How much does it cost to build a Gaming App?

Quick Summary: How much do gaming apps cost to make? How much should you budget for your custom game app development? We get these types of questions a lot! For aspiring game developers, it’s essential to know how much it can cost to make all sorts of games, where these costs come from, and how budgets for creating games are decided upon. 

How popular are Mobile Gaming Apps?

  • The Mobile game industry earned a revenue of around $77.2 billion in 2020.
  • The gaming industry is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7.7% and reach $221.7 billion by 2027.
  • During the pandemic, the mobile game players increased by 12% in 2020 and gamers spent over $19 billion in the second quarter alone. 
  • Gaming apps contribute 21% of all Android app downloads, while iOS gaming apps form 25% of mobile application downloads.   
  • With 1.2 billion users, Asia had the largest mobile gaming app users in 2021. 

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What Are the Most Popular Mobile Games in 2022?

With 2.7 billion mobile gamers worldwide, the trend and demand for mobile games are constantly surging. Here are some of the most popular gaming applications.

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is a popular game where players must build their village and protect it from enemy attacks. Players have to build -their armies and fight in clan wars. The game is free to install and has become more popular with the introduction of a new feature called Clan Capital. 

Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a free-to-play tower defense game where players compete in online battle arenas. Players can compete in 1v1 or 2v2 games to defeat the opponent. Those who demolish the King’s Tower in three minutes will win. 

PUBG MOBILE

The next on our list of the most popular apps is PUBG. The most talked about gaming app that includes multiplayer battles on the phone. PUBG players can play with as many players as they like in different locations. The game offers the most intriguing graphics and controls. 

Fortnite

Fortnite has long been hugely popular on the PC and is now available on smartphones. The game is based on shooting, where people can use their tactical skills to win the game. They can either play the game alone or in teams. The app offers a variety of options for character looks, weapons, and combat zones. 

Pokemon GO (iOS, Android)

Pokemon GO uses augmented reality, where people must follow the virtual Pokemon to catch it. In the course, Pokemon takes people to different countries. An exciting game for travel lovers to explore the world. 

Call of Duty: Mobile (iOS, Android)

Call of Duty had to be on our top popular mobile games list. The shooting game offers the most engaging HD graphics and original cards from Black Ops and Modern Warfare. Call of Duty offers game modes where up to 100 players can participate simultaneously. 

What are the Factors Affecting The Cost To Build A Gaming App?

Pre-Development

Developing an online gaming app is complex and expensive. A single mistake can cause a massive loss. Thus, gaming app developers spend valuable time on pre-development planning and strategy. They create a detailed tactic and gaming strategy in the Game Design Document (GDD). Thus, this document is fundamental for the entire mobile game development process. 

The GDD covers the following things::

  • Storyboard
  • Game Levels
  • Gameplay
  • Game Environment
  • Target users
  • Plot and Characters

Storyboarding involves the story of the game which must be interesting to raise curiosity among users to play the game. The story should engage your audience to make people stick to the game. It involves deciding the game characters, plot, and the game environment. The story characters and plot must relate with users to stimulate their interest. 

Gaming App Platform

The platform Android or iOS or both, which you choose to build your mobile gaming app primarily affects the cost. Developing a mobile gaming app on Android costs more than iOS. However, Apple’s administration is more expensive than Android. Cross-platform game app development is cheaper than native development. 

Game Design

A game design includes many layers; thus, designers must devise a proper plan to avoid bugs or glitches. The game layers include the gaming environment and gameplay. The user experience for mobile gaming applications must be highly engaging and satisfying. Thus, it would help if you had UI/UX designers, architects, and game artists who are highly experienced. 

You can hire expert UI/UX designers from UCS to design the most appealing mobile gaming applications. The hiring models are flexible, and the costs are budget-friendly. 

Game Development Team

The location of gaming app developers will directly affect the overall development cost. Hourly rates of developers are different in the US and India. With every new country or location, the rates will vary. 

Want to keep your gaming app development budget under control? You can outsource gaming app developers from countries where the developer hourly rates are cheaper.

  • USA $100/ hour
  • Ukraine $40/hour
  • India $30/ hour

As you see, the hourly developer costs in India are very low comparatively. So, you can hire gaming app developers from UCS at the most budgeted costs. 

Game Development & Testing

The most significant factor that affects the cost of a mobile game app is the development phase. You need professional gaming app developers and engineers to build dynamic mobile gaming applications. 

The next step is to test the application once it is ready. Testing and quality assurance remove all the bugs and loopholes before the release. 

Mobile Game App Marketing

Once you have launched your gaming app on the app stores, it needs promotion and marketing. If you do not market your gaming app, no one will get to know about its launch. Do you want your gaming app to get lost among millions of other mobile gaming apps? No, of course. 

So, always count the cost for marketing while deciding the budget for your gaming application. 

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Categories and Genres

The type of mobile game also affects the cost of developing a mobile gaming application. The different game categories and genres can be simulation apps, social gaming apps, or casual gaming apps. Based on complexity, then gaming apps can be:

Casual 2-D games

casual 2D games are basic games with 2D graphics and sound. These games are easy and quick to build and can easily be scalable. The development of mobile game development cost ranges between $50,000 – $100,000.

Examples: red ball, Sudoku, etc. 

Social Games

Social games are games that multiple players can play through social platforms. Gaming app developers build these apps with an SDK offered by the social platform. Building social games ranges between $100,000 – $250 000. 

Mid-level games

Games like Angry birds fall under this category that offer good graphics, story, and sound. Such games successfully keep users engaged for fun and to reach higher levels. The cost to develop mid-level games includes $250,000 – $700,00. 

