Infinity Blade racked up tons of accolades and significant sales when it hit Apple’s App Store last year. (I loved it.) The touch action/RPG hybrid stands out as one of the best-looking and sharpest-feeling games on iOS, and Android users have surely been holding their breath for their chance to take on the GodKing’s ogres and hedge knights.
Epic execs say it’s time to exhale, but not in a good way. Turns out the hit iOS game isn’t coming to Android at all. It’s not that devices running Google’s mobile OS aren’t powerful enough, but that only some of them have what it takes.
Call it “Android fragmentation,” it rears its head too often, says Epic exec Mark Rein. Rein tells Gizmodo that, “When a consumer gets the phone and they wanna play a game that uses our technology, it’s got to be a consistent experience, and we can’t guarantee that [on Android]. That’s what held us off of Android.” Also: The company’s leadership believes that Apple’s iOS ecosystem is “the best place to make money” in the smartphone gaming space.
As more graphics-heavy, console-style games aim to hit smartphones, considerations like memory and OS standardization–not to mention potential profit margins–will influence how and who develops for each platform. And while games using Epic’s Unreal Engine are already on Android, it’s telling that the developer itself has decided to withhold the crown jewel of its handheld development efforts from a major portable platform.