For those who have never heard of UT before, the game was first released as Unreal in 1998 and Unreal Tournament in 1999, with 2 million PC/Mac copies sold by 2001, quickly setting the benchmark for the entire FPS genre worldwide.
Unreal Tournament 1999 received numerous “perfect” and “highest ever” scores from major gaming reviews. Eurogamer, CGW, The Electric Playground, CNET and PC Accelerator gave it a perfect, 10/10 score, while IGN gave the highest ever score at the time of review. In the year 1999, Unreal Tournament received over 15 “game of the year” or “best game” awards from mainstream gaming magazines. Among the features praised were its very advanced AI, its great maps, its numerous, entertaining single-player and multiplayer modes, and its flawless gameplay.
The following 2003 and 2004 editions were high scoring and highly successful titles too. UT 2004 won Computer Games Magazine’s “Best Multiplayer” award. It also received “Multiplayer Game of the Year” awards from IGN, Computer Gaming World, and GameSpy.
Upcoming Free Edition
The upcoming, free revamped edition of UT was first announced in 2014 and has been in open source development since, leveraging significant crowdsourcing and contributions from its strong fan base. Using Unreal Engine 4, UT has benefited from a massive graphic overhaul with high-textured maps designed to completely modernize its look and feel. While gameplay remains largely unchanged from past UT titles, new content is being added thanks in part to community involvement, including new maps, weapons, characters, on top of returning classics.
Not F2P, just FREE
Owing to UT being partly built by community volunteers, UT is and will remain a fully free title with no gameplay-affecting items being sold. To pay for the game, Epic is expected to create a marketplace for developers, modders, artists, and players to buy and sell mods and content, or share them for free, with earnings split between creators and Epic, which is undoubtedly the best type of free-to-play model for the gaming community.