Online Casino Games Development Costs in 2023

1 February 2023

casino development costs Creating an online casino and starting a business in the iGaming industry is a great option for entrepreneurs who are interested in making a successful investment. The constantly-growing casino market is tempting, mostly because it is one of the industries where the future looks bright. The global online gambling market size reached $79.8 billion dollars in 2022, and it’s expected to generate revenues of $140 billion by 2028, according to IMARC Group.

Sports betting, live casino, blackjack, poker, baccarat and slots are among the most requested categories of online casinos games. Even with all the options available on the market, online casino operators cater to a large audience, which is always expecting to play original games with new and improved features with each year that goes by.

Slot games are some of the most popular casino games on the internet. Even if land-based casinos offer amazing slot machines, the online versions of slots have seen an immense increase in popularity during the last years.

As an online casino business investor, you are certainly looking for good-quality games that fit your budget. When you decide to purchase slot games for your online casino, you have certain options:

#1 - To buy pre-made games from casino games providers

Many online casino business owners decide to purchase pre-made casino games from providers. They are usually sold in packages, or you can buy them separately.

#2 - To design your own, custom games with an agency or a freelancer

Some  industry investors prefer to have their own products developed by an agency or freelancer. This comes with a set of benefits, but also some disadvantages, which we will explain later in this article.

A Glimpse into Casino Games Development

If you are interested in knowing more about custom slot games costs, it’s important to be aware of to the steps behind online casino games development process.

  • Casino Games Software Development – the backbone of any online casino game is the programming methods and techniques behind it. The software behind online casino games requires sophisticated programming skills, so it’s important to find a development company with experience and good reviews. Fair games include the Random Number Generator component, which guarantees that the results of slots spins are completely random.
  • Casino Games Mechanics Creation – with custom casino games development, you can introduce innovative mechanics to your players. Gaming features such as free spins, bonuses, expanding wild, jackpot, are all created to improve players’ gaming experience
  • Casino Games Graphics and Sound Creation – the visual part of online casino games is another essential part of product development. Choosing the theme, colors, characters, symbols and special effects is definitely the most fun part of creating an online casino game.

Entire Process of Creating an Online Casino Game

Building an online casino game requires multidisciplinary teams with different skills, who have to perform various tasks to complete the project.

It is a lengthy process with specific guidelines which must be followed by skilled programmers, graphic designers and animation experts.

These are the main steps of creating a casino game:

  • Evaluating customer’s requirements
  • Brainstorming and putting together ideas
  • Initial sketching and mockups
  • Putting together a prototype
  • Designing the graphics of the game
  • Creating the sound effects
  • Creating the mathematic model of the game (bonus features, payouts, etc.) and making sure that the game stays profitable (RTP <100%);
  • Developing the code of the game mathematics in the backend
  • Developing the code for the game interface
  • Testing the game mechanics and the interface
  • Overall quality assurance
  • Launching the game
  • Adding additional updates

Benefits of Online Casino Games Development

We believe it’s important to point out the differences between creating online casino games from scratch and purchasing pre-made games. These are the top benefits of creating custom slot games:

#1 – Complete freedom in terms of design

If you are looking to integrate a specific theme, original symbols and characters into a slot game, you can hire a custom casino development company to help you with the process. Some investors might question themselves: “Why would I want a custom casino game when there are thousands of games to be bought on the internet already?”

At CasinoWebScripts, we’ve had many customers who wanted a very specific slot game theme. For example, there are National Holidays in certain countries which can represent a great theme for a casino game that targets local players. Local traditions are also ideal for creating online casino slots with unique themes.

Like so, the element of uniqueness is an obvious component of creating a slot game design from scratch. Players are always looking for never seen before game themes, so original ideas are always welcomed.

#2 – You get to keep it, not just rent it

Most online casino games providers offer turnkey or white label solutions. As an operator, you practically “rent” the games and software from them, usually for monthly fees which can grow depending on your casino income.

By creating your own casino games with a game development company, you can keep the game and use it indefinitely, without having to pay additional fees.

#3 – Exclusivity

Offering games that no other casino has is one of the top benefits of slot games development. As we said before, an original theme with exciting features is a sure hit with players who want to enjoy an original casino game.

