Mobile Game App Development Cost: 11 Factors Effecting Game Development Cost

Aysha Bilal

Mobile Game App Development Cost: 11 Factors Effecting Game Development Cost

The cost of building a mobile game app varies greatly and depends on many factors. Today, video game development is booming, with their demand growing exponentially. Above all, as a business asset, a mobile game can create a high-grossing consumer base.

This blog is your go-to guide if you want details on how much your mobile app development should cost and the prerequisites to embark on this tech endeavor.

What Is Mobile Game App Development?

It is the process of developing a video game for mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, portable media players, or any other mobile device. Developing a mobile game app, firstly, requires adequate goal setting followed by thorough planning. The development platform, tools, and other equipment you choose are central to the mobile game development process.

The gaming industry continues to grow exponentially, to the extent that seasoned tech analysts deem mobile games as one of the greatest contributors to today’s entertainment. Mobile app development, in particular, sees most of the industry’s revenue growth, accruing 52% of the gaming market worldwide.

Is Mobile Game App Development Easy?

Determining the level of difficulty of mobile game development depends on some factors. If you want to create a 3D game, the process will be complex, but for creating simple games i.e. card games, it is not complicated at all.

Mobile app developers use different types of software and multiple programming languages depending on the game engine and project requirements.

For this purpose we here at DigiTrends determine the most appropriate technology to ensure the maximum support for your games, ranging from low-cost phones to high-end mobile devices, equipped with advanced GPUs available in the market.

Here are some top game engines used to develop mobile game applications:

  • Unity
  • BuildBox
  • Unreal Engine
  • Game Maker Studio 2
  • CryEngine

Stages of Mobile Game App Development

Wondering how much does it cost to develop a game app? If you want to know exactly where your money will be spent, start with the basics. The procedure for creating a mobile game consists of the following stages:

Market Research

Developers should research about some components before developing any type of game. These elements help in determining the optimal solutions.

  • Target audience
  • Competitive proposals
  • Current trends
  • Stylistic innovations

Game Design Document

This specific document includes all post-research data. It generally includes details that the game designer implements.

  • First image of the game
  • Target audience
  • Operating system (Android or iOS)
  • Genre
  • Monetization options
  • Scale
  • Style
  • Characters

Technical specification

With the specification, one can determine the final cost of the work. Technical specifications can only be ascertained with the help of a lead programmer or technical director. Discuss game mechanics, code objects, a control loop, game physics, and game object data.

Mobile Game App Development Cost: 11 Factors Effecting Game Development Cost


The prototype is a general sketch of the game without details and art visuals. This allows to understand the mechanics and appreciate the convenience of the gameplay.

Game Design

Create all 2D/3D assets, characters, environment, and interface elements then determine the visual perception of the future game.

Game programming

Write program code, set up a server, database, and API, as well as implementation of game graphics while embedding 2D or 3D content and VFX.

Sound design

Creating music, work with interface sounds and other sound effects for maximum fun.


Detect and correct minor malfunctions or incorrect operation of certain systems. Constant testing helps in increasing game functionality while ensuring that the players are content.


Place the game on the respective internet resources for example, Google Play Store or App Store the product becomes available to the user.

Factors That Determine the Cost of Mobile Game App Development

So how much does it cost to develop a mobile game?

The game development cost estimation depends on several factors including the type of game, design, story, testing, and so on. Below we have presented factors that are the key determinants of the cost.

Operating System

Your selected platform highly affects the game development cost, alongside the reach and revenue of the game. Android development costs more than iOS but, Android is more popular on mobile platforms.

Apple gadgets’ administration and payment systems are more expensive. Single-platform development costs less than multiple-platform development.

Hence, the best option is to choose cross-platform app development to enjoy each platform’s perks.


Designing a mobile game is a multilayer process. In the design phase, the game levels, target users, gameplay, and game environment are planned. This part of game development is extremely crucial; therefore, we ensure all things carefully.

Without a proper design plan, your game app may create a lot of glitches and bugs.

Many professionals involved in the complete design and development cycle including game artists, UX and UI designers, etc. Based on experience and capabilities, these professionals generally charge from $150 to $250 per hour.

Game Categories and Genres

The cost of the mobile game app largely depends on whether you’re developing a casual gaming app, a social gaming app, or a simulation app. Hence, this is the most important and expensive phase. Depending on their complexity, gaming applications are categorized as the following:

  • Mini-Games
  • Casual 2D Games
  • Mid-Level Games
  • Social Games
  • High-Level Games
  • Business Games

Casual 2D Games

They are basic and small-budget games that involve a basic 2D graphics along with a soundtrack. Even though these are simple 2D games, they offer a great user engagement rate and an opportunity for scale-up.

Estimated cost of developing 2D games falls around $5,000 to $20,000. However, this estimate may increase if the game has more functionalities.

Some examples of 2D games include Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, Mark of the Ninja and Terraria.


They are simple and solitary games that do not require any specific skills to play. They can be a separate game or be side quests for a bigger game. Candy and Clyde and Talking Tom are some examples of mini games and cost around $20,000 to make.

But set your budget to somewhere around $50,000 in case you want add some extra features or if you have higher expectations from your gaming app.

Social Games

These games are played by multiple users on social media sites for instance Facebook and Snapchat. They are similar to browser games and access limited user data. These games are generally built with SDK (software development kit) that are provided by social media platforms and its cost ranges from $100,000 to $250,000.

Some examples for social media games are Candy Crush Saga, Bingo Blitz and Texas HoldEm Poker out of 6000 more games.

Mid-level Games

These mobile games involve different levels, characters, story, and good graphics. The depth and variety in the content boost the replay capacity and involve players for a longer time.

It may cost you anywhere from $250,000 to $700,000 to develop such games. A very well-known game Angry Birds falls under this category.

Business Game Applications

Companies are using mobile games to enhance communication, encourage creativity, and make the overall work environment more fun and engaging.

Business game applications are developed to engage a large group of people, hence, they are multiplayer games that include:

  • An exciting storyline
  • Graphics
  • Animation
  • Multiple game levels
  • Soundtrack
  • Cross-platform compatibility

In addition, mobile games created for enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses are built to brand the company uniquely; they can become a lead generator and even close more sales than other platforms. Business game apps generally cost anywhere from $250,000 to $550,000.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mobile Game App?

High-level Games

These games need a massive budget, but you can earn great rewards by hitting the right audience. It would help to be cautious about the game plan, strategy, and design. Clash of Clans and Hay Day come in the category of high-level games.

Developers generally take more than a year to completely build and release these types of games.

The cost involved in developing these games is quite high and you may have to spend anywhere from $400,000 to $1,000,000 to develop a high-end mobile game.

Game Complexity

After deciding on the game category and genre, you know a game’s crucial features. If it’s a simple game, social media integration will be sufficient.

However, if you are developing a complex game like PUBG, you will need to add different features like gyroscope, voice integration, etc. This increases the game development cost.

Game App Testing

Similarly like design the testing process is also crucial for game development. After all, gamers cannot tolerate even slight bugs.

Hence, ensure that your game runs seamlessly, without any problems, and provides a good user experience with constant app testing.

Keep a budget aside for testing services offered by the game app development company.


If you want an addictive game, you need to work with the right team. We at DigiTrends believe that entertainment is one of the most important parts of life.  We know how to use it for the benefit of business.

While your user will be hooked on to playing, we’ll be creating more fun and addictive mobile game.