In a stark reminder of the cost of game development, the makers of Monument Valley have posted some figures about how much the sequel cost to develop. Spoiler: a lot.
In a post on the ustwogames Medium page, the developers revealed that the premium mobile game cost $US2.259 million to develop ($3.056 million), with marketing costing an additional $US516,000 (approx $698,000).
The developers said that releasing the data was partially to help other studios when budgeting for premium games of their own. “Admittedly Monument Valley is a bit of a unicorn in this space with regards to how well it’s performed over the years (succeeding on a level we could never have expected or predicted), but we hope this latest set of data might help others to set a yard stick for something towards the top end of profitability.”
It’s also characteristic for ustwo games to be open about their data, even when it doesn’t look good. Their 2012 game Whale Trail struggled to break even, making more money from advertising revenue than its Android release a year after launch. Fortunately, that experience didn’t sour them from developing premium games.
If you include the time from concept to the game’s launch on Android, without factoring in marketing spend, Monument Valley 2 cost approx. $43,793 a week ($US32,271) to develop. (It’s also noted that Chinese users were able to get Monument Valley 2 for free on Android for a small period of time, which helps explain the massive gulf in unique installs versus purchases.