1 million copies later, ‘Bulletstorm’ fails to turn profit for Epic Games

Despite its array of skillshots, a positive Metacritic rating, and access to the Gears of War 3 beta on Xbox 360, Bulletstorm “didn’t make money” for Epic Games, according to studio head Mike Capps.

bulletstorm 1 300x163 1 million copies later, Bulletstorm fails to turn profit for Epic Games

We loved the bombastic, creative and colorful shooter from People Can Fly, but apparently the title failed to turn a profit for Epic. In its first month of release, it almost cracked the 300,000 unit barrier and “under-performed.  According to our research, Bulletstorm has gone on to sell 1.06million copies across all platforms, which is far from a failure for a brand new IP.

Later this summer, Mike Capps has the honor of keynoting Europe’s Game Developers Conference. The title? “Size Doesn’t Matter: How Epic Brings AAA Attitude to Every Game, from Gears of War 3 to Infinity Blade.” Speaking to Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo, Capps explained that the intention of the talk is to dispel the myth that Epic has unlimited resources and sky-high budgets; on the contrary, Epic brings the AAA experience to their titles even with the monetary ceilings and staff restraints.

But wait, over 1 million copies and not a dime of profit? In this generation of established shooters like Call of Duty, much more goes into a game’s budget than simply its development and manufacturing. EA, the parent publisher for Bulletstorm, typically spends at least 66% of a game’s budget on marketing alone.

Let’s hope this all doesn’t deter Epic Games from taking risks on new IPs. After all, Infinity Blade for iOS has now generated over $10million in sales and is a resounding success for the company. Then again, its budget was probably considerably less than Bulletstorm’s. Thankfully Capps has an optimistic attitude: “The next thing we do with People Can Fly will be great.”

About Jason Evangelho

Jason is VGW’s founder, publisher, and longtime podcaster, writer, and “solopreneur” who is driven by the classic Jello Biafra quote “Don’t hate the media. Become the media.” You can hear him ranting alongside the VGW Collective in the site’s official podcast, “Unlimited Ammo.”


  1. I thought this game was a complete waste. Hell even the idea of it was horrid to me. But that’s just my opinion, i do not understand one bit why someone would want to play the same damn shit over and over and over. Now with a group of friends it makes since competing for high score or best kill, that makes since but not ever in a single player fashion. To say that this didn’t make them money and they are ok with that, to me, that’s BS. Unless you knew from the get go that it was going to tank and that’s why you bundled that beta with it.

  2. 66% on marketing is way too much. Marketers aren’t the ones making the games but yet they get more budget than the devs? Has the world gone mad? We don’t need more ads on TV, we need better games.

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