Ustwo's Dan Gray on how to succeed with premium games in the current mobile market

Taking risks and not making something which is already free

Ustwo's Dan Gray on how to succeed with premium games in the current mobile market

At Pocket Gamer Connects London 2018, Ustwo Head of Studio Dan Gray, gave a talk on how premium games can succeed in the current mobile market.

He started by talking about the lack of innovation in the market, with "mass-production" companies who don't take many risks and try to fit into certain archetypes to maximise profits.

Smaller teams, however, are able to take risks and try new things, like Ustwo did when it started developing Monument Valley.

Make it undeniably premium

For one, Gray suggested that a unique art style will help sell a premium game, with the example of Hidden Folks and its unique, simple style, which helped draw in an audience.

Next, Gray talked about "personality", in which developers put all their heart and soul into the development of a game, which players then pick up on when buying a game.

He also suggested that premium developers need to avoid making titles that are already available for free, and "make the game that you're making undeniably premium."

Finally, Gray noted that "polish is absolutely everything", and told developers to spend as much time as they can making sure that their game is of the highest quality before launch.


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.


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