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AAA Game Development Cost: Everything You Need to Know

Game Development
Jun 07, 2023
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AAA Game Development Cost: Everything You Need to Know

“How much does it cost to develop a AAA Game? Why are AAA games so expensive?”-People often ask such questions when they are fascinated by the concept of launching their own AAA gaming platform. A wide variety of games are available for every taste and budget. Some titles are becoming more popular and selling well, while others have not reached a high level of popularity. The quality of Triple-A games holds a special place in the industry. The AAA game development cost depends on various factors including features, graphics, sound effects, and other visual elements. 

The global video game market size was valued at $195.65 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9% from 2022 to 2030. With the advent of technology, low-cost data availability, and the latest tech stack, the global AAA games market has seen a paradigm shift and tapped the untapped global audiences in the most professional manner. 

In this blog, we will define the development budget for AAA games, including the factors affecting the overall cost, approximate cost, etc. 

What Are AAA Games? 

An AAA game is one with high-quality graphics, video, and music that is technically complex and highly interactive. As a result, the cost to develop a AAA game is comparatively higher than any other game application. Therefore, you must pre-decide the AAA game budget much before you step out to discuss the idea with the respective AAA game studio or game development company. It takes a lot of effort, resources, and tech stack to develop AAA games, and with optimum knowledge and budget, you can develop any type of AAA game. 

What Makes AAA Games Expensive?

Most people often ask questions like how much does it cost to make a AAA game? Let us tell you it can burn a hole in your pocket if not planned well. Before you sign any project with a respective video game development company, make sure to check out the below-mentioned factors to get an idea about the AAA game budget: 

What Makes AAA Games Expensive?

1. Graphics and Visual Elements 

It’s challenging to create high-resolution assets that look fancy and detailed for AAA audiences. To increase the overall budget, the developer must put in a lot of effort. In order to consolidate higher user engagement, AAA graphic designers often have to meet the high expectations set by clients. 

Graphics include the characters, props, environment, and other vector designs that make the whole outlook of the Triple-A games. It greatly impacts the overall AAA game costs; the development of AAA games with basic features and visual elements, the cost will be relatively less as compared to those with advanced visual characters, features and elements. 

2. Creation Tools 

In AAA game development, strict deadlines must be met while producing the highest quality work. Quality and Time take precedence over money in these concerns, often leading developers to use the best available creation tools. Therefore, with the advanced tools you use while creating AAA games, the cost will be comparatively more. 

3. Sound Effects 

Sound brings life to video game development. Just like the metaverse is incomplete with virtual reality, the AAA game is incomplete without the integration of catchy and attractive sound and music. Sound and audio elements can be expensive and even impact your overall AAA game cost majorly. Therefore, it is wiser to be prepared and take out a separate budget for this. 

4. Testing & QA 

Playtesters, testers, and developers typically spend hundreds of hours on roll addressing bugs during the AAA game development process. This is an unignorable task as developers need to follow various strategies like functional, integration, and operational testing to remove all the potential bugs or loopholes. 

5. Marketing 

Another aspect that can make the AAA game development process quite expensive. Publishers often spend a huge amount of money on promotional and marketing activities as the success of the AAA game application is greatly decided by this. 

There are different marketing strategies which can be of great use, including digital marketing campaigns, youtube marketing, content marketing, etc. Therefore, it is extremely important to take out a separate AAA game budget for marketing. 

How Much Does It Cost to Develop AAA Games?

AAA game development cost depends on various factors like the features, specifications, and details of your project. We can’t provide you exact numbers until and unless we don’t know each and every aspect of your AAA game. Here is the table showing the budget of top AAA games that can help you have an approximate idea of AAA video game development cost. 

