Epic's 'Infinity Blade' for iOS more profitable than 'Gears of War'

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The high revenue and relatively low development costs of the "Infinity Blade" series on iOS have made the titles the most profitable ever for publisher Epic Games, exceeding even its blockbuster Xbox 360 series "Gears of War."

Tim Sweeney, chief executive of Epic Games, revealed at the Game Developers Conference in Taipei this week that "Infinity Blade" is the most profitable game the company has ever made in terms of man years invested versus revenue, according to Gamasutra. That puts it ahead of "Gears of War," a bestselling series from Epic found on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console.

Sweeney also said that devices like the iPad 3 are almost as powerful in terms of graphics capabilities as the Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. He predicted that DirectX technology, currently found on PCs, will become "widely available" on mobile devices in the next few years, allowing for even more impressive mobile games.

Because of this, Sweeney believes the greatest growth in the gaming industry will be with free-to-play titles. With those games, users can download and play the game for free, but additional content and features can be unlocked by users who wish to pay for those capabilities.

Infinity Blade


In addition to making titles like "Gears" and "Blade," Epic also sells the "Unreal" game engine that powers those titles. By licensing the Unreal Engine, other developers can save time and money on development by utilizing Epic's software framework.

Epic has regularly appeared at Apple's events when the company introduces new mobile iOS hardware. At this year's unveiling of the third-generation iPad, Epic was on hand to unveil "Infinity Blade: Dungeons," a forthcoming sequel that will take advantage of the A5X processor in the new iPad to feature HDR graphics and tone mapping.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,058member


    I hope this means more app developers will put similar amounts of funding into mobile games as console ones. I know the power difference is big right now but the next gen SGX GPU will be close to the PS360 ones, it's the developer budgets that are lagging (that, and lack of a standard for a physical controller). 

  • Reply 2 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,456member
    THis is the writing on the wall for Microsoft's gaming device.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    Even with a standard for controllers (which, as an iCade fan currently, I would love to see) most people won’t own the controllers. So the best iOS titles will usually be ones that fit the NEW controls, rather than trying to recreate the old. And I’d love to see those with ever bigger budgets!

  • Reply 4 of 26
    tipoo wrote: »
    I hope this means more app developers will put similar amounts of funding into mobile games as console ones. I know the power difference is big right now but the next gen SGX GPU will be close to the PS360 ones, it's the developer budgets that are lagging (that, and lack of a standard for a physical controller). 

    They probably won't put too much more funding into iOS games, since the relatively low development cost is a big reason why Infinity Blade more profitable than Gears.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Now if only we could get Popcap to release a sequel to 'Plants vs Zombies'.

    Talking about dragging your heels after pumping out such a successful first game...
  • Reply 6 of 26
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    gtr wrote: »
    Now if only we could get Popcap to release a sequel to 'Plants vs Zombies'....

    Plants v Zombies in space?
  • Reply 7 of 26
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member


    There's a lot of money to be made in iOS gaming, for those companies that release must have games. We're only going to see more great games coming out for iOS in the future.


     


    And I still think that Nintendo is making a mistake by not releasing their classic titles. They could be raking in the dough right now, or at least the yen. Do you realize how many millions of copies of Mario and their other classic games that they would sell?

  • Reply 8 of 26
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    They probably won't put too much more funding into iOS games, since the relatively low development cost is a big reason why Infinity Blade more profitable than Gears.

    Yeah, the app cost is a big part of this. Epic has made over $40m from Infinity Blade in 1.5 years and the apps are $7 or less.

    The big console titles can cost upwards of $40m to develop but they sell for $40-60 a copy and so a single week of sales where they ship 5-10 million units can net them $500m-1b.

    Not all of that is profit though and the developer might only get 30% with the publisher taking the bulk of the money. In the case of Gears of War, Epic is the developer and Microsoft is the publisher. GoW has sold at least 15 million units so say that's 15m x $40 average price = $600m x 30% = $180m for Epic over 6 years.

    Profit: App Store = $27m/year, XBox = $30m/year. With the development time being far less on the iOS apps, you can see why it's more profitable.

    With the App Store, developers can self-publish and there's no game resale so even with a lower price, having the 70% revenue share, larger audience and instant dowload is paying off.

    I don't think it spells the end of the consoles for a while but it's a sign that the iOS devices can hold their own in the gaming scene beside the dedicated consoles. There are a few AAA franchises on iOS now but not enough IMO and that's where the consoles still have the advantage.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    zeejay21zeejay21 Posts: 28member


    This is good news for Epic Games. I hope the other triple-A game devs are listening. I know that are some indie game devs really wants to create AAA games for iOS but big game companies & publishers often looks at iOS as unimportant to their business - nothing more than just casual games.


     


    A bit of pressure from investors (who I hope has an interest on the gold mine, money-making Apple mobile OS) could change the game companies' perception of iOS gaming status.

  • Reply 10 of 26
    luxom3luxom3 Posts: 96member


    It's a bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.


