Calculate the Cost of Mobile Game Development – Complete Guide

Mobile is a device that can be seen in the hands of almost everyone now. As mobile devices turned into Smartphones, calling and messaging are no longer the primary use-case of mobile devices. Nowadays, mobile devices are a tool of entertainment, and when it comes to entertainment, mobile games do ensure to be the leader of this field.

According to a study, when someone buys a mobile device, they download a game within a week on their mobile device.

Mobile games are a great way to pass the time and to have fun for the game players, but as for the developer, they are a great source of income. The contribution of mobile games in the global video market was 60%. Mobile games generated $49 Billion in revenue and a profit of 16.9 Billion in the last year.

Mobile games are also a strong branding and marketing tool. Games like Pokemon Go, UGGO Drinks – UGGO The Game, Need For Speed are some examples.

So if you are looking to develop a mobile game, you must have many questions in your mind. The most common question is related to the cost of development. Let’s have a look at how to calculate the cost of mobile game development.

Optimizing the Entire Game Development Process Is Essential For the Publishers

The first step towards mobile game development should be to optimize the mobile game development process to save your money and time. Whether you are developing a game to generate revenue or developing the game as per your branding strategy, you will always want to get the best results in a cost-effective manner.

Now how can one know the cost-effective process when they do not know the factors that affect the cost of the game.

Let’s have a look at the factors affecting the cost of mobile game development.

Top Affecting Factors of Mobile Game Development Cost

Genre of the Game

Genre and type of the game determine the game’s size, which in turn affects the cost of the game.

For example, if you wish to develop a puzzle game, the game will be small in size, and therefore the cost will be less. But if you want to develop a role-playing, action, open-world game like GTA, the price will be huge.

Type of games

  1. Simple 2D game – Flappy Bird, Red Ball, Stack, Sudoku, etc.
  2. 3D Game 3D Shooting, Tennis Clash, etc.
  3. Mid Level Mobile Game – Angry Bird, Cut the Rope, etc.
  4. High-Level Mobile Game – Dr. Driving, Clash of Clans, etc.
  5. AAA Games – NFS, GTA, FIFA, etc.
  6. Real Money Games – Dream11, MPL, etc.

Category of Games

  1. Action
  2. Real money
  3. puzzle
  4. Action
  5. Adventure
  6. Arcade
  7. Casual
  8. Card
  9. Racing
  10. Sports

Selecting Mobile Platform

The most common choice is between Android, iOS, and Windows. The platform that you choose has a huge impact on the game’s development cost, but it also has an impact on the revenue and reach of the game.

If you choose Android, the development cost is more compared to apple. But Android has the biggest market in mobile devices. When you opt for Apple, the payment systems and administration in Apple devices is 10-20% more costlier.

If you choose a single platform, the price will be less than developing an app for multiple platforms, but this also means that you will not be able to generate revenue from other platforms. Therefore the most preferred development is cross-platform app development, this way, you will get the benefit of all the platforms that you want, although the development price will increase, so will the revenue and reach of the game.

Game Complexity

Once you have finalized the type and the category of the game, you know all the features that your game should have. If the game is simple, just adding social media integration will be enough, but if you are creating a game like PUBG, you will have to add various features like voice integration, gyroscope, etc. This increases the cost of development.

Mobile Game Engine

Game engine is the heart of mobile games. And so, choosing the right game engine is the must when it comes to developing a mobile game because mobile games are completely dependent on mobile game engines.

Based on the category, type, and features that are needed in the game, you will have to choose the mobile game development engine. There are various mobile game development engines available in the market that you can choose from.

All of the game engines have their own pros and cons, therefore choose accordingly.

Game Development Time

Mobile game app development is quite competitive; thus, timing is one of the significant concerns that the businesses need to give high emphasis upon! It is essential to design and create high-quality game apps within a limited time-frame in the mobile game development process. Increased time for game app development means the increased cost for game app development.

Mobile Game Testing

No one wants to launch a buggy game in the market, and therefore testing is considered the most important step before launching the game. Testing is generally low-cost if there are no errors or bugs in the game, but if there are some errors and bugs in the game, you have to spend to fix them to release the perfect game in the market.

Therefore you should always keep some budget aside for this step.

