Infinity Blade Epic's 'most profitable game'

Tim Sweeney reveals in terms of man years invested, iPhone and iPad game more profitable than Gears of War, believes free-to-play will spur industry growth.

by

Speaking during the Game Developers Conference in Taipei recently (attended by Gamasutra), Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney revealed that Infinity Blade is the company's most profitable game ever.

Infinity Blade has been a boon for Epic.

"The most profitable game we've ever made, in terms of man years invested versus revenue, is actually Infinity Blade. It's more profitable than Gears of War," he said. The developer further explained that he was "very, very surprised to see how fast smartphone and tablet devices are improving."

In January, Epic announced that the Infinity Blade franchise had raked in $30 million in total revenue, with Infinity Blade II tallying $5 million in first-month sales.

Sweeney's remarks came during a lecture regarding the future of the industry, during which he said growth will be spurred by free-to-play endeavors, much like what is widespread in Asian markets. Sweeney remarked that big-budget games like Call of Duty--which he estimates Activision sinks $100 million per year into developing--are not sustainable.

Infinity Blade developer Chair Entertainment is currently at work on Infinity Blade: Dungeons. Announced by Epic Games president Mike Capps during the new 4G iPad unveiling in March, the game is due out later this year.

Discussion

110 comments
BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Someone in the near future will be speaking a voice recorded message talking about the rise and fall of electronic gaming.  Maybe they will have it on barns and noble for 5 bux release date 2025...

Mr_Bodywave
Mr_Bodywave

$30mil for the who franchise.  Heck--call it $40 mil now since it is several months later.  And that was total revenue.  Gears of War franchise has had about $1000mil in total revenue.  only 25x as much. 

cjimrun
cjimrun

The thing about mobile games is that they're quickly becoming "good enough" that it's difficult to justify purchasing and carrying a portable as well.  Super Street Fighter IV 3D got great reviews, but I'm really impressed with Street Fighter IV Volt on I-phone.  Of course it isn't AS good...but it's $7 and my I-phone is always on me anyway.  Is it worth it to spend $40 and cart around a whole other device?

WillyChong
WillyChong

The game is bundle with together on iphone 4S maxis launch, but currently I'm holding it off cause I'm gonna get myself the upcoming Iphone 5 :P

WillyChong
WillyChong

Kinda sad, I wanted a PS Vita, but my Dad is watching, on the other hand, when I'm playing Real Football 2012 on my HTC One X, my dad doesn't even flinched, he smashed my PSP 3 years ago which made me very cautious on buying a handheld console, seeing this brings me comfort that the upcoming Iphone is my primary target due to its multi-function, slick design, small size and pretty games like Infinity Blade. Is not that I don't support PSP or Vita, its the fact that my background don't allow such devices.

 

On the other hand, my dad have a fond for Infinity Blade since its on his Iphoen 3GS :|, ironic considered he doesn't know hoe to jailbreak it in the first place.

solatron
solatron

i think it's pretty OK since they can always use the profit they made in Infinity Blade to develop new AAA+ titles PC games.

charizard1605
charizard1605 moderator

And yet if Epic goes iOS only, they will never get a sale from me.

blackothh
blackothh

if game companies are sinking $100 mil into development for what they call AAA titles, then where the hell is the other $90 mil going to?

walidras
walidras

Mobile gaming will never take over the market, Sony  microsoft, nintendo etc. wont allow it, think by yourself do you want to play BF3 on a tiny screen ?  or the new GTA games ?  BTW if they really build a mobile phone with a GE-FORCE Nvidia graphics, still after playing  3 hours that pore smartphone will explode.

 

hardeddie
hardeddie

Do many realize purchasing mobile games will force you to give your phone info and other details. Ios and android. Ios at least you can choose to turn it off. Android i have yet to see an option. I I have tons of games on my ipad. I buy them only to play them either on the treadmill or while commuting. I just cant be sucked into it for more than 30mins. Just to shallow. Another developer trying to change the industry. If you stop listening to what these developers want and at least try to dictate them wisely with your wallet perhaps we have a brighter future for the core gamers. Casual gamers I dont have time to care about them. Let them spend on IAPs and F2P games. Happy gaming.

Henrique2324
Henrique2324

Mobile, social and F2P gaming is cancer, nothing will ever change that.

