Failing as a game developer can be a rather frightening thing. When your big budget product doesn't turn a profit, the general consensus is that you may be on the chopping block. Go ahead and ask the former developers of Bizarre Creations, or Black Rock Studio how understanding their publishers were when their labors failed to deliver big sales numbers. And then feel free to buy them a drink. It's the least you can do.
Epic Games apparently doesn't think the way most publishers do, possibly because they have been in the development game themselves for so long. In speaking to Kotaku late last week, Epic president Mike Capps made it clear that they stand behind the products they believe in, whether they make money or not.
In this case, Capps was specifically referencing Bulletstorm, the gleefully immature first-person shooter Epic co-developed alongside the Polish development studio it recently acquired, People Can Fly. Though the game came close to cracking 300,000 units in its first month, Bulletstorm hasn't earned back its hefty budget at this juncture, and seemingly is destined to forever exist within the dreaded "red" zone.
That said, Capps had no interest in putting any sort of blame on People Can Fly. Bulletstorm might not have made any money, but Capps believes in the studio, stating that Epic has no interest in using them to simply churn out additional Gears of War content, and rather expects big things from them.
"The studio has shipped AAA content," he said. "The next thing we do with People Can Fly will be great."
Capps plans to further tout Bulletstorm, and the other various IPs at Epic Games at next month's GDC Europe, giving a talk called "Size Doesn't Matter: How Epic Brings AAA Attitude to Every Game, from Gears of War 3 to Infinity Blade." It's a catchy title, and certainly should make for interesting listening for anyone who wants to understand Epic's approach to making games. Still, it could have used a little more dicktits, if you ask me.