A phenomenal 400,000 gamers downloaded the Mac beta of MacSoft's forthcoming Unreal Tournament 2003 during the first four days of the beta software's release.

MacSoft general manager Al Schilling said: "Because of the number of people mirroring the tech demo worldwide, the actual number is probably much higher than this."

The game was created by Digital Extremes with Epic Games - developer of Unreal's game engine. It is being ported to the Mac by Epic games, and is published by Destineer's MacSoft imprint.

MacSoft first exhibited the game at January's Macworld Expo San Francisco 2003. It was named Best of Show by Macworld US.

The action is set in a futuristic universe in which humans are subjugated, and dissidents forced to fight in vast gladiatorial tournaments. Gladiators rely on skill, speed, cunning and firepower to become the ultimate champion.

The 131MB beta demo offers a slice of the game's more-detailed graphics, and its highly advanced physics engine, and includes four multiplayer maps.