DemannameD
DemannameD

I'll prefer tablet free to play games over High end AAA PC titles in the near NEVER.

hereatlast89
hereatlast89

Oh...Come on guys

He said only 2 game out millions available in appstore.

What about the rest...huh?

So please just end it here.

irishduck01
irishduck01

is it just me or does every article this guy writes 2 sentences long? I see a topic that sounds interesting click on it only to find that there really isnt anything more to read than the title itself...

hadlee73
hadlee73

Its starting to sound like those of us who play the big budget games aren't really the "Core" of gamers anymore. So when Nintendo said they wanted to get the core gamers back with Wii U, they just meant they wanted to get those who play mobile games? :P

Anema1986
Anema1986

good game, certainly an achievement in terms of graphics and easy to play gameplay, but still fall way behind real portables with a huge difference in terms of replay value

eastley000
eastley000

Welcome to the generation of mobile games. Mobile devices are catching up quickly, with newer technology always coming out. Consoles on the other hand come out and stick around for years. Not saying I think console gaming or hardcore gaming is coming to an end, not at all. But instead I think hardcore gaming is having to move over and give it's little brother (casual games) some room.

geraldwillkill
geraldwillkill

Great!!! I hope devs and publishers realize tablet and phone gaming is where its at!! Can't wait till devs ditch consoles for tablets and phones.

EvanLovesBoobs
EvanLovesBoobs

Wow. Lots of hate towards Infinity Blade. Though its on the iphone its still one of the best games i played in a while. 

yoda101280
yoda101280

Meh, all I can say is if the gaming industry dumbs down to infinity blade like games being the main stream, I don't see myself buying many new games.  I have like 5 games on my iphone, two of them are what I would consider non-typical cell phone games.  Even though I have them, the only games I actually really play on my phone are tetris and solitaire. 

 

I don't really have down time in a setting where playing on my phone or a tablet comes up often but even if I did, I just can never really get into gaming on those.  Field Runners is probably the only other game I ever put any kind of time into.

Elann2008
Elann2008

Whatever happened to the phrase... "If I was doing something I love for the money... then I wouldn't be happy doing it..." ?

dgallo911
dgallo911

Mobile gaming is only so successful at the moment because it is new/fresh. It wasnt that long ago that snake on a mobile was considered revolutionary. I cant see Free to Play lasting in the long run as its only guaranteed income is from advertising ingame etc. Due to it being new, there is very little to suggest that this advertising is actually drumming up business but big companies are willing to take a punt on it. Give it a couple more years and there will be fact and figures either that show the effectivness of these ads and im guessing they wont be pretty as a majority of users (myself included) avoid the adds at all costs.

Master_Vexov
Master_Vexov

Why isn't ever about how happy the dev's games are making the players?, all only seems to be about REVENUE. I would think everyone is well aware that title alone could sell a game "RE: ORC and Diablo 3". Im playing old classic greats for w/e system lately, the new games is all about the money "mostly". It seems every game is about graphics, its all about eye-candy and taking your fking money...

Zloth2
Zloth2

This sounds like what we were hearing back around the turn of the century - only it was PC games vs. console games.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Some of these developers are so ridiculous sometimes. You can't use the same business models that you're using for mobile devices and apply it towards consoles. They are nothing alike. The mobile device market (read: smartphones) is much bigger than the regular game industry. About 60% of all phone users in the U.S. are now carrying smartphones (this is a fact). So the potential install-base is much higher. Not to mention, the entire mobile gaming community is casual. There are no hardcore smartphone gamers out there, lol. Even if you're a hardcore console gamer, you're still gonna be a casual mobile gamer. Therefore, you can't use the same philosophy with mobile and console. They're so far apart and so different that I feel these publishers are gonna throw a big wrench into our gaming industry as we know it and basically try to make mobile-style games on the home console, which will fail miserably, along with free-to-play (ftp).

I_am_in_despair
I_am_in_despair

This doesn't mean that it make the more money than other epic games, what they mean is that Infinity blades make more dollar for each dollar invest in this game than other games.

