Bulletstorm Didn't Make Any Money, Epic Likes it Anyway

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Posted by Alex (2036 posts) -

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.

Maybe it didn't sell, but that makes Bulletstorm no less awesome in retrospect.

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.

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (2036 posts) -

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.

Maybe it didn't sell, but that makes Bulletstorm no less awesome in retrospect.

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.

Staff
#2 Posted by Guyzea (816 posts) -

Dicktits.

#3 Posted by MrAriscottle (258 posts) -

I wasn't happy with Bulletstorm.

#4 Posted by OllyOxenFree (4970 posts) -

People will indeed continue to Fly.

#5 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

That was a flawless first post.

#6 Posted by Oni (2098 posts) -

The marketing for this game completely disgusted me, and I'm not surprised if it had the opposite of its intended effect. That said, when I played the game I immensely enjoyed it. Actually one of my favorite games of the year so far, it's just so much fun. Also it looks absolutely beautiful maxed out on PC, if you're into that.

#7 Posted by HellBrendy (994 posts) -

Really? I thought Bulletsotrm sold good. It cartainly deserved to.  

#8 Posted by daggon55 (114 posts) -

Good on them for sticking with PCF, those guys show a lot of potential.

#9 Posted by Getz (2997 posts) -

I bought it, but it wasn't what I expected. There were a lot of neat ideas, and People Can Fly didn't exactly fail in making the game they set out to: it just didn't resonate with very many people in the grand scheme.

#10 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

I had a lot of fun with Bulletstorm, it it was a nice refresh from your standard Modern Day FPS.

#11 Posted by RE_Player1 (7558 posts) -

Can't say I'm surprised.

#12 Posted by DEMONOLOGY_24 (521 posts) -

I thought bulletstorm was cool and I hope a sequel is in the near future
#13 Posted by brocool (701 posts) -

Bulletstorm put a fresh spin on the somewhat stale state of the FPS genre, the characters were engaging and it had just the right amount of over the top (a fuck ton), glad EPIC stands by it.

#14 Posted by Rolyatkcinmai (2686 posts) -

It pains me every time I hear dicktits in relation to Bulletstorm. I was calling my friend Will "dicktits" for years before it even existed. :( I was the hipster of dicktits.

That said, I'm glad Epic is standing by them. This does not happen frequently enough.

#15 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

Well, I bet if they turned out a quick sequel they could make their money back. New IPs are always more expensive to make (marketing, all new assets, inefficient pipelines, etc.), but the sequel is less expensive to make and the name of the franchise is already out there. Maybe word of mouth will spread about Bulletstorm by the time the sequel come out.

#16 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2452 posts) -

I did my part!

#17 Posted by WilliamHenry (1202 posts) -

Bulletstorm was fantastic. Just the right amount of dumb. Its a bummer it didn't sell too well. Hopefully we still get to see a sequel though.

#18 Posted by CookieMonster (2416 posts) -

I don't think the marketing and style of humour helped very much.

#19 Posted by Foot369 (25 posts) -

I think they did put out a quality product, glad to see that epic has the right attitude And budget to keep people can fly together.
Great article!

#20 Posted by Doctorchimp (4074 posts) -

Well hopefully People Can Fly makes an interesting game next time. As "ironic" and "meta" as they were, it was still a gruff space dude shooting things....
 
Were they really that surprised people still didn't wanna play it?

#21 Posted by JoeyRavn (4967 posts) -

I loved Bulletstorm. It was a nice, refreshing breeze from all the cookie-cutter modern military FPSes (MW2/3, BC2, BF3, MoH, etc.).

#22 Posted by avidwriter (667 posts) -

I couldn't finish the demo of bullet storm. Just something about trying to do skill kills every time and it just not feeling right. It's a shooter I want to shoot stuff but for the purpose of the game I have to do it "skillfully" and it felt like work.

#23 Posted by aceofspudz (937 posts) -

They shipped an immature first person shooter. Wow, groundbreaking. You really went out on a limb, guys.

I can't find a sympathetic bone in my body. Not even the tiny ones in my inner ear.

#24 Posted by Daveyo520 (6682 posts) -

I am glad they feel this way. Just because a game doesn't sell well doesn't mean the studio did a bad job and should be punished.

#25 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

Of course it's still a series with potential! It's a god damn first person shooter, crank that shit out even if it does terrible.

#26 Posted by ajamafalous (11959 posts) -

I didn't like any of the marketing or the demo. I know a lot of people liked it, but I'm really not surprised it didn't do well mainstream.

#27 Posted by AmericanNinja (157 posts) -

Anyone not surprised BS didnt make any money? its almost as bad of a game as Duke Nukem.

