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Is Epic embracing the free-to-play model for its iPhone games?

By on June 15, 2011

Epic Games’ Mark Rein has been an outspoken defender of premium-priced content on iOS.

After all, these are the guys who launched Infinity Blade at a price point of $5.99. Mark has been known to declare:

“AAA isn’t going away; it’s going everywhere”

I’ve often disagreed with Mark, but we appear to be coming closer together in our thinking. At the GoGoGames conference in Gateshead, he said:

“We won’t make the mistake of not having IAP at a game launch again”


“We see IAP as a way of selling more games for less and widening our audience.”

Infinity Blade screenshot
Infinity Blade - Chair Entertainment Group, LLC

Epic sells packs of gold for the game, via in-app-purchases, priced at $1, $5, $20 and $50, a whale-style strategy if ever I’ve seen one. 33.5% of Infinity Blade’s revenue came from IAP.

That’s total revenue. The IAP was not introduced until two weeks after the game was released. Since then, IAP has represented almost half of the total revenue for the game. (43.7%) has estimated that Infinity Blade has generated $7.5 million in sales, of which $2.5 million came from IAP.

So how long before Epic starts giving its games away for free and monetising them exclusively through IAP?

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: