How Much Does Mobile Game App Development Cost? (Android/iOS)
written by Nitin Garg | Feb 24, 2023
Game development for mobile devices will continue to grow in demand over the next few years. Mobile gaming is currently being played by more than 2.4 billion people around the world, and the number keeps rising. PUBG and Call of Duty are games that are very close to reality. In this blog, we will figure out mobile game app development costs.
It is worth noting that mobile app game development for iOS devices is significantly more expensive than that for Android devices because of the complexity of creating payment structures and admin panels. Alternatively, hybrid app development will prove to be more expensive than a native app. Moreover, it will cover a larger market.
Are you interested in developing a long-term revenue-generating mobile game, but don’t have any experience? You should consider factors contributing to the costs of developing mobile games. Alternatively, you can hire a mobile game developer on the market or contact a mobile game development company in India. Finding the right partner is vital. In this blog, we will figure out mobile game app development costs.
Table of Contents
Mobile Gaming Industry Market Overview
The global mobile gaming market size grew from $118.3 billion in 2022 to $138.63 billion in 2023 with a CAGR of 17.1%. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.9% during the forecast period(2023-2027) and reach a market size value of $267.46 billion by the year 2027.
In addition to the growing use of smartphones and technology advancements, major factors in the growth of mobile gaming include the adoption of trending technologies for game development.
During the last couple of years, smartphone hardware capabilities have increased rapidly. Unity Technologies states that the newer mobile chipsets offer better performance with less battery draining, resulting in larger screens that are now averaging 6 inches.
A significant revenue-generating channel for the mobile gaming industry is in-game purchases, which refer to the ability to purchase additional privileges within the game. Globally, mobile gaming revenues are also growing due to the flexibility of in-game payment methods.
Mobile gaming penetration is also increasing in many parts of the world despite geopolitical tensions and the increasing penetration of smartphones.
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It has been years since mobile gaming took off, and the pandemic certainly accelerated that process. The App Store and Play Store of Apple and Android respectively have almost 100,000 and 385,000 games, respectively.
Is it still necessary to develop and post-produce video games at every stage of the process when the industry is growing anyway? The answer is a resounding yes when it comes to Quality Assurance. The success of a mobile video game depends heavily on Quality Assurance. Let’s look at what mobile gaming is about in general before diving into why it matters.
Mobile Game Development Process: Step-by-Step Guide
We streamline mobile game development with our expert framework. Check out the 8 easy steps we take to make a successful game.
1. Develop Your Idea
In order to create a successful mobile game, the most complex and crucial step is the ideation process. It is crucial that a mobile game has a killer concept in order to be successful. It is unfortunately impossible to follow a direct process in order to come up with new ideas.
2. Simple but Addictive
You can retain users of your game by making them feel a little addicted. There are a few foolproof ways to keep users hooked. It should be easy, fast-paced, and fun, with a realistic art style and progressively increasing difficulty. Lengthy games lose players’ attention. Create short levels and unlockable content to keep them engaged. By offering frequent updates and freebies around holidays and special occasions, you can retain users in the long run.
3. Identify the Platforms
Any mobile application you develop will require a platform choice. It’s a very difficult decision to choose between Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows. The main choice essentially boils down to Android or iOS, while Blackberry and Windows are mostly ignored. You should only choose more than one mobile OS if you think your market is spread across multiple platforms.
4. Aesthetic and Appealing Designs
The design of a game is much more complicated than the design of an app. In game design, many factors are taken into account, including the story, characters, and final appearance. You can differentiate your game from your competitors by focusing on the design. A game design can be as simple and flat as a flat design, or it can be as complex as a comic style with a 3D layout.
5. Mobile Game Development
After the designing phase is completed, the next step is to start developing the game. It is important to hire the best mobile game developers who have experience working with the best mobile game development software. Also, it is important to decide beforehand which platform you are targeting, as different platforms require different tech stacks and even different developers.
6. Testing & Quality Assurance
After you have a functional version of your mobile game, it is time to start the testing phase. It is important to test the mobile game to the extreme as you don’t want to launch a game filled with bugs and glitches. Make sure to spend due time in the testing phase and iron out the loose ends of game development.
7. Launch & Deployment
The next step is to launch your refined product into the market after elaborate testing. Make sure to provide post-deployment customer support to address and resolve users’ queries and also strive to roll out regular updates to include the trending features and functionality of the market in your mobile game.
Employ Monetization Strategies
Many games do not generate profits. Prior to starting the development process, you should plan your game’s monetization strategy. Game development is time-consuming and expensive regardless of the platform. Fortunately for you, mobile app game development can leverage various monetization strategies. Some of them are listed below-
Different Types of Mobile Games: Cost Breakdown
The cost of making a mobile game app is influenced by many factors. However, the greatest factor is the type of game you are building. It goes without saying that the cost of developing a AAA game will be significantly higher than developing a Hyper-casual game.
