Epic doesn’t believe mobile games need to be sold cheap in order to succeed

By Stephany Nunneley
23 September 2011 18:00 GMT

Epic’s Tim Sweeney believes mobile games don’t have to be sold for pennies on the dollar in order to prosper.

Sweeney pointed to Infinity Blade as an example as it sells for £3.99 and $5.99 and has netted the company over $10 million in revenue.

“Infinity Blade has proven that iPhone owners are hungry for high-end games with cutting-edge graphics,” Sweeney told Forbes.“For a long time, the market was seen as a ‘race to the bottom’ with developers being squeezed into releasing apps for 99 cents or even free. Infinity Blade’s success shows that premium-quality apps can sell for more.

“We’re making significant profit here and, as a result, we’re doubling down on triple-A mobile game development with Unreal Engine 3′s graphical advancements at the centre of our strategy.”

Epic partners with iOS developers who wish to use the firm’s Unreal Engine to create mobile games, and won’t touch the first $50,000 the developer makes so the studio can have more freedom to experiment.

Other than the initial $99 licence fee, Epic takes a 25 percent cut in the profits once the developer garners the first $50K. Apple takes 30 a percent cut of gross revenues.

“In the past, our engine generations have been driven by a particular type of device: PC with Unreal Engine 1 and 2; Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with Unreal Engine 3. Our strategy today is ‘Unreal everywhere’,” he said. “We want to lead the market with an engine that scales across all manner of world-class devices, from mobile platforms like iPhone and Android, to future consoles, and to computers and tablets of all sorts.

“We see great efficiency in a single technology and toolset, as it enables developers to move between projects, platforms, and even companies and bring the full benefit of their experience with them.”

Chair Entertainment, which developed Infinity Blade, is rumored to be working on a new iOS title at the moment.

Thanks, Develop.

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