689011_largerLast week was the 5-year anniversary of Apple's App Store, and to celebrate they coordinated with various developers to offer a selection of 10 different apps and games for free during the week. One of the games that was on offer was Epic and Chair's Infinity Blade II [$5.99], which was free for the very first time ever.

According to an article from AllThingsD, the promotion was quite the success for Infinity Blade II, and the game saw 5.7 million new players in the seven days it was offered for free. A big portion of those new players, 1.7 million of them, came on the very first day the game's price dropped, Monday July 8th.

However, if you think that all these millions of downloads has directly translated into millions of dollars in profit through people buying in-app purchases in Infinity Blade II, that's not necessarily the case. Not just yet, anyway. As Chair's publicist Laura Mustard stated in an email to AllThingsD regarding IAP revenue, “While we normally notice an increase at times when we’ve done free promotions, we don’t think it’s significant, because the game is balanced in a way that does not require any IAP.”

I have to imagine that a good portion of the nearly 6 million new players will eventually buy themselves some in-game coins through IAP, but that's not the only benefit to offering a game like Infinity Blade II for free and having a huge influx of new players. Mustard also noted that sales of the original Infinity Blade [$5.99] were 2.5 times higher than they were in the previous, pre-freebie week, and that sales of 'Infinity Blade: Awakening', an e-book based in the Infinity Blade universe that sells for $2.99, was also up roughly 70% during the promotion week.

The App Store is a weird place. Sometimes giving something as excellent as Infinity Blade II away for free can reap benefits in ways other than direct revenue, but it sure seems like having an internationally recognized brand, large publisher like Epic, and Apple's featuring all on your side is imperative to make something like this worthwhile. With Infinity Blade: Dungeons now officially cancelled, I'll really be looking forward to whatever is in store next for the Infinity Blade series.


  • maniacfive

    Dunno if that logic of 'will eventually buy coins' stands true. I was bored of IB2 looooooong before I felt the news to contemplate any IAP.

    The much lauded 'it changes as you play through repeatedly' never struck me as much of a draw. Change was too slow and the game itself not different enough from IB1 to hold me.

    I suppose new players might feel differently. But IB1 has been cheap/free before I'm sure. So people aren't exactly going in blind.

    • XboxOne

      Infinity Blade 1 was free at one time.

  • Earth Vs. Me

    This is great news, as it sends a clear message to Epic that Infinity Blade is still a viable property. It would be awful for a series as iconic as this to remain idle; Infinity Blade did for iOS gaming what Super Mario 64 did for the N64, and what Halo did for the XBOX. It completely defined the platform as a gaming system.

    • pauldavidmerritt

      I will have to completely agree with recognition as a 'console defining game', along with Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. Props to Epic for a definitive release. I'm not surprised IB2 received such a big download response during their free promotion offer. Epic deserves the profit increase they get proceeding the freebie period.

      • araczynski

        All relative I guess, if by 'defining' you're implying 'repetitive tech demo' then yes, I'd agree. If by 'defining' you're meaning 'a must have' then I'd say hardly.

      • MrAlbum

        I believe that the general use of "defined" is "Encapsulates the platform it came out on, for its time." Super Mario 64 defined the image of the N64. Halo: CE defined the image of the original XBOX. Sure, future releases did not stick to those blueprints made by those games, but those games became connected to their systems and dominated the culture's perception of said systems as a result. In that context, IB 1 defined the image of iOS gaming.

        Whether a game "defines" a system has nothing to do with its quality; it just has to hold true to the defining characteristics of the platform it comes out on. Much like how D&D defines paper & pen role playing games, even though there are better and more interesting p&p systems out there IMO.

        That's how I see it. Make of it whatever you will.

      • pauldavidmerritt

        araczynski, you made completely wrong assumptions on the topic of a 'defining' game. And, I see you had a few other pigs try to fly off that cliff with you whom 'liked' you shallow, unintelligent bashing. Grab a dictionary and do some research, maybe?

