“Mobile games are not just entertainment; they have the potential to educate and inspire.”
– Sundar Pichai
Mobile app development is a growing industry. Mobile games such as PUBG and Call of Duty, which are extremely popular and have a lot of features that make them addictive, are some of the most played in today’s digital age. Gamers love games with amazing visuals, challenging multiplayer gameplay, and impressive features.
Arizona Sunshine is a game that has reached a new frontier for mobile app development. It does this by utilizing cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality.
Mobile Gaming is now over 50% of all gaming revenue, and the trend is expected to continue. This is because installing games on mobile devices is easier due to their large coverage and the lack of complicated installation procedures.
Also, many people who are interested in entering this sector wonder how much is the mobile game development cost? You may not consider this spread as a valid answer to your question. To understand how pricing is calculated, you need to dig deeper into the process of game creation. To get a better idea of the current state of the gaming industry, let’s look at some statistics.
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Mobile Gaming Market Statistics and Facts
- The number of games downloaded globally in 2021 is expected to reach an astounding 55.5 billion.
- With global spending of 2,01 and 1,65 billion U.S. Dollars, respectively, PUBG mobile and Honor of Kings were the most played mobile games worldwide in 2021.
- By 2023, it is anticipated that the industry for mobile games would bring in US$286.50 billion.
- Market volume is expected to reach US$376.70 billion as a consequence of the revenue increasing at a CAGR of 7.08% between 2023 and 2027.
- By 2027, there will be 2.32 billion users of mobile games.
- In 2023, the user penetration rate is projected to be 25,1% and will reach 29,2% by 2027.
- China will generate the largest revenue (US$81.900.00m) in global comparison.
- In 2023, the average revenue per mobile game user (ARPU), according to projections, is expected to be US$148.80.
How Does Mobile Gaming App Work?
Mobile gaming apps are a fun and easy way to play games on your smartphone or tablet. Installing a mobile game app on a user’s phone is as easy as downloading it from the store. After installation, launch the program and navigate the user-friendly interface.
A number of games will be offered to the user. The user will select the game they want to play and start playing it by tapping on the screen, or using the intuitive swipe and tilt controls. All games are easy to play and understand. As they advance, users may access new levels and get rewards. They can engage in competition with other gamers worldwide or with their pals.
Apps could provide virtual or supplementary functionalities. When you’re done playing, quit the app or pause it to resume later. Mobile gaming apps provide users with seamless and immersive gaming experiences, making gaming while on the move a fun and enjoyable experience.
Top Mobile Game Development Trends
In this section, we will discuss the top mobile game development trends. So let’s begin.
1. Augmented Reality (AR), Gaming
Augmented Reality Gaming is still a major trend in 2023, despite its massive popularity over the past few years. Mobile games that integrate AR technology can create immersive and interactive experiences by overlaying digital objects on the real world.
AR gaming has been paved by a game app like Pokemon GO, and developers are now exploring ways to use this technology in order to create unique and engaging gameplay.
2. Metaverse Gaming
Metaverse gaming has been on the rise recently. Players can explore and interact in the Metaverse virtual world. Metaverse-inspired mobile games will be available in 2023. In this shared virtual space, players can socialize, collaborate and engage in conversation with other users.
Gaming in the metaverse has been viewed as a method to converge social media, entertainment, and gaming. Using this technology can directly affect the mobile game development cost.
3. Cross-Platform Gaming
Players may play their favorite games on a variety of platforms, such as PCs, smartphones, and tablets, thanks to cross-platform gaming. In 2023, there will be a huge demand for cross-platform games. Developers can also use game making websites to build a game that allow players to play across platforms. This allows them to connect with other gamers and continue their gaming sessions.
4. Cloud Streaming Devices
The way we play games has been completely transformed by cloud gaming. With the use of this technology, players can download games straight to their smartphones, doing away with the need for expensive gear. This year, we will see the advancement of cloud streaming devices.
This cloud gaming streaming app development technology would be adopted by developers to make high-quality games accessible to a wider audience. This trend allows seamless gameplay on different platforms, and gives players the option to play while they are on the go.
5. Social and Multiplayer Games
In recent years, the concept of mobile social gaming and multiplayer has grown in popularity. The participants desire to engage in competition and make connections with friends and players all around the world.
To enhance the social aspect of mobile games, developers are increasingly integrating social features such as leaderboards, chat systems and multiplayer modes. This trend encourages competition, community building, and engagement.
6. Blockchain Gaming
The gaming industry has been revolutionized by Blockchain technology. Blockchain-based games will be more prevalent in 2018.
- Secure and transparent in-game transaction
- Player ownership of digital assets, and
- Decentralized gaming
This technology increases player engagement and trust by opening up new avenues of monetization.
7. Big Data & AI
This year, we’ll see more advancements in the gaming industry as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence combine their power. To generate individualized and dynamic gameplay experiences, game app developers are using AI algorithms and data analytics. Big Data and artificial intelligence will improve game mechanics, player engagement and even the NPCs.
