Look out Nintendo, Apple’s about to both eat your lunch and steal your lunch money, at the same time. Epic Games is planning to release the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) to the public on Thursday. If you’re an iOS gamer, or a gamer in general, this kind of news immediately legitimizes the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch as gaming devices, not that most didn’t already¬† view them that way to begin with.

Using the kit won’t come cheap for the independent game developers. There’s a $99 licensing fee, as well as a 25% royalty fee that kicks in after the first $5,000 in sales. But, that being said, using the UDK will be worth it for most.

Demographics suggest that iOS is positioning itself to seriously compete in the gaming industry (in both casual and hardcore sectors): 125 million iOS devices are currently in use, which is pretty close to the 135 Million Nintendo DSs on the market, and the 62 million PlayStation Portable devices kicking around.

That’s a lot of potential gamers salivating for in-depth titles. Infinity Blade, a recently released iOS game by Epic, has obliterated typical sales on iOS devices. Epic has cashed in about 1.6 million dollars in just five days.

If there was ever evidence that iPhone users are ready to get their “hardcore” gaming on, these numbers might be evidence enough to keep the doubters at bay.

Article Via The Wall Street Journal

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