Everyone who plans to develop their own unique game is interested in how much it will cost. Sometimes the amount of money spent on game development is only a few hundred dollars, but it can reach a thousand. At first glance, it is impossible to determine exactly how much a mobile game will cost. It depends on many factors, such as the selection of specialists, the genre of the game, 2D or 3D graphics, and so on.
Before you start developing a game, it is worth determining your capabilities and financial costs. Unfortunately, it often happens that the development of the game is stopped because the developers do not have enough money for further cooperation with the developers and other resources. One of the key reasons for stopping the development of any game is the lack of awareness of what game development stages the team should go through. Various pitfalls can be encountered on your way and it is worth knowing about them in order to avoid bad situations. Today’s article will be helpful for those who want to know about the prices of mobile game development.
Stages of Game Development
Find a Game Idea
All successful projects start with a great idea. Today there are so many different mobile games that it is difficult for developers to stand out and create a project with a twist that will interest people. You need to try to make your game unique and add interesting features to it that other developers do not provide. You should research other games and find out what mistakes other developers make. For instance, if you decide to make a Match-3 game, analyze other projects in this style. One of the coolest ways to make your game better is to watch the gameplay of real bloggers. Find out what irritates people, what they want from the game, and put it into reality.
The main thing is to count more on a large audience, remember about the people who will play the novelty you have created. Before creating a mobile game, decide what and for whom it will be. Choose a genre: arcade, multiplayer, action, strategy, or RPG? Estimate the age of your audience: do you want to attract young people or middle-aged people? Answer these questions and then move on to other steps.
Choose Mobile Platform and Game Engine
After you have come up with an interesting game concept, think about which engine you will develop your project on and where you will place it. Some of the best engines for creating mobile games are Unity and Unreal Engine. Each option has its pros and cons, but we have compared these engines in more detail in another article. The choice of the gaming platform also greatly affects the popularity of the game. It will be much better if you decide to create a cross-platform game that can be played both on Android and iOS. This will bring you more players, and therefore more earnings.
Choose the Monetization System
According to statistics, paid games are not getting the same success as free ones. The player downloads a free application, he becomes interested in playing, therefore he wants to get more from the game and makes investments. It is called freemium monetization and it dominates the market today. The application can be downloaded for free, but the variety of content and different features is unlocked. Below you can find some monetization systems:
- In-game advertising. Most mobile games use advertising as their primary monetization strategy. However, it has become the most annoying factor, as it is more repulsive than beneficial. Many hyper-casual games have received low ratings and a lot of complaints due to annoying ads. Many players think that mobile game development companies have only one goal – to make money from advertising. Of course, in recent years, advertising in games has become shorter and more effective, and the playable ads function has also appeared, which are becoming less aggressive for the human psyche;
- In-game purchases. This point is found in almost all games. People who enjoy the game want to get more out of it and try new skins or features. Getting involved in the game, they often make purchases without hesitation;
- The reward for viewing ads. A more attractive and socially acceptable format, as it allows users to view ads in exchange for various rewards, such as in-game currency or an extra life.
Game Development Process
Having gone through all the difficult previous stages, the development team can finally start creating a game based on the client’s ready-made desires. This is the most expensive and time-consuming process that takes the time and effort of different game specialists. You can hire an outsourcing mobile game development company. It can’t be enough to hire inexpensive freelancers Such work requires a qualified team of specialists:
- game designer;
- level and map designer;
- backend developer;
- front-end developer;
- sound engineer;
- QA and testers.
The last phase of the game’s development is fasting which includes ongoing support from the developers and the introduction of new game features, updates, and items. This is done in order to maintain the interest of the existing audience and attract new players. Agree, no one will play a game that doesn’t release new offers for a long time and the game will quickly lose popularity.
What Factors Affect the Game Development Cost?
Before starting to create a mobile game, developers should create a GDD document, which will indicate all the client’s wishes about the game. This document contains the concept of the game with all the details. This is necessary in order to calculate how much money will be spent on development, what specialists are needed, and what is the main idea of the game.
Without this, it is impossible to create a full-fledged game, since the development process will resemble real chaos. Pre-development of the game is an important process that also requires specialist time. Usually, such work is paid per hour and the money spent on this stage depends on the prices of the developers that may vary from $50 to 200$ per hour.
2D or 3D graphics
One of the main components of the mobile game development cost is graphics. Obviously, 2D games will be cheaper to develop. 3D games require more development time, more specialists, and more effort. The time spent on developing a 3D project is twice as long as the process of creating a two-dimension game.
The price of developing a mobile game depends on the features that you want to implement into it. On average, 2D games can be between $5,000- $20,000 if you want to create a simple and minimalistic game without hundreds of features. If you decide to add more features and diversify the game, it can go up to $200,000.
One of the key factors that affect the cost of developing a mobile game is its genre. You must agree that it is much easier to develop an ordinary puzzle than to work on creating a multiplayer game. Racing games require special attention from game designers who will create solid thrilling cars, single-player games require great storytelling, and multiplayer games require additional payment for Internet connection functions and to interact with other players in real-time.
The price for developing a game directly depends on the features of the genre that you choose. Perhaps you want to diversify your game and introduce interesting animations, colorful effects, or come up with a beautiful story. Every detail is taken into account and will require money in the future, so you should calculate everything well in advance.
The total price for developing a game application varies for each country and region. As a rule, game specialists set an hourly rate that characterizes the scale and complexity of the project being implemented. The final cost of developing a mobile game depends on a large number of factors: the engine used, the professionalism of the performer and marketing policy, etc.
The average cost of programming an entertainment application in Eastern Europe starts at $7,500. And in Australia and the USA, specialists charge an average of $100 per hour of work. IT specialists from Western Europe sell their service for 60 euros/hour, in India – 8-30 dollars.
Game testing is one of the most important stages of game development. For every two developers, there is one tester who detects errors in the game code and allows developers to fix bugs for better gameplay. This also requires additional costs and each tester has his pricing.
Sometimes game developers neglect to test their games and don’t look for a tester to save money. Unfortunately, this leads to negative consequences in the future and the game can upset players because of dozens of bugs. It is better to spend money once on testing the game than to regret it in the future.
As we all know, any product, no matter how perfect, will not be successful if people don’t know about it. In our case, the product is a ready-made game with a specific concept and a certain style. Let’s be honest, games are made to make a profit. To generate revenue, we need to introduce the game to people in a better way, get them interested and give them a try. You can come up with interesting rewards, add new features, updates to keep users interested. You need to find your audience of potential players and show them the best sides of your mobile game.
This significantly affects the cost of developing a game and sometimes large companies spend more on promoting their mobile application than on developing it. Nevertheless, according to statistics, 30% of the money spent on the development of the game will be enough for you to make the minimum promotion of the game and to interest the players.
Mobile game development is a difficult process that requires a lot of effort and money. If you want to create an amazing game that will be successful, you should make sure that the development team goes through all the necessary game creation stages. If you want to learn more about the process of creating mobile games, stay on our blog, because there are many useful articles shortly!