Monument Valley Dev: Mobile Piracy Isn’t Always Bad
Video Game piracy is just as big for mobile devices as it is on PC, but that's not entirely a bad thing for certain developers.
According to Venture Beat, Ustwo revealed on its Twitter that Monument Valley was pirated for nearly 95 percent of every time the game was installed on Android devices. Monument Valley, which currently costs $3.99 on Google Play, obviously had a vast majority of its downloads registered as "unpaid installs" on the Android format. While some of these were legitimate installations, Ustwo's profits took a large hit since it is a premium game. On top of this, Monument Valley does not push in-game purchases, social media sharing, in-game adds or other forms of income that many other mobile games have (as most premium titles should not do since they cost money). Ustwo claims that 40 percent of the people who played Monument Valley on iOS devices paid for it, which means piracy was prevalent on both sides of the mobile market, but more so for Android devices.
As of now, Monument Valley is still in the top 300 mobile apps being played in the United States, peaking at 103 on the top-grossing chart for Android devices six months ago.
In an interview with Re/Code, Monument Valley producer Dan Gray said the following:
The best way I like to think about it is, the majority of those users probably wouldn’t have bought the game anyway. So it’s not like we’re losing revenue. And, of course, I’m sure some of those users have recommended the game to friends who maybe aren’t as tech-savvy as they are. It’s essentially free marketing. When I say we’re not complaining about that ratio, that kind of ratio was expected before we made the game and it’s not that surprising now that we’ve released the game. You just roll with the punches.
In all honesty, a lot of premium games could use more marketing. While Ustwo may have lost some money in the long run due to piracy, more people will be on the lookout for its next title than before.