Cost to Hire Unreal Engine Developer - Ultimate Guide
cost to hire unreal developer

How Much Does It Cost to Hire Unreal Engine Developers?

Defining the cost to hire Unreal Engine developers can be tricky and expensive if you don’t know what to expect from experts. You must consider several factors like experience, location, expertise, etc., that influence the hiring process and add to the budget. By considering these details, you can plan your budget effectively and make informed hiring decisions that suit your project’s needs. This blog takes you through the process, helping you determine the approximate cost.

So, you have a brilliant idea for a game that has an immersive architectural surrounding or offers a groundbreaking virtual reality experience. But before you can make your dreams a reality, you need to hire dedicated game developers to put the plan on a pedestal.

There is nothing better than hiring Unreal Engine game developers to handle this responsibility. Unreal Engine is what you need to launch your game in online stores. But here’s the thing: hiring Unreal Engine developers isn’t like picking up groceries at the corner store. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. For example:

How much does it cost to hire an Unreal Engine developer?

What is the required expertise?

What’s the scope and complexity of your project?

These are just a few of the many factors that can influence the cost of bringing Unreal Engine developers on board. There are a myriad of other factors that influence the process. But what are they? This blog will tell you. Stick around and gather the facts.

Cost to Hire Unreal Engine Game Developers

The hiring cost of Unreal Engine developers can vary significantly from $25 to $150 per hour according to the developer’s skill level, experience, and many other factors. It is different for junior ($25 to $40/hour), mid-level ($50 to $100/hour), and senior tiers developers ($100 to $150/hour), and this difference impacts the overall development cost. Before deciding, you must understand these factors to plan the development process effectively. To make this planning simple for you, here’s a brief of the cost of hiring Unreal Engine developers and the factors that influence the overall budget.

Hourly Rates 

You can hire Unreal Engine developers and pay on an hourly basis to avail their services. These rates usually start from $20/hour and vary significantly due to factors like required solutions, developer’s experience, expertise, and geographic location. For example, developers living in countries with higher costs of living will charge more, whereas developers living in countries with lower costs of living will charge less for the same work.  

Project-based Pricing

In this mode, you hand over your entire project to an individual or team. The hired development team or game development company will quote a fixed price for the entire project rather than charging by the hour. The total cost will depend on the project’s complexity, scope, duration, and other requirements. 

Hiring Agencies

You can also hire dedicated game developers from a reliable game development company. This hiring type may cost you more, but agencies will provide a wider range of services, including project management, quality testing, maintenance, and dedicated support. 

Project Outsourcing

In this type, you outsource the project to an individual or agency and let them handle the development process. They will provide time-to-time updates, and you can pay according to the chosen payment model. This model saves time and effort, but you need to be careful while outsourcing your project or availing of game development services. 

Factors that May Affect the Cost of Hiring Unreal Engine Game Developers

Now is the time to talk about crucial factors that can impact your budget greatly. By carefully considering these factors and budgeting accordingly, you can ensure the successful execution of your Unreal Engine game development project while maximizing value for your investment.

Hiring Developers with Specific Expertise 

You may have to pay in-between 20$ to 40$ per hour if you hire an unreal engine game developer with 0 to 2 years of experience. On the other side, the cost would go to 40$ to 80$ per hour if you onboard unreal engine game developers with 2 to 5 years of experience. 

With over 5 years of experience, senior developers charge the highest rates as they have extensive expertise and abilities to handle complex projects. Their cost is unpredictable and may not fit into the range. You need to discuss the project requirements with them to get an estimation. 

Onboarding Talent From Different Regions

Developers from Western regions tend to be the most expensive due to higher living costs. Contrary to this, Eastern Europe is more cost-effective and offers skilled developers at lower rates. Above all, developers from Asian countries like India and China provide effective game development services at budget-friendly rates. The quality of their work is also amazing, and they manage the time zone differences as well. 

