iOS Puzzle Game ‘Monument Valley’ Being Adapted Into Live Action/CG Film

Ustwo Games' popular iOS and Android puzzle series "Monument Valley" is being turned into a movie, as reported this week by Deadline. Paramount Pictures and Weed Road Pictures have won the rights to the games, and Patrick Osborne has already been selected to develop and direct the first film.


Osborne won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his short film "Feast" in 2014, which was shown before "Big Hero 6" in theaters. He has also worked as an animator on Disney films including "Wreck-It Ralph" and "Bolt." With Monument Valley, Paramount and Weed Road are hoping to launch a family-friendly franchise if the first film does well enough.
“Monument Valley is a one of a kind experience, at once small in its meditative, simple gameplay, as well as enormous in its sense of history,” Osborne said. “I’m privileged to be handed the reins to Ida’s mysterious kingdom, to play in her world of impossible architecture where seeing things differently is everything. I am thrilled to bring this unique world to theaters with the talented storytellers of Paramount and Weed Road.”
In the games, players guide Ida (in the original) and Ro and her child (in the sequel) through a series of mazes that present optical illusion challenges that the player must manipulate to solve. In the film, "contemporary live-action characters" will be sent into Monument Valley's surreal world and have to figure out a way to get back home.

The original Monument Valley launched on iOS in 2014, and eventually won numerous awards including one of Apple's Design Awards for that year. The game also went on to be a financial success thanks in part to its avoidance of a free-to-play structure, and four years later the sequel nearly doubled the first-year revenue of the original game.


Deadline's report doesn't provide a release window for the Monument Valley film. Currently, Osborne is working as director on an adaptation of the fantasy webcomic Nimona for 20th Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios, which is set for a February 2020 release date. If Osborne moves onto Monument Valley after Nimono, the adaptation of Ustwo's puzzle game should be released sometime after 2020.


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‘Monument Valley 2’ Nearly Doubled First-Year Revenue in Comparison to Original Game

Monument Valley 2 creators Ustwo Games today posted a new story on Medium (via The Verge) that highlights the first-year numbers and growth of the popular mobile sequel. Although there are numerous points of data to look at, one notable standout is that Monument Valley 2 earned $10.4 million in the one year period that began on June 5, 2017 (the game's launch day) through June 4, 2018.


In comparison, the original game's first-year revenue locked in at $5.8 million back in 2015, meaning that the sequel proved to be far more popular than the first Monument Valley and nearly doubled first-year revenue for Ustwo Games in the process. One major factor in the success of Monument Valley 2 was its surprise unveiling onstage at WWDC 2017, and its immediate availability later that day in the iOS App Store.

Once word got out about the game's launch, it achieved its highest one-day revenue of $728,000 on June 6, 2017 -- the day after Apple's WWDC keynote. Continuing comparisons, in its first year the original game's highest one-day revenue hit $145,530 on April 3, 2014, the day of its launch.

Infographics via Ustwo Games on Medium

China was a huge factor in Monument Valley 2's success this past year, with the game offered as an initially free download on Android in the country. China accounted for 91.4 percent of the game's unique installs, compared to 2.7 percent in the United States. China also made up for 62.3 percent of purchases for the game in its first year, followed by the U.S. at 16.3 percent, the United Kingdom at 2.7 percent, Germany at 1.9 percent, Japan at 1.8 percent, Canada at 1.5 percent, and France at 1.3 percent.

Ustwo Game's new infographic also has a few "fun facts," including that 53 percent of players who began Monument Valley 2 finished it, and that the player base took over 2.2 million screenshots while playing the sequel. In total, the developers had to keep work on their follow-up game a secret for 490 days before it was ultimately revealed at WWDC 2017. Over its entire development cycle, it took 16 core team members 70 weeks to finish the game at a development cost of $2.3 million.

Speaking to The Verge, Ustwo Games studio head Dan Gray talked about the company's resistance to going the freemium route with its games and the opinion by some in the industry that premium mobile games have died. "I think it has kind of plateaued," he explained. "It definitely hasn't died, which is what everyone said every year for the past six years."


In the Medium post, Gray explained that the company likes to share its data to help out other developers, who can "get a handle on what they might expect from a successful premium launch," and further the resistance to games that focus on in-app purchase payment structures. Monument Valley has become such a success in this field that other teams reportedly use "an MV" as a unit of measurement when forecasting success of their own games to investors, saying their game could launch with "X percent of an MV."
“It’s harder and harder to make successful, premium, paid mobile games,” says Gray. “So I would rather help people out.” He says that the community of premium mobile game developers is very communicative, sharing details like release dates ahead of time to avoid clashing with each other. “It’s kind of like this secret society of people trying to help each other out,” he says.
Monument Valley 2 launched with a price tag of $4.99 on the iOS App Store, and has seen a discount to $1.99 a few times over the last year. Thanks to the one-time purchase, players get access to the entire game, which spans 14 chapters of puzzles of increasing difficulty. Although he didn't specify what Ustwo is working on next, Gray said that he wants to use Monument Valley 2's success "to do some really risky projects that no one is taking risks on."


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