Eye-melting hack'n'slash game Infinity Blade is the fastest-grossing app ever to hit the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Epic Games' fantasy swordplay earned well over £1m in its first four days on sale.
Appmodo took the 271,424 users registered in Apple's Game Center leaderboard after four days and multiplied that by the cost of the game, $5.99 (£3.49 in the UK) to come up with $1,625,830 (£1,025,000). That's a conservative estimate, seeing as how many players won't be registered with Game Center. Epic's co-founder Mark Rein tweeted that, "Game Center numbers can likely be counted on as a minimum anyway."
Those numbers put us in mind of the mainstream media's favourite response to the launch of a new game: that a smash-hit title -- say, Call of Duty: Black Ops -- can make more in its opening weekend than even the biggest smash-hit movie.
CoD: BlOps reportedly took three times as much in the first three days as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's not comparing apples to oranges -- games are more expensive, and can be bought online and in many more shops than there are cinemas -- but it illustrates the size of the gaming industry.
Infinity Blade shows there's serious moolah to be made in the mobile gaming sector -- even on games that cost £3.49. Mobile gaming apps conjure up the idea of one guy coding in a shed, but Infinity Blade can't be further from that cosy image: Epic is the multinational studio behind Gears of War and the Unreal Engine, and Infinity Blade will have cost a pretty penny to achieve its pretty performance.
With millions of quid to be made even from apps that cost just a couple of quid, it's worth the investment -- which explains why Harry Potter also casts a spell on the iPhone and iPad.
Infinity Blade's main strength is its amazing visuals, which make the eye-popping best of the 960x640-pixel retina display on the Apple iPhone 4 and latest iPod touch. The graphics are so impressive they even amazed Apple chief Steve Jobs.
The finger-swiping choppy-stabby game promises a free update that will unlock new helmets, swords, magic rings and other sword 'n' sorcery ephemera in a new Dread Dungeons level.
So there really is gold in them thar computer games, even those funny little mobile games -- Angry Birds recently catapulted to the top end of Apple's charts for high-grossing apps of 2010. We're considering jacking in being the UK's leading technology website to have a crack at making a million quid from a computer game -- look out for CNET UK's Eternity Spade, coming soon.