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How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Mobile Game? A Step-By-Step Guide

Mobile game development is a market that is thriving. New emerging technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are boosting the gaming market to its peak. The gaming industry is booming, with infinite possibilities beyond infinity. 

There are thousands of mobile gaming apps that are downloaded on an hourly basis around the globe. Numerous games are available on the app stores, but creating profitable game apps is a long-term opportunity to develop continuous revenue. Its rapid demand among gamers is making it more valuable day by day. 

The question that most gamers often ask is, “How much does it cost to develop a mobile game?” But the answer to this question is a complete one because there are various factors involved, including the type of game, the design of the game, the story, testing, and the list goes on. 

A Synopsis Of The Mobile Gaming Market

  • According to the most current data, more than 203 million mobile gamers are gaming in the US
  • More than 50% of global gaming industry revenue is dominated by mobile gaming.
  • Data proves that more than 72% of mobile phone users in the US play games on their phones. 
  •  The mobile game market is expected to reach 284.4 billion USD by the end of 2030. 

Creating profitable game apps is fun and generates an increased ratio of revenue. Before developing a mobile game, evaluate the approximate cost. Then comes how you will develop your game and where you’ll get it developed. 

Mobile Game Development

Mobile game development is not child’s play. Game development possesses the most complex scenarios and turns. A team of game designers, artists, mobile developers, gamers, project managers, designers, and quality assurance professionals come together to produce a tremendous end product. Several companies are developing outstanding mobile games.

A good game possesses the following characteristics: 

  • An interesting and engaging storyline.
  • Eye-catching and breathtaking graphics.
  • Extraordinary and prominent backgrounds.
  • Vibrant visual effects blended with exotic sound effects 
  • An innovative and creative merger of art and technology to develop polished mainstream gaming applications. 

End-To-End Mobile Game Development Services

The most important ingredient for successful mobile game development is out-of-the-box thinking and bringing ideas to life. It is a challenging task; it takes a lot of effort and brainstorming from dedicated developers and experts. A game developer is an extension of any game’s development. The perfect mobile game development result comes with close collaboration and tireless exertion from technical professionals. These specialists must be proficient in 2D and 3D art animations and photorealistic models. Several companies provide creative game designers who develop and execute artistic and innovatively planned ideas to run an engaging game. These developers turn each game into a memorable and enjoyable experience. 

Mobile game development services involve: 

  • Planning 
  • Concept art and asset production
  • Game development and testing
  • Support and maintenance 
  • Game live operations 
  • Monetization

The Process Of Mobile Game Development

The process of making a mobile game app involves a lot of creativity. Game creation involves critical thinking, evaluation, and prediction, which are the major aspects of developing an app. Leaving no stone unturned while developing a mobile game is essential. 

Examine The Purpose Of Developing A Mobile Game

It’s better to understand the entire app’s idea before developing it. The process of scrutinizing the purpose is quite easy, just like creating brand awareness or assisting customers to connect in order to gather reviews about developing a certain kind of mobile gaming. How customers respond to your idea of mobile game development is the key to finding the purpose of your game development. 

Taking An Example

We can take the most successful and popular AR-based game, Pokemon Go, as an example. This game reached its peak with enormous popularity, secured players, and generated more than $1 billion in revenue. We have no doubt about how augmented reality in mobile game apps has changed the entire user experience. Spending some time to have a clear path before developing a mobile game app will help you optimize your investment and reach your target market. Research and market evaluation are the first steps to building an eminent brand.

Technical Steps For Developing A Mobile Game App

Following are certain technical steps to develop a mobile game app: These steps also construct the cost plan for the game’s development. These technical steps demand the observation and input of highly qualified and experienced experts. 

  • Game design document
  • General game descriptions
  • Design part 
  • The technical and business parts 
  • Game prototyping 
  • Game design Specification 
  • Coding the game app 
  • Testing the final version

Technologies To Use In Creating Profitable Game Apps

Pitching a certain gaming engine to develop a mobile game app plays a vital role in the creation of an entire mobile game and its cost. Following is a list of the most advanced and popular gaming engines. 

  • Unity:

It allows you to create interactive 3D content with ease. From the best open-source game engines to the best engine for 2D games, Unity has got everything covered. The best thing about this game is that it is free. This engine is available with all its features and can be used to make games on every platform.  

  • Cocos2dX:

It’s an open-source game development platform. Cocos2dX is one of the best engines for 2D games. It possesses truly impressive features and has the ability to be a cross-platform and easy way into the world of gaming. Cocos2dX is a C++ game engine that can be versatile and also use Java. Cocos2dX is your best bet if a developer plans to develop a 2D game over a 3D game. Cocos2dX allows more control and freedom to build your project with full autonomy. 

