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Infinity Blade hacks and slashes its way to a million quid in first four days

Eye-melting hack'n'slash game Infinity Blade is the fastest-grossing app ever to hit the iPhone, raking in well over £1m in its first four days.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read
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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.