Virtual reality (VR) is one of the hottest technologies in the mobile app development world thanks to its ability to deliver content in an immersive and interactive manner. The virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) industries have been growing at a furious rate, amassing a net worth of $27 billion by 2018. This figure is expected to grow to $192.7 billion by 2022, per Statista. Clearly, businesses are realizing the value of having virtual reality in their fold.
However, some businesses are wondering whether the investment is truly worth it. Does virtual reality mobile app development cost too much to deliver returns? And how much does virtual reality cost when this technology is integrated into an app or software program? Well, a VR app can typically be developed for anywhere between $30,000 and $150,000+, depending on the size and complexity of the app. Here’s a detailed rundown of what you need to know about the costs and requirements associated with virtual reality mobile app development.
Factors That Affect Virtual Reality Mobile App Development Cost
One of the most important elements that will affect how much your VR app costs and how long development will take is the complexity of the software. Most VR apps can be developed in under a year, but this number varies. A simple VR application, such as a basic game, could take as little as 3 to 5 weeks. However, most VR apps of medium complexity—such as an e-commerce site with VR capabilities or a more complex game—will require 4 to 6 months of development. The most complex applications, such as an advanced tool for doctors, may take up to a year, maybe more.
Also, consider what platform you are developing your VR application for. Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, Gohar VR and HTC Vive are all popular VR platforms, although there are other options as well. Choose a platform your target users are likely to use and keep in mind that the platform you are developing for will affect the cost of the app.
You will also have the choice of paying either a fixed price or paying for time and materials. The first option is better suited for simple apps or applications that you already have a solid design for. If you’re not entirely sure about everything that will go into developing the app or if it’s a more complex piece of software, the second option is the way to go; You’ll have more flexibility to modify the project while it’s being developed.
Once you have all these ideas in mind, you can start to figure out how much VR app development will cost you.
Determining How Much Your VR App Will Actually Cost
In the U.S. and Canada, virtual reality app development typically costs between $40 to $240 an hour, depending on your developer and the complexity of the app.
The development process begins with the developer researching your market in order to determine the right solution for your brand. Next, the developer will compile and document all the requirements for the VR app, noting important deadlines along the way. The prototyping stage is designed to outline the features and functionalities of the app. Next is the design stage, when the specifics of the app are laid down clearly. At this point, it’s possible that the cost may increase depending on complexity. Then comes the programming or development process in which the developer writes the code. The app is then tested by the QA team before it is released to the public.
All in all, the simplest VR apps, such as games that require users to overcome simple obstacles, will cost between $3,000 and $9,000. More complex apps, such as online stores that allow you to display products in a three-dimensional fashion, will cost between $10,000 and $30,000. More complex games or apps that are more specialized will likely be between $30,000 and $85,000. The most complex apps can take up to a year to make—we’re talking about apps such as MMORPGs or real estate apps that offer virtual property tours—and can cost anywhere from $90,000 to $150,000.
The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to developing a VR mobile app. A lot of variables come into play when creating a piece of software as sophisticated as a VR app, such as a price increase if the complexity of the project grows. Nevertheless, virtual reality apps are quite profitable for businesses of all kinds, proving that the development cost is a small price to pay for bolstering your brand and increasing your ROI.
How to Choose the Right Virtual Reality Mobile App Developer
Virtual reality is a cutting-edge technology that some developers simply aren’t equipped to handle. As such, be sure you select a company with a solid reputation. Although quality developers might cost a little more, this isn’t an area you should skimp on. After all, a poorly-designed app can cause damage to your brand or simply not be effective at reaching your goals.
Make sure you hire a software developer that guides you through the process of developing a VR app from beginning to end, breaking down the cost of the app throughout every phase. The best developers will work with you to be sure they really understand your unique needs. It’s also smart to consider the location of your developer; there are overseas developers that charge less, but the integral elements of your app could be lost in translation if you go this route. Plus, the quality of the coding and testing may not be up to par compared to a local developer that understands your market inside and out.
Having the right developer by your side can make all the difference when it comes to virtual reality mobile app development, and we hope you will consider 7T for your VR development needs. We take a “business first” approach, working to be sure the virtual reality app we develop correctly reflects your goals and your vision. We’re also well-versed in other emerging technologies, including augmented reality, Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Although 7T is headquartered in Dallas, we also serve clients in Austin, Houston, and across the U.S. To discuss your virtual reality app development project, contact us today.