New Unreal Tournament announced, and it will be free upon release

Epic announced "the future of Unreal Tournament" today. It's finally coming, it's mod-friendly, and it's free. Headshots fired.

It's been nearly a decade since the last Unreal Tournament. A decade.

But with Unreal Engine 4 coming down the pipeline, Epic has decided to brush off the Unreal Tournament license and build out a modern version of the classic twitch shooter, the studio announced today. The game is slated for PC, Mac, and Linux and will be free upon release. Not free-to-play, Epic is quick to specify, but no-strings-attached free.

"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," writes Epic.

The game is coming from a core group of veterans inside Epic, and development will take place in the open. Epic has set it up so all content for the game will be available on GitHub for other Unreal Engine 4 developers.

According to Epic's announcement, "The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS." What that means in 2014 is anyone's guess.

Also slated for the game: "We'll eventually create a marketplace where developers, modders, artists, and gamers can give away, buy, and sell mods and content." Like Steam workshop, revenue will be split between Epic and the content creators. "That's how we plan to pay for the game," writes Epic.

"A lot of this is brand new for Epic, and we don't yet have everything figured out. Things will probably definitely go wrong from time to time," Epic continues. "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."

I loved Unreal Tournament back in the late nineties, but it's been a while. I'm tentatively excited, but I won't get my hopes up until I see my first jump pad.

As our long wait begins, however, the classic Unreal Tournament games are slated to go on sale on Steam. Maybe I'll just go buy the original in the meantime.

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Hayden Dingman

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