How Long Does It Take to Develop a High-Quality Mobile Game?

Game development is a marathon, not a sprint. Creating a unique and captivating game requires significant effort, time, and patience. Regarding mobile game development, the question on everyone’s mind is, “How long does it take to develop a high-quality mobile game?”

Factors Influencing Mobile Game Development Time

Several factors influence the time required to develop a high-quality mobile game. Let’s explore them:

  1. Development Team Size and Expertise
    The size and expertise of the development team play a crucial role in determining the game development timeline. A more significant and experienced squad typically requires less time to complete a project than a more minor or less skilled team. 
  2. Game Complexity
    The complexity of the game is a significant factor in determining development time. Simple casual games, such as match-3 puzzles or endless runners, generally require less time to develop than complex games like role-playing games (RPGs), massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), or first-person shooters (FPS). 
  3. Visuals and Animations
    The visual quality and complexity of animations directly impact the development time. Games with high-quality 3D graphics, detailed environments, and intricate character animations require more time to create than those with simpler 2D graphics or minimalistic art styles. 
  4. Sound Effects and Music
    Sound effects and music can significantly enhance the gaming experience, but they can also increase development time. Creating original sound effects or obtaining rights for existing ones can be time-consuming and may involve legal issues.

Mobile Game Development Phases

The development process for a mobile game typically involves the following phases:

  1. Conceptualization
    Duration: Weeks to a few months
    During this phase, the team brainstorms ideas and defines the game’s genre, mechanics, art style, and target audience. The concept is then detailed in a game design document (GDD). 
  2. Pre-Production
    Duration: Several weeks to a year
    The team solidifies the game design and creates level layouts, character designs, and UI mock-ups. Technical requirements and necessary software tools are also outlined. 
  3. Development and Art Production
    Duration: A couple of months to years
    Programmers focus on coding game mechanics, implementing user interfaces, and managing in-game systems. Artists create 2D or 3D assets, design environments and characters, and develop visual effects. 
  4. Quality Assurance
    Duration: Weeks to months
    QA testers identify bugs and performance issues and conduct A/B testing to gather feedback from a broader audience. 
  5. Launch
    Duration: Days to weeks
    The game is deployed to target platforms, adhering to all required guidelines and requirements. 
  6. Post-Release Maintenance
    Duration: Ongoing
    The development team implements upgrades and bug fixes and introduces new features based on player feedback and game metrics.

Mobile Game Development Time Estimates

  1. Indie Mobile Games
    Indie games, such as match-3, puzzles, 2D platformers, endless runners, and slot games, are considered casual or hyper-casual. The average development time for these types of games is a few months.

    The first version (local mode only) of the famous space-themed multiplayer social deduction game, Among Us, was developed in under seven months. 
  2. Mid-Core Mobile Games
    Mid-core mobile games include 3D action games, racing and sports simulators, strategy games, and adventure titles. These games require more intricate decision-making processes and have a broader range of visual aesthetics. The average development time for mid-core mobile games is up to 1.5 years. 
  3. Large Mobile Games
    Large mobile games, such as shooters, RPGs, MMORPGs, and Battle Royale games, are the most time-consuming projects for mobile platforms. These games feature first-class visuals, vast virtual worlds, and many features and facilitate player grouping.The development time for large mobile games is typically over two years. 

    Example: Call of Duty: Mobile, an FPS that offers engaging multiplayer and battle royale modes, expansive maps, and diverse weapons, underwent a development period lasting more than 2.5 years.

Outsource Mobile Game Development Projects to Ropstam Games Studio

The time required to develop a high-quality mobile game can vary greatly depending on factors such as the development team, game complexity, visuals, and sound effects. By understanding the development phases and partnering with experienced professionals, you can ensure your mobile game’s successful and timely launch.

Consider outsourcing tasks to professionals to shorten the time required to develop a high-quality mobile game. Ropstam Game Studio has exceptional experience in creating vibrant games of various genres and sizes, from simple puzzles to RPGs and first-person shooters. Our notable projects showcase our dedication to delivering five-star gaming solutions that will captivate players. Get in touch with us today to learn more and kick-start your next successful mobile game project!