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How much does VR app development cost?

VR app development is supposed to be the future of tech. Virtual reality technology is being successfully applied in different spheres of our lives. It allows us to play with our imagination and opens the door to the fantastic and imaginary worlds. Without any doubt, this is the place where dreams come true.

The app development costs for virtual reality is the hot topic as well. But is it possible to estimate the amount of money needed to develop an app? Definitely, yes.

This overview will show you the main stages of app design and help you with estimating the approximate costs of your virtual reality app development.

Pre-requirements for VR app development

Let’s imagine you have an idea of your future app: animation, design, functionality… In your head everything is perfect. But, wait! Now you have to share this idea with VR app developers. Since none can read your thoughts, the best choice would be to prepare a detailed project documentation.

How to find a good VR app developer? This list of the following statements will help you to hire ones: 

  • high-skilled Unity developer;
  • ability to design and develop multifunctional and complex frameworks;
  • be ready to work with game designers and VR app designers;
  • have knowledge about the user experience implementation;
  • have high skills in Unity engine.

VR project’s documentation

Every development process should start with a project documentation. This is the guarantee that the VR application will exactly meet the needs of the customers. It should include all the important information about the project.

Start with the aim of the product and the general information about your future app. Then move to the features and other technical details. Screenshots or hand sketches won’t be redundant as well.

Links to the similar existing projects will give your development team the clear vision of your expectations.

Also, answer the following questions in your VR project documentation:

  • what is the main purpose of your app?
  • what are the expectations of users?
  • which platform you chose for your application?
  • which method of work will be the optimal one?
  • what are the deadlines?
  • what is the project cost for you?
Project documentation for the VR app development
Project documentation for the VR app development

The user story

Without any doubt, the main purpose of every mobile application is user’s satisfaction. Knowing the user and his challanges the developer will be able to find the best technical solutions to make the application usage smooth and seamless.

And there are some more questions you will have to answer to get to know your user better:

  • which challenges can your potential user solve with your VR app?
  • in which way will your project make his life better?
  • why does the user choose your app and what are his expectations?
  • which actions does he take?
  • how much time does he spend with your virtual reality mobile app?

Writing the project documentation is very responsive. It is sometimes delegated to the tech writer of the virtual and augmented reality app development company. In case, when the customer decides to order such a service it takes 3 to 10 days and is paid according to the rates of the company.

Project documentation: $700-$3,400, 3-10 days

How long does it take to build a VR app?

It depends on the features that you will implement in your Virtual Reality app…

How much does it cost to make an app in virtual reality? It’s challenging to give the exact answer. The costs vary depending on the app features, the country of development and the pricing method.

Let’s take a closer look at all the components of the app development cost.

VR app estimation: How to choose your VR development team?

The development company will probably let you choose between two pricing methods: fixed price and time and material. Both of them have advantages and disadvantages.

  • Fixed cost is preferred when you have a limited budget and strict deadlines. For a successful VR application development with fixed price, you have to provide a detailed project documentation.
  • If you put the flexibility for the first place it is better to choose the time and material pricing method. In this case, the customer will be able to modify the project on the go. For example, add some new features or change the existing ones to make such a product successful.

We recommend you to read our article about the pricing methods. It will help you to make the best decision.

VR app development pricing methods
VR app development pricing methods

VR app development rates worldwide

Rates for VR application development differ according to the country of residence of the agency you are working with.

In US and Canada, you will be charged $40-$240 per hour, in Western Europe, particularly in Great Britain or Germany, the rates are between $40 and $180, Eastern European companies charge $25-$70, in Asia and Latin America the rates are around $15-$50.

The best price-quality relationship is offered by Eastern European companies. If you decide to outsource your project to the Ukrainian developers, for example, their services will cost you around $25-$50 per hour.

VR application development rates worldwide
VR application development rates worldwide

VR development rates in the USA – $40 to $240, in Ukraine – $25 to $50 per hour.

VR development estimation

Virtual reality applications are very different and therefore really hard to compare. VR application development process usually involves 2D artists, 3D modelers, Unity developers and QA engineers.

