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Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

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Turboman.
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Turboman. »

I have strange feelings about this, on one side Epic is now removing all traces of the classic games from every online storefront. Yet not THAT long ago they've allowed the Oldunreal team to expand their business with a larger team and UT support...

I'm at least happy we got something out of the "new" epic in recent years though (permission for development on 227 and 469 that is).
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Stuff and politics keep changing over at Epic at rapid pace...

like there might be branches of them opposed to certain ideas...

I'm still confused about the deal I wanted to make about a pre-release Unreal CD that someone I contacted was still supposed to have. Like he wanted to contact Epic first, then there was silence...so I went ahead and contacted Epic myself. They told me that I am basically allowed to see that content while basically not being okay with sharing the full build (publically I guess), which I went kind of scratching my head over what it TRULY means... But I heard no further word from the person supposedly having that CD so that went nowhere and I don't know how he interepreted the things and what was going on, because all it takes is one wrong person to contact and then there's no talks at all anymore.

But what was this all for anyways? I didn't get to see that beta anymore again either...and it might have been the one I played when I was so young back in 1998...

EDIT: A point I forgot to mention is also, that Epic themselves (even if they had the betas) cannot release them as such or give official blessing because they are afraid of having to pay royalties to people who might have left Epic back at the time and enter some legal issues with that all too (there was something similar concerning the unreal source code, hence why Tim originally planned to release a cleaned up version, but since fortnite that hasn't happened)

basically it means the only way to do it is informally
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Kajgue
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Kajgue »

From what I now understand, it's in relation to the recent court case with the FTC.

https://www.epicgames.com/site/en-US/ne ... -practices

While originally I was fully behind the FTC's decision, what I didn't know is that the FTC invoked the heavy handed COPPA clause to Epic that even though a game may be given a mature rating (like the Unreal franchise) that doesn't prevent underage players from getting + playing it, which is pretty bullshit (and not actually legal) and could potentially have a knock on effect to any game with a mature rating (blood or violence for example).

Regardless, it doesn't excuse Epic for littering Fortnite with 'dark pattern' traits that make the in game purchases purposefully confusing to get the user/child to separate with their money, among other nefarious practices there.

What Epic could have done there is contest the heavy handed COPPA clause where it extended into removing games with a mature rating, but they were not in a strong position to do so after being deemed guilty of littering Fortnite with those 'dark pattern' psychologies.
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Yes, it seems like it might be related but nothing was 100 percent confirmed on their side. I did send a message to Flak recently but I got a message back saying out of office, etc.

This is a clusterfuck and it shows Epic lacks a real backbone too, it feels like most of their staff is robots.

But I agree with what you said...but indeed its getting ridiculous to the point of Epic taking all that too literally it seems. It all smells of too much control by those state organisations.
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Kajgue
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Kajgue »

Right now they are out the office yeah, over the Christmas period.
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Kajgue wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 5:40 pm Right now they are out the office yeah, over the Christmas period.
now yes, but it was like a day or two ago when I sent it, I didn't realize the christmas period would already start.. but that's a bit ot now.
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by vbdasc »

Leo T_C_K wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 1:47 am
I'm still confused about the deal I wanted to make about a pre-release Unreal CD that someone I contacted was still supposed to have. Like he wanted to contact Epic first, then there was silence...so I went ahead and contacted Epic myself. They told me that I am basically allowed to see that content while basically not being okay with sharing the full build (publically I guess), which I went kind of scratching my head over what it TRULY means... But I heard no further word from the person supposedly having that CD so that went nowhere and I don't know how he interepreted the things and what was going on, because all it takes is one wrong person to contact and then there's no talks at all anymore.
Reading this, I'm reminded of the strange story of the DX11 renderer for the UE1 games that some guy is making available at Moddb... and how he suddenly announced that he was stopping developing that renderer for UT, due to some legal letter from Epic telling him to cease and desist... which is extremely weird due to Epic themselves making the needed info, source code etc. for the rendering interface available, plus the multitude of fan-made renderers created over the years (CWDohnal, the alternative DX7, Kentie, XOpenGL etc. and apparently even Vulkan lately). Maybe there are some people at Epic that are hostile to any community projects involving Unreal, who knows...
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Kajgue
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Kajgue »

vbdasc wrote: Sun Dec 25, 2022 1:12 pm Reading this, I'm reminded of the strange story of the DX11 renderer for the UE1 games that some guy is making available at Moddb... and how he suddenly announced that he was stopping developing that renderer for UT, due to some legal letter from Epic telling him to cease and desist... which is extremely weird due to Epic themselves making the needed info, source code etc. for the rendering interface available, plus the multitude of fan-made renderers created over the years (CWDohnal, the alternative DX7, Kentie, XOpenGL etc. and apparently even Vulkan lately). Maybe there are some people at Epic that are hostile to any community projects involving Unreal, who knows...
To this one there's bigger context.

