How Much Does It Cost to Make a Mobile Game

24 October 2022 Writer: Lera Grechanik 654 views

While for some people mobile games are entertainment, for others they may become a business venture. The AdMob study showed that 62% of smartphone users tend to install a mobile game within the first week after purchasing a new device. No wonder the worldwide number of downloads has exceeded 230b. The popularity of mobile games substantiates the statistics regarding finances. Mobile gamers have spent $170b in 2021. Yet, Google Play saw $37.3 billion in revenue, while AppStore received $47.9 billion. 

As you can comprehend from the stats, the market of mobile games is both well-spent and profit-making. This may give a thought to creating a mobile game and joining one of the most popular industries in the market. 

Before starting a new venture, you naturally may question “how much does it cost to make a mobile game”. Keep reading this mobile game development cost breakdown to find out the nitty-gritty about cost calculation. 

Factors That Determine the Cost of Mobile Game Development

Factor #1 Game Script

Some games are designed to be time killers, while others may have a story. Time-killers are considerably cheaper to produce, while narrative-based games have a number of levels, locations, and character descriptions to gain complexity. Developing a mobile game involves a variation of the cost of developing a mobile game, resting whether a game is simple to complex. 

Why do you need a scenario and pay extra for it? To retain and engage users in the game. The game script has a complex structure of levels, locations, and character descriptions, in-game language, cutscenes, audio tracks, and other elements. Your mobile game's logic becomes more complex as more levels are created. As mobile game development grows in scale, mobile game development costs increase proportionally.

Factor #2 Game Type

Mobile games come in a variety of genres. The genres influence the attractiveness and profits of mobile games, as well as their complexity and, consequently, game app development cost.

If we talk about the complexity of the game, we can distinguish the following genres: 

Casual Games

Simple video games are usually uncomplicated shoot-em-ups or easy-peasy games that don't need much effort to play. These games usually use simple graphics. They are frequently used as time-killers.

Social Games

Social games are hosted on social networks and are similar to browser games. They are only available to users of the social network in which they are deployed (e.g., Facebook). 

Intermediate-Level Games

Unlike simple games, Intermediate-level games feature characters, levels, and enhanced visuals compared to simple games. Examples of such games are Angry Birds and Subway Surfers.

Business Game Applications

Mobile games for business can serve two purposes: 

  • Supplementing team-building outreach
  • Accomplishing the goal of a marketing campaign

In today's competitive environment, companies are taking advantage of mobile games as an in-house tool to build team bonding by boosting communication, encouraging creativity, and promoting a more fun and engaging work environment.

As part of marketing, corporate and SMB games can be a medium to bring unique branding to a company, become a lead generator and increase sales. 

Distinctive factors of enterprise-level games: 

  • Multiplayer nature
  • Story
  • More complex graphics
  • Animation 
  • Game levels
  • Soundtracks
  • Cross-platform compatibility

High-level Games

The name “high-level games” speaks for itself. They have complex graphics, a multi-level plot, more elaborate characters, soundtracks, etc.

Developing such games can demand a lot longer term and more resources. The crew toiling on producing the game is also wider. Consequently, the budget of mobile game creation goes up significantly. But if you manage to create a booming development and entice a wide audience, you have all the chances to gain a big payoff.

Factor #3 Game Design

Game design, UX/UI design, and animations are all important aspects of mobile games. Design is a very multi-level process, and it requires careful planning because it includes game levels, target audiences, gameplay, and game environments.

Games may be created in either 2D or 3D formats. If you wish to create a 3D game, the mobile game development cost will be greater than for 2D games. 

Animations can either be in 3D or 2D. Likewise, 2D animations are less pricey than 3D ones. There is also a basic rule: the more animations there are, the higher the cost to make a mobile game.

Factor #4 Game Testing

Errors and bugs can be devastating to games as it facilitates user outflow. Who likes lagging and sluggish games? That's why testing is a go-to. Testing benefits to find bugs, crashes, and flaws at the point of creation. That way, developers can fix them before deployment. 

The volume of testing is specified by the game's sophistication. The more testing is demanded, the higher the mobile game development cost.

Factor #5 Operating System

The range in the cost to make a mobile game for iOS or for Android is insignificant. So in this section, it is worth noting that a cross-platform game, i.e. a game running on both operating systems will be considerably more costly if analogized to native games.

Factor #6 Marketing

It is unlikely that a game will hit the market with unprecedented success on its own. Back up your flawless development with a good marketing program, and then the world will see your game. 

Any marketing campaign should be enclosed in the mobile game development budget. But the payoff will be many times greater if you earn visibility and high ranking in the Stores.

Have an exciting project on your mind?
We're ready to help! Get consult with our specialist right here.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop a Mobile Game App?

It gets clear, that the cost of mobile game development is a subject to change. It goes up and down, relying on various factors. For you to comprehend the real cost for a mobile game development, we made up a table stating the cost of various game types, required timeframe, and team composition. 

How Can You Make Mobile Game Development Less Expensive?

Outsourcing mobile game development teams is a great option if you want to reduce the cost of mobile game development.

Hiring an offshore team we’ll free you from paying office rent, staff vacations and sick leaves, social benefits, and other “benefits”. 

The hourly rate of outsourcing teams varies from country to country. For example, the highest cost to make a mobile game will be in the US and the cheapest in India. 

At the same time, the level of expertise and skills of outsourcing teams can be at the same level despite the difference in the hourly cost to create a mobile game

If you are familiar with the field of IT, you have probably heard the opinion that Eastern Europe has very talented development teams. Many popular and successful products have come from there.

The number of mobile game developers is enormous across the Globe. As it was mentioned, the rates for their service may vary pivoting on their geographical location. We researched the rates across various regions and put them in one table for your acknowledgment.

Mobile Game Development by a Professional Team

Celadon is a mobile game developer who has been in the field since 2016. We deliver games of various complexity and genres and know for sure how to retain players in the game. 

Game development for mobile devices is our thing, and we’re confident in it. We offer all-inclusive custom mobile game development services of high-quality levels at fair prices. We will take your idea and bring in it back to you as a brand-new mobile game. There’s more to it, we will care about your game after its launch by supporting and maintaining it. We’ll conduct a quick app development cost estimate upon your request. All you need to do is to send us a text with a brief description of your idea.

Areas of responsibility - brand and growth marketing. Strongly believes that software development is an art and marketing is not just about sales but about sharing your passion. Her educational background in the field of business and marketing allows her to create expert content and help others to grow and expand knowledge.

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F.A.Q.

01.
How much does it cost to create a mobile game?
Nik
Head of Sales

The cost of developing a mobile game is hard to calculate with no details about your idea.  It’s natural that a simple game like casual and social media games will cost less than a more complex one. 

Also, there are other factors influencing that mobile game app development costs:

  • Game Scenario
  • Game Genre
  • Game Design
  • Game Testing
  • Operation System
  • Mobile Game Marketing
02.
How can I save money on game app development?
Lera
Copywriter

If you want to reduce the cost of game development, you don’t have to go for a lower-skill team or deprive your game of any features. There’s another solution you may like. You may hire an outsourcing dev team from abroad. The rates of such teams deviate from country to country. For instance, you may start collaboration on game development with a team from Eastern Europe rather than one from the US. This move will save your budget without risking the quality.

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