Types of Mobile Games
Mobile Game Development Cost
$10,000 to $20,000
Simple 2D Game
$15,000 to $25,000
$30,000 to $60,000
$60,000 to $100,000
$150,000 to $400,000
Real Money Games
$10,000 to $100,000
Mini Game Development Cost: $10,000 to $20,000
It will cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for a single platform to make something as simple as Sudoku or Pac-Man. Up to $20,000 can be spent on advanced features and a multi-platform solution. Some popular games include
2D Game Development Cost: $15,000 to $25,000
2D Development for a single platform game can cost between $15,000-$25,000. Android game development cost of a 2D game will be around $20,000 while iPhone game development costs around $30,000. Some popular games include
A single platform can cost between $30,000-$60,000 for games like 3D shooting and Tennis Clash, which have excellent graphics. For advanced features and multi-platform games, the price can go up to $80,000. Some popular 3D games include
Mid-Level Game Development Cost: $60,000 to $100,000
The cost of a single platform game such as Angry Birds or Cut the Rope can range from 60,000 to 100,000 dollars. For advanced features and multiplatform support, the price can reach 120,000. Some popular games include
High-End Game Development Cost: $150,000 to $400,000
For a single android or iOS platform, games like PUBG, and Call of Duty: Mobile can cost $150,000 to $200,000. Depending on the features and platforms, the price can rise as high as $400,000. Popular high-end games include
Clash of Clans
Call of Duty
Real Money Game Development Cost: $10,000 to $100,000
Ludo, 8 ball pool, Rummy, Carrom, and other real money games can cost around $10,000 to $50,000 per platform. For advanced features and multiple platforms, the cost can be as high as $100,000. Some popular games include
The platforms of mobile game development play a significant factor in determining the overall cost of making a mobile game app. While it is understandable that the iPhone game development cost is higher than the Android game development cost. However, there are also specific pros and cons to both platforms. Let’s take a look.
The development time is considerably faster in iOS as the app is built specifically for Apple devices. This greatly speeds up the testing process when compared to Android game development software. There are a plethora of companies that work on the Android OS and the mobile game is required to be tested for various screens and devices.
Development Cost: Android
The development cost of an iOS app is significantly greater when compared to Android. However, there are various factors that must be taken into account like the hardware requirements and location of the developers. After careful consideration, these are some of the most prominent factors that influence the iOS game development cost-
Hardware Requirements: iOS mobile game development software requires Macbook
Developer Cost: iOS Developer salaries are higher than Android Developers
Development Time: Android requires more time to build an app
Testing: The testing phase is longer in Android.
Game Publishing: Android
When we take game publishing into account, Android clearly surpasses iOS by a long margin. The Google Play Store only asks for a one-time lifetime fee for a developer account that is essential for publishing games. After a fairly simple process, you can deploy your game in the PlayStore on the same day.
However, things are fairly sophisticated when it comes to iOS. First of all, to create a developer account, users have to buy a subscription of $99/ year. Secondly, the process is quite hectic and lengthy. It can easily take two or more business days for your application verification. Moreover, your application might get rejected if you violate the smallest rules and regulations of the store.
Platform Revenue: Apple iOS
Contrary to popular belief, more users don’t automatically mean more revenue. In terms of revenue, the AppStore has been ahead of the PlayStore for years. The year 2022 registered a whopping $88 billion in revenue from the AppStore whereas the PlayStore generated a revenue of $53 billion from their app market.
Moreover, consumer spending increased from $41 billion to $43 billion from 2021 to 2022 in the AppStore. Meanwhile, the PlayStpre registered a decline in consumer spending from $23 billion to $21 billion.
Android vs iOS: Game Development Cost
After factoring all the aspects that influence the Mobile Game App Development Cost, it is clear that iOS is more expensive than Android due to the higher salaries of developers and the publishing restrictions the AppStore has. Let’s take a look at the cost of making a mobile game on both platforms.
The android game development cost of a single-platform app with basic features ranges from $30,000 to $40,000. However, if you want to build an Android app with sophisticated features, you might have to invest $50,000.
The iOS game development cost of a single-platform app with basic features ranges from $40,000 to $60,000. However, if you want to develop an iOS app with advanced features, the app development cost can go up to $80,000.
It goes without saying that iOS game development cost is significantly more expensive than Android game development cost. However, the revenue shares in the AppStore are also better than in the PlayStore. Choosing the right platform for your mobile game is an important decision and while both platforms have their pros and cons, it is important to choose the platform that is more suited to you.
If you want a faster development time and don’t mind the restrictions and lengthy process, you can opt for iOS. However, if you want to develop a mobile game on an estimated budget and don’t want the hassle of publishing restrictions, Android is the optimal choice.
Q. How much does it cost to develop an Android app?
The cost of an Android app depends on various factors like the type of game, location of developers, features, tech stack, etc. On average, it costs around $30,000 to $40,000 to develop an Android app.
Q. How much does it cost to develop an iOS app?
On average, the iPhone game development cost ranges from $40,000 to $60,000 for an app with basic features.
Q. What is the most expensive mobile game?
As of 2022, the most expensive game ever made was Genshin Impact with a development cost of over $500 million.
I am Nitin Garg Founder of BR Softech PVT LTD - an Award-winning, app, web & 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.
BR Softech Pvt. Ltd. excels in providing cost-effective IT Solutions. Established in August 2012 with over 10+ years of rich experience. An Apex rated IT serving company around the world. Our team of innovative and creative designers deals in web designing, and mobile game/software development intending to deliver outstanding digital outcomes.