The Fascinating Finances Behind A Top-Selling Game


Back in 2014, one of the best-selling games for Android and iPad was something called Monument Valley. If you never played it (me neither) and you'd like to see it in action, there's a clip on Youtube at which will give you a good idea of what it looks like. And very good it looks too.

But what's perhaps even more interesting is that the company behind the game have recently made public a whole array of financial figures, which give an amazing insight into the costs and risks associated with producing a game. You can find out, for example, how much it cost to program Monument Valley, how many sales it made in each country and on each hardware platform, the total income, how many people downloaded it, which was their favourite part of the game, and much more too.

As someone who's followed the technology industry for more than 3 decades, I know that such candid information is very hard to come by. Which makes the information on even more interesting. Check it out, and it'll help you appreciate just what's involved in creating a market-leading product in today's mobile-centric world.

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Monument Valley is a shareware game, and has received the top iPad game and Android game for the year 2014. The stats you've shown here is interesting too

Rob is correct that this type of information is rarely shared (and for obvious reasons). The blog is well presented but who the heck is this Dan Gray person? i generally tend to dismiss statistical data of this sort unless it has been verified by independent auditors. In any event the blog does indicate that there is much more involved in game development than most people would assume.

I have some acquaintance with someone who does have quite a significant mobile games business so I have a decent idea of these types of revenue breakdowns. Honestly, to me, considering the effort and money that goes into some of these games. I am not sure the return is there.

Excellent comment Bern. Many people are led to believe that game development is an easy get rich quick opportunity. The public hears about the game that made the developer a small fortune but no one talks about the other 95% of games that provided no profit to anyone.