Epic: cheap app store games are “killing us”

Angry Birds fills Epic Games’ heart with, unironically, anger. Their hatred is not reserved solely for revenge-seeking avians, but pretty much all cheap mobile games, and in particular the dreaded dollar app, which the developer claims will be the death of boxed games.

“If there’s anything that’s killing us [in the traditional games business] it’s dollar apps,” said Epic Games’ Mike Capps. “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.”

“We have not been this uncertain about what’s coming next in the games industry since Epic’s been around for 20 years,” he continued. “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.”

I’ll concede that mobile gaming is helping itself to a bigger slice of the consumer cash pie than ever before, but there’s no way it’s muscling traditional gaming away from the table. You just can’t compare the two. I mean, sure, a $5 handy behind the dumpster at the Popeye’s Chicken will get the job done just as well as an evening with a high price escort, but only one leaves you gently weeping into a 10-piece bucket. The real issue isn’t cost, but value, which is where traditional gaming needs to step it up. That Popeye’s line is only getting longer.