Is Epic making a return to the Unreal franchise?
This past weekend at PAX East, Epic Games creative lead Cliff Bleszinski and president Mike Capps revealed during a panel discussion that the studio is currently working on a PC exclusive. Capps actually teased the audience by using the word "might," but Bleszinski later clarified that Epic is indeed working on the unnamed title.
However after the panel, Capps verified with Joystiq that development is definitely underway, and so far the plan is to keep it a PC platform exclusive. Typically "PC exclusive" points to casual and/or social gaming, but perhaps Epic is finally heading home after making the console sector its primary (bread winner) focus for almost an entire decade.
Unfortunately, little else is known about the project. The last shooter stemming from the studio was Bulletstorm, but that was actually developed by People Can Fly which Epic purchased back in 2007. The subsidiary originally crashed the PC gaming scene with Painkiller back in 2004, published by DreamCatcher and inspired by the likes of DOOM and Quake.
So what was the last real PC exclusive produced by Epic? Unreal and the Return to Na Pali expansion pack? Nope. Even Unreal Tournament initially started out on the PC, but was eventually ported over to consoles. It seems that Unreal Tournament 2004 is listed as one of the last desktop exclusives, published by Atari and landing on the PC, Linux and Mac OS X.
Does this mean Epic may return to the Unreal universe? It would be nice to have a third installment developed internally given that Unreal 2: The Awakening (2003), developed by Legend Entertainment, received average-ranking reviews (75.49-percent). The original Unreal is a classic despite some of the multiplayer issues it experienced after launching in the late 1990s.