The DX11 renderer you're referring to advertised features it plain didn't have (it's mostly a post processing renderer), and the authors donation page was plastered all over the mod; it also replaced the clipboard with a link to his patreon (which is a serious security no-no).

While I don't think that renderer was intentionally designed to be malicious, instead of removing these things the author instead stopped working on it for those games.

There may be a few parts here that I'm wrong about, but I know there was a reason that Epic stepped in on this one, my first reaction was the same as yours too until I was informed about this.
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

yea that's a lot of a different issue. But really there's more odd things in play here, not even involving epic. Like I find this dude who still has supposedly very early levels for Dark Sector, which essentially started like another bonuspack for UT even though it became a soon cancelled UE1 MMO game that was supposed to be succesor to UT, but the developement got stopped in favor of Unreal Champsionship. But those levels, they were essentially bonuspack levels, I saw the screenshots, some of them using nothing more than retail UT textures like CTF-Krietzig. Well..I talked to the guy he was friendly at first, then told me he can't give me the levels because he sold them. I gave him an overview over others and that there were people who released their levels despite being paid for them. I did part ways with him in peace. But then like months after I had an idea of contacting someone over at DE because they could put a stop to this issue once and for all. And well...I found back the contact and told this guy to contact them. Immediately after I got rudely blocked without explanation. thx a lot...

Like this kind of stuff didn't use to happen at all and I'd like to think I'm much more collected than I used to be when I was ironically having successes all around..

like genuinly i wonder what is wrong with people now?
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Neon_Knight
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Neon_Knight »

Still trying to process this, I've learnt about this too late (a week and a half ago after it happened, lol!)

On the one hand it saddens me. On the other, I'd lie if I said this took me by surprise. It was just a matter of time before it happened (honestly, I was expecting something like this from the moment UT4 stopped being updated).

My optimistic side tells me that Epic will eventually do something with the Unreal games. My pessimistic side tells me that Epic is ashamed of the series and wants to cleanse it out for good. My big worry is about the OldU patches. I really hope Epic keeps letting Smirf, Anth and the rest (us!) maintain the older games, because they've been doing an amazing job over the years.
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gamerzonenation31w
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by gamerzonenation31w »

Somebody also told me on UT4UU Discord Server that even Unreal Tournament 4 got removed from their digital library. Unreal Tournament Forum got closed same goes to Fortnite Battle Royale that moved to Reddit. Were those choices decisions decided by Epic Games,CCP,Tencent,People Can Fly choices? Probably.
That would be great tool. Would you also consider it as unfinished?
https://github.com/xtremexp/UT4X-Converter
At least I used it as one of online/local multiplayer from leaked Jazz Jackrabbit 3D in Unreal Tournament 4.
Anyway what is this?
https://www.moddb.com/mods/utcommunitysdk
It looks interesting.
UT99.org brought me to that tool.
It looks someone at least ported Unreal Tournament 4 to the UE5 in Unreal Engine 5 already.

But it doesn’t mean that things got not little bit more complicated. Maybe not that too much. Probably not exactly.
However I didn’t prepare anything in 2014 for clone of Sonic the Hedgehog three years after 20th anniversary,but maybe something is going to happen about Jazz Jackrabbit a’la Sonic Generations for the 40th anniversary of Jazz Jackrabbit. Who knows?!
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

Given that Arjan is back with Epic "something" might happen but its all in dreams...

Also..MR MR MR GUY IS BACK!

"Probably not exactly." your choice of words is sometimes interesting really
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Shambler
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Shambler »

Flak asked me to relay back (since I know folks here and from UT2004) that there's nothing more she can do, it's a business decision and can't talk about it more unfortunately (same applies for myself as well).

