Anatomy of a hit game: Monument Valley creators share downloads, sales and other data

by: Jimmy WestenbergJanuary 15, 2015
452

monument-valley-numbers

Ustwo Games, the developer behind the hit Monument Valley, has just given some insight on how well the game is doing in the Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore and the iOS App Store. Monument Valley made our list as one of the best designed games of 2014, as well as Google’s list of 102 most popular games of 2014, and continues to stay on the charts as one of the top paid games in the Play Store.

If you can remember back a few weeks ago, Ustwo Games tweeted some disheartening piracy statistics regarding the Google Play Store, only to clarify the stats in a report released a few days later. Taking the piracy numbers into consideration, the statistics the developers talk about are apparent in the numbers shown below. Sales on iOS are miles ahead of the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore, though the game was an iOS exclusive for months before coming to Android.

So, are you curious to see what exactly it takes to make it to some of the best game lists of the year? Check out the image below for some more information:

monument valley numbers

Have you downloaded the game? How are you liking it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

  • Arrrroz

    Only a very small part of its revenue comes from android sadly. No wonder why a lot of developers prioratize ios.

    • Roberto Virga

      Maybe android users are wiser, and unwilling to spend $4 on a game offering 30 minutes tops of entertainment.

      • Marty

        Faulty thinking. A game of this quality is highly valued. Ever spend $50 on a PS4 or XBOX One game? Sure, the console variety lasts longer, but you payed $50 for it.

        • BChoi

          As someone who doesn’t even play console games and would never spend 50 on a game I finally decided that momument valley might be worth paying the developers for but I was very disappointed. Like mentioned I got 40 mins tops out of the game for $4… Asphalt and Godus is free to play and I probably play it more often and enjoy it more than momument valley. The more disappointing part was that it was another $3 add on for additional levels which I decided was not worth it… I feel like the more appropriate pricing would’ve been along the lines of $3 for the game and $1 for expansion. Even then, considering it was free on Amazon at a point I feel like most people would’ve been tempted to simply pirate it. TL;DR bought the game with high hopes, was left wishing I had just pirated it.

          • Rick

            As someone who doesn’t even drive I would never spend $$$ on a car I finally decided that a Huffy bicycle might be worth paying the bike company for but I was very disappointed. Like mentioned I got 1 mile tops before I ran out of breath out of a vehicle for $… Walking and Crawling is free and I probably do those more often and enjoy it more than using a bike. The more disappointing part was it was another $ to add on a rear reflector which I decided was not worth it. I feel like the more appropriate pricing would’ve been along the lines of less for the bike and less for the reflector. Even then, considering some people have gotten free bikes before at some point in history I feel like most people would’ve been tempted to simply steal it. TL;DR bought a bicycle with high hopes, was left wishing I just broke into a bicycle shop and stole it.

          • BChoi

            Closer analogy would be I paid for a civic for the price of a lambo

          • BZ

            Can’t really compare Asphalt to Monument, each has a different business model and I’m sure that asphalt has by far way more downloads and they make more money than Monument. But not all business in the App world are the same.

        • Roberto Virga

          If you consider that a $50 console game offers at least a dozen hours of gameplay, and moreover has usually some replayability value (new difficulty modes, achievements, etc.), 30 mins of gameplay and NO replayability for $4 looks like an an abysmally bad deal.

      • Laggypop

        It doesn’t offer only 30 minutes of gameplay.

        At even 30 minutes of non-repetitive, original, and top-quality content, is better then 30 years of clicking the same buttons and boxes, and “add coins” IAP’s.

        • Roberto Virga

          You’re right, in my experience, having bought it and played it, it offers much less than 30 minutes of (extremely easy) gameplay, and no replayability at all. Had it been released under the new Google Play 2-hour refund policy, its android revenue would have been exactly $0. And it was smart for the developer to release the new version as an IAP, since there is no refund grace period for IAPs.
          My point is: this is not a representative sample of mobile games (which in general offer a LOT more entertainment value for their money), so its sales data tells me nothing.

          • Laggypop

            no.

          • TheNewGuy

            Just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean no one did.. It would do perfectly well even with the 2hour refund policy.. Don’t think many people would be cheap enough to play it and then get a refund. Those chepos would just pirate it..

      • JosephHindy

        Did you go to McDonald’s, spend $4 on a Big Mac? How long did that last, 5 minutes? Seems like Monument Valley is a better deal for $4 to me…

      • BZ

        people pay more than that to watch a movie (entertainment) for roughly 2 hrs so I wouldn’t call it “wiser” i would call it either poor, stingy or selfish.

    • Marty

      The sad part of pirates killing the system. Human nature. If they can do it, they will do it. One thing that can never, ever happen is people being honorable and not taking advantage of something…sadly.

