Virtual Reality is touted as the future of the technology market. It is steadily expanding and making headways in different industries. VR devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR are now readily available to consumers. The year 2018 will be critical for VR technology. We are now witnessing mobile application development to support these gears. VR technology is marketed to customers through different industries. They include education, healthcare, architecture and military. It is becoming an essential tool for businesses to introduce their services and products. However, the Virtual Reality market is still unoccupied. It waits for mobile app development companies to create breathtaking apps. Many people wonder how much it costs to build a VR app. We have years of experience and this makes us experts when suggesting the estimated development cost. The below discussion will allow you to get a rough estimation.
VR development costs pertain to whether one is developing mobile VR apps or mobile VR games. One can expect to spend between $40,000 and $75,000 for a non-gaming mobile Virtual Reality application. For a mobile VR game, it is between $50,000 and $100,000. These numbers are rather typical. The development cost may become higher for more complex projects.
The bottom line on VR development costs comes down to whether you will develop a mobile VR app or a mobile VR game. You can expect to dole out between $40K and $70K for a non-gaming mobile VR app, and between $50K and $100K for a mobile VR game. These numbers are typical, and development costs can enter six digits for highly complex projects.
Let’s first discuss the factors which affect VR development cost.
1. Content and the Software
The major section of development budget will get allocated to content as well as software development. One might argue that content to serve and software which renders should be considered separately. However, when it comes to budgeting, it is important to consider them together. More complex the content is, the more complex the software is required to be.
A mobile VR which allows online consumers to see store products in 3D need a simpler interface. The costs associated with 3D models and user interface are quite low. The lines between content as well as software have blurred. But the cost of both is quite higher than rendering 3D models.
Whether it is to create an interactive VR app, VR game or a simple 3D environment, the decision of content affects the interface. Both affect the development cost of the VR software as well as VR in mobile apps.
2. Research and Development
All aspects of app development are considered as research and development. Whether it is writing user stories or planning distribution, each part of the creation process requires researching. It includes the research of the best options. Research and development can have quite a significant impact on the VR development cost.
At each project phase, developers need to stop and explore the best methods to implement a feature or function. If the features or functions are common, then a good developer can easily code them from memory.
The development phase involves building unique as well as complex capabilities. During this, the developer has to stop and then explore how to make the design work. Often, the cutting-edge capabilities implementation isn’t straightforward. It requires trial and error. It is a significant factor in the mobile application development of VR apps.
One can reduce the missing variables before giving the project to a top mobile app developer. It reduces the time required for research and development.
3. Platforms Involved
Once the content and R&D is taken into account, the platform is the next thing that impacts the development cost. There is a significant difference between the time and cost which is involved in the development of separate types of apps. It can be games for a Google Cardboard or completely interactive software package for HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
4. Inherent Features
Both VR games and VR apps have a plethora of features. They exist apart from the content. Rating systems, user privacy features, etc, are examples of add-ons which impact the costs. One can get a general idea of the impact of various features using online calculators. It will help in approximating the development costs.
5. Scope of Third-Party Integrations
Few VR projects benefit from capabilities which aren’t native to the development platform. It could be quite costly to custom code. Thankfully, there are many plugins available for the inclusion of VR in mobile apps and games. Plugins which provide social media interaction, advertising, and analytics are getting increasingly available. They aid in the VR application design.
6. Project Management
Most of the professional app development firms use Agile methodology for VR app development. Agile makes sure that projects are developed with transparency and flexibility. It delivers higher quality product and greater customer satisfaction. It has proven to reduce the cost through less management overhead as well as less rework. Let’s say a company hires iOS app developers who use an old methodology for iOS app development of VR app. It may result in more cost due to a poorly managed project.
Final Cost Analysis
Virtual Reality apps are developed for different platforms. That includes HTC Vive, Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift. It changes the time to develop an app for a given platform and hence the cost. BR apps are inherently build with Unity3D that is a cross-platform engine. It allows adjusting the app for a particular platform in few hours. First, the prerequisites of a VR app are finalized. Then, the mobile app development team moves on to assigning a Project manager. He handles the app development project. App development agencies generally use two pricing methods. Fixed price model and Price-as-you-go Model. Often, the Fixed Price model is better suited for VR projects which have strict deadlines and a tighter budget. The second model is for those who have more time, and have no cost constraints.
The charges in US and Canada for VR app development are $50 to $250 per hour. In India, it is as low as $5-$50 per hour. So, a simple VR application may cost around $5,000-$10,000. If the mobile application development of the VR app is more complex, it can go as high as $50,000-$100,000. VR apps are certainly costly to make. However, as the VR technology gets adopted more, the price will come down. The falling price of VR devices and the number increase of VR developers will impact the development cost.
VR app development will certainly see a rise in the years to come. Owing to its massive applications, it has certainly a bright future. More and more industries are now adopting this technology and VR in mobile apps is also trending. It opens up new avenues for businesses and marketers. In the increasing demand for VR apps, development cost will play a crucial role.
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