Location Cost 
USA$55 to $100 per hour
UK$45 to $100 per hour
Canada $30 to $60 per hour
India $20 to $50 per hour

Project Complexities and Tech Stack 

The cost to hire Unreal Engine game developers will be less if your game has basic gameplay mechanics, limited features, and straightforward objectives. For example, you may pay $25 to $150+/hour if you need a casual mobile game with a low volume of content, few levels, limited character designs, and simple environments. 

If you want to invest in games that have moderate content like multiple levels, various characters, and more detailed environments. You may have to put $30 to $50+/hour to build these games. 

Furthermore, you might have to pay above $50+/hour or more if your game has multiple characters and requires innovative mechanics, VR experiences, ultra-realistic graphics, highly detailed environments, stunning animations, etc. 

The more details and intricacies your game has, the more you will have to invest. However, a smart investment in high-end AAA, casino, battle royale games, etc., is worth the amount as they help generate higher revenues. 

Different Game Types with Specialized Technologies 

You should know the game type because understanding how the type of game affects various aspects of development helps you better estimate the costs and resources needed for your specific project. This knowledge aids in effective planning and ensures that the final product meets your expectations and requirements. Here are some of the types you can take into consideration. 

For example, use of AR and VR in gaming is quite a lot more expansive and its project generally requires a longer time frame due to specialized design and testing requirements. 

On the other hand, the cost factors for mobile game development include platform optimization for iOS and Android, varying graphics requirements from simple 2D to detailed 3D visuals, and the integration of monetization features such as in-app purchases and ads. Developers charge more for building online games as they are cost-intensive and use of AI in gaming, metaverse, blockchain and other specialized technologies also makes a difference in hiring cost. 

Type of Services You’re Availing

You may have to pay higher if your project requires specific expertise in 3D modeling, immersive experience design, use of AI in gaming, or other technologies. The niche skills and additional hardware requirements make VR and AR development more expensive than standard game development. Developers with experience in VR/AR tend to command higher rates.

Additionally, costs vary depending on the quality and complexity of the assets required. High-quality, detailed assets demand more time and artistic skill, increasing the cost. Along with it, optimization tasks are highly specialized and often need senior developers with substantial experience, leading to higher costs. However, these services are typically shorter in duration compared to full development projects.

The cost will be more if you are taking full-fledged game development services that includes post maintenance services as well. However, you may get monetary discounts or benefits from the company if you avail all the services from them. To give you a better idea, here is a basic breakdown of this game development cost. 

Type of Service Cost 
Game Script >= $15/hour 
UI UX Design $30 to $50/hour 
Game Development Starting from $5000/month
Concept Art Design $500 to $2000
Animations $25 to $50/hour
Graphics Design $15 to $30/hour
Asset Creation Starting from $20/hour
AR VR in Gaming According to requirements
AI in Gaming According to requirements
Project Management $20 to $30/hour 
QA & Testing $15 to $30/hour
Maintenance Starting from $200/month

Chosen Publishing Platform 

Hiring cost also depends on game publishing platforms, including consoles, PCs, mobile devices (iOS and Android), AR/VR platforms, etc. Each platform has a different ecosystem, features, audience, and technical specifications. Developing a game for a specific platform involves understanding and adhering to its unique requirements, hardware specifications, software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and certification standards. 

That’s why developers experienced in multiple platforms are in higher demand and command higher rates due to their specialized knowledge. Additionally, the complexity of developing a game increases with the number of platforms targeted. Each platform may require additional features, optimizations, and testing to ensure compatibility and performance.

Post Maintenance Services 

Regular updates and bug fixes are essential to ensure the game runs smoothly and to address any issues that arise after launch. You need to hire dedicated game developers on an ongoing basis, typically leading to recurring costs. The frequency and complexity of updates and the severity of bugs can influence the overall expense.

