Monument Valley is one of the best games I've ever played on an iOS device -- if you don't believe me, read the review -- but the fact that it didn't conform to the free-to-play trend meant that it wasn't a guaranteed success. It's absurd, but the game's US$3.99 price tag is considered a "premium" pricing model these days. Thanks to the game's huge word of mouth appeal, it managed to make back its development investment after its first week on the market.
Speaking at GDC Europe, Lead Designer Ken Wong explained that the game has found a way to appeal to non-gamers despite being a paid download. "For many of them, this is the first game they've ever finished," he said.
Wong went on to mention how the game's extensive play testing led to big changes in how the world appeared to the player. When it became clear that the majority of players ignored interactive objects in the world in favor of focusing on their own character, the team changed the visual cues to emphasize those elements so they would not be overlooked.
At last count, Monument Valley had passed one million sales after four months of availability. That money is being used to fund the team's next project, though that title has yet to be revealed, or even hinted at.