In an unexpected announcement, Fortnite developer Epic Games is pulling the Infinity Blade mobile game trilogy from the iOS App Store, though the game's legacy will live on "in places you wouldn’t expect," namely Fortnite. The original Infinity Blade was developed by Chair Entertainment in conjunction with Epic Games, and was released on the iOS App Store in 2011. A critical and financial success, the game spawned two sequels, with the most recent entry having released in 2013.
The Infinity Blade games are iOS-exclusive action RPGs that task players with navigating castles and other fantasy locales in an on-rails choose-your-own-adventure, pitting them against a number of giant boss enemies along the way. These boss battles play out like a cross between For Honor and Mike Tyson's Punch-out!, requiring players to block, dodge, and parry incoming blows in order to open enemies up to devastating attacks of their own.
Both Infinity Blade II and III were equally critically successful, and Epic Games' co-founders CEO Tim Sweeney and VP Mark Rein confirmed that the Infinity Blade trilogy was their most profitable IP at one point in terms of time invested versus revenue earned. This fact makes Epic Games' decision to remove the game from the iOS App Store a bit perplexing. No new users will be able to purchase games in the series, though the games will remain available for download to those that own them "for the foreseeable future."
In the same announcement, Epic stated that support for Infinity Blade III will fully cease by the year's end. Even though the studio is not struggling after tapping the cash cow that is Fortnite, it's hard to imagine why they would outright axe the Infinity Blade product line rather than simply halt support and continue to let the money flow in. In the closing of Epic's official announcement, it is cryptically hinted at that the mobile franchise will continue "popping up" in unexpected places. Just beneath that statement is the trailer for Fortnite Season 7, and lo and behold - in it, a character can be seen brandishing Infinity Blade's titular sword.
The unusual removal of the Infinity Blade series now leaves Epic's mobile catalog empty, as their upcoming mobile game Battle Breakers is still in development. One answer as to why the developer has taken this action is that this could be a potential sign that they're looking to make a move into the mobile game distribution market, as this announcement coincides with the recent release of the Epic Games Store for Windows and Mac. If this is the case, it's entirely possible that the Infinity Blade trilogy could see a re-release on Epic's hypothetical mobile platform in the future. Additionally, it's rather interesting to note that the Android version of Fortnite has never been made available on the Google Play Store, and is instead only available on Epic Games' website. If both Android and Apple users could each only download the hyper-popular title in one place, Epic could populate a mobile store with new potential consumers overnight.
Source: Epic Games