Epic CEO: iPad 3 Approaching PS3 Levels Of Performance, Profit Differences Between Infinity Blade And Gears Of War


Tim Sweeney, at GDC Taipei, has talked at length about his company Epic and how he feels the future of gaming is heading. The CEO started by reaffirming that they are “dedicated to console” and that they “develop the kinds of games [they] want to play – big games with guns and chainsaws.”


He discussed at length the latest Unreal Engine (which you can read more about at the link below) but soon moved onto technology convergence and, in particular, the publishing efforts that resulted in the Infinity Blade series on iPad.

“The most profitable game we’ve ever made,” he said, “in terms of man years invested versus revenue, is actually Infinity Blade. It’s more profitable than Gears of War.”

“Nowadays the high end of the game business is in these console game,” he said. “Activision invests almost $100 million per year in Call of Duty.” Gamasutra quotes Sweeney as saying Epic have been “very very surprised to see how fast smartphone and tablet devices are improving” and says that the iPad 3 is approaching PS3 and Xbox 360 levels of performance.

He firmly believes the market and business models will be changing soon too.

“North American and European developers are far, far behind the state of the art Asian business models,” he said. “We’ve been building these games like Gears of War where you go into the store and you buy a piece of plastic! You just buy this DVD. That is going to change rapidly.”

It’s well worth a read.

Source: GamaSutra.



  1. Infinity Blade is good but is it Gears good? Answer = no.

    Besides just because the profit % is better on ipad doesn’t mean much if the actual money made is still far less than say gears etc.

    Epic can just go bone ipads then :)

  2. I don’t get why he’s used COD as an example. Yes, Acti pour millions into the franchise, but it ends up raking in billions as a franchise. I get the tablet games can be fast and profitable to make, but they won’t reach the the numbers that COD, BF3 etc enjoy.

    • I’m not quite sure what point he’s trying to get across by saying that Activision pours $100m into each COD game, but what I think he’s trying to saying is that it is very difficult to compete with those big budget games and still reap a good profit from it. What it looks like he’s hinting at is that there’s more money to be made in iPad games than console games. However, Epic is still console gaming company. I could be wrong though…

      An interesting point he makes though is that “North American and European developers are far, far behind the state of the art Asian business models.” Which seems ironic considering the earlier in the day saying that “Sony Financial Report Shows 95 Billion Yen Deficit”. I know it might not be true for Asian game developers but it made me laugh.

      • He’s speaking in terms of online based, free to play or freemium games. It’s better expressed in the full article.

  3. looking forward to Uncharted graphics game there making.

    EPIC have been kissing Apples bum for a long time now.

  4. yeah yeah Tim heard it all before unreal is the best engine ipad the best console.
    change the record.

    • He doesn’t even go on about that. What a strange reply. He’s merely pointing out how the industry is changing and how that affects his company. Makes perfect sense. :-\

  5. “iPad 3 is approaching PS3 and Xbox 360 levels of performance”

    Approaching PS3 level, so not there yet & PS4 is out next year…

    Give me my consoles.

    • Also PS3 and XBox are 6 & 7 years old respectively and cost half the price of an ipad.

  6. As much as I like the idea of iPad games and stuff, they are no where near the immersive and fun factor of a console game. Yes perhaps its better for companies just starting out as the layout costs are less compared to how much they could profit, but consoles wont be fading out soon.

  7. Most games on mobile devices have style, but no substance. And storage space is an issue as well.

  8. They may be more profitable on a man hours to revenue ratio but there are only so many games people can play. The tablet market will be littered with free to play games that can be played over and over again (like tetris). There simple won’t be the size of market to get the actual profit a gears game can on a console. If everyone is making games that make little financial profit then no one will make much, it’ll just be less risky

  9. I hate how some are always trying to push this ‘tablet gaming is the future’ agenda. Yes the games are cheaper… right now. But they’re not the same experience you get as with AAA console titles. If they are indeed coming to the level of PS360 games with the next iPad do they thing games are going to stay this cheap? Probably not. The truth is tablet gaming is not the future, but rather part of the vast future of gaming. I do not believe console gaming will go anywhere, just as PC gaming did not when consoles appeared. All we have seen with the creation of mobile gaming [not to be confused with portable gaming] is the creation of a new market and a broadening of the gaming world/community as a whole. I don’t care how good tablets get. They could surpass the current gen consoles and I still woudn’t switch to mobile gaming simply because I prefer the console experience… plus, they do not have buttons. How are you supposed to playa game like COD on an iPad?

  10. The comparison between consoles and portable gaming isn’t fair as they simply have different purposes. Phone and tablet gaming serve as a micro-session pick up and play market that also cashes in on non-traditional gamers who happen to buy a game on their tablet or phone, the potential audience is larger, the development and distribution costs are lower and while I won’t say that the quality is lower also, it is certainly different to that of a typical console or PC game.

    The key thing is that devs like Epic like that they can knock out a game pretty quick and have a huge potential market because of the non-dedicated nature of tablets and phones.

    Jack of all trades, master of none – product history tends to show though that a device dedicated to one function performs that function better than one that performs many.

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