How Much Does VR Application Development Cost?
Virtual reality development has changed the idea of the impossible! The future is literally here. Today, ordinary video games no longer impress anyone. To take our breath away (in a good way), you need to use the most innovative digital solutions and thereby turn the fantasies of science fiction authors into reality.
And while new technologies are making the lives of some of us more fascinating, they’re also helping others win all users' hearts and earn money. And if your business is already app-focused, it's time to think about supplementing it with a VR effect.
Of course, the task isn't simple and might require some financial investments; you'll have to spend a fair amount of money to create one of the great VR apps… but the game is worth the candle.
To help you plan your budget, we've written our article. We hope these tips will help you figure the issue out.
Where Can You Use VR App Development?
By initiating virtual reality development, we create a colorful, three-dimensional world, providing us with realistic sensations. And the user himself becomes a part of it. Surely, the embodiment of such a daring idea requires external tools and sophisticated devices. Among them are smartphones, special glasses, 3D video cubes, VR rooms, and the like.
Sounds complicated but the effect is truly impressive: a person believes that he is in an unknown reality, he sees what we want to show him.
We, humans, love unusual digital innovations, especially if they provide us with a new and unique experience. And virtual reality technologies are just the thing to enrich our life with extensional and vivid sensations. That's why they’ve become so popular lately.
And by the way, VR apps can be safely and successfully used in almost any scope of activities, all you have to do is let your imagination run wild.
Undoubtedly, virtual reality application development is a new level of innovative achievements which opens up tremendous prospects. Agree, the idea to expand the human consciousness by taking advantage of its hidden resources heats the imagination.
And if we haven't persuaded you to hunt down a question of how to create a virtual reality app, here are a few prime examples you may find more convincing.
Why is it beneficial to build virtual reality apps?
Good VR apps (and we mean good, mediocre work won't do) result in increased user engagement. The thing is that virtual reality technology and applications are the first inventions capable of transmitting sounds, smells, and touches in a real-time mode and generating situations, which are possible (and impossible) in a person's everyday life thereby revealing human potential. And your users would pay tribute to your desire to extend their habitual experience.
Virtual reality development tools help you to communicate your idea to the consumer more clearly. You may publish images of your store, and it's not so bad either; but virtuality is a chance to immerse your customer in its atmosphere in the literal sense of the word.
All of the above leads to a significant increase in the loyalty of your customers. And loyalty and profitability are interrelated concepts.
Of course, youэre also interested in the iOS and Android VR app development costs, and we’ll certainly satisfy your curiosity. But first, we’d like to answer another important question, namely…
How to earn money on the virtual reality app?
In short, the system is quite simple: either you are trying to find proper advertisers (sponsors using your virtual reality development software as an advertising platform), or you offer a user a free basic functionality with the right to access other features for a modest fee. It can be implemented in the form of built-in purchases or a monthly subscription system.
Top Virtual Reality Apps
Now let's look at virtual reality applications examples (we mean only top VR apps, of course!)... perhaps, inspired by their success, you’ll follow their lead.
#1. Google Cardboard
The Google name speaks for itself, and its apps are the first ones in the list of recommendations to any owner of the VR headset.
The official YouTube application provides you with a great chance to see the charm of exquisite US national parks or visit concerts and excursions shot by the Video360Production project team. And, which is more, Google Street View will “transfer” (in a manner of speaking) a user to anywhere in the world (if, of course, the place has already been imprinted in a panoramic photo).
#2. Jaunt VR
In 2013, one of the app creators had visited the Zion National Park and realized that he’d like to be able to return there again - at any time from anywhere in the world. Such a desire led to the development of the Jaunt application, the aggregator of videos in the video 360 format. The main requirements are maximum realism and the effect of immersion. All of the videos are conveniently divided into categories: sports, news, music, travel, and so on.
#3. Within VR
The service belongs to the highly popular VR apps. It has been collecting the videos of the Within company.
The founder of the organization, director Chris Milk, believes that virtual reality display technologies aren’t just another entertainment tool targeted at video game fans. He thinks VR helps to exchange emotions and feelings.
