This is when you start wondering if you're in the wrong line of work. In only six months, the popular iOS game Infinity Blade exceeded US$10 million in earnings, according to an Epic Games press release posted today.
The sword-fighting, third-person slasher game was released in December to much acclaim, although a TUAW reviewer experienced some disappointment with it. Many were wowed by the game's rich graphics, which were thought to be impossible on a handheld device like a smartphone. It's now clear that those graphics, combined with the popularity of role-playing games, have made Infinity Blade a hit and lead to Epic Games' impressive take.
Other iOS games have had huge profits before, but what is unique about Infinity Blade's earnings is that it's a relatively "expensive" game at $5.99. Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games, thinks that the success of Infinity Blade proves that iOS games don't have to be über-cheap to be successful.
"Infinity Blade's success proves that triple-A gaming experiences can be hugely successful on iOS and that there is a valuable, pent up demand for premium content like this," he said. It should also be noted that Epic Games netted $10 million, which means the game actually took in over $14.3 million in sales before Apple's 30 percent cut. That's an impressive take on both ends and leaves me wondering why I didn't go into game design.
June 07, 2011
Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment Announce Earnings from Infinity Blade Exceed $10 Million
Critically Acclaimed Game Ushers in New Era of Profitable High-end iOS Development and Generates Demand for Leading Game Engine Technology
CARY, NC AND SALT LAKE CITY, UT, JUNE 07, 2011 - Epic Games, Inc. and its award-winning Salt Lake City-based development studio, ChAIR Entertainment, announce that earnings from ChAIR's Infinity Blade have eclipsed $10 million in the first six months of release and created significant licensing interest in the underlying Unreal Engine 3 technology from developers worldwide.
Powered by Unreal Engine 3, Infinity Blade raises the bar for handheld gaming with stunning visuals and deep gameplay. Epic and ChAIR have released two free updates for the sword-fighting action adventure, Infinity Blade: Deathless Kings, a major expansion of the popular single-player experience, and Infinity Blade: Arena, a large add-on that includes the new Multiplayer and Survival modes.
"It's exciting to see the market so quick to embrace a premier handheld gaming experience such as Infinity Blade, and we couldn't be happier with the warm reception," said Donald Mustard, creative director of ChAIR Entertainment. "Furthermore, Apple has created an exciting, developer-friendly environment for iOS that has opened up many new doors for us."
"Infinity Blade's success proves that triple-A gaming experiences can be hugely successful on iOS and that there is a valuable, pent up demand for premium content like this," said Mark Rein, vice president and co-founder of Epic Games. We have been licensing Unreal Engine 3 very affordably to developers large and small for all kinds of games and applications and we're looking forward to our licensees achieving spectacular results of their own."
In addition to an uptick in Unreal Engine 3 licenses for commercial iOS games, Epic's community behind the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3, dramatically surged upon the release of UDK with iOS support in December 2010. In less than six months, unique installations of UDK more than doubled, rising from 400,000 to more than 800,000.
Launched in December 2010 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, Infinity Blade has received dozens of accolades, winning IGN's 2010 Best iPhone Game mere days after release, with IGN saying, "This is what defines where iOS gaming is going in 2011 and beyond." Infinity Blade went on to win 1UP's Editor's Choice Best iPhone/iPad Game of the Year as well as the Slide to Play and TouchGen Game of the Year awards. Both TouchGen and GamePro deemed the game worthy of their Editor's Choice awards and perfect five-out-of-five star reviews. Pocket Gamer crowned Infinity Blade with its Gold Award, calling it "a gripping blend of intuitive touch controls, engaging role-playing, and sharp graphics." Infinity Blade was also named one of TechCrunch's top apps of the year, Fast Company's '7 Most Innovative iPad Apps' and Top10.com's 'Top 10 iPhone & Android Apps That Changed the World.' In February, Infinity Blade was honored with the 2011 International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) "Excellence in Design" award.
Infinity Blade is available for $5.99 from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, or at http://www.itunes.com/appstore. For additional information, fans can follow @InfinityBlade on Twitter and 'Like' Infinity Blade on Facebook.
About Infinity Blade
Taking handheld gaming to new heights, the graphically intense "Infinity Blade" features adrenaline-fueled sword battles and epic boss fights set in the realm of a fully 3D castle. Powered by Unreal Engine 3, the game's robust single-player mode features an intuitive combat interface and simple touch controls, which enable hardcore and casual gamers alike to engage in fun, furious battles. As play progresses, players gain experience, build stats and earn more powerful items to prepare their knight for the final encounter with the game's nemesis, the God-King. Additional content will be released free of charge via planned updates, including a fully integrated multiplayer mode, which enables players to find friends and other challengers to battle online via Game Center.
About ChAIR Entertainment
Founded in 2005, Salt Lake City-based ChAIR Entertainment is a subsidiary of Epic Games, Inc. Most recently, ChAIR introduced the action, sword-fighting adventure, "Infinity Blade" for iOS. "Infinity Blade" raised the bar of handheld gaming and received numerous Game of the Year and Editor's Choice Awards. Prior to that, ChAIR released the modern and masterful side-scrolling shooter, "Shadow Complex," published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for Xbox LIVE Arcade. The critically acclaimed "Shadow Complex" received multiple E3 and Editor's Choice Awards and was named Game of the Year by more than 40 media outlets. ChAIR is also responsible for the award-winning underwater action-shooter, "Undertow," released in 2007 for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Additional information on ChAIR can be found at http://www.chairentertainment.com. Follow @ChAIRGAMES on Twitter and "Like" ChAIR Entertainment Group on Facebook.
About Unreal Engine 3
The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics, best-of-breed suite of integrated tools and scalability across platforms. Epic Games' research and development continually evolve Unreal Engine 3's highly mature toolset and content pipeline. Unreal Engine 3 is available across multiple platforms including iOS, Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3, PC, Mac and Android. Unreal Engine 3 is designed to accelerate developers' productivity for computer and video games, mobile games and applications, training simulations, 3D visualizations, digital films and animated television shows. Unreal Engine 3 is the current holder and five-time winner of Game Developer magazine's Best Engine award in the US as well as the current holder and three-time winner of Develop magazine's Best Engine award in the UK. Developers can start using Unreal Engine 3 with the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of the engine's award-winning toolset available at http://www.udk.com. Additional information on Unreal Engine 3 can be obtained at http://www.unrealengine.com.
About Epic Games
Epic Games, Inc., based in Cary, NC and established in 1991, develops cutting-edge games and cross-platform game engine technology. The company has created multiple million-selling, award-winning titles in its "Unreal" series, including "Unreal Tournament 3" for PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. Epic's "Gears of War" franchise has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and won more than 50 Game of the Year awards. Epic's Unreal Engine 3 is the five-time winner of and Hall of Fame inductee for Game Developer magazine's Best Engine Front Line Award. Unreal Engine 3 has also held the Develop Industry Excellence Award in its category for the past three years. Additional information about Epic can be obtained at http://www.epicgames.com.
Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Engine, UE3, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.