Once, Epic Games was undeniably excited for the future of its staple shooter franchise, Unreal Tournament. Back in 2014, the company’s own Mark Rein revealed that the iconic splatterfest was due for a comeback. The new Unreal 4-powered, crowdsourced Unreal Tournament was released for free to the open arms of teary-eyed fans everywhere. Since then, not many people seem to be talking about the game anymore. It’s clear that it’s been overshadowed by Fortnite, Epic’s current breadwinner. As such, the company confirmed that the game is no longer in active development. Instead, all its attention is going to the aforementioned Fortnite, as well as the recently revealed Epic Games Store.
The Unreal Tournament news was confirmed by Variety, which asked the tough question to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney as they chatted about the store announcement. Naturally, with the company working on both the storefront and Fortnite, the fate of Unreal Tournament was unknown — until now.
“Unreal Tournament remains available in the store but isn’t actively developed,” Sweeney told Variety. “We’ve recently worked with GOG on making classic Epic Games titles available and we’re planning to bring more of them to the store in their original glory.”
So, let’s talk about the store to get our minds off things. Earlier today, Epic revealed the creation of the Epic Games Store. Because, like livestreaming services, we just don’t have enough of those. Writing at the Unreal Engine blog, Sweeney explained that the store will carry “hand-curated games” for both the PC and the Mac. During the course of next year, the service will open its doors to more games and platforms, such as Android.
While we expect plenty of available games by Epic, the company is providing support for smaller developers as well. For example, if you publish a game on the Epic Store, you’ll earn 88 percent of revenue, while Epic keeps the remaining 12 percent. Epic will pay the 5 percent royalty if you make the game using the Unreal Engine. Buyers will also be privy to any updates or changes to your game by subscribing to your newsfeed located at the game page, of which you have full control. Using Epic’s Support-A-Creator program, having a game on the store means more community outreach.
While everything about the store sounds well and good (especially for devs), I can’t help but think of the fallen king. Unreal Tournament was quite the staple game in my youth. Thinking of the announcer shouting “FIRST BLOOD” and “ULTRA KILL” through tinny speakers at LAN parties is making me feel all weepy-eyed and nostalgic. Granted, I was always more of a Quake kid. Still, I was loading up rocket kills on both games quite often during my halcyon years.
However, lamenting the loss of the new Unreal Tournament would be a little dishonest for me. I scarcely played it, opting instead for games like Overwatch to scratch my competitive shooter itch. Unreal Tournament‘s situation must have been foreseen. The rise of the Battle Royale game mode has been the death knell for the aging competitive shooter genre. Fortnite, especially, has dug the graves of a few games, and it certainly played a hand in the shuttering of Boss Key. Regardless, it still stings for old-timers like myself, who grew up in playgrounds of rocket smoke and flying gibs. Who knows how long the new Quake will last? I guess that will be an article for another day.
Until then, be sure to check out the rest of the information on the Epic Games Store. The blog reveal page says more games will be shown during The Game Awards this Thursday. Whether any new games by Epic will be shown, or if there will be an official unveiling of the store, is still unknown. We do, however, know there will be more than 10 new games announced during the show. So keep your eyes peeled for some new trailers in a couple short days.