Epic Puts Several Unreal Games And These Other Titles On The Chopping Block

unreal tournament re launch
Gamers fueled by nostalgia have received some sad news today. Epic Games has decided to remove several titles that are based on what it defines as "out-of-date online services" from all storefronts. There is some good news though, as gamers are likely getting a free game out of it.

The announcement came yesterday, December 14, 2022, that Epic Games would only continuing support for games that utilizing their Epic Online Services offering. The Epic Online Services is a tool for deployment of game master servers, matchmaking, and much more for developers.

From a development and ongoing support standpoint, it does become more difficult over time to maintain old tech. Development libraries used to build the game stop receiving updates and sometimes the developers just don't want to work on a project anymore. Besides, Epic's current money printing endeavor, Fortnite, is earning it plenty of cash.

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Unreal Tournament 3 X

As of right now there are 20 games being delisted, including sequels. That list is as follows:
  • 1000 Tiny Claws
  • Dance Central 1-3
  • Drop Mix
  • Green Day: Rock Band
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star
  • Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess
  • Rock Band 1-3
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars
  • Unreal Gold
  • Unreal II: The Awakening
  • Unreal Tournament 2003
  • Unreal Tournament 2004
  • Unreal Tournament 3
  • Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition
You may recognize some of these titles as "the games that practically made Epic Games what it is today." There are a few caveats though. According to the announcement most of these titles that have a single player mode will still be playable in that mode. However, anything that was DLC will likely be disabled.

There are also some details listed specific to a few titles. For example, Battle Breakers will be available until December 30th, however after that point it will no longer be playable. Dance Central VR online multiplayer is unaffected, and Rock Band 4 online multiplayer will also still be playable. Lastly, Unreal Tournament 3 is planned to be brought back online, as it is the most recent fully released title in the series, there seems to be an implication that the game will be released as a free-to-play. This was the intended release platform of Fortnite-overpowered Unreal Tournament re-launch, which people can still grab the source code for. A GitHub login is required to view the repository.

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Unreal Tournament 2k4

We can't say there's no hope to ever play these games again, though. Time and time again gamers have shown that they still want to play old games, and old versions of games. There are operational servers not maintained by EA that still allow players to play Battlefield 2, for example. That said there are definitely some active third-party servers that do things to slight the original creators and often end up in legal trouble, like World of Warcraft classic emulation servers. It's plausible we'll see something in the future from the group of devoted fans who are also developers. You can still find a lot of documentation relating to old Unreal Engine development after all.