Before we get into the discussion of costs, have a look at the “daily” revenues of the few popular games. Numbers are from Think Gaming.
|Daily Revenue (USD)*||Games|
|$ 1 Million +||Candy Crush, Pokemon GO, MARVEL Contest of Champions|
|$ 400K – 1 Million||Clash Royale, Slotomania: Vegas Slots Casino, Toy Blast, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, Guns of Glory|
|$ 100K – 400 K||Clash of Clans, MADDEN NFL Football, Choices: Stories You Play, DRAGON BALL Z DOKKAN BATTLE, and many more
* Note that the numbers are for daily revenues in the USA and iPhone iOS only.
Candy Crush dominates the competition with more than $2 Million daily revenue. And that is just one game, one country, and one store. Just imagine what the revenues of the game will be in all countries and across all devices. Also, there are many titles which make a lot of money without being in the category-leading position.
As per App Annie, the consumption of games in the USA grew by 60% from 2015–2017. Same is the growth for Japan — the top market for gaming consumption. China is catching up with all the bigger markets, by growing 250% during the same period.
Another interesting fact is that the casual games perform the best regarding revenue and downloads than other categories. Also, this category is cost effective to produce. But, game concept and design are of paramount importance.
How Can You Calculate the Cost?
Technically speaking, the game development costs cover the coding expenses, the artwork and graphics design, cinematics, and music and sounds work. All this is a part of the pre-launch costs. After the launch, one should anticipate the bugs and errors as well as to keep the game up to date with the latest features of Android and iOS.
Development tools can be different and are dependent upon the requirements. Usually used ones are game engines like Unity 3D, APIs such as OpenCL, Swift, and ARKit, etc. So, pinpointing costs for a particular game could be a challenge. The best way, we thought of, is to categorize games into different categories and to come up with a price range. This way one can get an idea of the game budget and can plan accordingly.
So, I have listed down the categories of the games, a brief description with examples, and the estimated costs of development. Note that the costs mentioned are based on our work experience.
|Social – Strategy||Clash of Clans or something simple yet brilliant such as Chess and you’ll have your own strategy game.||$ 50,000 – $ 75,000|
|Casual – Arcade – Card Games – Puzzles||Remember when Activision bought Candy Crush’s developer for $5.9 billion? Switch Color and Angry Birds are in this category.||$ 8,000 to $ 12,000|
|Survival – Fighting – Running – Simulation||Sniper Shooting to casual running games such as Subway Surfers.
|$ 10,000 – $ 15,000|
|RPG||Games like Star Wars, Idle Heroes, are a part of this category.||$ 30,000 – $ 50,000|
|Adventure – Interactive||Imagine titles like The Walking Dead, Assassin’s Creed Identity, where the game revolves around a storyline and is progressive.||$ 30,000 – $ 50,000|
|Augmented Reality (complex)||Pokemon Go is the best example of an AR game. AR is an emerging segment of gaming with relatively less competition and a lot of potential.||$50,000 to $100,000|
Earlier, we also did an article describing in detail about app development costs in general, do have a look.
With more and more people getting access to cheaper phones and internet, the demand for gaming will continue to increase. App Annie quotes,
There’s been a 60% growth in the number of app downloads globally, consumer spending has more than doubled, and time spent in apps spiked by 30%, to the point where each user spends about 43 days per year in apps.
With this kind of growth in demand, what are you waiting for?
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