Note: Above mentioned factors only cover the game development cost. They do not cover the game’s marketing cost, and therefore you should consider creating a separate budget for marketing.

Also Check: Our Recent Work

General Mobile Game Development Cost

Developing a mobile game can cost around $10k to $100k for a single platform (Android or iOS ) with basic functionality. If you wish to develop a game with all the advanced features and functionalities, with support to multiple platforms, it may cost up to $500k.

cost of mobile game development

The game development cost also depends on the company that you choose. Below are the different charges of Game development.

Charges of a small company: $15 – $40 / hour
Charges of an Intermediate company: $50 – $100 / hour
Charges of an Enterprise-level company: $100 – $300 / hour

Mini-Game Cost: $3k – $10k

Even a simple mini-game like Soduko or Pac-man will cost somewhere around 3k-10k for a single platform. If you want advanced features and multiple platforms, it can cost up to 20k.

3D Game Cost: $30k – $60k

Games like 3D shooting and Tennis Clash, which comes with excellent graphics, can cost around 30k-60k for a single platform. The price can rise up to 80k for advanced features and multiple platforms.

Mid-Level Game Cost: $60k – $100k

Mid-level games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope can cost around 60k-100k for a single platform. For advanced features and multiple platforms, the price can rise up to 120k.

High-End Game Cost: $150k – $400k

Games like PUBG, Call of Duty: Mobile can cost around $150k to $200k for a single android or ios platform. The price can rise up to $400k for multiple platforms and advanced features.

AAA Game Cost: $300k – $500k

AAA Games like GTA and FIFA are among the costliest games. The development cost for such games starts from $300k. The price is also increase up to $1M depends on the functionality, features and story.

Real Money Game Cost: $10k – $100k

Real money games like real money Ludo, 8 ball pool, Rummy, Carrom can cost around $10k to $50k for a single platform. The cost can go up to $100k for advanced features and multiple platforms.

Modes of Outsourcing Game Development

Nearshore Outsourcing

The strategy of nearshore outsourcing involves specialized experts that are in proximity. This ensures easy coordination among the specialists and facilitates the individuals to utilize the resources in the best way.

Offshore Outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing strategy involves different experts located in different countries. The most impressive advantage of offshore outsourcing is the significant reduction of game app development costs. Offshore outsourcing also accelerates the game app development time.

Onshore Outsourcing

This strategy involves hiring a third-party mobile game development company that belongs to the same country. This way, you can outsource your game development work to the best mobile game development company in your native country.

Mobile Game Development Cycle

The game publishers aim to reduce the game app development costs, which would need to search for the game studio that offers offshore outsourcing services. It is essential to understand different development cycle tasks that could be outsourced for ensuring the maximum efficiency of the output product.

Pre-Production

Design and development of the entire game concept, art design, character design, and initial game prototypes are included in the pre-production phase of game app development.

Production

The production phase of game app development is intense, and this phase includes the steps of finalizing the game assets, building the game levels, coding, scripting, and programming.

Post Production

Once the game is launched, it marks the beginning of maintaining the game. You have to push updates with new levels, features, etc. to keep the user interested. You may also encounter some bugs after the launch, and therefore the post-production helps stage is to maintain the app and to push updates.

Mobile Game Testing

The final stage of the game app development cycle is testing. This phase of the development cycle involves testing and debugging the game app on different platforms and devices. This step ensures the compatibility of the game with different mobile devices and platforms.

How to Ensure To Reduce the App Development Costs?

The cost clearly depends on the type and category of the game you choose. The cost will go up as your demands increase (multiple platforms, advanced features) and will come down once you keep your demands down. Moreover, you should make sure that you are getting the desired quality of work for the cost that you are paying. Review different mobile game development companies and opt for the company that delivers excellent quality at a budget-friendly rate.



Mr. Vivek Shah
Author: Mr. Vivek Shah
He is the pioneer, motivational speaker, solution provider, MD and CEO of Capermint Technologies Pvt Ltd: A leading Mobile Games & App development company. He believes in crafting creativity with calibre which construct a valuable outcome for the world out there looking for innovation. As a CEO, he likes to help other companies to transform their app ideas into reality.

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