Costs of Game Development

The True Costs of Game Development

Last updated on June 23rd, 2022 at 04:25 am

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At first glance, the process of producing games in a large team is not too long, at least it does not last for 5 or more years. This is exactly how much AAA-class projects are most often done, although in larger game development company they can handle it in 3 years. And yet, does it really take so much time and money to develop a game we are used to, like GTA VI, Assassin Creed, RDR, etc. We decided to figure out what are the reasons for such a long work on games and whether they really spend it with benefit.

How much does it cost to make a game app?

Now a little more specifics about the time and cost of each stage:

  • Think over the history and the desired basic functionality. Usually occurs before the start of serious development work, but changes greatly in its process, taking into account the possibilities of the game world. A high-quality game requires at least six months to create a basic legendarium. If done by enthusiasts, it might even be free. If well-known video game concept artists are involved, the cost can go up to 10 million rubles or more as they use such type of 3d models and video game icons no one can resist himself or herself to play the games with profound interest.
  • It takes 1-2 months to create a place and purchase the required equipment. The price strongly depends on the size of the project, but the amount is unlikely to be less than 2 million rubles for a small or medium game. Renting an office will also cost about 200 thousand rubles a month, although it all depends on the region.
  • Team building. If it has already been assembled earlier, then it is enough to get several people into the team, which takes up to 2 months. When everything is done from scratch, the gathering of people will take about 3-4 months, but the work will begin after the first employee is hired. Up to 20 people take part in a startup, up to 50 people take part in a good project, and in AAA games the list of developers often exceeds 100 people. On average, each receives about 70,000 rubles. However, not all work at the same time. More than half of all developers involved in the project are unlikely to be working at any given time. Gradually, some links go away, while others become more relevant.
  • Working with mechanics. If you invest in 1 year with a team of up to 50 people, you will need costs of at least 30-40 million rubles.
  • Creation of graphics. It is unlikely that this stage can pass faster than in 1-1.5 years. A medium-sized team will need about 60 million rubles.
  • Voice acting. It takes about 10-15 people, but not for a long time, so we set aside the costs of about 3 million rubles.
  • Finalization of the project. It is often realistic to invest in 6-9 months. This stage will cost 20-30 million rubles.
  • Advertising. An average project cannot do without an advertising budget of several million rubles. Costs peak 3 months before launch and 3 months after release.

All figures are very approximate and are for a mid-level team of about 50 members.

Final calculations of the game app development cost

To make a good game, you need about 100 million rubles. You can also save money by hiring cheaper freelance labor. Then so much equipment is not needed. In this case, the quality will suffer greatly and there will be large delays, since the performers often disappear.

In terms of time, the development of a good game really takes 3 years or more. You also need to consider the likely delays. If there are interruptions in funding, the project will drag on for 5 years or more. The costs of large companies and AAA projects are several times higher, but so is the income. In their case, the figure of 100 million rubles can be safely multiplied by 30-40.

The costs of mobile whimsy games are an order of magnitude lower, usually, it is possible to get by somewhere 30-50% of the indicated costs for computer projects. However, novice developers, who will do a lot on their own, can cost 1 million rubles.

Do not be surprised when games become more expensive, with a colossal investment of time, effort, and money, and the releases themselves are often postponed. Often the reasons are that one of the development groups did not fulfill the plan or there were serious bugs that require rewriting a significant part of the code.