Vampire Survivors developer Poncle was forced to release its game on mobile “ASAP” after several exact copies began appearing on the market.
As reported by GI.biz, Poncle had initially attempted to bring Vampire Survivors to mobile devices in the wake of its successful 2022 launch on PC and Xbox, but struggled to find a partner that shared its views on monetization.
“Soon after the initial success of VS, I started to look for a business partner to work on a mobile version of the game,” reads a new blog on the game’s Steam page. “Unfortunately, nobody I spoke with was on board with the monetization I had in mind for the platform: non-predatory.”
In the wake of these conversations, however, unlicensed versions of the game started appearing on mobile stores. “Months passed by and a large number of actual clones – not “games like Vampire Survivors”, but actual one to one copies with stolen code, assets, data, progression – started to appear everywhere,” the post continued.
“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.”
The mobile version of Vampire Survivors released on Android and IOS in early December 2022. However, the need to release the game quickly led to some features – including cloud servers and save transfers – being left out of the initial release.
According to the Steam post, Poncle is still looking to implement these features as they work on numerous bug fixes, but in the absence of a backend engineer, they may take “longer than expected” to appear.
As it stands the mobile version of Vampire Survivors is entirely free to play, with gamers having the ability to view optional adverts at the end of a run in order to earn more gold or revive their character.
On December 15, Poncle released the first piece of DLC for Vampire Survivors, Legacy of the Moonspell, on PC and Xbox. In the new blog post the developer admits that it’s still figuring out how to bring the DLC to mobile.
“The problems we’re facing are the same mentioned above: how do we make it fair, but also accessible to players who are only into free games. We’ll figure something out and publish the DLC as soon as possible.”
Moving forward, Poncle has announced that it intends to continue updating Vampire Survivors, and has pledged, in terms of main game mechanics, that “no key-feature will ever be gatekept by a paywall”. The developers also said that more DLC content packs will be released in the future that will bring more characters, weapons, and stages to the game.
In our review, IGN awarded Vampire Survivors a 7/10, stating that “It may look extremely basic, but if you give Vampire Survivors’ clever one-stick shooter idea a chance to sink its teeth into you it might not let go for a while”.
Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer