Bulletstorm Wasn't Profitable, But Epic Still Proud
Bulletstorm undersold expectations causing Epic to actually lose money on the title.
Despite favorable reviews, including our own, Bulletstorm failed to sell well at retailers and online for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. In fact it sold so poorly, that Epic Games, the game's publisher, actually lost money on the People Can Fly developed title. According to some estimate that game sold around 300,000 copies - averaging about 100k per platform.
Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, has no regrets though with the game.
Would it have been nice to make money on Bulletstorm? Sure. Capps says they could have taken the easy route all along, not done Bulletstorm and gotten People Can Fly, the Epic-owned Polish development studio on that game to just churn out Gears of War content. That's not what he wants those folks doing. That's not what he wants Epic doing.
"The studio has shipped AAA content," he said. "The next thing we do with People Can Fly will be great."
It's actually pretty surprising the game didn't sell that well. We already mentioned the critical success, the game trends around an 83 on Metacritic, definitely a solid score. The game also got to take advantage of the "no news is bad news" syndrome as Fox News continuously attacked the title, one in which video game site Rock Paper Shotgun got involved with. Such high profile exposure usually yields to a small boost in sales.
The key here is the game wasn't actually profitable for Epic, most likely costs of the acquisition of the developer are figured into that. I'm sure it was a learning experience for both sides involved. I know we were disappointed by the lack of a co-op campaign, especially with how fun the game's co-op Anarchy mode is, something we're sure had some effect on sales of the game.