How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Play-to-Earn Game?


31 Aug, 2022


6 min read

Play-to-Earn Game

A commonsense rule for investing in any business is research. Exploring the length and breadth of your prospective business model will save you from heartbreak and financial loss.

Indeed, this can and should take a significant amount of time. There may be a great deal to uncover and fathom, but the grunt work must be conducted before anything else.

The arduous efforts required can help you arrive at an accurate figure interms of costing and timelines, which are often the governing variables when it comes to determining the cost of developing an application or game.

There are, of course, other angles to examine, such as the purpose of a particular game and what drives its worth. For example, in recent times, we have witnessed a gradual shift in terms of their business models, the latest being the play-to-earn model that is associated with NFT games.

What is a play-to-earn game?

Play-to-earn games allow players to earn rewards by completing tasks, playing against other players in an arcade mode, and progressing from one level to the next. In addition, these games give out rewards in the shape of cryptocurrency, skins and weapons, virtual lands, and NFTs.

Cost to develop a P2E game

Developing a P2E game generally tends to be more complex ; the 3D element and more characters with more complicated levels are part of the mix. Moreover, some of the latest games are planned out inmodules that will be released after every one or two quarters, depending on how the game is built to progress. This is why these games tend to cost more to build.

How much does it cost to develop a P2E game on Unreal Engine?

To know how much it costs to develop a P2E game on Unreal Engine, we first have to determine what Unreal Engine is?

Unreal Engine is a 3D graphics game engine created by Epic Games. Its application was first demonstrated in 1998 and was created for PC users as a first-person shooter (FPS) game. Since then, it hasn’t stopped growing and grabbing more platforms like the android and iOS, desktop computers, virtual reality(VR), and consoles (mainly Xbox and PlayStation) to showcase its UNREAL (pun intended) abilities.

The cost of developing a mobile game depends upon its components and complexity, be it a regular racing game or a hardcore shooting game that requires more action. However, when it comes to developing a P2E game on Unreal Engine, after adding all the 3D elements to it, the cost can go higher. As a result, game development an eaily cross the million dollar mark.

Who would’ve thought that the cost of developing a crypto game would range from an average amount to the highest there is?

Read More: Build NFT “Play-to-Earn” Games with Unity Game Engine

How much does it cost to develop a P2E game on Unity?

The cost of developing a play-to-earn game on Unity can range from $20,000 to $300,000, depending on the structure, composition, and other significant aspects.

What Features Drive Play-to-Earn Game Costs Higher?

Many features take place in developing a game. However, if we talk about the features of a play-to-earn game, we’ll have to dive in a little deeper. The role of Blockchain is the first and foremost feature in a play-to-earn game. These types of apps are merged with NFTs and cryptocurrencies in quite a perfect manner.

The second main feature is NFTs in a play-to-earn game. It enables the user to claim ownership over the items in-game. This is the primary function of non-fungible tokens (NFT) in a play-to-earn game.

The third main feature unlocks the possibility of earning real money through Blockchain games. This feature enables an individual to invent new items and make new characters. Unfortunately, these items and characters cost a lot in the built-in market. Other ways to earn money include game activities and tournament rewards.

Let’s look at some more complex features that add to the cost of developing the crypto game.

3D Environment

Before we get into the 3D environment of a game, let’s talk about what 3D is. 3D is computer-generated graphics in three dimensions: height, width, and length.

Now, a 3D environment can be taken as a computer-controlled digital setting, most often applied in the background in video games and animated cartoons or movies. It is created with such depth that the atmosphere, furniture, objects, or even vehicles appear to be realistic on quite a larger scale in video games and animated cartoons/movies.

