Blog 07 Apr 2023

How much does it cost to make a video game?

We live in an age of technology and incredible discoveries. Each of us has probably wondered, more than once, what life would be without gadgets and smartphones. With a phone in our hands, now we can work remotely, make payments, and play mobile games. Mobile games and computer games are installed by everyone.

The game market has been growing and in 2022 it contained $184.4 billion, and almost 50% of it is occupied by mobile games. Really interesting!

But, is the process by which such interesting games and mechanisms fit into such a small phone known to everyone? How much does it cost to create a mobile game or an AAA game? Where does this process begin, who is responsible for marketing, and who is responsible for game development? Many questions, and need to be answered! In this article, we will talk about the game development process, how much money it takes to make a video game, and what team should be involved. Is it better to find the right outsourcing studio or you can try to sharpen your skills in creating your own product department? It depends! But, if you have a flair for understanding such hard principles of game development you are on the right path!

Small Games

A small mobile game typically refers to a game that has a relatively simple design, basic game controls, and a small scope in terms of its features and content.

Small mobile games may have limited gameplay options, a short playtime, and simple 2D or 3D graphics. They can be either free-to-play or paid, and they may or may not have in-app purchases or other monetization strategies.

Games that lack complex features like payment systems or score-saving options are typically the easiest for game developers to create. Small games typically have a budget of $5000 or less.

To reduce the risks and costs involved in game development, it is advisable to create a prototype game to validate your idea and assess its potential. This allows you to test the game’s mechanics and receive feedback from players before investing in further development.

Medium Games

Medium games typically refer to games with more advanced features, greater complexity, and higher production values than small games. Medium games may have a larger development team, a longer development cycle, and a higher budget than small games.

They may also have more extensive narrative elements, such as complex storylines or branching dialogues. Medium games are designed to provide players with more extended gameplay experiences, typically ranging from a few hours to several dozen hours. They are usually priced higher than small games, ranging from $20 to $60, depending on the platform and the publisher.

Overall, the games offer more extensive and complex gameplay experiences than small games while still being more accessible and affordable than large, AAA games.

Large Games

Large games refer to the most ambitious and complex video games in terms of development, scope, and budget. These games typically require a large team of developers, artists, designers, and writers working for several years to create. They are typically developed for multiple platforms, including consoles, PC, and mobile devices. They are often priced at $60 or more, depending on the platform and publisher.

Pre-Development Cost

The costs incurred during the pre-development phase of a game can differ significantly, depending on the game’s complexity and scope. Such expenses may range from a few thousand dollars for a simple mobile game to millions of dollars for a large, high-budget AAA game. It is crucial to engage in thorough planning and budgeting to minimize these costs and guarantee the game’s success. These costs can include Concept development, Market analysis, Legal fees, Pre-production, Talent acquisition, and Prototyping.

2D or 3D mobile games

The hardest question is: “What is the better 2D or 3D game?”. It depends. 2D mobile games typically use flat graphics and a top-down or side-scrolling perspective, which gives them a retro look and feel. They are often simple and easy to play, making them popular among casual gamers. 2D games are also easier and quicker to develop than 3D games, making them a popular choice for indie game developers.

3D mobile games, on the other hand, use three-dimensional graphics that give the game a more realistic look and feel. They typically offer more advanced gameplay mechanics and more complex-level designs than 2D games. 3D games are also more challenging and time-consuming to develop, requiring a team of experienced developers, artists, and designers.

Single-Player and Multiplayer Games

Single-player and multiplayer games are two different types of video games based on the number of players who can participate in the game.

First, one game typically has a linear story or objective that the player must complete through various levels or stages. The player usually controls a single character or avatar in the game, and the game progresses as the player achieves objectives or defeats enemies. Examples of single-player games include adventure games, role-playing games, and puzzle games.

On the other hand, multiplayer games allow multiple players to participate in the game simultaneously. These games can be played online or offline and may include cooperative or competitive gameplay modes. Players can interact with each other, team up to achieve objectives or compete against each other to reach the top of leaderboards.

