Gears of War Developer: 99-Cent Apps Are 'Killing Us'

By James Brightman

The games industry has changed drastically in just the last few years alone. Mobile gaming, social gaming, free-to-play, motion controllers – there are tons of avenues for game makers to follow, but knowing which horse to bet on is very difficult. Mike Capps, president of Unreal Engine creator Epic Games, told IndustryGamers that he thinks it’s a scary time in the traditional games business.

“We have not been this uncertain about what’s coming next in the games industry since Epic’s been around for 20 years. We’re at such an inflection point. Will there be physical distribution in 10 years or even five? Will anyone care about the next console generation? What’s going on in PC? Can you make money on PC if it’s not a connected game? What’s going on in mobile?

“Tons of really scary things… It used to be, ‘Well, of course PlayStation 3 will be successful because PS2 was amazingly successful.’ But can you say for sure that you know everyone’s going to jump to the next generation? I sure hope so – I’m going to try to make some great tech that will make everyone want to. But it’s scary,” Capps told us.

While Epic has been a huge supporter of the iPhone and iPad with Infinity Blade (and an SDK for iOS), Capps does see the wave of 99-cent apps as a major threat.

“If there’s anything that’s killing us [in the traditional games business] it’s dollar apps,” he lamented. “How do you sell someone a $60 game that’s really worth it … They’re used to 99 cents. As I said, it’s an uncertain time in the industry. But it’s an exciting time for whoever picks the right path and wins.” 

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