By juegoadmin | Game Development | September 21st, 2023
Multiplayer game development cost can start from $10,000 and it extends to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the additional features you add to the game. There are multiple factors like the type of game, game developer location, team size, testing, graphics, and server costs that will influence the multiplayer game development cost.
What Are Multiplayer Games?
A multiplayer game is played in real time by more than one player. The players are connected to hosting servers which connect the players and enable them to play the same game at the same time. The number of players depends on the type of the game. For example, a battle royale game hosts 100 to 150 players in real time.
Here, let us see the factors that influence the game development cost of multiplayer games in brief.
Factors That Influence Multiplayer Game Development Cost
1. Game Genre
Video game genres are one of the cost determining factors in multiplayer game development. Each game genre has varied requirements which include the game mechanics, graphics, and technical specifications such as server, hosting, and networking.
For example, if you are making a ludo game, it is a simple multiplayer game that requires simple artwork, and simple game mechanics, and hosts a maximum of 4 players per game. While Battle Royale Games hosts nearly 100 to 150 players at a time. It has high-quality graphics, detailed artwork, and complicated game mechanics.
Game genres can influence the development cost of multiplayer games due to the cost variation of certain factors including the game mechanics, graphic requirements, and technical requirements.
Below we have given a list of factors in a game genre that determine the game development cost in multiplayer video games.
- Content requirements
- Graphic quality
- Size of the game world
- Number of players
- Server infrastructure and
- Game Mechanics
2. Content Production
Graphic and content production costs account for the significant cost in multiplayer game development. The content requirements of a game can vary greatly depending on the game genre. AAA games have more content requirements when compared to small indie games and hence the cost also will differ.
Moreover, the size of the game world and the type of graphics greatly impact the multiplayer game development cost.
The game content includes everything from characters, environment, background, NPCs, props, and other game assets. If you are planning to make an open-world role-playing game, like GTA 5, it will require a lot of artwork and assets. You would need a lot of resources and time to create this content. Thus, significantly increasing the game development cost.
For a game like GTA 5, you would require 3D graphics to create a more realistic look. In order to make realistic 3D models, graphic artists use various modeling and rendering techniques like ray tracing, photogrammetry, rasterization, etc. These techniques require advanced tools and technology that costs more.
Whereas you are using 2D graphics in your game, the cost of the graphics will be relatively less, as 2D graphic development cost is a lot less than 3D graphic development.
3. Game Platforms
There are multiple gaming platforms such as PC, console, tablet, and mobile devices. Each of them has certain platform specific features and if you are making a game for one specific or multiple platforms, you need to integrate those features into your game.
For instance, if you are making a game for Android phones, you need to optimize your game for certain features such as touch interface, smaller screen size, easier control, and simple game mechanics.
In addition to that, a video game development company charges additionally, if you want to optimize your game for cross-platform integration.
Furthermore, platform registration charges and service charges are some of the unexpected game development charges that might occur.
4. Location and Team Size
Next to production costs, staffing costs account for more budget share. The location of the game development studio plays a huge role in the game development cost. Making a game in a developing nation like India will cost a lot less when compared to hiring a game developer in the USA, or UK.
$100 – $250
£30 – £150
$15 – $60
The above given is an estimated cost and it can be more or less depending on various other factors like the experience of the game developer, type of game, city of the game developer, and other services.
Typically a small game development team consists of a game designer, a game artist, a programmer, and a tester. Consider you are making a simple multiplayer game in the USA and the game developers work for 8 hours a day. For a month, the salary of the development team alone would be around $20,000 to $30,000. If the game is more complex, you would need additional time and human resources. Hence, increased staffing costs.
5. Server and Hosting
The multiplayer game server cost depends mainly on the number of people you are hosting on a server. The complexity of the game and the type of server are the other factors that determine the cost.
A game developer can build a dedicated server or rent a VPS server for their multiplayer game.
Renting a server for a month costs somewhere around $5 to $150. But if you decide to self-run your own server (dedicated server), you can avoid paying the hosting company every month. That would actually save a lot of money.
Basically, the server costs are pretty much cheap when compared to the staff required to maintain the server and keep it running.
Testing a multiplayer game is a bit more complicated and it also requires running multiple tests in various stages of game production. A multiplayer game consists of multiple system specific factors including server algorithms for networking, multiple platforms used by players to play the games, etc. — which are combined to work in synchronization for players to have a better user experience.
Hence, multiplayer testing uses different testing methods and costs more time and money for thorough testing of the game. Furthermore, automated testing is done in multiplayer games to execute more test cases at the same time to conduct maximum tests before the game launch.
7. License and Legal Compliance
Licensing in a video game includes copyright, IPs, console licenses, game engine licenses, and music licenses. It is very important that the game developer sorts out all the legal compliance and licenses before the game release to avoid any repercussions in the future.
So when you are using the IPs of another game developer, you need to make sure you obtain the proper license to use the IPs in your game, for which you might need to pay a certain fee to acquire the IP license.
Be it a simple casual game or a AAA game, marketing is important for a game’s success. Marketing helps to bring your game to the targeted audience.
Some game experts say that 25 to 30% of the total game development budget should be spent on marketing the game. There is no one way to market the game and also marketing should be a long-term process if you plan to earn revenue for a long time.
How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Multiplayer Game?
The game development cost of multiplayer games can vary depending on the type of game one wants to make. The development cost of a simple indie game is much less when compared to AAA titles. Based on the additional features the video game development cost varies.
Cost Range: $10,000 to $100,000
Mid Scale Multiplayer Game
Cost Range: $100,000 to $500,000
Cost Range: $50 million to $200 million
Detailed Cost Breakdown Of Multiplayer Game
Here we have given the estimated cost breakdown of multiplayer games.
Content Creation Cost:
|$10,000 – $50,000||$50,000 – $200,000||
$1 million to $10 million +
Hardware Infrastructure Development Cost:
|$5,000 to $20,000||$20,000 to $100,000||
Game Engines, Tools, and Platform Cost:
|$5,000 – $20,000||$20,000 – $100,000||
$500,000 – $10 million+
|$50,000 to $100,000||$100,000 to $500,000||
More than $1 million
Server Development and Hosting Cost:
|$10,000 to $50,000||$50,000 to $400,000||
Legal and Compliance Cost:
|$5,000 to $15,000||$15,000 to $30,000||
In summary, multiplayer game development cost is influenced by various factors including graphics and game content, platforms, testing, marketing, team size, location of the game studio, legal, and compliance. Apart from these, there are also some other factors that impact the game development cost such as server cost, game engine, tools, etc.,
The cost to make a multiplayer game can start from $10,000 and can extend up to tens of millions of dollars depending on the type of game and the additional features implemented to the game.
Make Multiplayer Games With Juego Studios
Juego Studios is a leading game development company that specializes in Metaverse, AR/VR, Web3, blockchain, and NFT game development. We provide game outsourcing services including game design, game art, concept art, 3D modeling, animation, and UI/UX design. So far, we have successfully completed 500+ projects and worked with small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies.