Starting today, Epic Games will begin developing the next Unreal Tournament
as a free game for PC, Mac and Linux using Unreal Engine 4 and input from its community of developers and players.
The company announced the game on a livestream this morning and spelled out the details of the project in a longer blog post
In brief: the company is fielding a small team to begin developing the game in public, which means that they will be regularly sharing their work and soliciting feedback via forum posts, the new Unreal Tournament wiki
and Twitch livestreams. In addition, all game code and content will be available to Unreal Engine 4 subscribers via GitHub.
"We're gonna have a GitHub fork that starts from the shooter template, and you can start opening up the editor with that branch," said community manager Stacey Conley during the livestream. "Right away, if you're a UE developer, you can figure out how to contribute to our efforts or build your own mods."
Epic also plans to build a marketplace into the game where people can buy and sell game content like mods, skins and the like. Epic intends to take a cut of anything a developer earns from selling content in that marketplace, though the details of that system -- much like the rest of the game -- are still in development.
"You guys can come talk to us and tell us what you want in the game," said project lead Steve Polge. "Not only that, but if you know what you want you can just make it."
Though interesting, the news is hardly surprising -- epic co-founder Mark Rein hinted that Unreal Tournament
was coming back via Unreal Engine 4
To be clear, Epic is advertising this game as being completely free to play with no microtransactions -- the only business model that has been discussed so far has been the promised in-game marketplace.
"There will be no microtransactions," said Conley during the company's livestream.