Epic: Infinity Blade "More Successful" than Shadow Complex

Epic: Infinity Blade "More Successful" than Shadow Complex

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One of Epic's critically-acclaimed downloadable games was more successful than the other. (Hint: It wasn't the one on XBLA).

2009's Shadow Complex for XBLA was a pretty damn good game, and one of the best-selling XBLA titles of the year. 2010's Infinity Blade for iOS was also a pretty damn good game, and the fastest-selling iOS app ever. Both were developed by Chair as a part of Epic Games, and both were successful hits in their own right.

One, however, was a bit more successful than the other. Speaking with Joystiq, Epic's Mark Rein disclosed that Infinity Blade was "hugely" successful, much more so than Shadow Complex. Rein didn't divulge whether or not he was speaking in terms of download numbers or in terms of profitability, however.

So, our colleagues over at Joystiq did the math: If Rein was talking pure sales, Infinity Blade would have had to sell at least 545,024 copies to beat the number of players on the Xbox Live leaderboards for Shadow Complex. If he was talking revenue - which seems more likely - then Infinity Blade at $5.99 would have had to sell approximately 1,362,557.5 copies to equal the revenue from Shadow Complex's 545,000 sales at $15.

Either way, this just goes to show just how profitable mobile gaming can be in this day and age - if a heavily-marketed and hugely-successful Xbox Live title from a well-known studio can't best a(n admittedly record-setting) iOS game, what incentive do studios have to stay with the former over the latter?

(Joystiq)

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Infinity Blade sold more because it's impressive,especially for an ios app,but they did use a lot of "out of the box" textures (I.E.The location is exactly the same one from Epic Citadel)

Plenty, considering not every app will be infinity blade. Loaded question, simple answer.

I just bought infinity blade today (it's on sale) and while ive only played it briefly so far I can say it's pretty good with breathtaking graphics for the platform. Infinity blade is one of those milestone games on the platform that really push the boundary of the iOS. Sort o like how Crysis set the bar for visuals on the PC.

I wish people would realize that if you just price something down a bit you will probably get more then enough sales to counter the lower profit for each unit

I've played it but besides the graphics it isn't all that special (IMO). The combat seemed a bit too.....QTEy.

It's fun and the added Content Pack #2 rekindled my love for the game!

This just in: Game X makes more money than game Y.

Why exactly is this news, I know both games are pretty successful but, so what?

I can't wait for the multiplayer update. I love the fact that this game is getting so much post release support.

I haven't played Shadow Complex, but I will say that Infinity Blade is a very good game.

Cool news bro, but I think the Joystiq dudes are simplifying it too much. He may have meant profit, which means you'd have to subtract each game's respective development cost from the totals they conjured up. And both Microsoft and Apple take a cut out of things sold on their platforms, don't they?

John Funk:

So, our colleagues over at Joystiq did the math: If Rein was talking pure sales, Infinity Blade would have had to sell at least 545,024 copies to beat the number of players on the Xbox Live leaderboards for Shadow Complex. If he was talking revenue - which seems more likely - then Infinity Blade at $5.99 would have had to sell approximately 1,362,557.5 copies to equal the revenue from Shadow Complex's 545,000 sales at $15.

Another thing to consider and what I believe is that he may be talking about the actual profit made from Infinity Blade. It would most likely have been considerably cheaper to make. If it had a lower break even point due to the development cost they could have required them to sell less copies then you suggest. There are really alot of other factors to consider as well especially how big of a cut apple and microsoft are taking out of that.

Regardless of what he is talking about it does prove how profitable mobile gaming really is.

Worgen:
I wish people would realize that if you just price something down a bit you will probably get more then enough sales to counter the lower profit for each unit

That works right up until you make less and less on more and more until you make nothing on everything.

Selling in volume is harder than imagined, and margin, once surrendered, can never be recovered. There's a reason companies avoid the race to the bottom.

That said, yes, the App Store does have a broad enough base to make products viable at lower price points.

Alphakirby:
Infinity Blade sold more because it's impressive,especially for an ios app,but they did use a lot of "out of the box" textures (I.E.The location is exactly the same one from Epic Citadel)

I like to think of Epic Citadel as a teaser trailer. Show off the engine, the game potential, get people interested before the actual game.

I can tell you that IB has nearly 1,000,000 registered used on Game Center, so that seems about right.

Personally, I was so dissapointed with IB. The first playthrough is fun. The second is quite good. But then every repetition after that was just a painful grind. Not only that but the new content is only accessible if you have one of the most expensive weapons in the game. You either grind forever, or purchase gold from the in game store with real money. It's a real let down.

Shadow Complex on the other hand was fantastic! I could honestly play that game for hours, it's such a laugh to play with grenades and foam =D

Narcogen:

Worgen:
I wish people would realize that if you just price something down a bit you will probably get more then enough sales to counter the lower profit for each unit

That works right up until you make less and less on more and more until you make nothing on everything.

