After more than six months in development, Ustwo's Monument Valley
downloadable content Forgotten Shores
launched on the App Store yesterday.
The mobile adventure game, which has sold over 1 million copies
and has drawn high praise
from both players and the press, received the new pack of chapters and levels yesterday, with a $1.99 price tag. The base game still costs $3.99.
But 24 hours later, the UK-based studio has noticed a surprising side-effect of releasing paid DLC: Some players have decided that not only are they not going to pay for additional content, but they're also going to complain about it by giving the game 1 star reviews on the App Store.
As you'd expect, Ustwo was rather saddened to find this was occurring. Fortunately a couple of tweets on the matter stirred their followers into action, and a flood of 5-star reviews have now poured in to counteract the 1 stars.
"We saw a vocal minority early on, but if you check back at the store page now you can see that they have been hugely outnumbered by more positive reviews," Ustwo director Neil McFarland assured me.
"That said, I have the perception that there's also a silent majority who have an uneasy relationship with mobile app value," he adds. "Spending money on apps for their hugely expensive piece of technology (the price of which is often hidden inside a monthly contract) doesn't come easily for a lot of people because the general environment has trained people to expect low prices for huge amounts of content or even apps for free."
Ustwo has been in the mobile game market for a while now, with titles like Whale Trail
and Blip Blup
, and McFarland says that he believes this latest DLC furore is a sign of a shift going on in mobile currently.
"I think right now we're in a period of market re-alignment in the wake of the success of free-to-play," he adds, "and we're seeing the completely necessary move in the opposite direction from selling apps for only 99 cents to a more 'premium' price."