How much does it cost to create a mobile game in 2021
The cost of mobile game development can be high, but with the right team and dedicated approach, the game app can change your life.
According to CBInsights, a mobile segment in the gaming industry grows the fastest and will reach $100+ billion in revenue by the end of 2021. This can make this industry as profitable as any other.
So, if your ultimate goal is to glue users to the screen, it is important to know how profits can correspond to spendings on mobile game development.
Factors that determine the cost of mobile game development
Let’s get down to the point. Mobile came development costs can vary from $3 000 to $150 000 and this may bother anyone who starts the mobile game development process.
How to calculate the cost of your game?Lots of factors can affect how much your game development costs, yet, if you know what you want, you can manage it easily.
Seems simple enough: if you want a little mini-game or a puzzle with minimum animated pieces and repeated levels, your mobile game will cost about $3 000 - $5 000.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more epic, like a 3D mobile game or a strategy with lots of characters and complex levels, you will have to spend more.The development of a project like this would cost ten times more.
The most expensive mobile game in development is a multiplayer RPG with different interactive elements, quests, various locations, etc. These games usually cost above $150 000 and look like AAA projects.
These are responsible for both mobile game popularity and profitability as well as the above-the-clouds development costs.
Mobile game scenario complexity
First, a scenario is not only a written document that determines the “main hero journey” in your mobile game. It’s a complex structure of levels, locations, and character descriptions, the internal texts, cutscenes, soundtrack. All this massive block of content has to be addictive.
The more levels you create, the more complex your game logic becomes. And the point is to create scalable architecture. Without it, your game will crash as soon as your mobile game gains the desired popularity.
Work with the right team and evaluate your target audience’s needs. Puzzle doesn’t have to be a large game, but scalable architecture for RPG mobile games is a must.
Simple math; 3D animations will cost more than 2D. The more 3D animated elements you have the higher the mobile game development cost gets.
Think carefully about the functional and interactive elements and your game will be addictive.
Mobile game testing
The larger your game is, the more testing it requires. Testers, as mobile game developers, have hourly rates. So, the more they work for you the higher is your paycheck.
However, you should not cut corners on this element of development. Testing is as important as anything in the game, and if you don’t want users to be irritated ensure that the quality assurance process works well.
Can the platform affect mobile game development costs in 2021?
Not really, if you use Unity. This technology makes cross-platform development possible, so the mobile game created with Unity will work both on iOS and Android.
This technology has various pros when it comes to mobile game development, and here are some of them:
- it’s the most popular game engine and supports about 15 platforms; Android and iOS are on the list,
- Unity has impressive visual effects to offer and lots of AAA projects use this technology,
- It allows the rendering of both 3D and 2D objects and has a set of about 12 000+ assets to choose from when you don’t have an opportunity to create them yourself.
Mobile game development costs: the example of the calculation
Let’s take a look at it in a more practical way. One of the latest RexSoft mobile game development projects was Fish UP; a small but quite addictive project.
The gameplay is simple, all you have to do is move your boat around and look for fish.
This game has smooth 2D animations and simple gameplay, so it wasn’t expensive. RexSoft engaged a team of specialists to create this game:
- mobile game developer (Unity)
- mobile game designer
- 2D artist
Their hourly rates are about $28-30 and they’ve spent 160 hours on this game (a month for a full-time worker). So, the overall cost of this mobile game development project was $13 000.
Usually, mobile game development rates are:
- $5 000 - $7 000 for mini-games (e.g. Flappy Bird)
- $15 000 - $30 000 for small games (e.g. Temple Run)
- $60 000 - $120 000 for medium games (e.g. Angry Birds)
- $150 000+ for large games (e.g. Clash of Clans)
- $1 - $3M for AAA titles/extra large games (e.g. PUBG Mobile)
So, you want a mobile game but don’t want to spend everything on development? We totally get you.
How can you make mobile game development less expensive?
There are lots of things aside from development that you have to take care of; marketing, media presence, and so on.
So, our main advice is to start small. Create a small or mini-game that will scale in the future. You can hook your audience and expand later.
The second thing you can do is to outsource. For example, usually, games like Fish UP cost more since other specialists have higher rates. We work with American quality by Ukrainian rates, so anyone can afford a little bit more with us.
Poland and India also have lower rates, but 85% of IT specialists in Ukraine speak English and have high motivation in their job.
We at RexSoft also include PM’s work in our specialists’ rates so our clients don’t have to bother with control.
So, first thing first, if you want an addictive game, you need to work with the right team. At RexSoft we believe that entertainment is one of the most important parts of life, and we know how it is to be glued to the screen.
One difference only; while your user will be hooked on to playing, we’d be glued to creating your mobile game.