Action Games

Action games are the most popular genre that includes battle or shooting games. Examples of action games include Battle Royal, Clash of Clans, etc. Building such games ranges between $50K – $300K. 

High-Level games

High-level games are complex and thus take longer time to build. In addition, the design and features of such games are complex. Senior gaming app developers can help you develop such high-level games as they are well experienced in the nitty gritty of developing such gaming applications. The cost to develop high-level games ranges between $400,000 – 1,000,000.

Example: Clash of Clans, Hay Day. 

Role Playing Games

People are big fans of role-playing games and spend thousands of hours playing them. They love to create characters and play the tales around those characters. Building role-playing games range between $10K to $400K. 

Examples: Final Fantasy, World of Warcraft, Monster Hunter Stories, etc. 

AR/VR Games

Businesses and gaming app development companies are using AR and VR in games like never. Such games take users into the virtual gaming world and thus offer the most immersive gaming experiences. Such games are expensive to develop comparatively and range between $100K to $400K. 

Example: Pokemon GO

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A game with simple features and casual graphics is less complex to build and, thus, costs less. On the other hand, complex games like PUBG or Pokemon Go, include complex features like high FPS, HDR Graphics, voice integration,etc., that increase the overall game development cost.

Further, the mobile gaming engine also affects overall game development costs. 

Single-Player and Multiplayer Games

A multiplier game enables players to communicate with each other during the play. Such games fall under the high-level and AAA games category. Such games require voice integration and high internet speed. Such features raise the game development cost. 

What are the Popular Mobile Game Development Tools?

Unity

Unity from Unity Technologies is the most popular and preferable mobile gaming tool. The tool offers fantastic features to enable game app developers to create 2D and 3D games. Gaming app developers can also work collaboratively on tools. Further, they can purchase different assets from the Unity Store. Unity supports Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Fire OS, and Tizen OS. 

Games developed using Unity: Pokemon Go, Lara Croft Go, Angry Birds 2, etc.

Titanium

Another popular mobile game development tool is Titanium. It facilitates modular programming and allows developers to use a single code base for different mobile devices. Thus, developers save a lot of time and coding effort.

Titanium supports Android, iOS, HTML5, and hybrid game app development. 

Games built using Titanium are Crash Trilogy, Prototype 1 & 2. 

Cocos2d-X

Cocos 2d-x allows developers to create 2D games and perform all development tasks simultaneously. For example, resource management, game debugging, previewing, multi-platform publishing, etc. 

The tool is powered by Facebook and offers detailed documentation, making it easier for developers to learn and develop games quickly. 

Cocos2d-X supports Android, iOS, HTML5, Windows, and Mac platforms.

Games rolled out using Cocos2d-X are Clash of Kings, Brave Frontier, and Angry Birds Fight.

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is user-friendly and does not require expert knowledge in mobile game coding. Beginners can use the app to create gaming applications effortlessly. 

Unreal Engine supports Android, iOS, Linux, Windows PC, Mac OS X, SteamOS, VR platforms, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and HTML5. 

Games built using Unreal Engine are Lineage II: Revolution, ABC Augmented Reality and Heart at Attack.

Solar2D

Solar 2D or Corona SDK is an easy-to-use tool that allows beginners to develop 2D games. The app offers a fundamental simulation feature to allow developers to see how the app will look after the changes.

Solar2D Supports Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Android TV, and HTML5. 

Games built using Solar2D: are I love Hue, Grow Beets Clicker

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How Much Does Mobile Game Development Cost?

As you know by now, the cost depends on many factors and the steps of the mobile game app development process. The type of gaming app, app platform, design, features, etc., decide the cost. 

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How to Reduce Mobile Game App Development Cost?

So, how can you build a gaming app under your budget? You can follow a few tips and steps to avoid unnecessary costs and maintain the development cost under your budget. 

Pre-development Research: 

It is good to research your audience, market, and app specifications before starting the development process. Your mind should be clear on the features required to develop your app. It will make it possible to calculate a reasonable cost of game development. Further, there will be no confusion, errors, or reworks, and you can save these unwanted costs. 

Cross-platform game app development

Hybrid mobile gaming will cut the development cost to almost half. The latest hybrid frameworks enable gaming app developers to build high-performing cross-platform gaming apps. They offer a native feel and perform faster like native apps. 

Start with functional MVP

It is always better and wiser to start with an MVP. An MVP includes the essential features and, thus, requires a lesser initial investment. With an MVP, the game app owners can gather user feedback and gradually improvise and add new features. 

FAQs

  • Why should I invest in mobile game development?

Mobile gaming apps are raving in the market and are in massive demand. The return on investment in mobile gaming apps is much higher. So, it is worth investing in gaming applications.

  • Can you build a hybrid gaming application for us?

Yes, of course. We develop native and hybrid gaming applications. We use advanced cross-platform frameworks that deliver native-like, high-performing and engaging applications. 

  • How to monetize gaming applications?

You can earn revenue from your gaming applications in many ways. Here are the most relevant ones:

  • In-app Purchases
  • Subscriptions
  • Advertising
  • Premium

Conclusion

We hope the answer to your question- how much does it cost to build a mobile gaming app is clear. Now, you know the cost of your mobile gaming apps depends on what factors and how to control the cost.

However, an experienced gaming app development company can guide and advise you better on the budget and development of your gaming application. UCS is the top gaming app development company in India, with an experienced team of gaming app developers globally. For assistance, support, and guidance, Call us at (+91) 079-4602-9221 to book a free consultation.

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