Read More: Cost to Develop a Mobile App
Must-Features of Mobile Game App Development
We interpreted that there are already thousands, if not millions, of mobile apps on both the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Therefore, it’s critical that your game be able to compete with the industry titans. The following features should be considered while creating game app:
1. Engaging and Challenging Gameplay
When developing a mobile gaming app, ensure that the plot offers the player both enjoyment and challenges that they want to complete. Create the level of complexity according to your target audience. Users will delete games that are too simple after completing them, while those that are more complex may lose interest.
2. High-Quality Audio and Graphics
The quality of graphics and sound will have a major impact on the user’s engagement. Make sure the game has excellent sound and graphics to improve the user experience. The user will be more engaged with games that have good graphics and sound integration.
3. Social Sharing
Social sharing is a trend, whether it’s for daily updates in life or achievements in mobile gaming. It has therefore become essential to have a social sharing feature on mobile gaming apps where users can share their accomplishments with their friends.
4. Multiplayer Capabilities
It’s time to bring games that users can play with or against friends onto a level playing field. Multiplayer capabilities are a must for all mobile games, no matter the genre.
5. In-App Purchases
Users spend a lot of money in order to improve their performance and power within the game. This feature helps users to beat their opponents. Recently, this feature has become very popular. By integrating this feature in your game app, it will indirectly increase the mobile game development cost.
6. Reward System
The reward system helps to keep the user engaged and increase the time spent using the app. It can also be used to unlock new levels and powers in the game. It is a feature that many mobile gaming apps have today.
7. Progress Tracking
The progress tracking feature allows the user to keep track of their progress in the game. This could be the number of achievements, badges, or levels.
8. Tutorials and Help Section
This section displays the basic features of the game, including the rules, the playing procedure, and the tutorial. This section helps new users get familiar with the game.
9. Push Notifications
One of the most essential and often used elements, it alerts the player to future levels, gameplay sessions, or newly unlocked features. Make sure to incorporate the push notification option while creating a mobile gaming app.
Which Technologies To Use For Game App Development?
The mobile game development cost is largely determined by the gaming engine you choose. There are many successful and preferred gaming engines. Our personal favorites, which we will share with you, are Unity and Cocos2DX that can be used for gaming mobile app development process:
Unity, the most popular game making app with all its essential features and functionality. It is a multi-platform app development package that comes in a complete package. This software is free to start-up app developers with annual incomes less than $100K. Also If you want to build a game with this technology, then you must know the unity game development cost first.
However, it is a subscription-based product, but with more features and technical requirements.
Unity Plus Edition: $40 per Month
Unity Pro edition: $150 per month
Unity Enterprise Edition: $200 per Month
Despite the membership fees, the engine is very compatible with 2D and 3D games and functions well on all mobile, desktop, online, and console platforms. Some of the top games created on Unity include Escape Plan, Angry Birds 2, Wasteland 2, and Temple Run Trilogy, to mention a few.
We prefer this game engine because it is lightweight, robust and results-oriented. It also speeds up game development by optimizing app performance. Cocos2d x is used to develop game apps like Castle Clash and Badland.
Factors Affecting The Mobile Game Development Cost
Before you find out “how much does it cost to develop a game”, you must first know its factors. You can estimate your mobile game development costs by considering the following factors approved by a game app development company.
1. Genre of The Game
There are different ways to classify a game by genre: by platform (and we’re talking about mobile games here), by mode (single-player, multiplayer, PvP, etc.) and by narrative. There are also different narratives (horror, mystery, etc.) and platforms that can be used to classify a game’s genre.
The genre can affect the mobile game development cost: it is more difficult and expensive to create a multiplayer, open-world game compared to a puzzle game for one player. You may create a mobile game with cutting-edge visuals by taking assistance from a game app development services provider.
2. Categories of the Game
Genre alone will not give you an accurate estimation. You can also classify games into adventure games, fighting, puzzles and RPGs. There are also sports games, strategy games, simulations and other categories. These categories will dictate a number of the mechanics that you need to implement: an elaborate economy system for strategies, different fighting styles, etc.
These will increase the mobile game development cost. These types of games require not only the design and development but also narrative designers to create mysteries that players can solve, make RPG characters likable, or write quests. They also have an impact on the cost.
3. Type Of Games
Different genres of games are divided into categories. Simulation games are divided into racing simulation, life simulation and so on. Sports games can be divided into different sports. You can choose from Action RPGs (the Yakuza series), MMORPGs (World of Warcraft), and roguelike RPGs (Hades). Each of these games has its own features, mechanics and narrative choices, which influence the cost and final product.
4. Selecting a Mobile Platform
Most mobile games are developed for Android and iOS, but they can also be ported to Windows Phone, Tizen OS and Fire OS. The cost of using stores as a market is also a consideration. App Store and Google Play both take 30% of the revenue generated by in-app purchases. (There are ways to reduce this to 15% but if you make more than $1 million, your money is returned).
