What. The. Fuck. Seriously. What the fuck. Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, just casually announced that they’ve closed Impossible Studios. This is the team responsible for Infinity Blade Dungeons, and therefore the development of the game is now on hold. Again: What the fuck. It’s not like Infinity Blade Dungeons is one of the most anticipated mobile titles and that it was expected to be available already a long time ago.
So, to me there are several things happening here that are “interesting”. First of all, let’s look at Infinity Blade Dungeons. This game was presented on-stage by Apple, undoubtedly to appeal to the hardcore gaming crowd to get them pumped for the new Apple devices. It was a product demo, promising to show us what we would get if we buy that powerful new device. In the past, this would mean that either the game was already out, or that its release was imminent. So that’s why everyone got all excited to get their hands on Infinity Blade Dungeons. Because, well, that’s just how it works when something is teased at an Apple keynote. That’s almost a year ago now. By the end of 2012, Epic said the game would be released sometime “in 2013″. And, as was established at the beginning of this article, it’s now on indefinite hold.
So that was just stating the facts. Now let’s talk about Epic Games themselves. This is where I want to state very clearly upfront that this is pure speculation on my part and that I do not have any information backing up these thoughts I’m having of the “state of Epic Games”. Alright, now that hopefully no one is going to sue me let’s talk about said state of Epic. Currently, something seems to be going wrong at that company. Senior staff who have been working at Epic for ages were leaving (Cliff Bleszinski being arguably the most prominent one). Highly anticipated (and therefore most likely very profitable) games not being released. The rumors about the now infamous Samaritan tech demo actually having been developed as a game, which then faced major problems during development and, because of it, never turned into a real game. The closing of development studios.
Is it just me, or does that sound like things are not so great at Epic Games right now? Of course, there’s still the very strong licensing arm that Epic has. However, with the next console generation around the corner, it’s not clear whether or not the Unreal Engine will also be the major player in a world of Playstation 4s and Xbox720s like it was this generation.
So what do I want to say with this? Not much, really. Just that Epic Games seems to be in a bit of a struggle at the moment. By no means must this mean it’s a struggle for survival. But it’s most definitely a struggle of some sort. Let’s hope they sort it out. I do want me some Infinity Blade Dungeons, after all.