How Much Does Game App Development Cost and What’s Needed to Create a Mobile Game?

How Much Does Game App Development Cost and What’s Needed to Create a Mobile Game?

Mobile gaming has become a massive industry with no signs of slowing down. Developments in technology continue to boom, providing increased gaming potential. Not to mention, the covid pandemic severely restricted people’s options for entertainment, and many people turned to gaming as a means of passing the time. But even with covid restrictions lifted, mobile gaming has not slowed down. In 2020, the mobile game app industry was worth $98 billion, and it’s expected to hit $272 billion by the year 2030.

Clearly, there’s potential to profit astronomically in the gaming sphere. If you’ve ever felt the inclination to dip your toes into game app development, now would be a great time to go for it! Like any new venture, you’ll need to learn what goes into the process first, and how much you can expect to spend upfront on this project. Let’s go over what you’ll need to develop a game app, and how much games development costs.

mobile gapes and apps development

How Do You Develop a Mobile Gaming App

Come Up with a Great Idea for a Mobile Game

Nothing else you do matters if you don’t have an idea for a game that interests people enough to download it and enjoy playing it. Unfortunately, someone else has already thought of Tetris, so you need to come up with something original. Your idea can still take inspiration from other existing games, however. You can already find countless examples of games that clearly take their cue from previous games that players enjoyed, and then went their own direction with it.

You’ll also need to consider the costs of gaming art and graphics, your mobile app marketing plan, and the technical development of a gaming app.

Learn Game Development Coding or Hire a Game Developer

Learning to code for mobile game apps yourself may sound like a daunting undertaking, but many people have done it before, why not you? There are communities on the internet where people exchange information and help each other learn. Look for Reddit groups and Discords focused on mobile game development.

Hiring a game developer is going to be far and away your fastest option. There are experts and companies available for hire that know game development inside and out. That would be the safest bet to ensure a quick and easy pre-production, production, and post-production of a mobile gaming app. You’ll likely have an experience that includes fewer bugs to your game, a much stronger game plan, and less headaches all around. Of course, this is far more expensive than the DIY route. But it may be well worth it for the ROI.

What Factors Go Into the Cost of Developing a Mobile Gaming App

Developing Games for iOS, Android, or Multiplatform

You have the choice to develop games that can be played on iPhones, Androids, or both. There are a lot of considerations that go into this decision.


This seems like the obvious choice. Your game has the best reach if anyone can download and play it. If you have the budget, this is probably your best bet. But it is the costliest option.


iPhones are the most popular phones in America. If you are primarily targeting an American audience, limiting your game to iOS might be the right option for you. Apple Gadgets and Apple’s payment systems cost more than Android though.


Androids may be less popular than iPhone in the US, but they are more popular everywhere else in the world. Android is also more popular as a gaming platform. However, Android development does cost more than iPhone development.

In conclusion, go for multiplatform if it’s feasible for your budget. If you can’t afford it, pick a single platform based on your budget and the type of players you want to target. You can always expand to multiplatform later on, as well.

Factor in the Complexity of a Mobile Game

There is a wide range of complexity levels seen in gaming, and the level of game you develop will directly correlate to the time and money that will need to go into it. Here are just a few examples of the different types of mobile games:

Casual 2D Games

These are the simplest types of games you can develop. Think Sudoku. With basic graphics, you can expect a more budget-friendly development process

Mid-Level Games

Going a little more advanced, a mid-level game might include enhanced graphics, an involved storyline, characters, and different levels. Angry Birds is an example of a mid-level game.

High-Level Games

A high-level mobile game includes all the bells and whistles. Something like Clash of Clans, for example. These apps cost the most to develop.

Keep in mind that a good game is a good game, and complexity isn’t the only factor that makes a game popular. So this decision isn’t as important as simply having a fantastic idea for a game people will love.