Epic Games has announced that the next Unreal Tournament game in the series will be free and available on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
The developers from Epic Games have followed through with their promise for Linux support with the new Unreal Engine 4, and now they've confirmed that Linux will be a launch platform for the next Unreal Tournament game.
The announcement regarding the development and release of the Unreal Tournament title for the Linux platform also comes with a few new interesting ideas that could change the way games are made, if the project becomes a real success.
First of all, Unreal Tournament will be free. When users hear free, it's usually just free-to-play, meaning that they will have to pay money for additional content and advantages over the other players. This is not the case with Unreal Tournament, and Epic Games is trying a different business approach.
After the game is made available to the public for free, the developers will also build a marketplace around the game where the community can sell the content for Unreal Tournament. The proceeds will be split between the makers of the content and Epic.
In theory, this will be enough to pay for the game. This is not an entirely new concept because it's been applied in a somewhat similar fashion with Team Fortress 2, although it sounds to be more advanced than that.
Epic Games has also said that the development is conducted by a small team of UT veterans, which have already started work on it, but here is where the interesting stuff happens.
“From the very first line of code, the very first art created and design decision made, development will happen in the open, as a collaboration between Epic, UT fans and UE4 developers. We’ll be using forums for discussion, and Twitch streams for regular updates.”
“If you are a fan and you want to participate, create a free account and join the forum discussion. All code and content will be available live to UE4 developers on GitHub,” reads the official announcement.
Having the game developed under the scrutiny of the community is a major step forward and it will bring the studio closer to its audience. It also means that the game will be a lot closer to what the public is expecting and not to what the developers think the public is expecting.
It will take a while for the game to playable in any kind of form, but users will be able to track its development in real time. If what Epic Games is saying comes to fruition, we might be playing a Beta version by the end of the year.