When it comes to massively successful franchises for this generation of console sales, talking about them long enough will almost certainly drive the discussion past Epic Games’ Gears of War. It’s huge; sequels, books, toys, comics and an upcoming prequel. Gears is big.
In speaking with Gamasutra, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, shed light on the relative success of their biggest franchise.
The topic of conversation floated around developing for specific platforms, and the up-and-coming nature of the mobile world. It was then that Sweeney dropped this exceptionally interesting nugget of information.
“The most profitable game we’ve ever made, in terms of man years invested versus revenue, is actually Infinity Blade. It’s more profitable than Gears of War.”
Sweeney, in one swift comment, essentially highlighted the current problem with AAA game development and publishing: it’s stupid expensive. Publishers shell out around 100 million bucks in order to develop and ship titles like Call of Duty or Gears of War; the problem is that it takes an enormous sales rate in order to overcome that cost and live in the land of profit.
Smartphone games, however, are much cheaper to make, much cheaper to distribute and are available to a much larger audience.
That doesn’t mean that smartphone gaming is taking over (at least in my mind); but, it does mean that the current model of making blockbuster games is exceptionally broken. It needs fixing. Badly.