Integration of payment systems is also more costly for iOS than Android. There are few other options for top gaming app development companies to get their game in front of people, gain visibility, and make money.
5. Game Complexity
The above classifications can be categorized into the following categories.
- Mini-Games: They are games for one player without any special effects. They are like ping-pong. These games are usually 2D and simple, with a 2D interface.
- Small games: It can be multiplayer and multileveled. They may also have a 2d/3d user interface with in-app purchase features. C
- Middle-Level Games: Angry Birds is one of the most popular titles in this category. This category has a variety of levels, characters, plotlines and graphics.
- High-Level Games or Large Games: High-level games are complex and take time to develop.
- AAA Games: They are those games that have a high budget and huge profits. They’re usually produced and released either by large or mid-sized publishers. For example, GTA 5 and Call of Duty are AAA Games. The mobile game development cost them can be as high as $265m (GTA 5 was, hey).
6. Mobile Game Engine
It is best to use cross-platform engines in order to launch the game more or less simultaneously on iOS and Android. The top engines for multi-platform games are:
- Unreal Engine
- Construct 3
- Game Maker Studio 2
7. Game Development Time
A mobile game can take anywhere from 2 months to a year to develop. It takes 2-4 months to develop small mobile games without complex storylines. It can take up to a year for large games. The cost per hour of game development services in the US varies between $100 and $150 depending on how complex the game is. In Europe, the rates vary between $50 to $80.
If your game is complex, intricate, or grand in scale, you will also need to hire game and narrative designers as well as producers, writers, artists, and testers.
8. Mobile Game Testing
Testing can also be expensive, especially if not only you hire QA specialists or a team of QA experts but you conduct beta tests as well and invite future players to test out what you have built. Beta tests are more important the bigger the game.
Even the most experienced studios can’t predict player behavior. It’s best to catch mistakes before release. Also, timely mobile app maintenance and support are also essential after you launch the game for keeping the game up to date.
Cost of Mobile Game Development
So now the main question arises “how much does it cost to make a mobile game”. Well, for a mobile game with basic functionality, it can cost between $10000 and $15000. It may cost as much as $25000 to create a mobile game that has all the high-end graphics and features, including support for multiple platforms.
The mobile game development cost is heavily dependent on game requirements, features, and size. The following is a list with the estimated costs of different types of games:
1. Mini Game Development Cost: $10k – $15k
A simple mini-game such as Sudoku or Pac-man can cost anywhere between $10k-$12k on a single platform. It can cost as much as 15k if you want multiple platforms and advanced features.
Game Examples: Flappy Bird, Pac-Man, etc.
2. Cost of 2D Game Development: $15k to $18k
2D game development costs between $15-$18k per platform. It can cost as much as $20k if you want multiple platforms and advanced features.
Game Examples: Flappy Slendrina, etc.
3. Cost of 3D Game Development: $18k to $20k
For a single platform, games like Tennis Clash and 3D Shooting, with their excellent graphics, cost between $18k-$20k. For advanced features or multiple platforms, the price can reach up to $23k.
Game Examples: Join Clash 3D, Free 3D Shooting, etc.
4. Mid-Level Game Development cost: $20k to $25k
For a single platform, mid-level games such as Angry Birds or Cut the Rope may cost between $20k and $23k. The price of advanced features on multiple platforms can reach $25k.
Game Examples: Simcity, Gardenscapes, Angrybirds, Candy Crush, etc.
5. Real Money Game Development cost: $25k or more
For a single platform, real money games such as Ludo 8 Ball Pool, Rummy and Carrom cost between $10k and $14k. Costs can reach $25k if you want advanced features or multiple platforms.
Game Examples: Bet365, Ludo Empire, MPL, etc.
At least 25% of the route to success is knowing what factors affect how much it costs to make a mobile game. However, the beginning point should be sufficiently evident for now. Of course, the price will change as you advance in the development if you decide to add more plots, features, or characters.
Mobile gaming is the segment of the gaming market that is expanding the quickest, but there is still opportunity for additional development and more fascinating games. Just contact a reliable mobile application development company and get your robust game developed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to Hire Game App Developers?
2. What are the Platforms Used for Mobile App Game Development?
Apple App Store and Google Play Store are the two most popular platforms for developing mobile games. The two platforms cover 95% of the audience of all smartphone users in the world.
3. How Can You Lower the Cost of Game Apps?
Start with a simple game and gradually upgrade it. You can try to outstaff and control the working hours of developers. You can control the costs of your game apps by doing this.
4. How Much Do Mobile Games Make?
An incredible 93 billion dollars in revenue was generated by mobile gaming in 2021. This implies that the combined income of PC and console games has been surpassed by mobile game revenue. Global movie box office receipts in 2021 were 21.3 billion USD, for reference.