'Infinity Blade III' game for iPhone takes a swing at more success
Like the valiant knight in their hit video game, "Infinity Blade," South Jordan-based developer Chair Entertainment is ever growing stronger, mightier and focusing on going to the top.
The developers are about to release the third mobile game in their series, "Infinity Blade III," on Tuesday, just before the release of the new iPhone 5S and 5C on Friday. The first two games have sold a combined total of about 40 million downloads, said Donald Mustard, creative director for Chair.
"It's really the culmination of what these kind of entertainment experiences can be on a device that I carry with me all the time," he said about "Infinity Blade III," the final chapter in a trilogy. "I'm very proud of what we have done."
The game will be available on the iTunes App Store for $6.99 and be played on an iPhone 4 or later, an iPad 2 or later, the iPad mini and the iPod touch.
Due to their success, the company that began in Provo in 2005 has grown to more than two dozen programmers, artists and others and recently moved into a 14,000-square-foot office in South Jordan, about triple the size of their old office in downtown Salt Lake City. The company has made five games in the last five years.
Their success has not gone unnoticed. For the third time, Chair was asked to come out on stage to demonstrate its game during an Apple event, a prestigious calling for any Apple developer. Through their work with Apple, Mustard and his brother Geremy, the company's technical director, have met Steve Jobs and Apple's newest CEO, Tim Cook. They showed off "Infinity Blade III" at the Apple event earlier this month for the debut of the iPhone 5S.
"We feel very fortunate to be honored in that way," Geremy Mustard said. "But it comes with a lot of sweat and hard work getting to that point where we have something that looks so incredible that they [Apple executives] have no choice but to show it. It shows off their hardware the best, and they know it."
"Infinity Blade III" continues the epic journey of Siris as he seeks out the evil Worker of Secrets and the powerful Infinity Blade sword. This time, players can also control a second protagonist, Isa, a companion to Siris.
The player moves through a sword-and-sorcery world where he or she fights a variety of monsters with weapons and magic with just a swipe of the finger on the touchscreen. As Siris moves forward on his quest, he becomes more powerful and obtains better armor and weapons.
Like the second "Infinity Blade," there will be a multiplayer mode called "Clash Mob" in which players from around the world can all contribute to killing creatures for one ultimate goal. There also will be a new mode called "Aegis" in which players compete in a tournament for high score.
The game's play area will be eight times bigger than previous "Infinity Blade" games, and there will be more weapons, potions and other objects in the game. The new version also will have a new monster that players have been dying to battle against since the first game a fire-breathing dragon.
"We have 40 million users, and our goal was to expand on our audience," said Laura Mustard, the head of Chair's corporate communications and Donald's wife. "We were very happy [with the previous games], but we said to ourselves 'We can do better.'"
The new game will have more special effects in the graphics such as distortion, heat waves and fiery particles thanks to the iPhone 5S and its faster processor.
"It feels like you're holding magic in your hand," Donald Mustard said about the game running on an iPhone 5S. "That dragon has four times the detail of any other 'Infinity Blade' character before it."
"Infinity Blade III" doesn't just stop at the game, either. Envisioned as a whole universe where stories could be told across multiple platforms, the Mustards enlisted famous Utah fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson to pen a book based on the "Infinity Blade" universe called "Infinity Blade: Redemption," which was released as an e-book earlier this month. They also hired the hit rock band, Imagine Dragons, to write a song that appears in the game. Finally, they hired movie animator Ben Hibon ("Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 1," "Mirror Mirror") to create a 2 1/2-minute introduction for the new game.
"We love to partner with people who are awesome at what they do, whether they be musicians or writers or artists and directors and to work with them and collaborate so we can add an additional level of entertainment," Laura Mustard said.
While the new game spells the end of the "Infinity Blade" trilogy and Chair is working on an entirely new game for its next title, the Mustards say they are not done creating new stories within the "Infinity Blade" universe.
"The 'Infinity Blade' trilogy is really the prelude to a much bigger story that we hope to tell some day. We're just getting started," Donald Mustard said. "I see this as our "The Hobbit" to our "Lord of the Rings."