Summary: The mobile gaming industry has grown leaps and bounds over the last decade. Over the years, mobile games have broken records and generated billions in revenue. Since it is convenient, simple and fun, more and more players are using mobile devices to play games. Furthermore, it allows gamers to play the game wherever they are, which is not possible with a desktop or a gaming console.
But the demographics of mobile gamers are constantly evolving. So if you are in this segment, you need to know how it works. This includes having an in-depth knowledge to make informed decisions on technology, cost and more.
Developing mobile game apps provides a long-term revenue generation opportunity. So, it’s essential to know how much it costs to develop a mobile game. When you think of an idea, the first thing to consider is the cost involved. Estimation of mobile game development cost depends on many factors such as the type of app, size, platforms and devices, design, and more.
Game type and style
The style and type of play determine the size of the game, which in turn affects the cost. Types of games include:
- Simple 2D games like Stack and Sudoku.
- 3D games like 3D Shooting, Tennis Clash.
- Mid-Level mobile games like Angry Birds.
- High-Level mobile games such as Clash of Clans.
- AAA games including NFS and GTA.
- Real Money games like Dream11 and MPL.
Suppose you want to develop a smaller puzzle game with minimum animated pieces and repeat levels, it may cost less, around $3 000 – $5,000. But if you want to develop a role-playing and action-oriented game like GTA, the cost will be higher.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something like a 3D mobile game with lots of characters
and complicated levels, you might have to spend more.
Typically, multiplayer games with several interactive elements, quests and locations are the most expensive to develop. These games usually cost more and can be AAA projects.
Style of games include:
- Real money
Expert developers take advantage of the best ideas for gaming that help the game to take off well.
Choice of a platform
The platform you choose affects your overall development spend. For example, developing an app for one platform will cost less than for multiple platforms. Developing ancillary applications for connected devices such as TVs also increases the overall cost of mobile app development.
The cost of mobile app development for Android, iOS or any other platform differs. If the apps are built to support older devices, it requires more effort and time, thus increasing the cost of mobile app development.
Typically the choice is between Android, iOS and Windows. Payment integration and administration systems in Apple devices are 10 to 20% more than in Android devices. Android app development costs a bit more if you want your game to be compatible with older models.
For a hybrid model, you will probably face a higher cost from both platforms. Still, choosing a hybrid model is smart as it brings in a large market share and better ROI.
Design is the planning phase which includes levels, gameplay, target users, sports environment and more. Without a well-planned game design, controlling and coordinating mobile game development (Add the 10th blog link here – 6 factors considered to develop mobile game ) can be complicated and there can be many glitches.
For an effective design, the project must include a story and characters. For better engagement, a story is important. With a plot and characters missing, it will be difficult to engage players for a long time. An impressive character design involves:
- The tone of the various game characters, and
- Behavior with the user.
You need experienced game planners for your project as the planning phase involves a lot of communication between the one who has the idea and the professional experts. For the game development and technical part, it is wise to outsource the project to an experienced firm.
Game features and functionality
Mobile app functionality includes the following aspects
- Backend infrastructure,
- Perfect content management system,
- Various technologies.
Depending on the choice you make, these factors can add or subtract from the total cost of development.
The type of mobile application can play a role in deciding the features. Adding extra features to your mobile app can lead to significant development costs, but such features would be a necessity depending on the type of app you’re building. Some of the favorite features are:
- Sign up via social media or email
- Push notifications
- User login
- Chat or messaging facility
- In-app purchases
- Payment integration
- Map integration
- Portrait or landscape view
- Geographical location
Once you finalize the type and style of play, you also know the features that your game should have. If the game is simple, adding social media integration is enough. But to make a high-action game like PUBG, you may have to add various features like voice integration which would increase the development cost.
Location and development team
The cost of mobile app development may vary depending on the location and the development team. A basic development team may include:
- A project manager, programmer
- QA Engineer
- UI or UX Designer
Experts included in an expanded team are:
- A project manager
- 2 or 4 app developers
- 1 back-end developer
- 1 QA engineer
- 1 system administrator
- 1 or 2 UI/UX Designers
Mobile development costs can depend on the size, type and style of your project. When looking for specific strategies for your gaming project, hiring a custom mobile app development company is the best option.
This will be decided by the nature of your project, whether it’s a simple one or a complex one. You can choose to collaborate with a professional firm. Not compromising on quality should be the first consideration to reduce mobile game development costs.
For a complex project, it is essential to hire a team of professionals who provide complete game development services. It should also include game prototyping, UX/UI design, testing and support. This helps ensure professional results.
Testing, marketing and maintenance
To be popular, every mobile game needs smart marketing. After investing money in mobile game development, you need to think about advertising ROI and profit. It is wise to add the cost of marketing to the cost.
A marketing budget is important and large publishers invest more in advertising than mobile game development costs. Generally, marketing costs can be as much as 30% of the total budget to reach the target audience and make a profit.
The game development company you collaborate with can recommend the most effective marketing channels or assist with easy distribution of your game once development is complete.
Maintenance is equally important. Every player loves to play a fast, safe and lag-free game. In games, the tolerance level for bugs is low. And, you don’t want to risk a negative user experience.
So, testing is a very important activity and you should consider some costs for this as well in your overall budget. Testing costs are relatively low if the game has no flaws; set an amount to fix them before the release of the final product.
All things considered
Mobile game development is a rapidly growing market. According to reports, there will be more than 2 billion mobile gamers worldwide. With emerging technologies (Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), this number will only increase.
If you are looking for a mobile game development company, then connect with a company that has the necessary experience and expertise. Hire one who can provide projects of any size, type and style with its mobile app development solutions.