is meant for mouse and keyboard, not for auto-aim.

On-Topic:

Loved all UT, and I hope there is going to be a future in e-sports with this FREE2play game.

As long as they are developing some of the old mods and bring them into the content, I can't seem to understand why this game would fail? Maybe the only reason to fail is the hardware requirements, because after all, the more people you get into the game the better, and not a lot of people can afford good hardware to make this game run smooth 60fps.

Wait, whoa, hold on.

New UT? After all this time? And it's free?! Sign me the hell up, it's time to start a killing spree!

Time to play me some UT3. And 2k4. And classic.

So excited!

Awesome. I hope the business model they use works, because god damn I love me some UT.

Zira:
No console support? That's superlame...

Eh its been a while since they've bothered to release a game on PC, besides UT didn't really play that great on consoles...

Though that said, it would be interesting to see a game on consoles that allowed for user generated content and mods and the like in a major way.

Well, it's going to have Linux support, which I'm assuming means SteamOS support.

So it'll be on the only "console" that matters.

Zira:
No console support? That's superlame...

Kinda my thoughts too, although I expected as much but still hate to see any reason for it not to be on a console, especially the current gen when we've had the same crap pulled for PC, I hate the whole wanting of everyone's cake but not sharing your own mentality.

Also Steambox getting support just adds to that lame feeling.

I admit to reservations about the F2P medium, this does seem to be most of what I wanted.

Now all they have to do is admit they just imported all the UT2004 assets (Modes, Maps and Mods) into the latest engine, then added 20% more content; then I can happily drink the spiked F2P Kool-Aid.

 

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