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Top 5 Tips to Reduce Mobile Game Development Costs

Did you just come up with an innovative mobile game idea? That’s perfect. After working on the concept of your mobile game, ideally the first thought will be how much it will cost to practically implement it. There are multiple factors to contemplate when you think about mobile game development cost and in this article, we will cover our extensive experience as a mobile game development company and share some important tips to reduce game development costs.

Mobile games are basically developed for the AppStore and Google Play store and the development cost can range anywhere from USD 3,000 for basic games to USD 150,000 or more for intricate, multiplayer games. The cost can also depend on the options that you are looking to integrate like payment systems or admin features. For instance, some of these features are at least 20 percent more expensive for iOS than for Android.

Why Mobile Games have a high development pricing?

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Mobile game development is a flourishing market. Referring to reports, there were more than 2.4 billion mobile games around the world in 2019. Now, with booming technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), this number is just going to rise due to the pandemic and people staying at home.

Mobile game applications are one of the most downloaded applications globally. Though there are thousands of games available on the app stores, building a mobile game application still offers a long-term revenue generation opportunity. 

Tips to reduce the Mobile Game Development Cost

There are various factors that can influence the cost of building a mobile game application. Let us check out some effective tips to reduce mobile game development costs.

1. Story, Plot and Characters

Stories are an integral part of every engaging mobile game application. If you want to keep the users engaged till the end of the game, you need an appealing plot and characters. This includes designing the personality, dialect and tone of various characters and their interaction with the players. 

This step usually involves a great deal of communication between the game creators and strategists. That is why it is a great idea to hire an in-house developer for these tasks. An experienced game developer can charge anywhere from USD 100 to 150 per hour. Hence, some companies find it easier to hire a freelancer or an agency at a fraction of the cost.

2. Prototype

More often than not, an application or a game fails to meet the expectations of the client. This is a huge loss to the app development company that spent a lot of time and energy on development. This is often followed by an increase in time and cost for correction. To prevent such costs, app developers are now building interactive prototypes of their applications before they start working on the actual build. These interactive prototypes of their games provide a good idea of the features, navigation and UI/UX design. Moreover, it acts as a blueprint for both the development team and the client to know if they are on the right track. The prototype is reviewed by the client in real time and can suggest improvements at this stage. 

3. Design

Mobile game design is an integrated process. In this part, the game levels, players, gameplay and gaming environment are planned. This is an integral part and should be done carefully. Without a suitable design plan, your mobile game application may be susceptible to bugs and technical glitches.

There are various smart professionals required in the design and development cycle like game artists, UI and UX designers and developers etc. Based on their prior experience and demanding work, they can charge between USD 100 to 250 per hour. It can be an overwhelming cost if you are just looking to develop a single game. In that case it is best to outsource it to professional developers who can do it under USD 25 per hour. 

4. Minimum Viable Product

Minimum Viable Product of a new product enables a development team to collect the data about customers and their interaction with the product. In the gaming industry, it allows you to test the game in a real-world environment. Irrespective of the internal testing you do in-house, a real market includes multiple factors like competition, trending genres and economy. This cannot be replicated through testing, so you must send out an initial build of the game in the market to check its performance with real players. The MVP system allows you to build an iterative cycle where the product is released, tested and enhanced through development phases. 

Secondly, it provides you an opportunity to focus on things that matter the most like your key features. Ideally, you would like to include as many features as you can but that won’t make a game better. The MVP will ensure that you focus on the features that a player actually needs and build a base on which further changes can be made going forward. In the end, it enables you to realise where the true value of a game lies and work on enhancing that instead of adding features that no one wants. 

5. Outsourcing

Seasoned mobile game developers are aware of cost reduction in game development. Hence, if you are lacking the right expertise for game development, it is better to outsource it to the right team. There are many benefits of outsourcing. As an app development company, it will not be feasible to hire mobile game developers for every new project as it is an expensive affair.

Outsourcing is the best way to forward what is difficult for your team to achieve. This provides you the privilege to focus on your core business. Hence, choose a game development partner who has technical expertise in building the kind of games that you want. So, if you are looking for an AR powered game, look for a partner who excels in AR game development. Offshore development and outsourcing is a cost-effective app development trend that works well for most companies. 

How are development agencies competing in the Game development market in 2021?

In the last year, the growth of mobile game players has brought an enormous shift in the gaming industry. One apparent impact of this change is that the industry is minting billions of dollars in revenue. Subsequently, there is a huge opportunity for game developers and marketers etc. in the gaming industry.

These days, businesses are looking to capitalize on this, it will be great for you to be informed about trends and statistics. With this industry knowledge and experience of years, businesses are able to make strategic decisions and take their business to the next level. In 2021, game development engines like Unity and Unreal have enhanced their product to a great extent. Due to this, game development companies can build more engaging products and explore their creativity. Moreover, in the coming year or so, there will be major improvements in ad-tech and various monetization tools too. 

Final Thoughts

2020 has been a golden age for the mobile gaming industry that observed more users participating in and playing games on their smartphones than in the last ten years. But, the mobile games market is set for an unparalleled growth. By reviewing the ongoing trends in the gaming industry and adopting them, mobile game developers can benefit from this opportunity and raise their market share. Are you looking for a dependable company to assist you and optimize your revenue for your mobile games? Get in touch with us to get a free quote for your mobile game development project. 

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Nisarg is the Business Development Manager at Nimblechapps, a top mobile game development company and has been with the organisation since its inception in 2014. He likes to update his knowledge on changing trends in technology and marketing and pens his thoughts regarding the same on various blogs and LinkedIn.