As promised, Epic Games provided Unreal Tournament fans with the first news regarding the future of their favorite franchise. Late last week, the publisher/developer teased an announcement was on the horizon, and today we know what exactly that is.
However, while in most cases a game announcement comes a few months, or even years, into development, Epic Games revealed that not a single minute as been spent on Unreal Tournament development. In fact, development on the future entry in the franchise starts today.
It’s important that Epic Games be transparent about when development starts because they want to do things a little differently with this next Unreal Tournament. Instead of a product developed solely by Epic, and then released out to the public, the developer wants to make the game with fans.
See, while Epic may be doing a lot of the heavy lifting, they want the development process on UT to be a collaborative one. They will be sharing information and progress on forums, livestreaming regular updates on their Twitch channel, and even releasing all code and content to Unreal Engine 4 developers on GitHub.
What’s more, Epic plans to make Unreal Tournament a completely free game — not free-to-play, just free. That means whenever the game reaches a playable state — they suspect that will take “many months” — it will be available to the public.
That being said, Epic does plan on creating a marketplace for developers to sell mods and additional content. Epic will then take a cut of those earnings, and that will, in essence, be their revenue stream.
It’s obviously a lot to take in, but the good news is that a new Unreal Tournament is on the way, and it won’t cost gamers a single cent to play. Some of the more exciting add-ons and mods will presumably retail for at least a few bucks, but even then, those items are purely optional and not part of the core experience.
Going for a collaborative approach to game development seems like a smart move on Epic Games’ part, as Unreal Tournament is very much a fan-driven franchise. It’s unclear how much input fans will have on the development of the game, but the fact that Epic Games is releasing all of their code to the public speaks volumes. This is clearly a game that they want to get right, while also trying something new for game development.
Again, development begins today so we wouldn’t expect too much from the game just yet, but the forums should start booming with content soon. This is relatively uncharted territory so we’re eager to see how things work out.
What do you think of Epic Games’ approach to the next Unreal Tournament? What do you like about it? What do you think might not work?
Source: Epic Games