     


    Playing Infinity Blade is NOT Gears of War. For example:

    1. No campaign - it's the same screen over and over and over again with IB. Slash the monster/creatures. Slash more of them later.

    2. No tactical combat - the opponent just stands there.


     


    To say one game is more profitable than the other is one thing, but to make the jump to saying/implying one game is more "successful" than the other is NOT.



    Take the two games and tally the actual HOURS spent gaming. Night and day.



    My point is you can't compare the two gaming silos of Console versus Casual. Casual is hot right now because it's easy to buy, easy to play. Even if you hate the game, for $.99 you aren't going to call Apple demanding a refund. 

     


    I work in marketing. I know hype when I read it.


    This is hype gents.


     



     


     




     


     

  • Reply 11 of 26
    ifailifail Posts: 463member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post


    It's a bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.


     


    Playing Infinity Blade is NOT Gears of War. For example:

    1. No campaign - it's the same screen over and over and over again with IB. Slash the monster/creatures. Slash more of them later.

    2. No tactical combat - the opponent just stands there.


     


    To say one game is more profitable than the other is one thing, but to make the jump to saying/implying one game is more "successful" than the other is NOT.



    Take the two games and tally the actual HOURS spent gaming. Night and day.



    My point is you can't compare the two gaming silos of Console versus Casual. Casual is hot right now because it's easy to buy, easy to play. Even if you hate the game, for $.99 you aren't going to call Apple demanding a refund. 

     


    I work in marketing. I know hype when I read it.


    This is hype gents.


     



     


     




     


     




    Casual is hot because everyone can jump in on it, on iOS and Android if you own a smartphone you are technically a "gamer". Its why Rovio is raking in more money than these guys are. People care more about quick and easy than they do for quality. If Call of Duty (not zombies) for example made the leap the expectations would be extremely lofty and the amount of money to be spent certainly wouldn't be chump change if you wanted a full blown AAA title, although i think even Activision knows that the real money isnt on mobile, its still on consoles/PCs. 


     


    Also how the hell is DirectX going to be on mobile devices besides the ones that run Windows seeing as how Microsoft owns it? 

  • Reply 12 of 26
    shadowxprshadowxpr Posts: 162member
    Hopefully we will start getting 19.99-29.99$ games on iOS that are more complex. The reason infinity blade makes more is ther are more ios devices than Xbox and the enourmous 100m development costs of AAA consos gamesx IMHO they can have a 25-50million development cost for its an make a lot more money with AAA games on iOS.

    With the yearly upgrade of hardware immobile they already make gaming handhelds with 5-6 year live circles obsolete and I,no will do s to consoles also with 10 live cycles with the same hardware.

    Apple just release a iPhone/iPod controller case and a bluetooth iPad ontroller and take the gaming market over. Look for the beta of Onlive Desktop app on ios with a Bluetooth controller thAt IMHO is the future for apple an why Onlive gaming is available on android but apple has not approve the app.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post


    It's a bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.


     


    Playing Infinity Blade is NOT Gears of War. For example:

    1. No campaign - it's the same screen over and over and over again with IB. Slash the monster/creatures. Slash more of them later.

    2. No tactical combat - the opponent just stands there.


     


    To say one game is more profitable than the other is one thing, but to make the jump to saying/implying one game is more "successful" than the other is NOT.



    Take the two games and tally the actual HOURS spent gaming. Night and day.



    My point is you can't compare the two gaming silos of Console versus Casual. Casual is hot right now because it's easy to buy, easy to play. Even if you hate the game, for $.99 you aren't going to call Apple demanding a refund. 

     


    I work in marketing. I know hype when I read it.


    This is hype gents.


     



     


     




     


     




     


    Marcus Fenix commends you on your comment (very true).


     


    However, he grunts an admission that this does also present an option for gaming developers with less funds to develop successful games for us, and that's a really great thing.

  • Reply 14 of 26
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Yeah, the app cost is a big part of this. Epic has made over $40m from Infinity Blade in 1.5 years and the apps are $7 or less.

    The big console titles can cost upwards of $40m to develop but they sell for $40-60 a copy and so a single week of sales where they ship 5-10 million units can net them $500m-1b.

    Not all of that is profit though and the developer might only get 30% with the publisher taking the bulk of the money. In the case of Gears of War, Epic is the developer and Microsoft is the publisher. GoW has sold at least 15 million units so say that's 15m x $40 average price = $600m x 30% = $180m for Epic over 6 years.

    Profit: App Store = $27m/year, XBox = $30m/year. With the development time being far less on the iOS apps, you can see why it's more profitable.

    With the App Store, developers can self-publish and there's no game resale so even with a lower price, having the 70% revenue share, larger audience and instant dowload is paying off.

    I don't think it spells the end of the consoles for a while but it's a sign that the iOS devices can hold their own in the gaming scene beside the dedicated consoles. There are a few AAA franchises on iOS now but not enough IMO and that's where the consoles still have the advantage.




