Unreal Tournament 2014 will be completely free!

Wow, Unreal Tournament 2014 completely free? Yes, you read that right. Epic Games has announced earlier that the new UT title will be developed using the Unreal Engine 4 and will be coming to Windows, Mac and Linux. Did I mention it’s going to be free of charge?

It’s a bit shocking to see a developer announcing a legendary game like Unreal Tournament without a price tag attached to it. Many gamers would have paid an arm and a leg a for a good UT title a few years back. It appears Epic Games has come up with a plan that might change a few things within the industry. The ambitious project starts today and will be a collaboration between Epic, Unreal Engine 4 devs and Unreal Tournament fans.

Anyone can participate in the project by just creating an account and joining the forum discussions. The game is being developed from scratch and will take many months before it is playable, but Epic assures us that it will be a true Unreal Tournament game. “The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS.” This seems like a great way to revolutionize the way games are being created, but how do they justify the development cost? Epic Games already has a plan for that as well.

“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.” This is pretty outside-of-the-box for the industry, but the company encourages anyone to participate and guarantees that the process will be fun for all those involved.

“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, 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.”

I wish companies would take leaps of faith like this more often. I’m certain a great game will come out of this, and hopefully it will inspire others as well. If you are interested in participating in the project please visit the Unreal Tournament 2014 forums, and for more information on the game be sure to also check its wiki page.