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Award-winning Monument Valley recouped costs in one week

Jessica Conditt, @JessConditt
August 11, 2014
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Monument Valley, winner of an Apple Design Award and an all-around beautiful brain-buster, made back its development costs after just one week on the App Store, Lead Designer Ken Wong said during a presentation at GDC Europe. Even though it's a $4 app and it launched alongside other premium games, including Hitman: Go, FTL and Leo's Fortune, Monument Valley crested 1 million sales within four months.

"Now, that doesn't make us rich by any measure, but we made our money back and it means that the team can stay together and make another creative, crazy project with complete creative freedom," Wong said. "This is all we ever really wanted, not to get rich, but to be sustainable."


Wong said that the truly amazing thing about the game's success has been the response from players.

"We've received hundreds of tweets and emails from people who say they never play games, not gamers, but they enjoyed and finished Monument Valley," he said. "For many of them, this is the first game that they've ever finished. We hear from parents who write in, proud that their 3-year-old can play Monument Valley, or that their 6-year-old can complete it by themselves without help. We hear from other people complaining that they can't get their iPad back from their mom and dad."

During his panel, Wong touched on the decisions that made Monument Valley, including play-testing that revealed every player touched the screen differently, and that most people focused intently on the protagonist, meaning important environment actions needed to be visually loud. He reveled in the description of Monument Valley as an "experience" and a beautiful game, and said he loved that even kids could enjoy it.

"I think it's wonderful that young girls can get into Monument Valley and see that, 'Oh, here's a game that's not forcing me to kill people, and it's not punishing me, and it has a princess who is not a stereotypical princess,'" Wong said. "I'm so glad that possibly Monument Valley will inspire some young girls to get into the field of game design."

[Image: ustwo]









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