And by the by, Within offers not only a documentary to watch: in the application, you'll find videos of other genres too (among them is a psychedelic music video Stor Eiglass).
#4. NYT VR
The New York Times newspaper has brought journalism to a new level: the editors decided to expand the standard toolkit of the reporter so that the viewer could go directly to the center of events - for example, to watch the assault of the Fallujah city of Iraq in June 2016.
So, what's the best virtual reality application among the above ones? It's difficult to give an exact answer, all the aforecited examples look really cool, right? Also (who knows?), your program might be able to win an even greater audience.
Anyway, if you want to join the ranks of these awesome VR apps, these clear market leaders, you have to learn how to make a virtual reality app.
But where should you start?
VR App Development: Initial Requirements
You should start by filling out the brief provided by one of the virtual reality application companies. Your task is to describe in detail how you see your future mobile service, which is going to join the ranks of new VR apps.
This information will help the experts you hired to better understand the needs of your project. In the end, it’ll greatly simplify the process of virtual reality technology development.
When describing the requirements for your project, answer the following questions:
What is your key goal?
What features are you ready to offer users?
How do you intend to monetize your service?
What user problems do you solve with your application?
So, summing up: a clear description of the task leads to your getting exactly what you expect.
Well, now it's time to move on to the most interesting issue, namely, the price for virtual reality Android/iOS development! So…
Factors Determining The Price Formation
Let's analyze in stages the main factors, which influence the VR app price (the cost to create it, to be specific).
#1. The reputation of the virtual reality development companies
Of course, the more experienced application developers are, the more money they ask for their services. And their expertise inevitably affects your final costs… but, on the other hand, the quality is also better (given the qualifications!).
And if you want to save money, stick to the middle ground. Don't pursue prestige and reputation alone, focus on quality (make sure to explore the proposed portfolio of completed projects).
#2. App developers location
Also, keep in mind the company location. Specialists from a country with a high living standard have more demands - it’s only natural! Alas, their wishes regarding their own earnings don’t always positively influence the quality of work. And, in fact, finding a contractor with the same experience but lower rates (due to the location factor) is not such a problem.
Therefore, if you have a limited budget, hire experts from Eastern Europe: their rates are quite moderate, and the level of work is still high.
But Eastern Europe is rather large, which country to choose? We advise a Ukrainian team: Ukrainian developers are very skilled and efficient, and their rate fluctuates around $ 50 per hour (give or take). Of course, Indian experts are even cheaper, but the quality of services doesn’t always correspond to the stated.
To make sure we’re not unfounded, compare the rates of developers from different countries.
#3. VR apps complexity level
Virtual reality applications cannot be cheap, their implementation requires certain professional skills, and not every developer is qualified enough to create such a difficult mobile service. However, the concept of high cost has different degrees. Let's discuss it at length!
simple apps and elementary games. Their creation takes about 3-5 weeks;
apps of medium complexity, including special features for online stores. The development of the virtual reality of such a type takes about 4-6 months;
complex applications. The development time lasts from a year (and 1 year isn’t the limit!).
The most reasonable way to reduce the budget is to exclude all features, without which your application would work no less efficiently (just make sure it still appeals to the user).
When developing virtual reality applications, one should focus on the following platforms:
Ideally, your goal is to create a VR application that supports any platform the user chooses. However, keep in mind that this also affects virtual reality app development costs.
#5. Payment Approach
The most affordable option is a project with a fixed price (namely, you have an approved budget, and in no case should you exceed it). Of course, this version of payment has its drawbacks. And the main one is that both you and your developers are rather limited and cannot come up with new bright ideas. You'll have to list all your requirements beforehand. Alas, there is a risk that other VR apps will turn out to be better than yours... especially if their creators could afford to spend more money to implement some unique features.
So if you’re willing to pay for higher quality, it’s best to choose a more flexible pricing system based on the specifics of your particular project. Think about what your application should look like in order to meet your expectations and fulfill the tasks assigned to it. Consult with a hired professional team, let its experts advise you on how best to translate the idea into reality. In such a case, obviously, it’s impossible to determine the exact application development cost, but it can be said with certainty that your VR service would benefit you.
