The cost of building a commercial video game

What is the base cost of building a commercial video game? It varies greatly. Let’s look at the team that you need if you want to build a smaller game project.

The salaries you pay for the hours spent working on the project, can give you an estimate of monthly cost. If you are hiring a company do build you a game the cost varies because they don’t use their entire team all the time.

  1. Game director – someone who will direct the game and create all the game functionalities and strategies.
  2. Game developer – someone to actually code the game based on direction
  3. Project manager – a person that will organize the project and keep everything running smoothly and on time
  4. 3D or 2D artist – for asset creation and management
  5. 3D or 2D animator – for in game character, animations, and special effects
  6. Sound designer – a person focused on bringing the best sound effects, dialog, etc.
  7. Financial manager – a person in charge of running the cost, managing payouts etc.
  8. Marketing strategist – someone to run your marketing and hype your company and game
  9. Backend developer – if you have a user database with points, awards, etc. you need a backend system on your server, where you store and manage all this data.
  10. Copywriter/Writer – someone who writes in game information and character dialog.
  11. HR – someone to hire all these people in the first place. Knowing who to hire at what stage and budget is incredibly important. Sometimes you simply don’t have the budget to hire a senior or mid developer, so you hire junior developers to help you build a proof of concept or base game.

Most people don’t have the skill to hire good developers, designers, etc.

If you are building your own team. Salaries for one individual can range from 1,000 euro a month to 4,500 euro. Depending on employee geolocation, skills, role and seniority.

If you are hiring freelancers. Hourly rate can range from 8 to up to 80 eur/hour. Depending on employee geolocation, skills, role and seniority.

If you are creating a smaller, free indie game, and you have the talent in many of these roles, you can try to publish your own game. It all depends on the scale of your project and how much time you can spend.

Insight by: Aros Valar