Epic Games, developers of worldwide phenomenon Fortnite, on Monday pulled all titles attached to its venerable iOS franchise "Infinity Blade" from the App Store, citing difficulties to maintain support for the apps.
As of today, all three of Epic's Infinity Blade games are no longer available for purchase on the iOS App Store, the company announced in a post to its official blog. The removal arrives almost eight years to the day after the first Infinity Blade hit the App Store in 2010.
According to Epic, the development of upcoming game "Spyjinx" and other projects has made it "increasingly difficult" to maintain support for the Infinity Blade series at a high level. Further details surrounding the decision were left unmentioned.
"The Infinity Blade series will always hold a special place for me personally and for Epic as a whole," said Donald Mustard, Global Creative Director at Epic Games. "It's always bittersweet to say goodbye, but we are excited for Spyjinx and what the future holds!"
Epic will continue support for Infinity Blade III, delivering updated Clash Mobs and other "surprises" like special items. As a consolation, the company is making the Infinity Blade Stickers app available to download for free.
As one of the App Store's longest-running franchises, the removal of Infinity Blade comes as a surprise. Over its more than seven years on the App Store, the RPG/fighting series enjoyed both critical acclaim and positive reviews from a following of fans around the world. However, the last installment of series, Infinity Blade III, is now more than five years old, having been released in 2013.
Apple itself promoted the original and its sequels onstage at keynote events, often touting the franchise for being on the bleeding edge of mobile gaming both in terms of graphics and touchscreen mechanics. In 2011, for example, the title was named an Apple Design Award winner.
The timing of today's announcement is curious considering Epic's recent success with breakout hit Fortnite, a game so popular it has enabled the developer to build an online game store to compete with the likes of Valve.
While Infinity Blade is end of life on iOS, its legacy will apparently live on in other Epic titles. A tweet from the official Fortnite Twitter account today teased an upcoming melee weapon that appears modeled after the titular sword.
Existing owners can download each installment from the App Store for the "foreseeable future," though in-app purchases have been disabled, Epic said. Those who deleted the game from their device can re-download by navigating to Account > Purchased > "Not on this [device] in the App Store and tapping on the download icon, presented as a cloud with a downward-facing arrow.