Epic Games Reveals New Unreal Tournament, and It's Free
No, not free as in “free to play,” free as wholly free. With last week's announcement, many rightly suspected that the next installment of the Unreal Tournament series would be developed for UE4, yet with it brings some surprises. With a few details outlined on the Unreal Engine blog, what's most striking about this UT is that it will be co-operatively developed with the community throughout the entire development process.
This, naturally, speaks to the decentralized nature that the gaming community has slowly taken on over the years. With updates regularly streamed live via their Twitch channel, and the Unreal Engine forums being used for discussion surrounding development, it would seem as though Epic is truly searching for a game that longtime fans of the series will be able to shape and enjoy along the way. Furthermore, all lines of code used in development will be posted to Github for people to peruse at their leisure.
Epic is naturally addressing concerns that some may have about this sort of integrated development, and they acknowledge that “things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we'll have to work through them together.” They're also confident the game will take months before it even reaches a playable state, though considering the nature of game development cycles, this isn't entirely surprising. Later on in the development cycle, they plan to release a marketplace where artists, modders, developers, and content creators alike can release things for sale, or for free, somewhat akin to Team Fortress 2's marketplace model.
Regardless, as development spins up, this may very well get some people who wouldn't normally be interested in game development following updates and learning how code interacts. Personally, I think it's a really intelligent move for Epic, as it allows the community to choose features and implementations, and while there will certainly be compromises, this sort of asynchronous development will only serve to build a better reputation for the series and Epic Games overall.