Popular 'Monument Valley' Game Earned More Than $5.8M, Saw 1.7M Sales on iOS

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Ustwo, the developers behind the hit game Monument Valley today published a detailed infographic that gives a rare inside look at what it takes to develop an ultra popular game and the rewards developers can reap from creating an app that soars to the top of the App Store charts.

For those unfamiliar, Monument Valley is a highly popular indie puzzle game that asks players to lead the main character through a series of mazes spanning 10 separate levels. The game was highly praised for its design, which included a unique and striking art style.

According to Ustwo's infographic, it took Ustwo's eight person team 55 weeks and $852,000 to develop the original version of Monument Valley ahead of its April 2014 launch. The app's Forgotten Shores expansion, released in late November, took an additional 29 weeks and $549,000 to develop.

Monument Valley received some negative attention after the expansion was priced at $1.99 in-app by users who believed that the update should be free, but the half a million in development costs for the Android and iOS apps explain why it would have been largely unreasonable for the team to release an expansion at no cost.

The more than $1 million that Ustwo poured into the development of Monument Valley paid off, and the game earned a total of $5,858,625 from 2,440,076 sales. 81.7 percent of all revenue came from iOS from 1,736,431 sales while Google Play and Amazon represented a combined 18.2 percent of revenue. The game's highest one day revenue was $145,530, which it earned on the first day it launched.

Monument Valley saw upticks in sales after earning an Apple Design Award in June, following the launch of the Forgotten Shores expansion, at Christmas, and after the December announcement of its status as iPad Game of the Year.

The majority of iOS sales came from the United States at 38 percent, and the game ended up being translated into 13 local languages. 12 percent of sales came from China, five percent from the U.K., and 4.4 percent came from Japan. Half of the players who purchased Monument Valley finished the game, and 24 percent of players went on to purchase Forgotten Shores.

Ustwo's full Monument Valley infographic can be seen over at the company's blog. Monument Valley can be downloaded from the App Store for $3.99. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Popular 'Monument Valley' Game Earned More Than $5.8M, Saw 1.7M Sales on iOS
 

Ubuntu

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2005
1,791
111
UK/US
Well deserved, it's a truly innovative game. Also the difference in revenue between iOS and Android is just insane.
 

Lexdexia

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2015
110
135
Ontario, Canada
Goes to show how market share doesn't mean much.

Funny how this game made the most revenue from iOS, despite Android having a significantly greater mobile device market share. I guess this just proves that market share isn't much of a competitive advantage.
 

Eightarmedpet

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2013
157
147
London's famous London
Studio

What's almost more interesting (to me at least) is they are not a game/dev company but a design studio who chose to do a self initiated project that they hoped would break even.
Ustwo.com
 

Daalseth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
569
220
I play a lot of iOS games, it's my primary gaming platform. Most are retreads of other games, a few are designed for iOS, occasionally one will rise above the rest and be more interesting.

Then every once in a while a game will appear, almost always from some Indie developer, that is wonderful, way beyond anything else I've seen. The kind of game you play through and then feel,sad that it's over so you play it all over again. That's what Monument Valley was.

It was beautiful and creative, and frustrating, and rewarding.
All kudos were well deserved
I didn't begrudge them the money for the expansion pack.
It was all worth every penny.

I can't wait to see what they are working on next.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,232
743
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Those Amazon numbers are embarassing. I admit, I got it with my free Amazon Coins, and I liked it, so I later bought the iOS version for my iPad.

Nice to see they did well with the expansion.
 

castlema

macrumors member
Nov 21, 2003
98
32
I appreciate that they charged a reasonable amount for the game, I think it was US$3, rather than having a "free" game that requires almost constant in-app purchases to make any progress.

As a fan of M.C. Escher I love the graphics and the music is very well done also.
 

pito189

macrumors member
Sep 28, 2006
51
9
2.4 million official sales.

10 million installs.

That is a crazy difference to me. Even with installing it on multiply devices and home sharing.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,009
97
I would be nice if more developers released their development numbers like this so that bystanders could get a sense of the current state of the app economy. But I can understand why most developers wouldn't want to release valuable competitive information.
 

Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,708
573
Seattle, WA
This is a really excellent game. Had a lot of fun playing it. It is great to see that this team's efforts were well rewarded.
 

sualpine

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2013
494
474
More objective, statistical proof that Android's market share means absolutely nothing in terms of revenue or ROI.
 

omenatarhuri

macrumors 6502a
Feb 9, 2010
635
96
My games have made 22 euros so far.

Maybe they'd do better if I put a price on them... or ads... or any source of revenue. :rolleyes:

 

Dookieman

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2009
390
67
Well deserved, it's a truly innovative game. Also the difference in revenue between iOS and Android is just insane.
There has been a lot of talk and articles published saying how iOS developers are going to need to stop ignoring Android and start developing for both iOS AND Android simultaneous if they want to sustain high revenue. This looks to contradict that, over 80% on iOS alone? Crazy.

I'd choose the iOS only path, over the headache of Android any day with those numbers.
 

Keirasplace

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2014
4,059
1,266
Montreal
There has been a lot of talk and articles published saying how iOS developers are going to need to stop ignoring Android and start developing for both iOS AND Android simultaneous if they want to sustain high revenue. This looks to contradict that, over 80% on iOS alone? Crazy.

I'd choose the iOS only path, over the headache of Android any day with those numbers.
Android with the fragmentation would be longer to develop for and give you 5 to 10 times less money, sure sounds like a "winner" ;-). And this is for games/apps that has good word of mouth coming from IOS.

The breakdown must be even more brutal for more niche and marginal apps.

Considering that most apps don't even break even on IOS, devellopping for Android phones seems insane unless you already have a success on IOS to publicize your game.
 

Alenore

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2013
422
409
More objective, statistical proof that Android's market share means absolutely nothing in terms of revenue or ROI.
Meanwhile, the previous company I was working at made apps for iOS and Android and had ~60% of their revenue from Android.
I guess it depends of the apps :)
 

ob81

macrumors 65816
Jun 11, 2007
1,399
343
Virginia Beach
Can someone explain to me why it takes so much to develop these games? Is it a graphic design thing? Paying personnel for man-hours?