No one can deny that developing a game is a costly business. Not only do you have to stick to a specific budget, be it your personal or your client’s one, but you also need to provide the game with all the necessary parameters for success in the market. Otherwise, it makes no sense.
“How much does it cost to create a video game?” This is one of the first questions that the client asks, along with others, about the development time and potential payback. And the more details and desired features of the future game can be identified and collected, the more accurate the estimate will be.
Let’s take a look at what specific factors affect the cost of making a video game and what you need to know first.
Factors Affecting the Video Game Development Cost
Everything about the game affects the cost of its creation. This is its type, genre, level of graphics, interface complexity, gameplay, the presence or absence of multiplayer, the openness of the world, and so on. We will group the factors into categories and consider each of them separately.
Technical Background and Tools
The first thing to pay attention to is the proposed engine. You can take one of the existing like Unity or Unreal, or you can create your own. It is understood that creating an engine from scratch is much more expensive and time-consuming.
An intermediate option is possible in the form of a modification of the existing engine. But in this case, it must support modification. In addition, certain limitations will remain. However, the development speed will be much higher than with your own engine from scratch.
The team is selected depending on the scale of the project. If you are not planning an AAA blockbuster, then a few programmers and artists may be enough for you. It is best to look for people not among freelancers, but in outsourcing companies. They are much more responsible in their work, and are also often more experienced and aware of current trends. For example, 3D game artists at Kevuru Games have dozens of game projects under their belt, for which they have created everything from concept art to cut scenes. So always choose your team wisely.
A larger game will require the involvement of project managers and testers. A further increase in scale will lead to the need to structure departments and recruit managers for each of them. Therefore, you need to figure out in advance what kind of game you want to get and estimate the size of the team. Remember that financial issues are also discussed before starting work. Your developers can have a fixed salary or work on an hourly basis. Be sure to discuss this in order to avoid misunderstandings and discontent.
To ensure effective work, you need to think through all the game details. This includes the plot, the world, locations, characters, quests, a system of hero development and weapon modification, and so on. All this should be carefully written down to the smallest detail: this is the only way you will not miss it and get exactly what you have in mind.
Game designers will help you understand the intricacies of levels, interface and gameplay. If you are not sure about the plot, then it makes sense to hire writers who can bring it to perfection and take into account every nuance at different stages of the game.
Testing the game should be given as much attention as creating it. Problems can arise even where no one expected. Bugs, control gaps, unexpected shutdowns and other inconsistencies can alienate players and lead to game failure. Therefore, you cannot do without testers. They must study the game everywhere and read out a clear verdict. If errors are found, the project goes on revision and so on until the game becomes flawless. Of course, some of the nuances can escape the attention of testers. However, the most important and key points can still be covered, and you should consider this when planning your budget.
Marketing and Promotion
Usually, when looking at this paragraph, people are perplexed: is it really so important that it should be directly included in the list? If you want the game to bring you income, then yes, undoubtedly. The more people know about the upcoming release, the more likely it is that all your investment will pay off. Marketing includes different channels: working with a website, social networks, paid advertising and other methods of promotion.
So we have analyzed the most important factors that help answer the question of how much does it cost to develop a game. Focusing on them, you will be able to assess your capabilities much better and correctly compare them with the available budget.
Having an understanding of the parameters that affect the cost of development, you will be able to communicate much more easily with outsourcing companies that provide you with their specialists. Kevuru Games video game design company compares favorably with other studios in that it provides an estimate at the early stages of cooperation negotiations. Choose reliable partners and create mind-blowing games!