Game Development Cost continue to rise

Its no secret that the cost of developing successful titles are increasing but the question is at what rate are these cost rising.

Back in 2004 – 2007 the average cost for a feature phone game was roughly $40,000 – $100,000. With the introduction to smartphone and higher end gaming capabilities, the mobile space has experienced a considerable rise in development.  

Back in 2012, i was product managing an App that cost over $2 million in development.  As players demand higher fidelity images, immersive game play and a constant stream of new content, the cost for developing these types of games have sky rocketed.  Recently in Japan, social mobile gaming companies have disclosed the cost of developing some of their games to, ‘possibly’ explain to the market that these games are not cheap to make.

GREE ($4.5 – $9 Million USD)

VP of Social Games Eiji Araki also the head of one of their subsidiaries, “Wright Flyer Studios” has reported in their Q3 Reporting review that, nowadays the cost for developing a social mobile game cost around, $4.5 Million to $9 Million (USD)

DeNA ($4.5 Million USD)

During DeNA’s Q4 Earnings review CEO Moriyasu disclosed that a social mobile game title cost around $4.5 million (USD) to develop.

A-Team ($3.5 Million USD)

CEO of Nagoya-based Ateam, Takao Hayashi, has reported development cost of $3.5 Million (USD) and if you account for Marketing, and Global Release the cost rises to around $9 Million (USD)

I myself am currently working on a TBA project that is costing the team around $10 Million to develop. (But i’m currently out in Canada)

All 3 Japanese companies, GREE, DeNA, and A -Team, who are very successful in the social mobile space are investing millions of dollars into developing their games to see any substantial returns.  What these statements are essentially telling us is that if you want to play hard ball ( Have an app consistently in the top 50 Grossing) you’ll have to spend in the ball park of $3.5 Million to $10 Million (USD) to be competitive.


  • 15+ year mobile application industry veteran, probably product managing multiple apps. If he's not busy running this website, you can probably find him at the gym shooting half court shots, while playing the latest mobile rpg game.

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