Selling in volume is harder than imagined, and margin, once surrendered, can never be recovered. There's a reason companies avoid the race to the bottom.

That said, yes, the App Store does have a broad enough base to make products viable at lower price points.

I still think games would make much more money if they were only 30 bucks, more people would buy new since used would only be so much cheaper and the used market would be smaller since you would get less back for them

Competition is the key factor not discussed. These games don't exist in a vacuum. They exist side by side with other games releasing at the same time. XBLA games since Shadow Complex have to deal with new stiff competition almost every other week while the iOS market might see a title of comparable quality monthly at best. This could explain the way some games are runaway hits while everything else fills a the giant vat of the iOS market that is pure digital poo for all we care.

Also the XBLA platform really helps to rarefy releases so each title has a chance at some dedicated advertising time. The iOS market resorts to it's own userbase sifting through the content and viral marketing from the grassroots. This means that your chance of scoring record sales on iOS is up the chance that enough people risked the unknown on your game instead of some other title.

Take the Angry Birds phenomenon. It's just a flash game using modeled physics to knock over structures. That game has been done many times previous to Angry Birds yet you hear nothing about Crush the Castle or Demolition City (Check out Armorgames.com) Why spend money on a crapshoot when you can spend money on something you can control?

The iOS is a cesspool of filth that needs to be sifted to dredge up something great. XBLA has evolved into something that will give your game a fighting chance despite it's quality but with heavy restrictions on developers. Perhaps Steam is the happy medium here? I hate to say it but there is something advantageous for everyone where Steam is concerned. My only growing concern with Steam is that it's run by a game dev and not a 3rd party interested exclusively in providing a content delivery system.

You also need to factor in that Infinity Blade may have been a lot less expensive to develop.

lol it sold .5 of a copy. Infinity Blade looks really good....just wish I had an Ipod Touch or an Iphone to play it on.

Wonder how many people bought the app just so they could show everyone else the level of cool graphics that an iPhone / iPad can produce.

Worgen:

Narcogen:

Worgen:
I wish people would realize that if you just price something down a bit you will probably get more then enough sales to counter the lower profit for each unit

That works right up until you make less and less on more and more until you make nothing on everything.

Selling in volume is harder than imagined, and margin, once surrendered, can never be recovered. There's a reason companies avoid the race to the bottom.

That said, yes, the App Store does have a broad enough base to make products viable at lower price points.

I still think games would make much more money if they were only 30 bucks, more people would buy new since used would only be so much cheaper and the used market would be smaller since you would get less back for them

That isn't how secondary markets work, though. Used games are almost pure margin, and a 50% reduction in the starting price has very little impact on it. If new games cost $60, and gaming stores pay $10-$30 for used copies at trade-in and resell them for $30-$50, then moving the initial price point to $30 will just move the used buy price to $5-$15 and the used sell price to $10-$20. Used sellers are still getting back about the same percentage of their initial outlay, used buyers are still getting a significant discount, and used resellers are still making a good percentage return on a marginal business that requires no additional facilities, existing cheap labor, and small amounts of capital-- actually no capital for places who only give in-store credit.

The shift in pricing has to be much more dramatic. The OP is talking about futher drops from XBLA prices ($10-$20) to App Store prices ($1-$5). Only when you get down that far are the margins too thin to support a secondary market. Of course, for downloads, there is no secondary market to worry about anyway-- at least, no legitimate one.

Narcogen:

Worgen:

Narcogen:

That works right up until you make less and less on more and more until you make nothing on everything.

Selling in volume is harder than imagined, and margin, once surrendered, can never be recovered. There's a reason companies avoid the race to the bottom.

That said, yes, the App Store does have a broad enough base to make products viable at lower price points.

I still think games would make much more money if they were only 30 bucks, more people would buy new since used would only be so much cheaper and the used market would be smaller since you would get less back for them

That isn't how secondary markets work, though. Used games are almost pure margin, and a 50% reduction in the starting price has very little impact on it. If new games cost $60, and gaming stores pay $10-$30 for used copies at trade-in and resell them for $30-$50, then moving the initial price point to $30 will just move the used buy price to $5-$15 and the used sell price to $10-$20. Used sellers are still getting back about the same percentage of their initial outlay, used buyers are still getting a significant discount, and used resellers are still making a good percentage return on a marginal business that requires no additional facilities, existing cheap labor, and small amounts of capital-- actually no capital for places who only give in-store credit.

The shift in pricing has to be much more dramatic. The OP is talking about futher drops from XBLA prices ($10-$20) to App Store prices ($1-$5). Only when you get down that far are the margins too thin to support a secondary market. Of course, for downloads, there is no secondary market to worry about anyway-- at least, no legitimate one.

its not really about what the stores will do, its all about how much a customer will pay for something new and shiny and how much they are willing to sell something for, a 30 dollar game will only be bought from a place like gamestop for like 10 bucks even at launch probably, I dont know about you but there are very few games I would be willing to sell for only 10 bucks

I'd like to see how Angry Birds did compared to these.

 

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