Apr 5 how much does it cost to make a game app Apps

How Much Does it Cost to Make A Game App for Startups, SMEs & Enterprises

avatarBy Technology Ally

In mobile app development, where idea meets technology, there’s a common question on the minds of Startups, SMEs and Enterprises: How much does it cost to make a game app?

In this detailed guide, we will uncover the various factors in bringing your gaming imagination to reality.

From the initial planning stages to the game’s release, we’ll examine the different aspects that impact the cost of developing a game app and offer useful tips for managing your budget on your upcoming gaming project.


How Much Does it Cost to Make a Game App – Ballpark Figure

The cost of making an app game depends on various factors, including the complexity of the game, the design and artwork, the platform and technology stack, and the expertise of offshore developers.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 or more for app game development.

Here are a few estimates for gaming app development costs from TechnologyAlly:





How Much Does it Cost to Develop a Game App for Android, iOS and Windows?

For the Android app, the ballpark figure is around $5,000 to $150,000, while for the iOS app, it’s approximately $40,000 to $250,000. Windows Mobile development costs may fall within a similar range as Android.


How Long Does it Take to Build A Game App – Quick Estimates

The timeline for building a game app varies based on factors like complexity, features, and team size.

For instance, developing a simple game app may take a few months, while more complex projects can span years.

Popular games like Subway Surfers, developed by Kiloo, took around 8-12 months to build, leveraging technologies like Unity for cross-platform compatibility.

Roblox, a Massive multiplayer online game creation platform, evolved over several years, continually adding new features and content.

Genshin Impact, an open-world action RPG, reportedly took over four years and a team of 300+ developers to develop.

Many gaming apps developed with TechnologyAlly were estimated to require the following hourly rates:

400 Hours

200 Hours

600 Hours


How Much Does it Cost to Make a Mobile Game App – 5 Factors Explained

Let’s explore the factors that impact the cost of making a game app.


1) Complexity and Scope

The complexity and scope of the game are perhaps the most significant factors influencing development costs.

2D Games

2D games are characterized by two-dimensional graphics and gameplay, often featuring side-scrolling or top-down perspectives.

Simple 2D puzzle games with basic mechanics and graphics will naturally cost less to develop compared to sprawling open-world RPGs or immersive multiplayer experiences.

Developing a simple 2D game can range from $5,000 to $50,000.

2.5D Games

2.5D games combine elements of 2D and 3D graphics, offering a sense of depth while primarily using 2D assets.

Building a 2.5D game typically falls in the range of $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the level of detail

Simple 3D Games

Mid-level 3D games feature three-dimensional graphics and environments, often with simpler gameplay mechanics compared to hardcore 3D titles.

Developing a mid-level 3D game may require a budget ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, depending on the scope and quality of assets.

Complex 3D Games

Hardcore 3D games with high-quality graphics, detailed gameplay mechanics, and extensive content.

Creating a hardcore 3D game typically involves a budget of $100,000 to $1 Million or more like Fintech app development, reflecting the resources required for detailed graphics, advanced gameplay features, and extensive testing.

4D Games

While traditional games are three-dimensional, 4D games introduce an additional dimension through immersive technologies like virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

Developing a 4D game can be significantly higher, with budgets ranging from $500,000 to several million dollars. Contact our Mobile app development company in India for quick estimates.


2) Graphics and Artwork

Visuals play a crucial role in shaping the player’s experience and perception of the game.

High-quality graphics, animations, and artwork can elevate a game come at a cost.

The types of artwork, the level of detail, and the need for custom assets all impact development costs.

While some developers opt for pre-made assets or minimalist art styles to save on costs, others invest heavily in bespoke artwork to create a visually stunning masterpiece.


3) Platform and Technology

The choice of platform and technology stack also influences development costs. Developing a game for a single platform, such as iOS or Android, may be more cost-effective than building for multiple platforms simultaneously.

Similarly, the selection of game engines, frameworks, and development tools can affect development costs.

While some engines like Unity and Unreal Engine offer features and cross-platform support, they may come with licensing fees or royalties that add to the cost.

On average, iOS game development costs are approximately 20-30% higher than Android.

However, opting for cross-platform development can offer significant savings, with costs typically 10-20% lower compared to developing separate apps for iOS and Android.

This translates to a potential cost reduction of up to 50% when choosing cross-platform development over developing separate apps for both platforms.


4) Team Composition and Expertise

The composition and expertise of the development team play a significant role in determining project costs.

Hiring in-house developers, designers, and testers with a proven track record in game development may command higher hourly rates or project fees.