    • Decoy_Octopus

      Rolando did for IOS gaming what Mario did for the N64

  • Adams Immersive

    Then there are people like me who are still making time to get through other games (including IB1)--or are waiting for a device with more space--and have therefore been holding off on IB2. I grabbed it anyway, thanks to this promotion, and I will play it eventually. But I haven't played it yet, and so I assume am not counted among the 6 million. I bet that 6 million number will keep rising for quite a while to come, as more and more of the people who downloaded it finally actually play it. It won't have to be more than a fraction of them who buy IAP for this to be a big win for the developers!

    • Jerutix

      I'll bet you are counted in that 6 million. I also downloaded it finally during the promotion, but quit playing less that 10 minutes in. Just not my cup of tea anymore. My guess is that 6 million is actually just the download numbers. While they surely gained new players, I would guesstimate that over half of those will never play the game more than 1 hour.

  • curtneedsaride

    I thought Infinity Blade Dungeons would have went over REALLY well. Even though it's not my favorite style of game, I would have bought it and made room for it!

    But I'd love to see an Infinity Blade JRPG with turn-based combat and exploration. We could still swipe to attack, but having turn-based combat would allow for a more casual, relaxing experience where I wouldn't have to have my eyes glued to the screen.

    Make that, and you can have my wallet.

  • Living Legend

    Hopefully this will open the eyes of epic so that a new one may come out.

  • tinkie277

    IAP needs destroying along with the person who thought of it!

  • yaboyrasp

    One of my fav games

  • whitestatic

    I liked this game when it was called Pacific Rim.

  • Jake7905

    It's amazing that with all of the cheap Infinity Blade clones available (including the awful Pacific Rim), none of them get the controls right.

    To me, the accuracy of the controls is what makes the Infinity Blade series the best of it's genre, and the only games of this type worth playing.

    • Reignmaker

      I thought the Avengers game did a good job. Other than that though, it's pretty much IB and everyone else.

  • fenderbendr

    It just goes to show how cheap many iOS gamers are.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      If people dload it that weren't interested in it, but they see it's free and are curious, that doesn't mean they're cheap. The game might be outside of their interest or they might not be the target market (ie not males between 12-40).

  • Morgan01

    I bought both of the Infinity Blades, but just couldn't get into the repetitiveness of them.

  • readysetboom

    I played both ib games. They are boring and repetitive and this type of game should end and never be revisited.

  • Kirs

    Mobile AAA title....free
    You Don't Say?

  • Wizard_Mike

    So they gained a massive amount of potential IAP users when it went free? Sweet! Nothing like reinforcing that freemium model. Next Infinity Blade will just be free from the get go with horrendously outlandish IAP. I'm not really seeing a win here...

    Pardon my cynicism.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Apple probably paid them to make the app free for a few days to hype their anniversary. I don't think this is a vote for freemium.
      But it does show that the general pricing model may be flawed -- freemium shines IMO when you get to play a little bit & see if you like it, then they say 'to unlock the rest of the game is $ X". But they should say that clearly from the beginning and the game should be clearly indicated as 'free to try'.
      The IAP model is ok if it's that way, I think. (Uh oh, am I going to get flamed on TA now? HA HA)
      But (got to defend myself from flame attacks) the idea that I'd spend $5 or more on a game that I bought, or even that is free, is next to zero. I have never paid for IAP on any game, but I have bought several games for between $1 - $3.
      Worse than the 'sneaky sheister' feeling of IAP, I think many people that spend money for IAP 'in-game items' (and similar value-less junk) feel embarassed and bad about themselves. A friend recently confided he'd spent $2 on a 'flaming sword' in a game he plays, and it made him stop playing.

  • Cesar Ramirez

    bunch of cheapskates!

    ...Guilty! xD

  • Jef Crisis

    I got it cos it was free. played it once. got to the second baddie. snore! not my cup of tea. looks nice tho.

  • Mess

    I originally bought this game almost the moment I got my 4S. Played it for a couple of days and got bored of it. Played it again for a bit when the online bit was introduced (can't remember what it was called now) but ultimately got bored with it again. For me just swiping the screen wasn't really good enough - I really wanted to be able to walk around freely in the world they made.

    TBH I wasn't even aware there was IAP's in this game, so I wouldn't be surprised if the people that picked it up for nothing don't notice either!