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December 10, 2019, 09:37:15 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessA question about costs in game development
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Kharin
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« on: August 20, 2019, 08:32:23 AM »

Hi there, im newbee in sphere of game development. I would like to create my own game. I have some money to invest in my project. But I want to know how much costs it would be. Im planing to pay programmer, game-designer, designer and other employees if I need so. Also I want to publish it in AppStore and PlayMarket. May be in Steam. I wish to know what extra spending will be waiting? It will be marketing and what else? I will accept any help and any opinion.
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TonyLi
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 09:32:21 AM »

In developed countries, estimate $10,000 USD per employee per month. (Here is an easy to read breakdown.) An extremely rough estimate of how long a first game takes to develop is 2 years. If a designer tells you it will take 1 year, it will really take 2.

A common estimate for marketing costs for an indie game is $50,000 USD. (See here for rationale.)

The costs to publish on the stores are relatively insignificant in comparison (e.g., about $100 USD each).

These are averages. You could end up spending more or less, but they come with their tradeoffs.

Note also that commercial game development is risky. Watch Mike Rose's GDC talk:
 



It's from 2018, so it's already outdated, but it will give you an overview of the landscape.

That said, even if it's not profitable for the vast majority, making games can be artistically rewarding.
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Ordnas
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« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2019, 02:15:56 AM »

$10,000 USD per month per employee? Is it not too much?
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jgrams
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« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2019, 03:01:59 AM »

Well, that assumes you want to pay people more or less what they're worth, instead of exploiting and ripping off amateurs who don't know any better or feel like they have to make sacrifices to break into the game dev industry. And it's not just salary, that's total cost of employment, so it includes things like payroll tax and office rent and insurance and benefits and equipment and software licensing.

I suspect it's about right. If you were looking for a developer or artist for any field other than games you'd probably have to budget more like $12K to $15K per month: salaries in game-dev tend to run 20-30% less than anywhere else.
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fluffrabbit
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2019, 03:50:28 AM »

You folks are crazy. You can hire an energetic developer fresh out of high school for $10/hour 10 hours/week and have him or her do some unpaid overtime to get the thing done.
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Ordnas
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 12:42:05 AM »

I forgot things like office rent, taxes and software licensing.
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fluffrabbit
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 01:18:08 AM »

You could always do a home office with software you don't have to pay for. My first job was at an operation like that. In fact, I was a volunteer so employee expenses were nil as well.
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Kharin
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 12:54:15 AM »

Thank you all guys for your answers. I hope this is going to help me in my journey!)
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