The Next Unreal Tournament Will Be Free and Community-developed
"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. We know that fans of the game are as passionate about Unreal Tournament as we are. We know that you have great ideas and strong opinions about where the game should go and what it should be. So let’s do something radical and make this game together, in the open, and for all of us. "
That's how today's Unreal Tournament blog post began and it speaks volumes to the direction Epic Games is taking the franchise. During a live Twitch stream and the Unreal Blog, the highly anticipated return of Unreal Tournament was unveiled today, and for better or worse, it's probably not what you expected. UT will be developed using Unreal Engine 4 by a "small team of UT veterans" first starting work on the project today. All development and every design decision will be done in the open, "as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans, and UE4 developers," via forum discussions and Twitch streams.
Not only can fans participate in the public forums, but all the code and content for the game will be available to UE4 developers on GitHub, allowing them to eventually contribute toward the game via mods. After the game goes live, Epic will eventually launch "a marketplace where developers, modders, artists and gamers can give away, buy and sell mods and content," with proceeds split between the content developer and Epic. In fact, that will be Epic's sole means of income from the game, as the game will be completely free. "Not free to play, just free." While UE4 supports other platforms, development will be focused on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
As the game is being developed from scratch beginning today, "it will take many months until the game is playable by gamers," but if you'd like to check out previous UT games while you wait, they will be discounted 50% on Steam starting tomorrow!
Source: Unreal Blog