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> UE4 itself can build to Linux, so this move just baffles me.

That could be to support Android or game consoles like the Switch.

I doubt it, unreal tournament 99 had a Linux build. Assuming their engine has been iteratively developed, there has likely always been the ability to build for Linux, even before Android existed.

Unreal Engine 4 is a fresh codebase I believe; not a descendant of UE3.

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