    • Yep exactly

    • hahmed330

      How about if people were able to buy apps using their top up or mobile credit in nearly every country country and provided by nearly every service provider? Also play store needs to have a simplified version readers for hundreds of other languages.

      • Jaime A.G.

        Windows Phone store has been doing the same and their sales boosted to 300% (and that’s with only a few countries and operators supported). If android does the same, we’ll see it boost too.

    • Hammad R. Ahmad

      Actually the thing is, in many third world countries, the banking system is not so advanced to allow online payments. I myself downloaded this game from Amazon because it was free for a day and I have to say, it is amazing. If a sufficient system existed for me to buy it, I would have. I lucked out and got it for free, making it my 96th item to have gotton free from Amazon.

  • MaudDib

    Or maybe they need to look into their marketing with android. I never heard or saw anything about the game the Amazon app of the day. I explore the play store often and I check a lot of blogs and it never got my attention. With the awards from ios, it seems like they were giving it a lot of play.

    Piracy, while big, can’t be that big of a factor here.

    • SomeRandomGuy

      You obviously don’t seem to visit check out good blogs then.. Monument Valley has been covered by almost each and every android blog out there..

      Piracy is the main factor here.. Just try this double total number of ios + amazon installs (should take care of installs on multiple devices).. Then subtract from total installs.. And compare to howmany bought it from play store..

      But the point is that piracy is unlikely to affect the final revenue anyway.. Cos the chepos who are pirating games are unlikely to pay for it even if there was no way to pirate it..

      • mrochester

        It’s not so much piracy, it’s that Android users tend to be the sort of people who don’t buy stuff like this.

        • SomeRandomGuy

          Err.. Then how exactly are you explaining the other installs?? Trust me piracy is very rampant in the Android world.. Cos it is very easy to pirate in Android..

    • JosephHindy

      SomeRandomGuy is right. We Android bloggers have been throwing this at people for going on 8 months now. It was on Android Authority’s (my) best designed games of the year AND best games of the year. We wrote about the release, the DLC, and mentioned it dozens of other times in videos and articles. So has everyone else. It’s also on Google’s top 102 from 2014, frequently in the top paid category, and frequently recommended in the Play Store.

      People just don’t want to buy it.

      • BZ

        agreed I don’t think it has to do with piracy only but and not to define the user of both platforms but “most” iOS user don’t sweat it when it comes to paying for an app that costs. .99 to 2.99 where as “most” Android users do and you can clearly see that in the numbers shown above by monument. We also have to keep in mind that Android has a bigger WAY bigger market share compared to iOS but that also brings out the point of how iOS user brought more revenue to that developer. So bottom line I think that yes part of it is piracy but also part of it is that Android users do not purchase apps.

        • JosephHindy

          Yes and instead of purchasing apps, they just steal it. lol, that’s the point.

    • BZ

      I partially agree I don’t think it has to do with piracy only but and not to define the user of both platforms but “most” iOS user don’t sweat it when it comes to paying for an app that costs. .99 to 2.99 where as “most” Android users do and you can clearly see that in the numbers shown above by monument. We also have to keep in mind that Android has a bigger WAY bigger market share compared to iOS but that also brings out the point of how iOS user brought more revenue to that developer. So bottom line I think that yes part of it is piracy but also part of it is that Android users do not purchase apps.

  • MasterMuffin

    I don’t know which was a bigger surprise, the fact that they got almost 150 thousand bucks in one day or that their development costs were over $1000000, but those are big numbers o.O

    • crutchcorn

      And one sweet sweet game

    • BZ

      I was really surprised by how much they spent on developers, that shows how much they care about the app and it’s quality.

  • kamiii161

    Dailymotion has announced the launch of its video game streaming platform: Dailymotion Games .

    http://androidphonehub.com/apps/dailymotion-games-dailymotion-launches-in-the-video-streaming-game/

  • Will S.

    These figures are interesting but its not something we don’t know already. Android is awesome but allowing people to easily download apps from outside Google Play/Amazon Appstore does have its downsides and the sad thing is this will affect Android users the most…

  • alien_roger

    I’m wondering if there are any iOS users, and how do they feel about this game. Was it worth for them? I mean do they regret that they bought this app? According to official feedbacks in store ppl are happy with purchases, even if you find some complains about “too short” app still got 4.7 which is not so easy to get.

    Google feedback – http://i.imgur.com/iPhCpK1.png?1

    iTunes – http://i.imgur.com/GxJ3z3k.png?1

  • When that totem drowned I was so sad.

  • Maggie Romanovich

    This is one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. My kids are fascinated by it too. It’s so good.