    When you use accurate numbers, you come up with some excellent posts, and those are quite realistic, although games can drop off further as they age. I'm not surprised that ipad games are that popular. If you get bored with the game quickly, you're out of $7. What's interesting here is that we're talking about a leveraged device that became a good platform because of its enormous audience. I find the ipad more interesting than any of Apple's other devices even though I don't own one. I've used them before. I think they're cool. It's one of those things that I would end up buying and not using. If they come out with a wireless sync to a Canon 1Dx to display cached previews, then I may buy one. I was going to update to a used digital back rather than the canon, but it's much easier to produce spherical hdrs with a dslr type.


     


    Anyway it would be very cool if Apple upped the specs to a point where developers can offer more aggressive ports to the ipad. When it can take the place of a light laptop in storage connectivity and come a little closer in performance, I will buy one. I just don't like to maintain an ever increasing number of electronic devices.

  • Reply 15 of 26
    robotonerobotone Posts: 16member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Epic's 'Infinity Blade' for iOS more profitable than 'Gears of War'


     


    A rather misleading headline..

  • Reply 16 of 26
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member


    DirectX will not be widely available on mobile devices until Windows is. So not sure about that comment.

     

  • Reply 17 of 26
    bluefish86bluefish86 Posts: 115member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post


     


    To say this is the end of console gaming is a stretch...



     


     




     


     




     


    Oh definitely.  But it's the start of a long decline.


     


    The only immediate effect we're going to see is on Nintendo.  They've been focusing so hard on casual gamers, they kind of dug themselves into a hole.  Now instead of innovating, they say "lets make a product more or less identical to our competitors". It has a... touch screen controller that can play with or without a TV!! And a... pro controller with identical functionality to the XBox/PS3 controller!!  They're lying to themselves if they seriously think they can attract "hardcore" gamers away from Microsoft/Sony after alienating them for so long.  And how can they convince people to go out and buy a Wii U with necessary controllers when the Apple TV/iDevice combination is "free" for so many people that already own them?  This is going to have a huge effect on parents (the ones that make buying decisions) and adult casual gamers alike.


     


    My prediction: Wii U will flop, Nintendo will struggle in vain to turn it around.  Finally once they clue in (probably in a few years), we will see their "Virtual Console" and eventually first party games appear on iOS/Android/etc...

  • Reply 18 of 26
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    luxom3 wrote: »
    It's a bit of an Apples to Oranges comparison.

    I work in marketing. I know hype when I read it.
    This is hype gents.

    The Apples to Apples comparisons don't look too good either though:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lego-harry-potter-years-5-7/id501220013?mt=8
    http://www.amazon.com/Lego-Harry-Potter-Years-playstation-vita/dp/B006P5RWCS/

    I'd say the portable consoles will suffer the most from iOS devices.

    Another issue with the big consoles is game selection - while the popular titles are obviously more immersive, they take ages to develop so you get maybe 10-20 big titles on the main consoles and spread out over a long period of time.

    I reckon there has to be a middle ground somewhere.

    I don't like iOS games that last an hour or less but I like the price. I also don't like console games I have to wait 3 years to play and that cost a lot of money.

    There should be a balance in the middle but it runs the risk of being the worst of both. The episodic style of Half-Life wasn't too bad but you can lose track of the story that way. I'm sure the market will find the best compromise but I fear it will side with casual games for the most part. Some consolation is that the competition is large so hopefully it will drive the quality up.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    sr2012sr2012 Posts: 896member


    Go Go Go Epic! The "next-gen" Xbox720 and PS4 nowhere to be seen. PC gaming relegated to niche markets where people care to spend more time tweaking and rectifying errors than playing the game. 


     


    BRING IT ON. DirectX-11-Unreal-Engine-4-quality gaming on iPhone, iPad, Mac and AppleTV. Bye Bye Xbox and PS by 2015.


     


    It is important to note that there are some amazing, amazing developers out there. Batman: Arkham, Deus Ex, Assassin's Creed, Gears, Mass Effect... Just stunning stuff. Get it into Apple ASAP. Apple, bring those devices up to current "hardcore console" level... Boom! Gaming Goes Thermonuclear, and we will put to rest "casual vs hardcore" gaming.


     


    Download and run Uniengine Heaven OpenGL for the MacBook Pro Retina. Run it at full 2880x1800. Now imagine that in an iPad or on your Apple TV by end of 2013. It's almost possible. It may indeed happen.

  • Reply 20 of 26

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    There's a lot of money to be made in iOS gaming, for those companies that release must have games. We're only going to see more great games coming out for iOS in the future.


     


    And I still think that Nintendo is making a mistake by not releasing their classic titles. They could be raking in the dough right now, or at least the yen. Do you realize how many millions of copies of Mario and their other classic games that they would sell?



     


    I would buy Pokemon for iPad. I would pay $10 for it, easy.

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