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    What Factors Influence the Cost of Game Development?

    What Factors Influence the Cost of Game Development?

    Tracy Watson


    9 min read

    PlayStation 4 games development

    Coming up with a great idea for a new video game is a great first step, but then you need to figure out how to create it. You’re also wondering about the costs. The price range is somewhere between $3,000 for simple games and $150,000 for more complex multiplayer games. While this price range may give you an overall idea about how much you will need to spend, many different factors go into game development costs. In today’s article, we will tell you about some of the things you need to consider when figuring out the cost of development. 

    Game Type and Complexity

    Before any development work can begin, the development company will study all of the aspects and requirements of the game, which will usually be in the form of a GDD document. They will also go over any technical documentation and assets. As you can imagine, the more complex the game, the higher the price will be: 

    Cross-Platform Mobile Game Development
    • Small games – These games do not have complex options like accepting payments from users. They will also have basic controls and 2D graphics. An experienced development team could create such a game in a matter of weeks or even days in some cases. These types of games will usually stay below the $5000 price range. Having said that, let’s say that you want to add more levels or a 3D interface and a few more options. The price could increase to $20,000-$40,000. To lower the risks, we recommend creating a prototype game to validate your idea and then build on top of that. 
    • Medium games – These games will feature many different levels and are more difficult for the user to get through. You might also want to add in a complex story, a user-friendly UI, sounds, and other things. Because of the added features, the video game development costs will increase to somewhere between $60,000 – $120,000.
    • Large games – Large games will provide the user with rich content and an engaging storyline. These games will usually be free to download, but they will have a very well-planned out monetization system. The mobile game development costs here would exceed $150,000.

     Additional Factors That Affect the Game Development Costs

    video game technology advances

    The company providing the game development services will need to consider several factors when calculating the price. These include: 

    • Pre-production processes – We mentioned the requirement gathering and creating the GDD document. This is essentially the basis for the whole project, so it’s very important, but it does require time to create. Such costs are usually calculated based on an hourly rate. 
    • Single-player or multiplayer – Multiplayer games will be more expensive since there are additional requirements they need to fulfill. This can be things like the players’ interactions with each other and the strength of the internet connection required to play. 
    • Gaming engine – Unity and Unreal Engine are the most popular choices and do not add to the game app development cost all by themselves, but if your requirements turn out to be too complex for the engine you are currently using, and you need to change to something else, this will cause expenses to go up. 

    Marketing Your Game 

    Even when you have finally created a fun, interactive, and fun game, what good is it if nobody knows about it? Therefore, in addition to investing in video game development, you also need to invest in marketing. Think about it. How many games do you think are available to the users on the App Store and the Android Marketplace? According to recent data, as of the first quarter of 2021, approximately 316,802 mobile gaming apps were available on the AppStore. On the Google Play Store, this number is 477,877. With so many options available to the users, you need to think about how to market your game to get it noticed. 

    Where is the Development Team-Based? 

    If your development team is based in your local market, the video game production costs will be much higher than setting up an offshore team in places like Ukraine. For example, the annual salary of a Unity developer in the US is $98,214, which is $47 an hour. You can find a qualified Unity developer and any other talent you need. Keep the dedicated team outsourcing model in mind since it can help you lower the costs of development. 

    mobile games developers

    Hire Freelancers or a Professional Company? 

    Your first thought might be to hire some freelancers to help you with development, but this may not be such a great idea if your project is very complex. After all, it takes more than having the right development skills. You will need prototyping, UI/UX design, testing, and many other things. Finding the right people to handle all of these tasks could be very time-consuming and can end up costing you more, especially if some mistakes were made and you need to start from the beginning. 

    This is why you should hire a professional development company because they will be able to show you the portfolio of games they created, and they will have experts available on-staff to guide you. Also, one of the biggest benefits here is that the development company will be responsible for recruiting and other overhead costs of hiring a team of developers. If you decide to set up an offshore team, this could take a lot of burden off you so you can focus on your core business functions. 

    Trust Skywell Software With Your Video Game Development

    Regardless of how complex or imaginative your idea may be, our consultants and developers have the necessary skills to make your idea a reality. This includes not only mobile games but also AR and VR games as well. We will also help you take advantage of all the benefits outsourcing has to offer. Browse through our gaming portfolio and contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. 

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