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Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 27, 2012

Epic Names Infinity Blade Their Most Profitable Franchise Ever

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sat down to talk with Gamasutra and made mention that Infinity Blade is the company’s most profitable game ever. He stated this based on man years invested versus revenue over time.

Sweeney has gotten aboard the idea train that sees free-to-play as the future of gaming, just as Crytek has become convinced. “I agree that this is going to be the way that almost all games will be distributed worldwide,” said Sweeney. “All these western developers spending 30 million to develop these games for dedicated consoles – all of these companies are going to be invading the Asian markets within the next five years or so and they’ll be free-to-play, worldwide, global products. The only way to survive is to go global.”

The Epic exec went on to mention how he is “very, very surprised to see how fast smartphone and tablet devices are improving.” That certainly is the case, and we are seeing more and more advanced games release for devices like the iPhone and iPad, as well as other tablets like the Toshiba Thrive. Both the iOS and Android OS are capable of running some remarkable games for the platform on which they exist.

But to say that Infinity Blade is the most profitable franchise Epic has pushed out? Sweeney even says that the game is more profitable than Gears of War. Really? Gears of War may have taken some time to develop, yes, but with two sequels and a prequel in the works, has it really not made enough money? I’m a devout Gears fan and I know tons of others who are as well, and when I think of gaming, especially core gaming, I think of console and PC. When it comes to mobile gaming I think of titles that I want to play when I’m on the go, or have a couple of minutes to spare. Maybe those mobile titles for tablets can be an exception, but I fail to see how mobile games will be more profitable than core console games at large.

As for the free-to-play model, I’ll agree that it’s successful. A lot of titles out right now are making use of the free-to-play model and it’s working well so far. The thought of major companies pushing all of their games over to free-to-play doesn’t really sit right with me, though. I just can’t see how it would all work out. Would every game just have some cash shop? Would the developers make money by offering DLC? I don’t really know. It’s something worth exploring in time, however.

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