More than that, you can be sure that the slot development company creates those games solely for you – player will only find it at your online casino.

Disadvantages of Developing a Casino Game from Scratch

#1 – Very High Prices for Original Products

In 2023, with the rise of global inflation, development costs have seen an increase as well. The average hourly rate of developers has increased by at least 25%. This also affects the costs of any custom development project such as hiring an agency/freelancer to develop a casino game for you.

In the research that we did, we tried to obtain several quotations from various agencies/freelancers. This is what we obtained:

casino freelance infographicIt results that on average, the cost to develop a casino game would be around $21,000.. Costs vary a lot depending on the location of the development company and that sometimes brings some extra hurdles, if the company doesn't have sufficient experience. When it comes to experience, just note that we created over 400 casino games and we do business since 2010.

The costs above include just the game code for both backend and frontend.

Keep in mind that this excludes sounds, design & animations, plus testing. No certification is included so you can’t know for sure that your game will be profitable. Also, if you’re looking to use it for an online casino in a specific jurisdiction with its own gaming regulatory system, it should abide to legal regulations.

The cost of a complete soundtrack, themed specifically to your game, would easily exceed $2,000.

The cost of a game design varies a lot depending on quality, but a decent set of graphics costs over $5,000. A very exquisite set of graphics can cost up to $25000.

The cost of a dedicated tester to verify all possible scenarios of your game and build stress tests would be around $1000.

Therefore, we can easily say that the complete cost to have 1 functional, good quality casino game would be at least $29000, in year 2023.

In year 2024, things have changed due to global inflation and costs increased by at least 10%, going up to 32000$ or more. This does not include the time that you need to wait which can make you lose numerous business opportunities. Imagine you can spend 1m$ to get the games instantly in 2024 or 1m$ to get them developed by your own team and finish them in year 2027. In 3 years, you will already get your money back, but if you need to wait 3 years of development, you cannot monetise them at all.

Once you develop the first game, the rest can be done cheaper, right? Well, it's not that simple.

While you might be able to reuse the core code, you would still need unique sounds ($2000), unique graphics ($4000), unique animations for each game ($1000-$2000) and your developer will still need to spend a lot of time to integrate the graphics ($2000), test the game ($1000) and adjust the game mathematics for some diversity ($1000), because no player would enjoy the exact same game with just a different look.

If you want to build a unique bonus round for the new game, you can easily add at least $3000 for code and design.

As a result, we can say that your bulk production after you develop the first game will now cost you around $17000/game. This cost does not include the time that you need to wait for example to have 200 games ready. It can take years to achieve that. Our solutions are turnkey and availably instantly, so that ads a considerable value to our products.

#2 – Risk of delays

As you can see, the costs are high and there is no guarantee about the timeframe of the game and that what you expect is what you will get in the end. Development always comes with the risk of delays and unexpected bugs. To avoid all this and to save a lot of money, we recommend checking our Turnkey Casino games offers.

Our games are already developed, use mathematics certified by BMM TestLabs and have already been tested for thousands of hours.

Our games cost as little as $2500/game compared to what we outlined above where the cost is $15000/game if you develop it yourself. For $2000 you get only 1 domain license and no possibility to edit the source codes.

But if you are looking for multiple domain licenses and the option to edit the source codes, then we offer that too and our cost for this is around $10,000/game depending on the game.

#3 – Risk of Not Receiving What You Expected

Creating an online casino game with a company or freelancer comes with the risk of not getting exactly what you envisioned. You might realize that you have already made an advance payment, and the development/graphics team can’t bring your ideas to life.

Quality is an essential attribute of a casino game that can attract a large audience and generate profit. As we already pointed out, the costs of top-quality graphics, sounds and mechanics are high for a custom casino game.

Conclusions - The Real Costs of Creating a Casino Game

Not that we’ve gone through all the steps of creating an online casino game, we should point out that there is something for everyone:

  • If you are interested in making a big investment, but you want to have an original, exclusive, one-of-a-kind casino slot game, you can choose to create a product from zero, for a higher price
  • If you want to purchase good quality games, with no exclusivity, you can invest in a turnkey online casino solution.

By being aware of casino games development costs, you can evaluate whether you prefer to have an original game or purchase a turnkey casino game and have it customized. For more details you may contact us.

1 February 2023

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