In early August MacCentral brought readers
the unsettling news
that a Mac conversion of the forthcoming 3D action game Unreal Tournament 2003 was “uncertain,” according to Epic Games vice president Mark Rein, the game’s developer. That situation changed over the weekend
with a post
from Rein to the Unreal Tournament message boards on Infogrames’ Web site, where he confirmed that Unreal Tournament 2003 is indeed Mac-bound.
Speaking specifically about the Linux development of the game, Rein offered various details about that conversion and commented tangentially about some technical issues relating to ATI Technologies’ Mac and Linux drivers. At that point, Rein added, “Mac development is just underway so it will still be a little while before it’s done.”
This is the first hard confirmation that Mac development is indeed in progress. In fact, the publishing details about Mac Unreal Tournament 2003 remain a mystery, although it’s a forgone conclusion that Infogrames subsidiary
will publish the Mac version of the game, as it does all of Infogrames’ premiere Mac game work.
Of particular interest to Mac game enthusiasts is Unreal Tournament 2003’s pedigree. UT 2K3 will be the first installment of the Unreal franchise developed for the Mac in-house at Epic rather than by Westlake Interactive, which had been hired by MacSoft in past years to bring forth Macintosh conversions of Unreal and Unreal Tournament, along with Unreal Tournament Game of the Year Edition.
Epic’s Unreal engine has served as the basis for a multitude of popular Mac titles over the years — many titles that Westlake Interactive has worked on for various publishers. Westlake President Glenda Adams
recently told Inside Mac Games
that Epic has assured her company that they’ll still have full access to the source code for UT 2K3 once it’s done, so Westlake can continue to work on future Mac game conversions that use the new engine technology.