Skip to main content

In a post on Steam wrapping up a fantastic year for Vampire Survivors, the developers of the indie hit opened up about the challenges of the cutthroat mobile game market.

Luca Galante and his colleagues were looking for a business partner to work on the mobile version very soon after Vampire Survivors stormed the Steam charts, the post states. However, “nobody I spoke with was on board with the monetization I had in mind for the platform: non-predatory.”

The mobile game market is dominated by free-to-play games with aggressive in-game monetization such as strongly pushed microtransactions or a bombardment with in-app advertisements. Galante, who has recently stated that he’s not even a fan of selling DLC to players, was not ready to subject fans of his game to such a treatment.

Unfortunately, “a large number of actual clones – not ‘games like Vampire Survivors’, but actual 1:1 copies with stolen code, assets, data, progression – started to appear everywhere.” Lax IP protection is another huge challenge in the world of mobile games, with clones of popular titles and concepts very quickly flooding the market in a sort of gold rush to secure a piece of the cake.

Galante continues: “This forced our hand to release the mobile game ASAP, and put a lot of stress on the dev team that wasn't even supposed to worry about mobile in the first place.” This rushed process forced the team to make some compromises, so some features are still missing. Despite this, the mobile version of Vampire Survivors boasts strong ratings on stores for iOS and Android, while going light on monetization.

One of the challenges facing the team is a lack of mobile devices to recreate bugs on, so if you have some old phone laying around you might just have found a buyer – you might spare the devs from the obligation of “scouting even the dodgiest possible places” for the right hardware.

Fans can expect more Vampire Survivors content to come up in 2023. It may even include vampires.