Every AAA game company is constantly asked how much it costs to develop a game. This question involves defining “game” and “make.” It’s between $0 and $265 million.
A Google search will reveal several free gamedev tools anybody may use to develop a game for fun. The free game is one interpretation (though, of course, there are other costs to consider – time, powering a computer, access to the internet, not to mention the hours of labour).
Games, from indie to triple-A
As shown in the two cases above, a game’s definition and development expenditures are vast. For our purposes, it’s preferable to break down the various levels of games and their prices at each tier.
Below are three layers of game production.
An independent video game, or “indie game,” is one that was developed by an individual or a small team and distributed digitally via a platform such as Steam (or a similar storefront). Games like Mars Horizon and Dark Future: Blood Red States are excellent examples of this genre thus far.
A triple-A or triple-A game is the kind of game that most people think of when they hear the word “game,” such as the latest FIFA or Battlefield release from a big publisher.
Triple I game – a game with fewer resources than a large AAA title but more than a tiny independent one. Examples include games like Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.
What affects the cost of game development?
The increase in development expenses may be attributed to a variety of different variables, notably at the AAA level.
Wages for the development team are the primary contributor to the high cost of 3d animation.
Studios need larger teams to bring their games to life in order to meet more stringent delivery dates. This is because games are becoming more complex, more ambitious, and larger.
Even if you’re a master of all crafts, you’ll probably need to reach out to other people in order to fully realize your creative vision as a single independent developer. This is especially true of sound designers, testers, and artists.
Before you release your game, you need to be absolutely certain that it is in perfect working order. Here is where playtesters come into the picture.
Playtesters investigate video games in search of bugs, soft locks, glitches, and anything else that disrupts the gaming experience. It’s an important task that might help you avoid embarrassment before anything is made public.
A further significant expenditure that is simple to miss for first-time developers is the cost of protecting the rights to their own intellectual property (IP).
If you protect your intellectual property, other people won’t be able to take elements of your game like the artwork, music, or character designs that you’ve created.
When you have to promote your own game, you’ll rapidly alter your tune if you still hold the outdated view that marketing isn’t as vital as other departments.
Copywriting, managing marketing campaigns, and being social media savvy are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marketing. Even the best video games can’t steal the show if they don’t have solid marketing behind them.
Remember that the then-record $50 million spent on the creation of Modern Warfare 2 was easily outdone by the game’s $200 million marketing budget if you ever needed evidence of how important marketing is.
When your video game is ready for release to the public, you will need to ensure that it can be played on several platforms.
If you want to sell your games on consoles like Nintendo, PlayStation, or Xbox, you’ll have to pay a larger publishing fee in order to do so. If you want to distribute your game in tangible form, you need to budget for much more money than usual.