How Much Does VR Application Development Cost?
The virtual reality development has changed the idea of the impossible! The future is literally here. Today, the usual computer and videogames are gradually moving into the historical archive giving way to new technologies. Now we can bring to life the most daring ideas of science fiction writers.
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?
Virtual reality development implies the creation of a world in which a person experiences the most realistic sensations. Of course, the embodiment of such a daring idea requires external tools, special devices. Among them are smartphones, 3D video cubes, glasses, and even VR rooms.
Sounds complicated but the effect is truly impressive: sometimes the impact on a person's feelings is so strong that it’s next to impossible to distinguish an artificial environment from a real one.
Today, virtual reality technologies are becoming more and more in demand in the innovation market, and their diversity is just amazing. Such success is due to the possibility of using VR apps in a variety of areas including entertainment, training, research, advertising, medical and architectural one.
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 invention 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'll 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 (iOS, Android)
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 (iOS, Android)
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 (iOS, Android)
This is one of the most popular VR apps which has collected 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. By the way, Within offers not only a documentary to watch: in the application, you'll find videos of other genres (among them is a psychedelic music video Stor Eiglass).
#4. NYT VR (iOS, Android)
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?
Initial VR app development requirements
Any project should start with the documentation, the so-called functional specification. And first of all, you’ll have to fill out the brief which you’ll be offered by virtual reality applications companies. Your task is to describe in detail how you see the future mobile service, one of the new VR apps. This information is going to form the basis of the functional specification - a document reflecting your wishes.
Such a document would greatly simplify the process of virtual reality technology development, and the team you’ve hired will have a real chance to justify your expectation.
When filling out the brief, you keep in mind the following factors:
objectives of the project;
key app features;
best monetization options;
user dreams which you want to make true (or their problems you'd like to solve).
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 which factors are forming the price when developing the VR app.
#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, choose the golden mean: don’t pay if all they can boast of is just a stellar name, make sure you are offered the highest quality services.
#2. App developers location
It’s also important to take into account the company location. Experts from a country with a high living standard have greater 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, choose specialists 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 hiring a Ukrainian team: Ukrainian experts are very knowledgeable about IT technologies and ask for $30-50 per hour of work. Of course, programmers from India are even cheaper, but they usually write a non-quality code which doesn’t differ in clarity and purity.
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!
the simplest applications, such as elementary games. Their creation takes about 3-5 weeks;
applications of medium complexity, say, an online store or a more complex game. 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!).
If you’re concerned about the cost factor, try to simplify the functionality of your application and remove all the expensive features. Leave only the most significant ones.
In the process of developing virtual reality applications, one should focus on the following platforms:
Ideally, you need to create a VR app able to work on any platform a user prefers (perhaps, after a little customizing). Of course, this factor should be taken into account when analyzing virtual reality app development cost.
#5. Payment Methods
The most affordable option is a fixed price project when you have an approved budget, and your developers should not overrun it. Of course, this version of payment has its drawbacks. And the main one is that you, too, are limited to your budget and cannot come up with new bright ideas (if you have them). All VR apps requirements must be determined in advance and documented.
However, 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 how 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 this case, obviously, it’s impossible to determine the exact application development cost beforehand, 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 classic principles of two-dimensional interface design don’t work when it comes 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 compatible with various devices.
QA engineers. Without these specialists, it’s dangerous to release the application. They should guarantee that the created service works smoothly and without any troubles.
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 list the main development stages. It'll provide insight into the matter:
Market research. The obligatory stage which allows one to orientate to the market situation and offer the client the optimal solution.
Project documentation. At the 2nd stage, all app requirements are being compiled and documented, along with the specifying deadlines.
Prototyping. The goal of the stage is to develop and visualize the logic and structure of the application. Understanding how each screen of your service will look like, you’ll be able to make the necessary adjustments in a timely manner.
Design. As we’ve already explained to you, the UI/UX stage requires a special approach and skill level. Therefore, time costs are accordingly increasing.
Programming. This is the most crucial part of the VR app development process which involves writing clear and understandable code.
Testing. At the next stage, QA engineers conduct various tests to ensure the efficiency and error-free operation of your virtual reality mobile service.
Release and support of the application, the final (but no less important) step in the development process when VR apps finally appear in stores AppStore and Google Play.
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 finishing 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 “Nerve Gear” VR headset. When it comes to MMORPG development, the app cost is about $ 90-150 000 (or even more).
After virtual reality application development, you might think the job is done, and you can rest on your laurels. A grand delusion! The release of the application is just the first step towards your future success. And in order to make the created service economically profitable, you should provide for several items of expenses, namely:
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 updating 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 a successful app development and mutually beneficial cooperation.
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