Despite receiving many positive reviews and stirring up a ton of controversy, Epic Games and People Can Fly’s over the top action-heavy shooter Bulletstorm was not a financial success. This news comes straight from Mike Capps, president of Epic Games.
Bulletstorm was something of a parody of the shooter genre, as demonstrated by the Duty Calls trailer and accompanying free-to-play game. Wisely, Bulletstorm never itself never took itself too seriously, instead focusing on solid, innovative gameplay and grandiose amounts of vulgarity, which ultimately got it in trouble with Fox News.
Despite receiving a huge marketing campaign as well as many incentives for potential purchasers (such as access to the Gears of War 3 beta), Bulletstorm failed to meet Epic Games‘ financial expectations. Speaking to Kotaku, Capps said simply that the game, “didn’t make money for us.”
Fortunately, there is a silver lining: Capps believes that People Can Fly put out an amazing title, and that he can’t wait to see what the studio does next.
“The studio has shipped AAA content, the next thing we do with People Can Fly will be great.”
While it would have been easy for Epic to have People Can Fly focus on something more traditional (i.e., Gears of War content, mobile games like ChAIR’s Infinity Blade), Capps remains happy that they took the risks they did. Take, for instance, the skillshots that Bulletstorm introduced. Focused on rewarding gamers for their creativity by giving them points for each kill made, the skillshots awarded ever more points for ever more creative kills. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to sell the public on the game.
Finally, as with Homefront, Bulletstorm is an example of an original IP that found it difficult to compete with other, more established, franchises. It released very close to the competition, with titles like LittleBigPlanet 2 and Dead Space 2 hitting store shelves around the same time, and Killzone 3 releasing literally the same day.
Did you pick up Bulletstorm when it released back in February, and if so, were you glad you did? Are you surprised that the title wasn’t more successful?