 

On other notes, Infinity blades might be successful for Epic, but it didn't mean that it is a good game, there are many better games on PSP, gameboy advance, and even gameboy colour that is better than this game in my experience. 

mtait01
mtait01

not surprising...  that game surely didn't cost too much make. I tried it and then deleted it 30 mins later. Boring as hell, finicky controls and damn did it waste a lot of my 8GB iPhone's memory.It is quite worrying though how a mobile phone game is making more money for Epic than Gears of War or any of their other console titles. I really hope this isn't happening to many more publishers because they will end up just making mobile games from now on since they can make one cheap and makes millions! 

anomaly04261986
anomaly04261986

That's not really surprising to hear, mobile phone gaming revenue will eventually outgrow any other hardware (consoles, pc, handhelds) in the near future. 1. 90% of ppl will have a smart phone 2. Mobile gaming piracy is virtually non existant 3. Biggest games are usually under $15.

I just hope that all phones will have a Xperia Play style controls in the future, that would be dope.

Smithers2286
Smithers2286

Too bad it's one of the worst games i've ever played, which proves once again smartphone and tablet gaming isn't real gaming. SNORE.......

DaPreppyOne
DaPreppyOne

I think the most important thing to note here is that the author links a picture that is not even related to Infinity Blade. I don't know what game it is, but the "Infinity Blade has been a boon for Epic" picture is definitely not IB. Is it perhaps IB II? I don't know what game it is, with the isometric view and killing spiders.

BludshedX
BludshedX

 @hardeddie Not to mention you are locking yourself into one platform (ios, android, windows, etc..) for your future handsets OR you will be forfeiting all app purchases.

Wango_Tango
Wango_Tango

 @eastley000

 The hard part is having to watch hardcore gamers kick and scream because they can't cope with not being the main market anymore.

hardeddie
hardeddie

@Elann2008 The phrase went casual its not core anymore :)

blackothh
blackothh

 @Master_Vexov if game makers dissapear, tomorrow, i have enough awesome quality old games to play for the rest of my life.......so that means i can pick and choose my future game purchases to make sure i only obtain good new games and skip the garbage that is making its way to market, its no wonder why ridiculous avenues of gaming are emerging

 

BTW im not a mobile gamer, i dont even own a phone like that

Dasim64
Dasim64

 @Vodoo

 You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. No hardcore phone gamers? Man you really just don't know do you? There are people pouring literally hundreds upon hundreds of hours into certain phone games right now. These games are so accessible that you can play them non-stop all day long if you want. I've gotten hooked on a few of them and they are fun and very time consuming. A few of them are quite well designed and fairly complex. A gamer is a gamer is a gamer. The source of gaming doesn't really matter and totally doesn't define whether you're hardcore or not. But I do agree with you that mobile gaming is a totally different animal and you can't use the same marketing strategy that you use with consoles. As far as ftp goes, as long as suckers keep paying for the bits and pieces they make available for their games, they will keep making them that way. Right now it is a very lucrative business. I sometimes pay a little into them if I feel the game is worth it but some people pour hundreds into them which to me is just insanity. To each their own though. I guess if you have money to burn it's not a big deal. I don't have that kind of cash to burn on any single game. It's really not a trend I like seeing as some games just aren't any fun unless you put a lot of real $$$ into them. Those I simply refuse to play. 

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @mtait01 Yeah, I hear you. People and their smart phone 'games', psh - hipsters who think they're 'gamers' because they play this and Angry Birds.

mtait01
mtait01

 @anomaly04261986 mobile gaming piracy is non-existent? Have you ever heard of a little thing called a Jailbreak? And a little application you get through the jailbreak called 'Installous' - Honestly, just look at the amount of views jailbreak videos have on youtube... millions and millions of people are pirating mobile games

eastley000
eastley000

 @Wango_Tango

 Yea very true. I think it could actually help though. Obviously it could hurt as well, but I have seen people pick up a wii, then a couple years later move on to an Xbox 360 or PS3. Im all for expanding the gaming market though.

CodingGenius
CodingGenius moderator

 @dawnofhero People who play and enjoy Angry Birds are gamers.  Maybe not "hardcore", but then again NFL players might claim that highschool players aren't "players" because most won't ever make it to the pros...

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @CodingGenius Right, but I'm referring to the casual audience - people who play flash games just because it's a pop culture phenomenon and who don't play for very long. Even if they did play for hours on an iPad, the iPad is not really a gaming machine to begin with :/