Mobile is a device that can be seen in the hands of almost everyone now. As mobile devices turned into Smartphones, calling and messaging is 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.
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.
How much does it cost to develop a mobile game?
Mobile game development can cost around $10k – $50k for a single platform (Android or iOS) with basic functionality. If you wish to develop a game with all the advanced graphics, high complexity features and functionalities, with support to multiple platforms, it may cost up to $600k.
The game development cost is highly dependent on the game requirements, the features included, and the size of the game. Here is a list of the types of games and their estimated development cost:
1. Mini Game Development Cost: $10k – $20k
Even a simple mini-game like Sudoku 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.
Game Examples: Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, etc.
1. 2D Game Development Cost: $15k – $25k
2D game development can cost around $15-25k for a single platform. If you want advanced features and multiple platforms, it can cost up to 50k.
Game Examples: Flappy Slendrina, etc.
2. 3D Game Development Cost: $30k – $60k
Games like 3D shooting and Tennis Clash, which come 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.
Game Examples: Join Clash 3D, Free 3D Shooting, etc.
3. Mid-Level Game Development 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.
Game Examples: Simcity, Gardenscapes, Angrybirds, Candy Crush, etc.
4. High-End Game Development 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.
Game Examples: Clash of Clans, Last Day on Earth: Survival, Clash Royale, etc.
5. AAA Game Development 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 also increases up to $1M depends on the functionality, features, and story.
Game Examples: PUBG, GTA, Red Dead Redemption 2, FIFA 2021, Call of Duty, etc.
6. Real Money Game Development Cost: $10k – $100k
Game Examples: Bet365, Ludo Empire, MPL, etc.
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 – Breakdown
1. 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
- Simple 2D game – Flappy Bird, Red Ball, Stack, Sudoku, etc.
- 3D Game – 3D Shooting, Tennis Clash, etc.
- Mid-Level Mobile Game – Angry Bird, Cut the Rope, etc.
- High-Level Mobile Game – Dr. Driving, Clash of Clans, etc.
- AAA Games – NFS, GTA, FIFA, etc.
- Real Money Games – Dream11, MPL, etc.
Category of Games
- Real money
2. 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 are 10-20% 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.
3. 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.
4. Mobile Game Engine
Game engine is the heart of mobile games. And so, choosing the right game engine is a 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
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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.
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.
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Modes of Outsourcing Game Development
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
How to Ensure To Reduce the Game 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.
If you are looking for an experienced game development company that can develop effective games at pocket-friendly rates? Try Capermint Technologies – an experienced mobile app and game development company with dozens of games in our portfolio showcasing our bravura. Our developers are adept at transforming your idea into magnificent games that work smoothly across all the devices at pocket-friendly rates.