However, what makes the 3D Environment quite vast is its ability to be done indoors and outdoors simultaneously. Therefore, several other steps take place in creating a 3D environment. These steps can be named as follows:

  • Concept Development
  • High-Definition Sketching
  • Environment Assets Creation
  • Hyper-Focused Texturing
  • High/Low-Poly Modeling
  • 3D Rendering & Optimization

Also Read: NFT Game Development Cost: All You Need to Know


The complexity in a game can be defined as the difficulty that occurs as the game grows or proceed to different levels. The complexity of a game also plays an essential role in the cost of developing a video game. The more complex a game becomes with each level, the more costly it will likely be.


Integration in a game is when the ROM file of a video game is taken and gets set up as a reinforcement learning environment. It is done by considering three things: a starting state, a reward function, and a done condition. ROM plays a critical factor when we talk about system correction.

Unity can be taken as the best example of game integration. Integration is mainly defined as a development environment, and Unity works as a game development integration environment that helps make the ground of a game, atmosphere, objects, sky, etc

In-Game Features like Smart Contracts, Micropayments

Followed by a computer protocol, also called a crypto contract, that enables an individual to make transactions digitally, eliminating all the errors. The smart contract also supports Dapps, developed on a safe and secure module known as the Blockchain.

It is fair to say that Blockchain has contributed much to transactions. It is the safest and the most reliable transaction system created in the gaming industry.

Cost of Play to Earn Game at Each Stage of Development

Game Design

Game design is known to develop game mechanics, build prototypes, generate ideas to enhance gaming performance, and give inception to interactive narrations. When we open it up a little bit, we can say that a game design makes a game more manageable in terms of maintenance, expansion, and comfortable to use. However, a game designer usually charges $1500 to $5000, depending upon the complexity of the design.

UI/UX Design

UI Design

The interaction between humans and mechanics is known as the User Interface (UI). It is an interface that makes user interaction with a product more manageable, enjoyable, and efficient.

UX Design

User Experience (UX) says volumes about what it does. User Experience (UX) is concerned with the interaction of people with the provided product and the improvisation of their experience. The cost of UX/UI ranges from $2000 – $9000.

Read More: NFT Game Development Checklist: A Complete Guide

Game Development/Programming

It is fair to state that developing a game isn’t a bed of roses. A developer must work his way through countless aspects of a game to break through the gaming marketplace. However, let us have a look at some of the languages that are essential for in-game creation or programming:

  • C++
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • HTML5
  • C#
  • Python


Known for its popularity and flexibility in generating solutions, C++ is quite the beast in developing a game.


Despite not being to the same extent as C++, Java is still popular among the majority for its ease of use.


JavaScript is best when developing games for multiple platforms simultaneously, as it works effortlessly with CSS and HTML.


Game developers opt for HTML5 when building games. It’s a powerful and versatile tool for developing games for multiple platforms and browsers.


As an alternative to C++, C# is a powerhouse in programming languages as it is flexible and quite efficient.


Python may not be a preference for developers when it comes to comparing it with C++ or Java, but programmers tend to switch towards it for the tools it provides access to in the development process.

Frontend Development

Moving information in a database with the help of a graphical user interface and using structured data is what a front-end development is. Not the most accurate definition because there is a vast world open to endless possibilities in game development. It costs around $3000 to $15,000.


There is a testing process before determining the cost of developing a video game. In this process, the testing team, mainly the QA team, thoroughly looks into every step in creating a video game. Everything goes under checking, the engagement mechanics, key user stories, takenomics, smoothness of the gameplay, etc. The testing costs from $2000 to $5000, depending upon the game.

Project Management

Project management is creating and meeting deadlines as per the task required. The management that takes place in the day-to-day projects and ensuring the quality of work is what a project manager is responsible for. It costs around $500 to $3000

Read More: NFT Game Development Ignites the P2E Gaming Landscape

Ready to Develop Your Play to Earn Game?

Developing a mini P2E animated game will likely cost around $3000 – $5000. However, if you’re aiming for a more complex game with many characters in a 3D model, it will cost more than a mini P2E game.

If you’re looking to go further into the development of a P2E game, you’re at the right place. Our game development team would be delighted to work on your idea. So contact us now to get started.



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