The Dollars and Cents of Monument Valley
You might not have heard Monument Valley but the Escher-inspired mobile puzzle game was one of the smash hit mobile games of 2014. It was one of the best rated mobile games of 2014 (that isn’t Hearthstone, anyway) and was the only mobile game to pick up a Game Awards nomination for Best Indie Game.
While they’re becoming more frequent, paid mobile games are more the exception than the rule. Despite costing over $1.4 million to make (including the Forgotten Shores DLC), ustwo Games sold enough copies and made enough money to more than cover the costs and get them on their way to the next game.
The lesson that ustwo Games teaches us with their breakdown of the dollars and cents of Monument Valley is that you don’t have to have a terrible free-to-play play-to-win monetization model on top of a non-existent game to make money in the mobile space. If you build a great game, people will buy.
Source: ustwo Games