Developer Epic Games has announced that it has signed a three-game contract with Midway to have the publisher cover further installments to the Unreal franchise, starting with Unreal Championship 2 on the Xbox. The other two games will be on the PC and next-generation consoles, and could also encompass expansion packs, according to Midway CEO David Zucker.
The deal serves a considerable blow to Atari, who nevertheless stated that the decision to split was mutual. “We have different views on what should come next for Unreal and we’ve decided it’s time to move on,” the publisher said. Selling over seven million units worldwide, Atari now will mainly be looking towards its partnership with Bandai for hot sellers, namely Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3.
With Midway facing various financial hurdles, the move comes as somewhat of a surprise. However, Epic Games has stated that Midway’s lineup proves to be an ideal match up with the Unreal series. “Midway gets it. They hit right at the heart of games,” according to Epic vice president Mark Rein.
Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict is slated for release in February 2005 exclusively for the Xbox.