I wish it wasn't that way - and that I was more able to share my thoughts/opinions as to why it's happened this way - but yea legal folk are quick to shut down speculation lately, so I need to err towards self-censoring there!
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

I got a similar response as well yesterday.
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gnsdhrw
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by gnsdhrw »

Stylez wrote: Thu Dec 15, 2022 6:56 pm So now that these games are becoming abandonware, does anyone know an alternate way to get them.
Unless Nightdive Studios remasters it. Afterall, they expressed their interest to it:

https://gamerant.com/nightdive-studios- ... real-game/


Also, I think the best would be if Cliff B opens a new development studio, and then buys the Unreal series/franchise from Epic...
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Hellkeeper »

The easist way to buy is to buy your own super secret special physical media. That's right, own a CD of Unreal, as we did in the dark age of technology, a fabled time when ownership was irrevocable by virtue of being tied to something tangible.
I find it hard to believe some people don't immediately think of having the game's disk at home. You can probably get it from ebay or amazon for less than a cup of whichever brand of coffee nowadays.
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Neon_Knight
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Neon_Knight »

Yep, we have to work from the Dark Age all the way onto the Imperial Age again, lol!

Jokes aside, Sly. and I, we've crafted this post:

https://unreal.fandom.com/wiki/User_blo ... ow_what%3F
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vbdasc
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by vbdasc »

Neon_Knight wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 8:33 pm Yep, we have to work from the Dark Age all the way onto the Imperial Age again, lol!

Jokes aside, Sly. and I, we've crafted this post:

https://unreal.fandom.com/wiki/User_blo ... ow_what%3F
Perhaps it would make some sense to add information about fixing normal Unreal (not Gold) and also, adding the unofficial master servers to the .ini files without installing the OldUnreal patches (227/469)?
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Leo T_C_K
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by Leo T_C_K »

yea just like in old days before there was automation and only the gamespy server worked *until it didn't*
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IAmSoUnReal
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by IAmSoUnReal »

Is OldUnreal working on a way to implement COPPA-compliance in the Unreal games so that they can be reinstated on GOG?
vbdasc
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by vbdasc »

IAmSoUnReal wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:13 pm Is OldUnreal working on a way to implement COPPA-compliance in the Unreal games so that they can be reinstated on GOG?
Most probably, no. First, because i believe they're not authorized to make such changes, and second, because it wouldn't help to return the games to GOG at all.
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IAmSoUnReal
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by IAmSoUnReal »

Leo T_C_K wrote: Sat Dec 24, 2022 3:04 pm Yes, it seems like it might be related but nothing was 100 percent confirmed on their side. I did send a message to Flak recently but I got a message back saying out of office, etc.

This is a clusterfuck and it shows Epic lacks a real backbone too, it feels like most of their staff is robots.

But I agree with what you said...but indeed its getting ridiculous to the point of Epic taking all that too literally it seems. It all smells of too much control by those state organisations.
Clusterfuck is an understatement. The Unreal series community now has community-run master servers but cannot legally get new people into the series because of this idiocy from the federal government. That means anyone who wants to play Unreal Gold, Unreal 2, UT99 and 2004 has to buy CD versions from Ebay, many of which are 20+ years old.

This needs to be resolved somehow. It's totally unacceptable.
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by vbdasc »

IAmSoUnReal wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 1:41 pm That means anyone who wants to play Unreal Gold, Unreal 2, UT99 and 2004 has to buy CD versions from Ebay,
Or pirate.
IAmSoUnReal wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 1:41 pm This needs to be resolved somehow. It's totally unacceptable.
This can't be resolved without Epic's help, and they seem totally uninterested.
vbdasc
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Re: Epic will remove Unreal games from online stores (and make UT3 free)

Post by vbdasc »

IAmSoUnReal wrote: Sat Jan 28, 2023 5:13 pm Is OldUnreal working on a way to implement COPPA-compliance in the Unreal games so that they can be reinstated on GOG?
I just took a cursory look at COPPA and it left me slightly surprised. It seems that COPPA just forbids collecting personal identifiable information about minors without their parents' approval and a way to delete that information. IANAL, but games like Unreal, UT99 or UT2004 even when played online, don't collect ANY personal identifiable information about anyone, so for these games COPPA shouldn't be a problem at all. Hence, no need to change anything in the games. Correct me anybody if I'm wrong.
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