The development of virtual reality applications is getting more and more popular in recent years. However, this market niche remains unfilled. There weren’t any big breakthrough moments in the history of virtual reality mobile apps yet, which gives hope to all newcomers to emulate the success of an app like Instagram, at VR market. Moreover, VR industry is a great chance for startups to succeed, for various reasons. VR apps can be used in more than one or two spheres of interests. This technology is quite widely used in the medical industry, military services, education and, of course, entertainment.
So as we see, there can be a plenty of options why and for which purposes to build, a custom virtual reality app for iOS or Android. Although, different purposes mean different tools and different price ranges. And that brings us to the next question: “What is the cost to develop a VR app and how to make, at least, a rough estimation of the final price of the project?” Let’s view the short guide to the components of the VR app development that will help us to understand the approximate cost of such project.
What does it take to build a virtual reality application?
Even though there is no single recipe for defining the potential cost of building a virtual reality application, there are still some useful tips to help you understand main principles of pricing. So hold on to your best ideas for developing the VR app and meanwhile learn how to save some funds during its building and promotion.
Have you thought on the strategy?
This is the most basic and obvious step of all. Although it doesn’t mean that it is so simple or less important. Quite the opposite. By making mistakes at this stage you will have to rebuild your whole development plan later on. So pay here your most attention and think of all the minor details. First of all, decide would it be the virtual reality app for android or for iOS. This step is important for defining your toolset and getting prepared for the distributional work.
Getting socially active is also a must once you’ve started developing process. This method is the least costly and pretty effective, especially when you’re trying to reach as many people as possible. However, if you want to draw the attention of your target audience, you will need to launch advertisements and possibly contact with different workshops and trade events to introduce your VR app to the public.
How complex it’s gonna be?
That can go without saying that virtual reality apps can be built at different levels of complexity. Therefore, the cost of such applications can vary as well. There are two main criteria: the complexity of the graphics (read: how realistic design is) and level of interactivity. The main principle here is very easy – the more real it feels, the higher cost it takes and the more money people are ready to pay for the app.
Let’s take as an example absolutely simple entertainment VR app, where all the user has to do is to run, jump and overcome the obstacles. Here the developers need to provide user with an impression of movement. Making a plot, adding sounds and designing nice landscapes, which can be just a 360-degree video, can be considered as a pretty simple work. Usually, it takes up to one or two months to develop such app and doesn’t require a large team of the developers. An approximate development cost of this type of games will start from $10,000 – $12,000.
But if you want to create a VR app for the healthcare industry, that will help people with PTSD syndrome, you need to get a little bit more real. In order to affect on people’s neurotic system, you will need to pay much more attention to the details during the developing process.
Such apps will cost approximately $15,000 – $25,000. Also, if you want to put 3D models into VR app, you need to understand that the project may become more time-consuming and, therefore, costly. The cost now depends on the app content and can vary from $20,000 to $80,000 and higher. And furthermore, for complex apps, features like additional headset support are a must. That brings us to the next topic.
What kind of devices to use?
Think of a set of gadgets you want your app to deal with. For instance, Google Cardboard headset will benefit the overall experience noticeably. And it’s just the cardboard. But how about the whole range of possible complementary VR devices along with the headsets? Support of the wide range of third party devices will definitely bring the app into the top highest level. However, the cost will go up as well.
Who will develop it?
The final factor that affects the VR app building cost is the development team. Who, where and on what conditions? That’s the questions you have to put on a table. All those facts are crucial for the quality, time consumption and, of course, cost of your future VR application. By this point, it is no longer just about building a virtual reality android app or iOS. It is about in which part of the world your developer’s company is situated and how much they charge for their services.
You will more likely have to choose between paying a fixed price or paying for time and materials. When it comes to choosing between those two methods look at your budget first. If it is limited but your project is already planned and ready to be built, you have no problem with paying a fixed price. Just to make the work done, so to say. However, if you have a complex project and quality is a number one priority, it is better to choose the second method. This way you are given the flexibility and opportunities to modify the project while it is in the developing stage.
The price ranges here will depend on the size of the development company. Some freelancers and small size firms might charge minimum from $5,000 to $10,000 for the simplest project. To compare, larger app development firms will take for their services no less than $20,000 – $40,000. And those are even not the biggest fishes in the industry. But here is more, the price list is also determined by the geographical policy.
Coming back to our previous questions of where and who we should keep in mind two main factors – the price varies depending on the agencies as well as on their countries. So, for example, by going far to the east, like to India, for instance, you will meet the lowest prices. You will pay about $15-$30 per hour to Indian developers. On the other hand, the same work will cost you from $40 to $240 per hour if you want to develop an app in Canada or United States.
However, if you look for the right balance of price/quality you might want to look in a bit different direction, specifically to the west, and stop your choice on Eastern Europe. First of all the average prices there start from $25-$70 per hour, which is almost twice less than even western European developers offer. Secondly, this is not the time when cheaper means worse but quite the opposite. So again, here the development cost is all up to you, your priorities and budgets.
So eventually, did we manage to answer the main question which is how much does VR application development cost? Well, for those who are still not sure which kind of app to build or just curious about the topic, the answer is: it depends. That was definitely the main lesson to learn for those who are just considering to start their business in Virtual Reality industry. For the rest, for those who are more eager to start the development contact us. Our web development company is perfect for helping you with your new projects. If you are in a search for the virtual reality developers, consider you have just found the right one to hire.