The choice between single-player and multiplayer games depends on the player’s preferences and the game’s design and objectives.

Freelance or professional game studio

Deciding between a freelance game developer and a professional game studio depends on various factors, including the scope, complexity, and budget of the game.

Freelancers may have a lower hourly rate than professional game studios, making them a more affordable option for smaller projects or indie game developers. However, freelancers may have limited resources and may not be able to handle large-scale projects or complex game development requirements.

Professional game studios, are companies that specialize in game development and have a team of experienced developers, designers, artists, and project managers. They have a higher level of expertise, resources, and infrastructure to handle large-scale and complex game development projects. Professional studios can offer a more structured and organized approach to game development, including project management, quality assurance, and customer support. However, professional game studios may have higher hourly rates and project minimums, making them a more expensive option for smaller projects.

You need to elevate your skills and budgets you have and after that choose the right way. If you like to take a risk you are able to cooperate with freelancers but remember, you need to calculate all of the profits and risks.

What’s the most expensive game to develop of all time?

Have you ever heard of the most expensive game to develop of all time? After a series of highly successful crowdfunding campaigns, Cloud Imperium Games was able to secure over

$300 million in funding for the production of Star Citizen. Further private investment has also been obtained, resulting in a significant expansion of the project’s scale and scope. This is excellent news for the game’s supporters and future players, but it has also introduced a new challenge.

Why does it cost so much money to make video games?

The cost of making and producing video games can be high due to a variety of factors: complexity and scope (a lot of modern video games are highly complex and feature-rich, with intricate gameplay mechanics, detailed graphics, and large open-world environments), talent and expertise (hiring and retaining talented developers and artists can be expensive, especially in highly competitive markets), technology and tools, marketing and distribution (including advertising, public relations, and distribution to retail stores or online marketplaces.).

Despite the high costs, many video games have been highly successful, generating significant revenue for their developers and publishers.

Casino games are going on a whole new level of art quality with the Gamepack team!

Cost to make a video game

The cost to develop a video game can vary widely depending on the scope, complexity, and quality of the game. It’s worth noting that these are very rough estimates, and the actual cost to make a video game can vary widely depending on many factors, including the platform, genre, target audience, and more. Additionally, ongoing costs such as maintenance, updates, and marketing should also be considered. Proper planning and budgeting are essential to ensure the success of a video game project.

How much does it cost to make a triple-A game?

AAA games are large, triple-A game budgets developed by major studios with large development teams. The cost to make a AAA game can range from tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. In some cases, such as the development of Grand Theft Auto V, the cost may exceed $250 million.

How much does it cost to make an indie game?

Indie games are typically small- to medium-sized games developed by independent studios or individual developers. The cost to make an indie game can range from tens of thousands of dollars to a few million dollars, depending on the scope and complexity of the game.

We’ve been working on a game that makes $1+billion in revenue and at the same time, we have created games with a budget of $2k. Games are different, and we enjoy this diversity! Please check our article on different types of game projects in the industry.


How much does it cost to make your own video game?

Do you need to understand which type of games you are ready to create? Small Games can be made for 2000$, on the other hand, AAA games can be produced for 200 000$, and a lot of hard work and pre-production costs are waiting for you at the start.

Can 1 person make a video game?

It is possible for one person to make a video game, especially for smaller and less complex games. However, making a video game requires a wide range of skills, such as programming, art and design, audio engineering, and project management. It can be a challenging task for one person to handle all these responsibilities alone, especially for larger and more complex games.

Can you make a game with no money?

It is possible to make a game with no money, but it can be a challenging task. Use free game engines and development tools, such as Unity, Unreal Engine, or Godot. Collaborate with other developers or artists who are willing to work for free or for a share of the game’s revenue. Crowdfund your game through platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, where you can pitch your game idea and raise funds from backers.

Do video games make a profit?

Video games can make a significant profit if they are successful. Like any other entertainment industry, the video game industry is based on the creation and sale of products that consumers are willing to pay for. The size of the video game industry has been growing rapidly over the past few years, with an estimated global market value of over $150 billion in 2020.

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