What is the cost of game development?

What Is The Cost Of Game Development
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Have you just thought of a brilliant new mobile game? I think that’s fantastic. After conceiving of the game’s premise, your following logical notion is How much does it usually cost to make a video game? This is not a simple matter to answer because it compels us to investigate the nature of games and the creative process. When determining how much it will cost to build a game, a great deal of planning and thought must go into the process.

Learn the cost of game production and the elements affecting the game development cost breakdown by reading this article!

What are the three types of games?

First, let’s look at everything that goes into determining what is the cost of game production, bearing in mind that the more advanced the game, the more it will cost to develop:

  1. Simplest Games (Small)

The simplest games for game developers to create are those that lack sophisticated features such as pricing systems or record saving. Basic game controls and 2-Dimensional graphics won’t disturb children, and skilled game developers might produce such games in a matter of days.

This type of game has a low probability of reaching a $5,000 cost. If you choose a smaller game with an appealing 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional interface, extra game levels, and a couple of other game characters, the pricing might begin at $ 20,000. Most games in this class will cost between $ 20,000 and $ 40,000.

  1. Moderate Games (Medium)

Compared to the smaller games, their challenge is much higher. These games have a plethora of explorable areas, a large cast of characters, a complex plot, impressive music and visual effects, a slick and intuitive user interface, and fun, integrated minigames connected to the main or core of the game. The medium games can cost around $ 60,000 and $120,000.

  1. Heavy Playing Games (Large)

Large games offer their players a multitude of substance and sometimes an engaging story as well. This game is extremely challenging and has a wide range of difficulty settings and seasonal events to keep even the most dedicated player engaged. They have a sophisticated system of monetization integrated into each game, although many of them are free to play. The cost of making such a game may easily exceed $150,000!

Factors that affect the Game Development Cost Breakdown:

Factors That Affect The Game Development Cost Breakdown

Regardless of the nature and scale of the game you’re developing, there are a number of elements that affect the costs that pertain to practically all game production.

  •  Games for Single-Player & Multiplayer

Games designed for more than one player typically cost more to develop. For instance, the ability for players to interact with one another and communicate online contributes to the total cost of developing a game.

  • 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional games

Because different types of games require different resources, their development expenses will vary accordingly. The development cost of a game will increase, for instance, if it features complex physics models or high-resolution images, as opposed to a more straightforward 2D game or a mobile game that relies on text and simple graphics.

Prices for creating a 2-Dimensional game typically range from $5,000 to $20,000 but can rise to $50,000 to $20,000 for games with more features.

There is a significant price difference between 3D and 2D video games. The cost of creating such a game often begins at $20,000 and can reach as high as $250,000.

  • Fees Incurred Prior to Development

Game designers will craft a plan in the style of a Game Design Document (GDD) that specifies every aspect of the game. Since this will serve as the undertaker’s foundation, you must take this step first.

There are expenses incurred before game development even begins due to the time and energy spent on developing the GDD. These costs are determined by several variables, one of which is the rate of pay per worked hour. If a programming team spends $100 per hour and the pre-development phase lasts 40 hours, then the expense of pre-development will be $4,000.

  • Fees on Marketing or Advertising

The marketing and advertising budget for a game can range widely, depending on factors such as the publisher’s size and resources, the game’s complexity, and marketability. Event marketing, television commercials, and swag are all examples of this.

Costs associated with the time required to create the game are another consideration for many programmers. It’s possible that smaller game developers won’t have the means to employ a large team or commit to a lengthy development cycle, so this can be very helpful. It’s important to remember that, for larger projects, the marketing budget might be as much as half of the development budget.

  • Intended Platforms

The price of making a game available on several platforms increases. This is because optimizing the game for any platform adds more time and effort and because more hardware and software for game development are more expensive. That is why developing a game development cost breakdown on multiple platforms in its overall cost

  • Buying Hardware and Software Licenses

It goes without saying that the cost of game development depends on the kind of content or software a particular game needs. For instance, obtaining open-source licenses for general graphics or multimedia assets would be less expensive than purchasing a well-known IP license.

In order to avoid creating expensive software, developers frequently look for similar features in free software. But if you’re making any game, you’ll probably require professional solutions, which will cost money. You will have to pay for software such as Adobe Photoshop, Maya, Unity3D, 3D Max, and plugins. For instance, Unity3D Pro costs $150 monthly or $1800 annually per seat.


Although some games you played or encountered may not have invested money in all of the factors above, you actually need to examine all of them to calculate the game development cost breakdown fully.

Suppose you want to work as a game developer. Start small; that is the wisest course of action. Create a straightforward game that can compete on a tight budget. You’ll have a broader understanding of what is necessary to become a great game developer once you’ve released a few games.


Yuriy Denisyuk is Pingle Studio’s Game Production Lead. It is his responsibility to manage the production pipeline for Game Production. Yury is this lucky guy who keeps up with trends and creates new ones by playing the best games for work. During his free time, he enjoys writing, and reading manga and fantasy books.

Thank you for reading!