But things have changed in the month since we asked this question, apparently, because Epic Games VP Mark Rein stated in a tweet: "I love #UnrealTournament - So excited for the comeback! https://t.co/r6Off7DvcM More next week!" And posted a screenshot of what, if memory serves, looks to be UT2k4. Rein later stated that "everything you need to know is in this tweet," which further states: "UE4 Dev Community + Epic. The future of Unreal Tournament. Tune in to Twitch.tv/UnrealEngine Thursday at 2PM ET. #unrealdev #FirstBlood."
This one was posted by Paul Meegan, VP Product Development at Epic Games.
Speculation among fans indicates a desire to return to the days of UT2K4 or UT99, prior to the much more recent mid-2000s Unreal Tournament 3 release; UT3 had significant gameplay changes and an unstable platform at launch and moved away from some of the speed and chaos of UT2K4.
The gaming world isn't anything like it once was when twitch shooters ruled the day, though. Quake and Unreal Tournament had their reign for a number of years, but we rapidly moved into a Call of Duty model of progression, smaller maps, and more "realistic" combat. Scare quotes emphasized. Unreal Tournament has always promoted taking combat vertically—something most modern shooters don't do, Titanfall notwithstanding—so it'd be nice to see a return to that era from a gameplay standpoint.
We'll have follow-up coverage on Thursday.
- Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.