What experts do you need?
Let's discuss what experts you’ll need for developing virtual reality applications. So:
Project Manager. His task is to supervise the project, discuss its state with the client and serve as a link between the developer and the customer.
Designers. The classical approach to design does not apply to virtual reality display technologies. In this case, you need to experiment with new abstractions. And designers working in a three-dimensional environment are high-class specialists, and therefore their services greatly increase the cost of the project.
Developers. You’ll need at least three (and sometimes more) experts to start app development. They’ll have to create an application able to work on different platforms and support multiple devices.
QA experts. Some people underestimate the role of professional testing specialists, which is clearly a mistake. If you don’t want to make it (to be precise, you don’t want any unpleasant surprises in the future), let the QA engineers test your service for correct operation before launching it.
We've settled all the preliminary issues, now it's time to proceed to the main question: how much does VR application development cost? Let’s summarize…
How Much Does a VR App Cost?
In general, virtual reality application development takes from a month to several years. As we said, it all depends on your basic requirements. The more complex the program, the more time its implementation should last. Of course, the final price would also be higher…
We guess it would be reasonable to describe basic development steps. It'll provide insight into the matter:
Market research. This obligatory stage covers market research and data analysis. Without this information, you are unlikely to guess what the end-user expects.
Project documentation. Now all app requirements are being compiled and documented, along with the specified deadlines.
Prototyping. The goal of the stage is to develop and visualize the logic and structure of the application.
Prototyping saves a lot of time in the future because it is easier to make adjustments to the project at the initial stages
UI/UX design. As we’ve already explained to you, in the case of the VR app development of 3D objects, the creation of the interface design becomes more challenging.
Programming: extremely tricky project stage, which involves writing clear and understandable code.
Testing. In the next stage, QA engineers conduct various tests to ensure the smooth and trouble-free operation of your virtual reality mobile service.
App release, the final (but no less important) step in the development process.
Application support. VR apps are somewhat similar to living things: they also need to be taken care of. Therefore, update and evolve your project; otherwise, it might fail.
Having made all the necessary calculations, you’ll know what budget you need. And we can help you by providing the following figures:
elementary VR games, which offer the simplest conditions: say, to reach a certain ultimate goal or finish line by overcoming some obstacles on your way (boulders, trees, etc.). Their development cost reaches $ 3 000 - $ 9 000;
online stores with VR effect. This is a very promising direction: an excellent opportunity to show your potential buyer how your store looks in 3D format. The price is about $ 10,000 - $ 30,000;
complex games. For instance, horror games like Wilson's Heart (it’s a very popular single-player horror game designed for Oculus Rift headset). The price ranges between $ 30,000 - $ 85,000;
complex applications, such as MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role-playing game). We can name such an MMORPG game as “Sword Art Online” which uses the story of the television anime Sword Art Online and allows games to virtually battle with the help of the “Nerve Gear” VR headset. When it comes to MMORPG development, the app cost is about $ 90-150 000 (or even more).
Let's assume you've successfully completed virtual reality application development. "That's it!" - you think with relief... but it's too early to relax. You should continue to work hard on your service (as we mentioned above). Here are some activities to keep your project in demand
Marketing support. It involves the use of technologies, which contribute to the promotion of your app. Such technologies include SMM marketing, advertising campaigns, competent PR, and others in the same way.
Application functionality support. To be successful, your VR app must be constantly updated so that to delight users with new interesting features. That's why it would be reasonable to hire a company to support your service. This support will cost you about $20-70 per hour (if you hire professionals from Eastern Europe - American experts will ask for a higher rate).
So, now you know almost everything about how to create a virtual reality app. Are you ready to take risks and improve your business through unique VR technologies? Then don’t hesitate, order our app development services right now! Our company employs only highly professional specialists who are keen on their business and willing to take up a challenge.
We guarantee you successful app development and mutually beneficial cooperation.