Epic just closed some doors, but it may be opening a very attractive window indeed. Today, it appears to have inadvertently announced a new completely free version of the excellent Unreal Tournament 3 that you’ll be able to crossplay with friends across Steam, the Epic Games Store, and even GOG (via Wario64).
It’s called Unreal Tournament 3 X, and according to its Steam page, there’s no catch — “No microtransactions and no strings attached. This is the fully-featured, award-winning first-person shooter you fell in love with... completely free.”
And, assuming the listing is accurate, the game will still include all of its primary modes, including the single-player campaign from Unreal Tournament 3 Black and the Greed and Betrayal gametypes originally introduced in the 2009 Titan Pack expansion.
We’re pretty confident all of this is legit because you can see in SteamDB that these changes rolled out just hours ago — replacing the name, entire description, and assets for the previous Unreal Tournament 3 Black with the ones you see above instead.
Another reason I suspect it’s legit: Epic would not confirm or deny any of this when we asked. The company would not tell us if it’s a mistake, a vestigial project, or provide any other possible reason why the page so substantially changed (like, say, its Steam developer account getting hacked or something).
Plus, roughly an hour after we published this story, Epic alerted us that the page has been updated. It now additionally reads: “This title is currently unavailable and will be available in the future. Stay tuned!” Sounds kind of like confirmation to me.
Want to feel old? Last month was the 15th anniversary of this game
Note that while the release date still confusingly reads “November 19th, 2007,” SteamDB shows that’s simply UT3’s original release date on the Windows platform, period. Technically, the original game didn’t arrive on Steam until 2009, but it’s displayed the 2007 release date ever since. You can also peek the previous Unreal Tournament 3 Black listing from Steam via the Wayback Machine, in case you’re curious.
There doesn’t appear to be a listing for the new UT3X on GOG or the Epic Games Store yet — or any Unreal games on the Epic Games Store at all, for that matter. But we expect they’ll appear after Epic makes this game announcement official. And, hopefully, a release date.
Earlier today, Epic announced it’ll be shutting down the servers for six other Unreal games, including UT3, UT2004, UT2003, and the original UT, among other titles. While I wouldn’t say UT3 was necessarily the best — movement in 2004 and the original both have their own frenetic flavors I enjoy — I think I’ll be pretty satisfied with this result. I can always go back and play the others via LAN, after all.
Update, 3:36PM ET: The game’s Steam listing has additionally been updated to read: “This title is currently unavailable and will be available in the future. Stay tuned!”