Unreal changes

Infogrames is planning to announce some new developments in the Unreal shooter franchise, including a couple of name changes.

On Monday, Infogrames will announce that it will be changing the name of Epic Games' and Legend Entertainment's forthcoming first-person shooter from Unreal II to Unreal Episode II. Likewise, Unreal Tournament 2 from Epic Games and Digital Extremes will carry the new Unreal Tournament 2003 moniker. The changes are probably meant to curb confusion over the differences between these two games, as well as to further differentiate them from future products like Unreal Championship for the Xbox.

Furthermore, in a recent interview with gaming news site HomeLAN, Epic's vice president Mark Rein revealed that Unreal Episode II would no longer have a multiplayer component because of potential scheduling delays, and because the company feels that Unreal Tournament 2003 would better serve the multiplayer needs of fans of the series. Unreal Episode II will be strictly focused on its single-player experience.

Infogrames will reveal plans to release annual versions of Unreal Tournament, supposedly with notable enhancements and changes in every successive release, much like in EA Sports' various sports game series. No specifics about future installments of Unreal Tournament will likely be unveiled during the Monday announcement, however.

Unreal Tournament 2003 is scheduled to release sometime this summer, with Unreal Episode II following a few months later, in the fall.

Editor's note 03/16/02: This article originally stated that the news about Unreal II being single-player-only was revealed in a message board posting by Epic designer Cliff Blezinski, which is incorrect. GameSpot regrets the error. Also, according to Epic programmer Tim Sweeney, the name change to Unreal Episode II is still under consideration and is not official.

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