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Monument Valley dev believes premium games aren’t dead

Sam Loveridge

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Monument Valley

Monument Valley dev, ustwo, has spoken out, saying it believes the premium mobile game market isn’t dead yet.

Following yesterday’s revelation that only five per cent of Android and sixty per cent of iOS Monument Valley players actually paid for the game, ustwo has defended the premium mobile game segment.

“We’ve had this for many years now, analysts saying free is the future and there’ll be no more paid games,” said Monument Valley Producer, Dan Gray, in an interview with Re/Code. “And every year, there continue to be a number of premium games that do very well for themselves. That area of the marketplace is not dead yet.”

It’s interesting to look at the success of the free-to-play genre, which includes games like Candy Crush Saga, Clash of Clans and Farmville, in comparison to the premium games. Some, including Monument Valley, have been stand out successes, while others have faded into oblivion.

“We’ve nowhere near made the amount of money that a lot of top free-to-play games would, but then again we have relatively low overhead. Monument Valley was made with only eight people. We had no advertising spend. We’re confident we can make premium games work in the future, and we’re confident we can outdo what we did with Monument Valley next year and the year after that.”

Related: Android piracy is a problem, but developers shouldn’t jump ship

Ustwo also commented on the idea that piracy directly correlated to lost sales. It said that “the majority of those users probably won’t have bought the game anyway”, adding that “some of those users have recommended the game to friends who maybe aren’t as tech savvy as they are.”

Thus, piracy could lead them to a bit of free marketing, as those friends actually download and paid for the game.

Tom

January 8, 2015, 10:05 am

"Ustwo also commented on the idea that piracy directly correlated to lost sales. It said that “the majority of those users probably won’t have bought the game anyway”, adding that “some of those users have recommended the game to friends who maybe aren’t as tech savvy as they are.”
Thus, piracy could lead them to a bit of free marketing, as those friends actually download and paid for the game."

I think this is an important point, and I am glad the Dev made it. To clarify, I do not condone piracy and always pay for my apps, but I also don't agree with the assumption that 1 pirated app = 1 lost sale, its an argument that's gone around for years but it simply isn't true, if there was no way to pirate the app then I seriously doubt all those pirates would then automatically buy the app. Attempts to combat piracy generally results in DRM being implemented which ends up only annoying those who are not pirates Which more often than not has the annoying side effect of
actually punishing the paying customers more than the pirates since the pirates
find a way around the DRM where as the paying customers have to deal with it.

Free-to-Play could be considered a DRM system in itself in
that it helps prevent traditional piracy, but it still punishes people who are
willing to pay a premium price for a “normal” game, so im glad to hear that some
Devs still support the idea of premium games which IMO is the best way of presenting their apps so that they are rewarding their paying customers

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