Game Development

Factors to Consider Determining Mobile Game Development Cost

Mobile games are money-making, fun to use, and a success element for any business. But what goes into building a successful game...

Ankit Dave Written by Ankit Dave · 5 min read >
Mobile Game Development Cost

Mobile games are money-making, fun to use, and a success element for any business. But what goes into building a successful game app? Or, more significantly, how much do you need to spend on developing a mobile game?

Being a marketer or entrepreneur, you must calculate the approx cost of mobile game development if you have a concept in your mind. After all, it is one of the most vital elements of your business. So, how much will you have to spend, and how will you optimize the whole expenses? What are the more important aspects and areas?

Before answering all the questions given above, let’s start with some essential statistical data!

Mobile Gaming Market Share and Statistics

There has never been a greater time for building mobile game apps globally. Let’s look at the snapshot of mobile games’ global market share and statistics!

mobile games revenue
  • According to a Statista report, the US mobile games revenue reached $18,250 million in 2020, and we can expect it to reach $22,828 million by 2022.
  • The US mobile game market will grow, providing more scopes for innovative, new games. In the last two years, we found games like COD: Mobile and PUBG Mobile reaching $500 million and $2.6 billion in revenue, respectively, in 2020.
  • In 2021, there were almost 2,659.5 million mobile game players globally.
  • We can predict mobile gaming revenue to increase at 2.9% CAGR by 2024.
  • Over 72% of mobile device users play games on their mobiles in the US.

Factors Affecting the Mobile Game Development Cost

It would help to consider different factors while building a mobile game app. Let’s look at the top affecting aspects of mobile game development cost!

1. Pre-Development Costs

To make a well-structured mobile game development process, developers build a tactic in a Game Design Document (GDD) that incorporates all the game details. It’s a crucial step being the fundamental of the entire project.

The game design document creation process needs time and effort, which causes pre-development costs. You can measure these costs depending on aspects like cost per working hour.

2. Platform

It would help if you chose iOS, Android or both platforms. Your selected platform highly affects the game development cost, alongside the reach and revenue of the game. Android development costs more than iOS. But, Android is more popular on mobile platforms.

If you choose iOS, Apple gadgets’ administration and payment systems are more expensive. Single-platform development costs less than multiple-platform development.

However, you cannot produce revenue from other platforms if you choose only one platform. Hence, the best option is to choose cross-platform app development to enjoy every platform’s perks.

3. Design

Designing a mobile game follows a multilayer procedure. You can plan the target users, game levels, game environment, and gameplay in this stage. Without planning a proper design, the game app may make many bugs and glitches. Hence, you should do this step cautiously.

Many experts who engage in the whole design and development cycle are UI/UX designers, architecture, and game artists. These professionals charge fees depending on their capacities and experience.

4. Game App Testing

The testing process is similarly crucial, like game development. After all, gamers cannot tolerate a small number of bugs.

Hence, ensure that your game runs seamlessly, without any problems, and provides a good user experience. Keep your budget aside for testing services offered by the game app development company.

5. Categories and Genres

The mobile game app development cost highly depends on whether you create a simulation app, a social gaming app, or a casual gaming app. We can categorize game apps depending on their complexity:

  • Casual 2D Games: These low-budget games involve a soundtrack and fundamental 2D graphics. Although these are basic 2D games, they provide great scope for scale-up and user engagement rate.
  • Mini-Games: Casual or mini-games are basic solitary games that don’t need particular playing skills. If you want to include more graphics or have better expectations from the game app, you may require fixing a budget.
  • Mid-Level Games: These mobile games include good graphics, story, character modeling, and various levels. The depth and variety in the content boost the replay capacity and involve players for a longer time.
  • Social Games: Multiple users play these games on social media platforms like Facebook. These games are the same as browser games and can access limited user info. Generally, developers build these games with SDKs offered by social platforms.
  • High-Level Games: These games need a massive budget, but you can earn great rewards by hitting the right audience. It would help if you were cautious about the game plan, strategy, and design.
  • Business Games: Modern businesses benefit from mobile games to boost their team-building efforts. They use mobile games as internal tools to encourage creativity, improve communication, and make the work environment more engaging and fun-filled. These multiplayer games feature exciting graphics, storyline, soundtrack, game levels, and cross-platform compatibility.

5. Game Complexity

After deciding on the game category and genre, you know a game’s crucial features. If it’s a simple game, social media integration will be sufficient.

However, if you are developing a complex game like PUBG, you will need to add different features like gyroscope, voice integration, etc. This increases the game development cost.

6. Mobile Game Engine

The game engine is another crucial factor impacting mobile game development costs. Hence, its selection is a must as your mobile game depends completely on these engines. Depending on the features, type, and category essential in the game, you will require selecting the mobile game engine.

You can find different mobile game development engines in the app development market. All of them have some pros and cons. You need to select according to your requirement.

How Much Does Mobile Game Development Cost?

As we discussed earlier, the mobile game development cost is highly dependent on a number of factors like the preferred platform, the features and functionalities included, development technologies, and the size of the game. Moreover, the cost varies from organization to organization on the basis of region and location.

If you want to develop a game with all the advanced graphics, high-complexity features & functionalities with support for multiple platforms, it may cost you more. The price will decrease if you have fewer demands.

mobile game development banner

How to Monetize a Game App?

The reason for adding a monetization method to a mobile game app is to ensure that when users download your app or use it regularly, you can earn some money. The most preferred app monetization methods you can choose for app development are as follows:

1. In-App Purchases

Most mobile app developers use this standard monetization strategy that adds features to an app needing users to pay in real. These apps are available for free to the users, but some locked features would require users to pay real money for use.

2. Subscription

The most preferred and easiest monetization method, subscription, requires users to pay particular amounts every month to use the app continuously. No matter the cost of the app, if it is feature-rich and lucrative, users won’t mind paying the subscription charges.

3. Advertising

It must be the least favorite monetization method if you are an avid gamer. After all, nobody prefers the annoyance created in the middle of the game. However, this is one of the best monetization methods to make money with their game applications. Moreover, it motivates users to move towards the game’s premium version without other ads.

4. Freemium

The premium apps are initially available to users as a free version without additional fees. However, when users start exploring the features and put effort into the game, they ask you to purchase the premium version. It’s a preferred monetization method as it helps users analyze and understand the value of a mobile game.

Wrapping Up

Building a mobile game is a great procedure that needs an efficient team of experts. Selecting a mobile game development company is a crucial option that decides the future of your mobile game. Ensure to get the desired work quality for the cost you are paying. Check different mobile app development companies and choose the one that delivers the best service at a reasonable rate.

FAQs on Mobile Game Development Cost

What is Mobile Game Development Process?

Mobile game development is a process that comprises designing and developing a mobile gaming app. It begins with the concept art and continues long after the game is released.

What are the Stages of Mobile Game Development?

There are 3 main stages of mobile game development: pre-production, production, and post-production. Each of them covers a set of tasks like developing a game design document, a game idea, prototyping, designing, development, testing, launch, support, and updates of the released product.

How Long Does it Take to Develop a Mobile Game?

The time to develop a mobile game depends on many factors, like type of game, complexity of design, functionalities, game platforms, country of designers and developers, etc. Contact us with your mobile game development needs to get an approximate cost and estimation.

Written by Ankit Dave
Ankit Dave is a Game Developer with 5 years of experience in 2D & 3D Gaming/Console Gaming/AR/VR/Machine Learning. Requirement understands, create a GDD , create an architecture of the game to make them as scalable as possible, deploy the games on various platforms. Profile