#28 Posted by CheapPoison (727 posts) -

I liked it too!

#29 Posted by fontainefellow (171 posts) -

Good, now they can make Bulletstorm 2: The Retcon Effect and change the fucking atrocious ending of Bulletstorm. And put in a level with a bullet storm in it.

#30 Posted by ChrisTaran (1584 posts) -

Bulletstorm was awesome. Too bad it didn't sell as well as hoped!

#31 Posted by MjHealy (1842 posts) -

Ah, Bulletstorm was pretty good. It is a surprise to hear it didn't sell well. For myself, it seemed like it would appeal to the quite large Gears of War.

#32 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Apparently I'm one of the people who haven't played it yet...

#33 Posted by Deric (16 posts) -

That's a shame, I bought it and had fun with it.

#34 Posted by UnlivedPhalanx (475 posts) -

Is it just me but is the phrase "AAA" fucking disgusting? It reminds me of Major League Baseball. I like baseball, but triple A is just a phrase that doesn't really mean anything.

#35 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

Probably shouldn't have spent large amounts on poor advertising.

#36 Edited by UnrealDP (1222 posts) -

Bulletstorm had a grating sense of humour, but it was a really fun game that stands out among your Call-o-Dutys. Too bad it didn't make its money back, but its good to see its not dead or anything.

#37 Posted by HyperionXR (273 posts) -

I liked and bought it.

#38 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Maybe the shouldn't have fucked over the PC market after all. Awesome game! TERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIBLE PORT.

#39 Posted by natetodamax (19192 posts) -

I wish more companies shared that mentality.

#40 Posted by Zaxex (583 posts) -

I really liked their attitude. Seems to be getting rarer that a studio can release a product of any quality, that doesn't sell well, and continue considering themselves employed.

As upsetting as it is when good games don't sell well I'm a little proud to own this and several others. Blur bitches! It's hard to take people who complain about Online Passes seriously, when buying a used game doesn't give the publishers, let alone the developers a penny (replace with local currency as applicable).

Zynga will take over the world eventually anyway, we better just enjoy small victories like this while we can. A developer making a game that didn't make profit, whose employees stay employed is certainly news.

#41 Edited by GaspoweR (2960 posts) -

@AmericanNinja said:

Anyone not surprised BS didnt make any money? its almost as bad of a game as Duke Nukem.

Well I enjoyed my time with BulletStorm though granted I didn't play Duke Nukem Forever it is definitely far from atrocious as DNF. The characters from Bulletstorm actually became more likable as the game drew on and I think the vulgarity of the dialogue just helped with how bat shit crazy the entire story is.

#42 Posted by iAmJohn (6117 posts) -

Honestly, I don't think PCF went far enough with Bulletstorm. For a game that was supposed to be so crazy, I never got that feeling from it like I did Painkiller; it always felt like PCF (or, more to the point, their Epic corporate overlords) was pulling back from letting everything go super chaotic. Still glad I bought it, but definitely a disappointment.

#43 Posted by ttocs (763 posts) -

One can always use a little more dicktits in their life.

#44 Edited by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -

I'm sure its a good game will pick it up if I ever see for it 30$.

#45 Posted by TheKreep (41 posts) -
@Hizang said:

I had a lot of fun with Bulletstorm, it it was a nice refresh from your standard Modern Day FPS.

@JoeyRavn said:

I loved Bulletstorm. It was a nice, refreshing breeze from all the cookie-cutter modern military FPSes (MW2/3, BC2, BF3, MoH, etc.).

I think therein lies a lot of the problem, unfortunately. That cookie-cutter stuff is what people want, it seems!
#46 Posted by JerseyDriver (57 posts) -
@Guyzea
Dicktits.
#47 Posted by TheKreep (41 posts) -
@aceofspudz said:

They shipped an immature first person shooter. Wow, groundbreaking. You really went out on a limb, guys.

I can't find a sympathetic bone in my body. Not even the tiny ones in my inner ear.

There's a lot more to the game than immaturity. 
And there's also a fine line between "immaturity" and "fun"!
#48 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

I need to pick this up at some point as well. A shame to see games not do well when they have interesting ideas, but the marketing was kind of off putting.

#49 Posted by Mystyr_E (1190 posts) -

Well it was a spotty game to begin with. Game was very linear and actually felt boring the more I played, the online sucked, the "humor" was juvenile and the marketing was just terrible so doesn't surprise me 
 
....although Tanya Jessen's hot though so there's that

#50 Posted by roughplague (131 posts) -
@emergency said:

Probably shouldn't have spent large amounts on poor advertising.

Poor advertising? the shit was not only hilarious, but probably one of the more interesting ones.

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