The Vampire Survivors developer explains why the mobile version was made in-house

The Vampire Survivors developer explains why the mobile version was made in-house

Poncle, the developer behind the indie roguelike survival horror game Vampire Survivors reveals why they decided to make the mobile version themselves.


Poncle, the developer of 2022’s indie hit Vampire Survivor, has explained why it ended up working on the mobile version of the game instead of using a third-party studio. After initially launching for free on Itch.io in March 2021, the “gothic horror casual game” was released on PC and Xbox consoles towards the end of 2022. Vampire Survivor proved to be incredibly well received and even won a Golden Joystick Award, which resulted in the launch of the mobile version just a couple of months later.

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Although it may appear to be a rushed turnaround time, Poncle has explained that it launched the mobile gateway to Vampire Survivor quickly to combat the influx of clones. Although seen much less frequently on more standard platforms such as PC or console, popular mobile titles being copied and flooding app stores is a very common practice and can greatly harm the developers of the original game. And Poncle has stated that many of these duplicate games had taken assets, progression and even code directly from Vampire Survivor.

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But instead of turning to a studio experienced in developing mobile titles, Poncle ended up creating a small screen port for Vampire Survivor itself. In a 2022 closing announcement on Steam, the company revealed that it had started looking for a partner to work on the mobile version fairly quickly. However, after months of searching, Poncle couldn’t find a developer who was okay with forgoing the monetization schemes so prevalent in the mobile market. The Vampire Survivor studio, on the other hand, was determined to go with something less “predatory”.

vampire survivor game screen

As a result, Vampire Survivor has performed extremely well on mobile, with ratings of 4.8/5 on both Google Play and the App Store at the time of writing. Poncle had feared that adding aggressive monetization would eliminate a large portion of the potential player base. Instead, the developer ensured that the game’s monetization tactics would never interfere with gameplay and could be controlled by the player via a “View Ads” button.

It is therefore important to remember that Poncle started as a one-man team. And at the time of posting the year-end announcement, the developer was still looking for a Full Stack Engineer. So some features are expected from the mobile version of the game, such as cloud storage and save transfers, are still missing and there are a noticeable number of bugs. Additionally, Poncle is still unsure how to distribute the Legacy of the Moonspell DLC for Vampire Survivor on mobile. Considering that more paid DLC is planned for the future, an acceptable release model for portable platforms, where many expect free-to-play games, is of utmost importance.

Vampire Survivor is currently available on mobile, PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

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Source: Steam

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