Monument Valley 2 creators Ustwo Games today posted a new story on Medium (via The Verge) that highlights the first-year numbers and growth of the popular mobile sequel. Although there are numerous points of data to look at, one notable standout is that Monument Valley 2 earned $10.4 million in the one year period that began on June 5, 2017 (the game's launch day) through June 4, 2018.

monument valley 2
In comparison, the original game's first-year revenue locked in at $5.8 million back in 2015, meaning that the sequel proved to be far more popular than the first Monument Valley and nearly doubled first-year revenue for Ustwo Games in the process. One major factor in the success of Monument Valley 2 was its surprise unveiling onstage at WWDC 2017, and its immediate availability later that day in the iOS App Store.

Once word got out about the game's launch, it achieved its highest one-day revenue of $728,000 on June 6, 2017 -- the day after Apple's WWDC keynote. Continuing comparisons, in its first year the original game's highest one-day revenue hit $145,530 on April 3, 2014, the day of its launch.

monument valley 2 info 1

Infographics via Ustwo Games on Medium

China was a huge factor in Monument Valley 2's success this past year, with the game offered as an initially free download on Android in the country. China accounted for 91.4 percent of the game's unique installs, compared to 2.7 percent in the United States. China also made up for 62.3 percent of purchases for the game in its first year, followed by the U.S. at 16.3 percent, the United Kingdom at 2.7 percent, Germany at 1.9 percent, Japan at 1.8 percent, Canada at 1.5 percent, and France at 1.3 percent.

Ustwo Game's new infographic also has a few "fun facts," including that 53 percent of players who began Monument Valley 2 finished it, and that the player base took over 2.2 million screenshots while playing the sequel. In total, the developers had to keep work on their follow-up game a secret for 490 days before it was ultimately revealed at WWDC 2017. Over its entire development cycle, it took 16 core team members 70 weeks to finish the game at a development cost of $2.3 million.

Speaking to The Verge, Ustwo Games studio head Dan Gray talked about the company's resistance to going the freemium route with its games and the opinion by some in the industry that premium mobile games have died. "I think it has kind of plateaued," he explained. "It definitely hasn't died, which is what everyone said every year for the past six years."

monument valley info 2
In the Medium post, Gray explained that the company likes to share its data to help out other developers, who can "get a handle on what they might expect from a successful premium launch," and further the resistance to games that focus on in-app purchase payment structures. Monument Valley has become such a success in this field that other teams reportedly use "an MV" as a unit of measurement when forecasting success of their own games to investors, saying their game could launch with "X percent of an MV."

“It’s harder and harder to make successful, premium, paid mobile games,” says Gray. “So I would rather help people out.” He says that the community of premium mobile game developers is very communicative, sharing details like release dates ahead of time to avoid clashing with each other. “It’s kind of like this secret society of people trying to help each other out,” he says.

Monument Valley 2 launched with a price tag of $4.99 on the iOS App Store, and has seen a discount to $1.99 a few times over the last year. Thanks to the one-time purchase, players get access to the entire game, which spans 14 chapters of puzzles of increasing difficulty. Although he didn't specify what Ustwo is working on next, Gray said that he wants to use Monument Valley 2's success "to do some really risky projects that no one is taking risks on."

Top Rated Comments

Corrode Avatar
52 months ago
Wow. It’s such a great game so I’m glad to see them rewarded for their hard work.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
52 months ago
I commend them for sticking to the up-front-purchase model. It is unfortunate that in-app purchases have become the more profitable business model for mobile-game developers.

I find it a lot harder these days to ‘unlock’ a freemium, ad-based game through in-app purchases. The freemium model diminishes the value of the game to me and I am much less likely to spend any money at all on it. In fact, I rather delete such games immediately, because I do not tolerate ads anymore. I used to love the Cut the Rope games, for instance, which used to have an up-front-purchase model, but are now completely freemium. The fact that they are trying to get me to buy consumables and unlock the game via a ‘starter pack’, made me lose interest in the series completely.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaximus Avatar
52 months ago
The first game was so much better, I feel like they really dumbed down the game for version 2. It was to easy to beat compared to the first. It is a beautiful game though
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
52 months ago
Wow. It’s such a great game so I’m glad to see them rewarded for their hard work.
Yep. I got this game on iOS for my youngest and on Android for me. But he's right. The safest bet in mobile gaming is IAP. We vote with our dollars and collectively (generally speaking of course) we voted IAP in a landslide.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
decafjava Avatar
52 months ago
Really happy for the devs, I am one of the 47% who haven't finished the game (yet). The game is very well-crafted and I try to support devs who charge up front when I can-which means I have paid for a few games/apps I didn't like but I usually read reviews from pros and users before deciding.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DotCom2 Avatar
52 months ago
I sure hope they come out with a MV#3. I just loved 1 and 2.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

2022 back to school apple

Apple Launches 2022 Back to School Offer: Up to $150 Gift Card With Mac or iPad

Friday June 24, 2022 5:08 am PDT by
Apple today launched its annual "Back to School" promotion for college/university students in the United States and Canada. This year's promotion offers a free Apple gift card with the purchase of an eligible Mac or iPad, rather than free AirPods like last year. Apple is also offering students 20% off AppleCare+ plans during the promotion. Apple is offering a $150 gift card with the purchase ...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hints at AR/VR Headset: 'Stay Tuned and You'll See What We Have to Offer'

Wednesday June 22, 2022 6:34 pm PDT by
CEO Tim Cook this week did an interview with China Daily, where he once again commented on on the future of augmented reality and hinted at Apple's work on an AR/VR headset. Render via designer Ian Zelbo Cook said that Apple is excited about the opportunities available with augmented reality, which is not too far off from prior comments that he's made, but he went on to say that people should ...
airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 Said to Feature Upgraded H1 Chip, Find My, Heart Rate Detection, USB-C and More

Friday June 24, 2022 9:48 am PDT by
The next-generation AirPods Pro could come with a long list of new features that include heart rate detection, the ability to function as a hearing aid, and a USB-C port according to a report from 52Audio. The site claims that it has received new information on the AirPods Pro 2, and it has used that information to provide some renders on what the earbuds might look like. Design wise, there...
customize wallpaper setting ios 16

iOS 16 Beta 2 Tidbits: New Wallpaper Colors, Backup Over LTE, SMS Filtering and More

Wednesday June 22, 2022 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the second betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, and the new betas introduce new features and refine some of the changes that Apple made with the first iOS 16 release. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Lock Screen Photo Wallpaper Customization When customizing a photo on the Lock Screen, there are two new DuoTone and...
home app ios 16

Apple Confirms iPad Will No Longer Be Supported as a Home Hub in iOS 16

Wednesday June 22, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
The iPad will no longer be able to be used as a home hub following the launch of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and the HomePod 16 software this fall, Apple confirmed today. As discovered in iOS 16 code by MacRumors contributor Steve Moser, Apple says that the iPad will no longer be supported as a home hub. This information will be displayed in the Home app after updating to iOS 16.A home ...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple Rumored to Announce 'Game-Changer' AR/VR Headset in January 2023

Friday June 24, 2022 2:52 am PDT by
Apple is "likely" to announce its long-rumored mixed-reality headset as soon as January 2023, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reiterated. Concept render based on purported leaked information by Ian Zelbo In a detailed post on Medium, Kuo explained that Apple's headset will be a "game-changer" for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market. Describing some of the headset's...