We’re getting a new Unreal Tournament, according to Epic, and for old-school shooter fans, that’s a pretty big deal.
In a blog post on the Unreal Tournament site, Epic revealed that development would be underway starting today for a new, free Unreal Tournament which will utilize the developer’s Unreal Engine 4, which is available to developers for $19/month. Right now, the focus is on Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of the latest iteration of the shooter.
The arena-based shooter was known for its fast pace and crazy, blow-em-up weapons. I’m kind of fond of it given the amount of time I spent on the (admittedly inferior) Dreamcast version using the mouse and keyboard.
The last time we got a new Unreal was back in 2007 with the release of Unreal Tournament 3, which, at the time, was a showcase for the Unreal Engine 3.
The “free” part is what probably got most of your attention: Epic is quick to point out the new Unreal Tournament won’t be “free-to-play,” but instead completely gratis. Offering the game for free is a nice way of getting more gamers and would-be developers to check out the new engine and get them on board to make things with Unreal.
Epic also promises to open the game up to developers through the Unreal community, which has traditionally had a robust modding community. The hope is that down the line, they’ll be able to open up a marketplace for user-created, post-release content like maps and mods that can be sold or offered for free.
Since development has just started, Epic hasn’t laid out any details or road map for a release date. The team working on it is comprised of a small team of Unreal Tournament veterans and it will take months before the game is complete.
Now if only someone at Bethesda/iD got it into their heads that we needed a new Quake Arena…