Usually, people always wonder how much it would require to make a game. Well, to answer that question, you first need to understand the types of games and what it means to ‘make’ a game. The straightforward answer to their question is anywhere between $0 to $265 million. This is how wide the range is. Anyone can develop a free game using a free game dev tool. Apart from the labor, time invested, and electricity and internet costs, it can be seen as a game developed for $0 as no salaries were paid or no money was spent on the marketing of the game. On the other hand, it took years of hard work, salaries of thousands of developers, employees, and support staff, office costs, software, and taxes that totaled up to $265 million to develop Grand Theft Auto V.
When it comes to games, there are lots of types. From offline games like candy crush to playing online games such as Counterstrike, there are a lot of differences. You can even go to different websites and play online games. Apart from games, reliable gambling websites such as wetten.com let you bet on games and sports. To know what it costs and what you require to develop a game, you first need to know about the different gaming titles. Here are the three distinctive tiers that differentiate game development.
Games that are developed by a single developer or a small team of developers is titled indie game. No money is spent on the marketing and the release of these games. They are usually released on to gaming stores like a humble bundle, GOG Galaxy, or steam. Games like Mars Horizon and Dark Future are the perfect examples.
When a major publisher releases a game developed by a major game developing company that is their own developing company, it is then termed an AAA title. Games like FIFA or battlefield titles like Call of Duty or other games.
Triple ‘i’ Games
Games that are certainly bigger than Indie games but are not as huge as AAA Titles. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey or Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are the perfect examples.
Requirements and Cost of Development
When you say ‘make’ a game, there are a lot of things that the word make describes. Designing, coding, art, creatives, sound, and many more. But these things require finances and are considered to be the actual developmental part where a game is being developed. Apart from these, there are lots of other things as well for which you have to spend money that accounts outside the development of the game. For example, preparing a perfectly functional demo to pitch to the publishers and attending trade shows like the GDC alone can set you back a couple of steps before the actual development starts.
After these, the development, the trailer, tests, advertising, marketing, and localization of the game and finally making, physical copies of the game and their distribution. To understand how much money it would require for the development of a game, you need to consider all these factors and the scale of the game. Here is a cost breakdown to understand the costs of developing the three different types of games.
Cost to make an Indie Game
For an Indie game, the range is from $50k to $750k. $50k considering a solo developer working for a year at least. Most of the Indie game publishers expect development costs of around $250k to $500k, considering a team of 5 working for two years. Then the publisher must add an extra $250k for all the necessary purposes such as testing, marketing, and for PR.
Finances required for a AAA Title
For AAA Games, you can start somewhere around hundreds of millions of dollars. These titles require hundreds of developers who have worked for at least a couple of years. The Call of Duty series is the perfect example. Three major studios work together to release a new title every year. Millions of dollars are required every year for the development, cross-country marketing, promotion, and distribution of these games.
Cost to Develop a Triple ‘i’ Game
These games require at least a million dollars for development, marketing, and distribution. The costs may go more than that, but it would not cross more than $10 million. The best example of a game in this category is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
Most of the money and the costs incurred to make a game are the salaries of different people. The developers, the testers, marketing, and the PR teams. It requires a lot of skill to make a game and put it out on the market. But in the end, the hard work behind all of it makes it worth it.
Difference Between Game Design And Game Development