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'Unreal Tournament' rebooted as completely free, community developed game

Epic Games is bringing back “Unreal Tournament” and is taking a unique approach to its distribution it announced Thursday. The Unreal Engine 4 powered PC, Mac and Linux game will be completely free when it is released.

Unreal Tournament
Photo courtesy of Epic Games, used with permission

“Unreal Tournament” will take a community-driven approach from start to finish and afterward. Epic Games is building the game from scratch and will collaborate with fans of the game as well as Unreal Engine 4 developers. The Epic Games Twitch stream will be used to provide and receive feedback with the community as well as forums.

The plan is to provide all of the code and content to UE4 developers on GitHub. When the game is eventually released, it will be free. Epic Games will eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers will be able to buy, sell and give away content. Epic will make money by taking a cut of each transaction.

“A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don’t yet have everything figured out,” UT Project Lead Steve Polge wrote. “Things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we’ll have to work through them together. There will be a lot of tough decisions to make, and not every feature will make it into the game. But if you’re a fan of Unreal Tournament, a UE4 developer, or a future modder – or if you just want to learn how we make games – we hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be fun.”

If this sounds familiar, it should. Valve Software created a similar model with “Team Fortress 2” on Steam. The game originally started out as paid game before being made completely free with a marketplace where in-game items could be sold. “Dota 2” was eventually released to Steam using the same model with a marketplace to sell skins. Epic Games is taking the next step by making the game free to start with and allowing the community what appears to be free reign to modify the game as they wish.

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