Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Revolution – And Unreal Tournament – Will Be Televised

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 9, 2014

UT3I gotta hand it to Epic – even when they go “small,” they go big. First it was with totally re-pricing the new Unreal Engine so that it was affordable to small indies. And now, they are making the development of their next game in their flagship series, Unreal Tournament, as completely open as they can short of openly inviting the public to come physically hang out inside their office.

The Future of Unreal Tournament

So basically, it’ll be open development – all code released to UE4 licensees as it is developed, discussions in the open with fans about where the game is going to go, just… open. To top it all off, when the game is completed it will be released completely free to the public. Not “free to play” as in “a demo version,” but completely without charge. However, they will be setting up a “marketplace” to buy and sell mods and content, with Epic taking a percentage of the revenue.

Obviously, this is a pretty audacious move sure to grab tons of publicity, not to mention goodwill. Probably even more importantly, it serves as a giant tutorial to show inexperienced and potential UE4 developers how “the big boys do it,” showing how an internal development team uses the engine. And, finally, it’s a high-profile way to get started on a marketplace that will compete with Unity’s Asset Store in the future. Not to mention having tons of DLC created by third parties that they get to profit from.

Honestly, as much as I want to be cynical and jaded about this (and I’m sure that a lot of this is driven by the harsh realities of the changing AAA game marketplace), I just can’t help but be impressed. We’ll see how it evolves, but as of right now it sounds like a brilliant move. Those who want a peek into the sausage factory, and a hand (well, a fingertip) in guiding the game can participate. Everyone else… which will probably include me… will simply feel warm fuzzies about the company that seems to “get it” and is – as was Interplay’s motto back in the day – “by gamers for gamers.”

Filed Under: Biz, Game Development, Mainstream Games - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • ShadowTiger said,

    This will be interesting to watch. It is way too early to tell how it will turn out, but I would probably prefer they spent the time and resources to make a proper $60 game rather then a free tech demo. Hopefully the open source nature of it will lead to better UE4 games in the future.