Depending on the features of your future vr app development time can vary from 1 month up to several years. This chart will give you a brief overview about the development time of VR/AR products starting with the simplest and up to the most complicated ones.

VR 3D Runner

Let’s start with a quite simple VR game with limited functionality and simple graphics. The protagonist runs or flies towards the finish line with a certain speed. He has to avoid different barriers like stones, meteors or other players.

This kind of games usually don’t store any information on the app backend. The Unity development of UI will take around 1 month for developer. Roughly the same time is needed for the 2D artist and the 3D modeler to create the VR environment.

VR Horror Games

Vr technology allows to achieve the highest realism in the VR horror games. The most popular ones are the screamers. In such games, you immerse the morose environment and are scared by suddenly appearing monsters or other unexpected things.

Unity developers usually build the game design in just one-two months. Much more time will take the work of 2D and 3D artists. They have to spend nearly 5 hours to create just one second of game animation. Since you want your VR game to be superb, count with 3-5 months of 3D modeling.

If the VR game should be able to store statistics or other information on the app backend, add the backend developer to your team. He will need several days up to one month to connect your game with the app backend.

VR Shopping

If you follow our blog, you already know a lot about virtual shopping and their prospects. If not, follow the link:

Virtual reality commerce. How retail can profit with VR/AR?

Virtual shops consist of two parts: UI (what the user actually sees) and backend (where the information about the selling goods is stored). We can compare the UI with the shelves in the physical store and backend with the storage.

One experienced Unity developer can build the MVP of an app in 2 to 6 months, the backend developer will need 1-2 months to build the strong server side of the app.

As for the designers, they work with the actual “shelves” in the VR shop and the “goods” that are being sold. The virtual environment  is mostly static and doesn’t change, therefore quite easy to create. The 3D models of the goods require more work. The estimated time depends on the number of the 3D models and the required quality of the picture.

Virtual Cinema

VR cinema and VR shopping room have quite a similar architecture of backend and frontend. Both types of apps have a static virtual environment. But instead of goods on the shelves VR cinema displays videos on the virtual screen. The videos are stored on the backend as well. The time for the development of such product will be equal to that of the VR shop: 2-6 months for Unity development and 1-2 months for the backend development.

The estimation of the 2D and 3D services depend on the amount of features of the particular project and may vary from 1 to 3 months.

VR First Person Shooter

Yes, one of the most popular game genres is now available in VR! The development of the first person shooter in virtual reality is a complex and time-consuming process. Game logic and the first level of the game can be built in Unity in around one year, every next level will take 4-6 months. 

Even more time-consuming is the work of 2D artists. The 2D team will need approximately 1 week to create one room. In addition to that, there can be different types of weapons and enemies, which need to be designed as well. After that, the 3D artists start working with models and creating animations. The VR game design stage usually takes more time than the development stage: starting with one year and more.

And the short summary:

VR app estimation, vr project costs
VR app estimation

How much does it cost to make a virtual reality app?

We are glad, that you made it through all this information to this point. As a reward for your patience, we introduce virtual reality app development costs. Here they are:

  • 3D Runner – from $5 000
  • VR Horror – $5 000 to $35 000
  • VR Cinema – $10 000 to $35 000 for UI, Backend up to $10 000
  • VR Shopping Room – $11 000 to $35 000 for UI, $5 000 to $15 000 for Backend
  • VR Firs Person Shooter – from $65 000 for the first level, $30 000 for every next level

The chart shows the approximate costs to develop an app  in virtual reality with Unity development team.

The costs may increase if you decide to connect your app to the backend to store information there. In this case, VR development costs will be increased by additional 1-2 months of backend development, that will cost $5 000 to $10 000, depending on the app features.

The costs for 2D design and 3D modeling significantly vary from app to app. Applications with similar or even same features can have a completely different level of design.

Virtual reality app development cost, vr app estimation
VR app development cost

Get the vr app estimation for free.

Virtual and augmented reality apps are not a fiction anymore. We already wrote about great benefits for businesses it can bring with the right software. The example of our client Hashplay that brought marketing and VR streaming in touch shows the importance of innovations in the tech world.

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