MMORPG Development Cost: All You Need to Know


2 Jun, 2022


5 min read


While the craze of gaming is touching new heights, technology is advancing more rapidly to make it possible to build better and more robust games in short time spans.

However, building an online game like MMORPG is not like making a typical video game. MMORPG game development cost is higher and requires leading-edge technologies in its build processes. Traditionally, a generic game development lifecycle entails – conception, artistry, design, development, test, and release. Creating an MMORPG game needs those formations, although in stretched rotations.

From what is an MMORPG game and how much does it cost to build one, this post aims to uncover these aspects. Keep Reading!

What is an MMORPG Game?

We can say an MMORPG game is the most advanced version of the MMO games. Whereas MMO stands for massively multiple online games, an MMORPG is a “massively multiple online role-playing game.” Unlike typical games, in MMORPG, a considerable number of gamers play online simultaneously – which is entertaining, engaging, and in all, revolutionary.

In other words, MMO unleased the interactive element into its games, increasing the number of participants to role-play together and interconnect. Generally, the strength of players can exceed over to thousands or even millions of players, which is quite massive, and each one is on a mission to character enhancement via a role-playing virtual atmosphere.

Furthermore, MMORPG games include the evolving game-play experience, enabling players to make alliances and interact with other gamers, customize, and whatnot. On top of that, these games use virtual currencies to buy in-game items – in total, they have their own virtual economy in place to boost the game-play experience.

How Much Does It Cost To Develop An MMORPG Game?

Building an MMORPG game can be quite challenging, and considering its immensity and building requirements, it sure won’t come cheap. So, it’s expensive to build one. Cost to Develop an MMORPG game also relies on many aspects. That includes the number of hours, developers’ cost, technical stack, and game complexity.

Perhaps giving you an exact number without knowing your MMORPG game infrastructure won’t be a brilliant idea, although we’ll help you via listing some popular MMORPG games’ development costs.

World of Warcraft – 63 Million US Dollars

This MMORPG game touched over $63 Million to develop, although if we include the cost of its deployment and marketing, it easily adds up to more than $200 million – seems like a lot. However, World of Warcraft is now one of the most profitable games in the world, grossing over $9 billion in revenue.

Rift – $50-70 Million US Dollars

Rift is a fantasy game published by Trion Worlds, which cost over $50 Million to develop. Initially, it carried a subscription fee for players, although later, it went absolutely free-to-play drifts.

Star Citizen – $438+ Million US Dollars

Star Citizen is one of the most expensive MMORPGs ever to be Developed – yes, not released yet. Being Developed and published by Cloud Imperium Games, Star Citizen has raised over $400 Million. However, despite receiving so much of the money, there is no clear sign of its release. Like Star Citizen, many other MMORPG games are under-development with massive amounts in place, over $200 Million each.

However, it’s crystal clear now that building an average MMORPG game needs over $50 Million US Dollars.

Inhouse Cost For MMORPG Game Development

Knowing how massive an MMORPG game can be, it’s vital to know what in-house resources you have and what resources you need to outsource to build your MMORPG game. Regardless of your tools at hand, you always need to outsource to complete your MMORPG. From game storyboarding to deployment, you may lack certain in-between resources such as game music, animation, marketing, and others.

Suppose you already have in-house resources such as game developers and a few other development tools to kick off your MMORPG game development. At this point, you should know building an MMORPG game normally requires over one year of time period. Just like that, you need to dilate the project scope from developers to designers’ costs with hourly rates. Next, estimate the total cost by overall game development time to know the total inhouse cost.

MMORPG Game Design Cost vs Game Development Cost

To simply put it, a typical game design and development scenario can be differentiated via game artistry vs. technicality. The game design process delves into creative aspects of the game. In contrast, the development process lays out its technical aspects: bringing imagination into reality via putting them into codding.

Designing Phases

  • Ideating
  • Scripting
  • Storyboarding
  • Animation
  • Sound Engineering
  • Management

Development Phases

  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Prototyping
  • Production

Cost to develop an MMORG game with respect to design and development covers disparities in planning, time duration, and build infrastructures.

Cost of MMORPG Game Development in Unity

Unity is a widely used game engine and is free for building, testing, and releasing any 2D or 3D game. However, in general, any game created using this game engine has commencing costs from $20,000 US Dollars with a basic set of features, although for MMORPG, the price may elevate. Plus, each game engine takes a royalty fee for its grossing – Unity as well.

On the other hand, the game engine comes in various use plans – Plus, Pro, and Enterprise. And each plan has its own set of radical tools to enhance the development.

Cost of MMPORG Game Development in Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine is another free game engine that is ideal for MMORPG development, the same as unity. Developing and deploying in Unreal is completely free, although it needs a 5% royalty on the third quarter of the revenue, which is a good deal for any. Not to mention it’s equipped with off-the-rack tools that’ll accelerate the development process quite significantly.

Moreover, having next-generation technology support for AR and VR, Unreal Engine is a seamless development solution. Via this platform, you can speed up prototyping and iterations for flexible results.

Which Game Engine is Cheaper for MMOPRG Games?

Although it’s the best platform for game developments, Unity also comes cheaper than the other engines if you elude commercial support. Then again, different game engines endure distinct feature sets that may come in handy for your game. It’s best recommended to choose the game engine in terms of your game requirements.

Is an MMORPG Game Profitable?

From what we can tell, as long as your game idea and design are rock-solid, nothing will diverge its path towards glory. According to Statista, the MMO and MOBA games touched a value of 43 billion US dollars last year. Compared to console-based games, MMORPGs have a higher potential for grossing prospects. So, yes, it has a profitable niche unlike typical games out there, although many MMORPG games have diluted profit margins. As a result, your potential profit is entirely dependent on your MMORPG gameplay design.

Who Can Develop an MMORPG Game?

MMORPG gaming is one of the most lucrative niches to invest your money in. Those who notice the potential growth of this bandwagon must voluntarily hop on, as the industrial gaming evolution is in motion. On the other hand, those who have the technical knowledge and experience of building traditional games can make MMORPG games with specific added expertise in addition to their earlier game development skills.

While observing its ever-growing demand out there, it would be best to invest sooner. However, if you ever invest in one, it’s key to choose skilled MMORPG game developers who have years of experience in this field.

How Cubix Can Help Develop Your MMORPG Game?

Cubix is a well-known software development agency with years of experience in this domain. From technical support to artistic visionaries, we house wide-ranging experts in several areas. In addition, we adhere to standard development protocols that help us build dynamic and fully-functional games and applications (regardless of their sizes and complexities).

More than that, we build top-notch games perfectly tailored to your specific needs and expectations. That’s why our clientele base is growing ever so steeply. So, expand your start-up or previously running business goals via our seamless digital solutions.

If you need help or technical thoroughness in building your MMORPG game, we, Cubix, can be your chaperon. Get in touch with our experts now!

Wrapping Up

When it comes to MMORPG game development cost, it greatly depends on your game itself – its complexities, vastness, technical stacks, developers’ hourly rates, platforms, and many other crucial aspects. Perhaps building an MMORPG game without the support of a tech agency can be challenging. So, it would be best to get technical assistance from an optimum software development agency.



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