Weapon up! Unreal Tournament to return as free, crowd-sourced game

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Remember Unreal Tournament? Remember the hours (days?) you invested in it? Well, it's back! Or at least it will be soon… It's a game that we've heard nothing of for some time now, but Epic is wheeling out the classic title for a new airing. This time around, the gaming community is being called upon to contribute. In a post on the Unreal Engine Blog, Steve Polge says, "work on the future of Unreal Tournament begins today, and we're happy to announce that we're going to do this together, with you".

What does all of this mean? To cut to the chase, a new version of Unreal Tournament is, as of right now, being developed. Yippee! The UT community is a passionate one, and the new project is going to take full advantage of this. This is a collaborative project and the finished product will call upon the input of fans, Unreal Engine 4 developers, and Epic. If you fancy getting involved -- be it to contribute code, artwork, or just ideas -- you are free to do so.

Speaking of free, this is exactly what the game will be when it is complete: "it will be free. Not free to play, just free". Unfortunately, an actual release could be some ways off. As the blog post points out, development is starting completely from scratch and will include Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the first person shooter. Epic is very much playing this by ear. It's a unique project "and we don't yet have everything figured out". It's unlikely to be a smooth journey -- "things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time, and when they do, we'll have to work through them together".

Combining the skills and input of a dedicated community is sure to produce something of a crowd-pleaser. But it is not being done just for the love of it. While the game will be made available free of charge, the project will still need to be paid for. To this end, in-game purchases will be made available:

"We'll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content. Earnings from the marketplace will be split between the mod/content developer, and Epic. That's how we plan to pay for the game."

The whole project is an extremely interesting way to tackle the development of a new game, and it will certainly be one to watch. Like the idea of getting involved? Sign up for a free Unreal Engine 4 community account and keep an eye on the forums.

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