Offshore software development rates by country with lower labour costs, such as Pakistan, India or Eastern Europe, can offer cost savings without compromising quality.

In-house mobile development often entails higher costs compared to offshore product development, with ratios typically ranging from 1:2 to 1:3.

Hiring local developers involves expenses such as salaries, benefits, office space, and equipment, resulting in a higher cost-per-hour ratio.

Offshore mobile app development offers cost savings of up to 60-70%. Read our detailed low cost mobile app development blog.


5) Additional Features and Monetization Strategies

Incorporating additional features and monetization strategies can also impact development costs.

Features like multiplayer functionality, social media integration, in-app purchases, and advertising require additional development time and resources.

Multiplayer Functionality Cost Estimates

Implementing multiplayer functionality in a mobile game app typically incurs additional costs ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on complexity and server requirements

Social Media Integration

Social media integration adds an additional $5,000 to $20,000, factoring in API development and user authentication.

In-App Purchases

In-app purchases involve setup fees of $1,000 to $5,000, along with revenue-sharing agreements with app stores.

Advertising Costs

Advertising costs vary widely based on campaign scope and platform, with budgets typically starting at $5,000 and reaching upwards of $100,000 for large-scale campaigns.

Determining the number of users a mobile game app will acquire from advertising campaigns depends on various factors such as target audience, ad reach etc. However, as a rough estimate:

A $5,000 campaign budget may yield around 10,000 to 50,000 app installs, assuming a cost-per-install (CPI) rate of $0.50 to $1.00 per user.

In contrast, a $100,000 campaign budget could potentially attract 200,000 to 1,000,000 app installs, assuming a CPI rate of $0.50 to $1.00 per user.


How Much Does it Cost to Build A Game App Different Milestones?

Building a game app involves several milestones, each requiring specific efforts and resources. Here’s a breakdown of the 11 stages and their associated costs:


Milestone Description Cost Range
1. Conceptualization Brainstorming game ideas and defining project scope. $500 – $5,000
2. Market Research Analyzing target audience, competition, and market trends. $1,000 – $10,000
3. Design and Prototyping Creating wireframes, mockups, and user interface designs. $2,000 – $20,000
4. Game Mechanics Developing core gameplay mechanics and rules. $5,000 – $50,000
5. Graphics and Artwork Designing characters, environments, and visual assets. $5,000 – $50,000
6. Development Writing code, implementing features, and testing. $10,000 – $100,000
7. Testing and QA Conducting quality assurance testing and bug fixes. $2,000 – $20,000
8. Optimization Optimizing game performance and user experience. $1,000 – $10,000
9. Deployment Preparing for app store submission and launch. $1,000 – $10,000
10. Marketing Promoting the game through advertising and PR efforts. $5,000 – $50,000
11. Maintenance Providing ongoing updates, bug fixes, and support. 15-25% of total development cost


How to Get A Quick Mobile Game App Cost Estimations

It’s divided into 3 steps.

Preliminary Quick Estimate

Provide basic project details such as game type, platform(s), and desired features to receive a rough cost estimate from Us.

Detailed Estimate after Discovery Call

Once you are done with our initial call. We will conduct a thorough discovery phase to define project scope, technical requirements, and design specifications.

Expect a more accurate cost estimation provided in a formal proposal or quote.

Additional Consideration

Post-launch support and maintenance costs, typically ranging from 15-25% of the total development cost.


Mobile Game Apps Trend in 2024

Between 2024 and 2027, the global user base in the ‘Mobile Games’ segment is projected to steadily rise, with a total increase of 137 million users (+8 percent).

how much does it cost to make a game app in india

Source: Google Trend

Following five consecutive years of growth, it is anticipated that this indicator will reach 1.9 billion users by 2027, marking a new peak.

Moreover, when considering specific platforms, the number of Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile users is also expected to contribute to this upward trend, further enhancing the expansion of the mobile gaming market.

Source: Statista


How Much Does it Cost to Make A Game App in India – FAQs


Do basic game apps make money?

Yes, simple game apps have the potential to generate revenue through various monetization strategies such as in-app purchases, advertising, and premium app sales. However, success often depends on factors like user engagement, market demand, and monetization implementation.

Can I make a game app for free in 2024?

Free development tools may come with limitations or require paid upgrades for advanced features, and there are still ongoing costs for publishing, marketing, and maintenance.

While it’s possible to create a basic game app for free using certain development platforms or tools, producing a high-quality, feature-rich game typically involves some level of investment in resources such as software, assets, and possibly hiring developers or designers.

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