Scope of Scalability 

Scalability involves ensuring that a game can handle increased loads, more players, expanded content, and additional features without compromising performance or user experience. This requirement introduces additional complexities that affect development time, resource allocation, and ultimately, the cost of hiring skilled Unreal Engine developers.

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Cost-Effective Strategies for Hiring Unreal Engine Developers

Reducing the cost of hiring Unreal Engine developers without compromising quality can be a challenging yet achievable task. Here are several strategies to help you achieve this goal:

Outline Your Requirements 

To start with, you must have your priorities clear in mind to outline the skills and experience required for the position. After this, create a well-defined job description, addressing necessary queries that candidates may have in their minds. Also, specify the exact tasks and responsibilities to avoid interviewing unsuitable candidates and overpaying for unnecessary skills.

Opt for Remote or Hybrid Models 

Embrace hybrid models and let your team work remotely. The practice is more cost-effective as compared to onboarding in-house developers. Additionally, engage developers on a project-by-project basis, especially for short-term needs. 

Onboard Experts with Varying Experience 

Onboard Unreal Engine developers with different experiences and build your team accordingly. Pairing junior developers with experienced mentors will accelerate their learning curve and productivity, helping you leverage their skills cost-effectively. 

Outsource Project to Lower-Cost Regions

Hire game designers from regions with a lower cost of living. You can save the amount if you onboard talent from countries, like India, Vietnam, China, Philipines, Indonesia, Africa, Poland, etc. Developers residing in these countries offer services at a lower cost compared to European countries or the United States of America. 

Define Payment Milestones

Structure contracts with milestone payments to ensure you are paying for tangible progress and outcomes. Negotiate over the prices and terms & conditions before signing the contract. Individual developers and game development companies follow processes and have varying terms and conditions. You must look at them before abiding by them.

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Determining the cost of hiring Unreal Engine developers involves a complex interplay of various factors, each contributing uniquely to the overall budget. With a clear understanding of the factors concerning Unreal Engine game development cost, you can plan effectively, manage your budget, and set realistic expectations for your game’s development. This foresight will not only help you

allocate resources wisely but also position your project for success in the competitive gaming industry.

Why Choose 300Mind to Hire Unreal Engine Developers?

Developers at 300Mind have extensive experience working with Unreal Engine across various platforms, including PC, console, mobile, and VR/AR, allowing us to tackle projects of any complexity. We have a highly skilled and experienced team of Unreal Engine developers, comprising individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise. 

Our developers are adept at implementing advanced features, optimizing performance, and delivering high-quality graphics and visuals that meet the highest standards of excellence. Whether you’re developing a simple mobile game or a complex AAA title, we are the best Unreal Engine game development company for you having expertise and flexibility to deliver customized solutions that exceed your expectations.

FAQ on Unreal Engine

What games are being developed on Unreal Engine 5?

Unreal Engine 5 is a new game engine, and specific titles developed on may not be known at the moment. Titles like Abyss World: Apocalypse, A.I.L.A, ArcheAge II, Ark II, Dark and Darker, Brickadia, etc., are some of the released and upcoming projects across different platforms.

Is Unity more expensive than Unreal Engine?

Unity vs. Unreal Engine: which is better is a long debate affected by many factors. But if we talk about the cost estimation, then Unity is cheaper than Unreal Engine in many cases. Because Unity charges 2.5% fees of gross revenue, which is lower than Unreal Engine. However, if your revenue is above $1,00,000, then it might be more costly than Unreal Engine.

How long does it take to hire Unreal Engine developers? 

The timeline depends on your recruitment process and the specific expertise you are looking for. However, if you are onboarding talent from a reputed game development company that has a large talent pool then you may finish the process within 48 hours. 

Ankit Dave

Ankit Dave is a team leader (Game) with more than 5 years of experience in 2D & 3D gaming/console gaming/AR/VR/Machine Learning. Requirement understands, create a GDD, create an architecture of the game to make them as scalable as possible, deploy the games on various platforms.