  • Unreal Engine:

One of the most popular engines in the industry is Unreal Engine. The original version was created in 1998, and 17 years later, it is still the biggest gaming engine. It has the ability to modify the game to create unique experiences. Unreal four is said to be the easiest game engine to use when in the hands of a professional. Some titles made by the Unreal engine are the Gears of War series, the Mass Effect series, and the Bioshock series. 

  • Godot:

It’s considered the best 2D game engine on the market, and it provides a huge set of common tools, so you can just focus on making your game. It’s a free game engine and can be used on an open-source game engine through licensing. Whatever you develop through the Godot engine is yours. Godot has a community that is constantly upgrading and fixing errors. They also develop new features. 

  • GameMaker:

It has become a widely used engine because it doesn’t require programming knowledge to use. The user only points and clicks to create games, which is easier and faster than coding with native languages. Programmers who have coding knowledge can use GameMaker to make their games better. Some of the best titles are created with GameMaker, like Miami, Speluncky, and the upcoming Hyper Light Drifter.

Types Of Mobile Games

The types of mobile games are listed below: 

  • Card Gaming Apps,
  • Arcade Gaming Apps, 
  • Adventure Gaming Apps,
  • Betting Games,
  • Puzzle Gaming Apps
  • Role-Play Gaming Apps 

The Cost Of Mobile Game Development

The cost and budget plans vary from developer to developer, keeping in mind the noticeable factors, regions, locations, and functionalities. There are several factors that add up to the cost, like preferred platforms, added functionalities, technologies used, testing, and deployment features, along with marketing strategies used to monetize your game and gain popularity. 

The cost depends on the technologies and functionalities. The choices that were made and the added technologies for the creation of mobile games cause fluctuations in the cost of development. While developing a mobile gaming app, it’s better to think about the basic features that should not be compromised due to cost.

Factors Affecting The Cost Of Mobile Game Development

There are various factors that need to be considered while developing a mobile game app.

  • Game plotting and characters:

Creating stories is the basis of all wagging game apps. If you want your players to stay engaged in your games on every level, an attractive and engaging plot character is essential. Character building involves designing the personality, tone, and multiple interactions with the player. 

  • Multilayer process of design:

In this stage of game development, target users, gameplay, and game environment are planned. This stage plays a vital role and needs to be done carefully. Without a proper design plan, your app may create a lot of glitches and might stop working during the game. 

  • Game Genres:

This is the most expensive phase and largely depends on whether you are developing a casual gaming app, a social gaming app, or a stimulation app. Games are categorized depending on their complexity, like mini-games, casual 2D games, social games, mid-level games, business game applications, and high-level games.

  • Game app testing:

When it comes to mobile game apps, the testing process is as important as the development process. Gamers do not tolerate bugs in the game. It’s very important to make sure that the game runs smoothly without any issues and has a rich user interface.  

  • Marketing of the game:

Putting some marketing efforts into making your game level up will lead to its popularity, and more gamers will approach it. You’ll need a budget to properly market your game and make it visible in the market. You’ll require rankings in the Apple and Google Play Stores, also known as App Store Optimization.

Monetize Your Mobile Game

In today’s competitive gaming market, all in-app purchase revenue goals are for the top 100 games. There are a number of companies that provide developers with a new way to grow revenue without high development costs. The basic reason for adding monetization strategies to mobile app development is to make sure that every time a user downloads your app or plays on it frequently, you start earning from it. A few of the most commonly used monetization strategies include:

  • Subscription Method:

A simple and most commonly used method, subscription charges require users to pay a certain amount of dollars monthly to continue using the app.

  • In-App Purchase:

Another standard monetization method mostly used by mobile app developers is to add features to the app that require users to pay for them. They are available without any charges, but a few features are locked and will require payment to unlock. 

  • Freemium:

These apps are initially available to users as a free version, but once the user gets the hang of it, they ask the user to buy the paid version. 

  • Advertising:

These are ads popping up during the game. Developers use this monetization strategy to make money with their gaming apps. 


Final Thoughts

The industry keeps growing and evolving every minute, and mobile app development is never enough. In order to stay on track, keep upgrading your mobile game and moving forward toward new technological platforms. Over the last few years, the mobile game development industry has reached new heights. Whether it’s about integrating the mobile game with augmented reality or virtual reality and catering to the ever-growing needs and interests of users, we need to come up with even more unique and trending ideas to stay on top of the industry. In the end, it’s all worth it if the developed mobile game is loved by users and gains popularity. The gaming industry provides numerous chances for both men and women to gain a profitable return on investment. 

Mobile game development is a sophisticated process that involves multiple methods for developing a mobile game. Programmers should consider such factors as the number of features and platforms a game will be launched on. There are various game genres that exist in mobile game development. Once the genre is decided, game designers begin the process step by step. Developers collaborate with artists and animators to craft characters. Each game app development company has its own unique approach to creating mobile games. Therefore, it’s worth researching thoroughly before deciding on one to work with.

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