GameGenrePublisher/sRelease DateBudget/Adjusted for Inflation*
Grand Theft Auto VAction-adventureRockstar Games2013$265/291 million
Call of Duty: Modern WarfareFirst-person shooterActivision2009$250/298 million
Star Wars: The Old RepublicMultiplayer online role-playingElectronic Arts, LucasArts2011$200+/227+ million
Red Dead RedemptionAction-adventureRockstar Games2010$80-100/94-117 million
The Witcher 3: Wild HuntAction role-playingCD Projekt2015$81/87 million

On average, the cost to develop AAA games ranges from $60 million to $80 million with basic and mid-level features and functionalities. However, the AAA games cost may shoot up to $100 million and even more if you want to integrate an advanced and high level of features and graphics. 

Make sure to understand the entire AAA game development process to know each and every phase in detail and define the cost of each to reach the potential audience and generate a high level of revenue. This will remove the overhead costs and the confusion between you and the respective mobile game development company

Also Read: Tips to Choose the Right Mobile Game Development Company

Factors Affecting AAA Game Development Cost

By now you might have got the answer to the question of how much it cost to make a AAA game. However, let us tell you can create an exact budget for your project by looking at each of the below factors in detail. Here is the list of factors affecting the overall AAA games costs: 

Factors Affecting AAA Game Development Cost

1. The Location of AAA Game Developers 

There are many competencies available to you around the world. You can find the best AAA Mobile game development company for your business by visiting their websites. It is not necessary to limit yourself to local designers and developers. However, make sure to understand that developers located in different countries will charge differently for the same services. 

  • US-based AAA game developers charge around $120 to $150 per hour 
  • AAA game developers in the UK charge around $80 to $100 per hour 
  • Indian AAA Game developers offer affordable services and may charge around $30 to $60 per hour

2. AAA Game Studio Experience 

If you are hiring a startup AAA game studio, then it may charge you less compared to that of an experienced or mid-level AAA game development company. If you don’t have budget issues then go for an established one, but if you want to launch your multi-gaming platform in a cost-effective way, go for a startup one.

3. Duration of AAA Game Development 

The concept and 3D models you have designed are well-designed, but you need to implement them and release the completed project within six months. Triple-A game developers must meet the deadline more quickly when the deadline is shortened. Consequently, the budget is raised. As a result, the final AAA game cost is dependent on both the amount of work and the speed at which the project must be completed.

4. The Complexity of Features 

The more complex features you want to integrate into your AAA game, the more will be your AAA game cost. However, the AAA game development cost will be way too less if you want to integrate basic gameplay features, interface, and functionalities within the gaming platform. Therefore, it depends on your budget whether you want to integrate complex features or not. 

5. Type and Size of the Game

Another factor that impacts the overall AAA multiplayer mobile game development cost is the type and size of the game. The modern and complicated video game application with a large size will cost you more as compared to the simple and less complex AAA game with a small size. 

Final Words 

By now you might get an idea about the development budget for AAA games. Before going ahead with your AAA game development idea, make sure you understand the factors affecting the overall AAA game development cost. This will help you avoid overhead costs and remain under budget when it comes to AAA video game development. If you are looking for affordable yet high-quality game development services, choose BR Softech to get feature-packed and visually realistic AAA game applications that are highly scalable and reliable. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How To Make AAA Games?

Ans. In order to make a successful AAA game application, here are the steps you need to follow as a part of the AAA game development process: 
Market research 
UI/UX design 
Testing & QA 

Q. Why Invest in AAA games?

Ans. The AAA gaming industry can be highly lucrative for multiple reasons: 
High ROI
Wide Reach 
Enhanced customer engagement 
High player retention 
Rising popularity

Q. What Are The Examples of Triple-A Games?

Ans. The best examples of AAA games in 2024 are:
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart 
It Takes Two 
Mortal Kombat 11
Resident Evil Village 

Nitin Garg

I am Nitin Garg Founder of BR Softech PVT LTD - an Award-winning mobile game development company. We are armed with 180+ geeks & 2753 clients worldwide, I have driven by the spirit of entrepreneurship and dream to build a billion-dollar-company.

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