Category Application Development
cost to develop metaverse Metaverse applications are amongst the hottest trends in 2023. Albeit that a majority of players are trying to get within the space sooner. However, the estimated metaverse development cost is still a huge question.

The idea behind the metaverse has already made its way into pop culture decades ago. The thought of creating a virtual place where users can interact isn’t novel. From the classic Tron to the 2017 Ready Player One, multiple sci-fi movies convey the idea of a metaverse.

With limited computational power and inferior technology, it was a dream. However, today we have a series of top metaverse platforms & apps that turned this dream into reality. Metaverse applications such as Roblox, Decentraland, Illuvium, etc, have already acquired the space. And, there will be new players to come.

Yet with the emergence of new players in the metaverse, every entrepreneur is speculating metaverse development costs for apps. Therefore, to assist and explain the cost to develop the metaverse app in a ballpark, we have written this article.

To learn more…read ahead!

Why should Businesses Enter the Metaverse?

Here are some stats that paint a picture of the existing metaverse market. Have a look:

  • Forbes has quoted metaverse amongst the top trends in 2023.
  • In a report by Statista, the Metaverse market had an estimated evaluation of $38.85 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $678.8 billion by 2030.
  • Segmentation of metaverse consists of online games, design software vendors, social networking, live entertainment, virtual reality, augmented reality, and gaming.
  • A survey by Statista states about 36% of adults online showed interest in using metaverse. Out of which 12% are highly interested.
  • Another Statista survey states about 39% of people believe that metaverse would help overcome disabilities. Also, about 37% said that it would help boost creativity and imagination.

There are multiple other stats that answer the question, “Why should businesses enter the metaverse?”. However, the idea behind these stats is to establish that the metaverse is the future. A huge number of companies, conglomerates, and organizations will and are already moving towards capturing the market. 

There has been substantial investment in the niche, and it is growing day by day. The early players will be most likely to get the biggest chunk of the pie. Everything from then on will only be successful in a saturated market as disruptive technology.

Types of Metaverse

Today, the metaverse is divided into primarily two facets, i.e. Web2 and Web3. Web2 is the generic internet that most of us use daily. However, web3 is decentralized and isn’t censored by any governing body, be it private or public. 

cost of developing the metaverse

To better understand the types of the metaverse, we have mentioned the ones covering the spectrum below:

1. Traditional Centralized Metaverse

These are amongst the most common ones. Any open-world game that allows the user to have an online avatar, go places, and interact with users can be categorized within this metaverse. Some great examples of these metaverses are PUBG, Fortnite, GTA, etc. These are moderated by the authorities and are part of Web2. A great example of moderation is the ban on PUBG in India which was later released as Battlegrounds Mobile India.

2. Centralized Blockchain Metaverse

The idea behind the metaverse is to create interactions in a virtual space. With a centralized blockchain metaverse, a lot of users can interact within the system. Some examples of this type of metaverse are Earth2, Moonga, Nestcoin, etc. NFTs are also centralized blockchain metaverse. In NFTs, the payments take the benefit of blockchain, considering it uses crypto for payment. However, the property is held at the end of a third party. There are also multiple games in metaverse supporting NFTs for playability with real stakes.

3. Decentralized Blockchain Metaverse

Decentralized farming is a great example of a decentralized blockchain metaverse. In this metaverse, instead of authority, the users act as admins. There are pre-established sets of guidelines that the metaverse platform follows. Also, the transactions are carried out via smart contracts. These contracts are digitally coded by the metaverse platform holders, and if the user decides to check the code, then they are allowed. The revenue generation models in this metaverse are of three types:

  • Play to earn
  • Create to earn
  • Engage to earn

Some other examples of this metaverse are Sandbox, Axie Infinity, Decentraland, Bloktopa, Engine, etc.

Advantages of Metaverse

Here are several advantages of metaverse for business such as:

  • A new way to engage prospective customers and market products.
  • Novel opportunities to seize within the metaverse.
  • Enhanced way to communicate with the team members and collaborate on projects.
  • Decentralized way of transactions and making payments using digital assets.

Each of these advantages of the metaverse makes it a compelling technology that is helping it gain popularity.

Metaverse Features

Here are some metaverse features that make it a plausible place to invest. These are:

  • Leverage digital avatars or identities to interact with other users.
  • Possibility of a virtual place. Tuvalu is a country that is on to create an entire metaverse of itself for people to access.
  • Decentralized and centralized operations application using blockchain technology.
  • Supports Web3.
  • Socially interactive.
  • Easy implementation of AI.

Aside from it, there are several other metaverse features that make it one of the most engaging technologies so far. However with the integration of each of these features, the development cost of creating a metaverse shoot up.

Metaverse Tech Stack - What do I need to Develop Metaverse?

To create a metaverse, there is an entire package of metaverse tech stack. This metaverse tech stack allows the apps to take full advantage of the platform. Therefore, the question “What do I need to Develop Metaverse?” can be answered by collaborating with the following technologies:

cost to develop a metaverse app

1. Artificial Intelligence

AI or artificial intelligence is the technology that helps in creating a more inclusive and functional environment for the metaverse. It provides unique experiences to the users and helps in creating a more immersive experience. 

Adding to it, there are different elements of the metaverse backed by AI that are integral. These are:

  • Digital Avatars: The AI tech allows facial recognition. It means with AI, the user can create their own realistic digital identities. These identities would be capable of impersonating the user i.e. by facial expressions, cues, and manners.
  • Multilingual Experience: Users from all over the world can interact via the metaverse. People from different geographies can interact with machine learning to automatically translate. It makes for a through-and-through experience without the language being a barrier.
  • NPCs (Non-player characters): These are avatars of the metaverse. The purpose of NPCs in a metaverse is to help interact with the real people represented by NPCs in the metaverse.
  • Digital Assets: To create a metaverse realistic environment, the user should be capable of making transactions using their digital avatars. By using digital assets i.e. crypto, the users can trade for goods in the metaverse.

Identical to these, several other elements of metaverse backed by AI aiding in making a more realistic AI environment. We have barely scratched the surface. In the future, we can expect many more elements of metaverse to interact with the user.

2. 3D Animation

Various animators and CGI artists have gained prominence post the introduction of the metaverse. Considering the metaverse is a navigable virtual world, the environment created needs to be in 3D for avatars to move. With CGI artists aiming to achieve photo-realism 3D animation is and will be playing a much more important role.

3. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality and metaverse are often confused with each other. Metaverse is essentially a platform where a virtual environment is created. On the other hand, virtual reality is the technology that makes the metaverse accessible in a virtual environment. With the collaboration of the two, the metaverse created can have a much more immersive experience.

4. Blockchain Technology

Web3 is the future. Adding to it, the idea behind Web3 is decentralized. To create a metaverse with truly decentralized environment, the metaverse would require blockchain. Essentially a metaverse is created using blockchain technology because it requires interconnection between various components. It will help in the usage of digital assets and smart contracts that are essential to the system.

5. Internet

The Internet is the plane in which the metaverse will operate. Multiple audio streaming services, OTT platforms, social media networks, etc. all rely on the internet for their operations. Similarly, the metaverse is also a collection of services interacting with each other. To leverage this interaction, the internet is required. Without the internet, the metaverse can not exist.

6. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a way to augment objects overlaying in a real-world environment. Augmented reality can be utilized using both a VR kit and a mobile device. It provides an interactive experience by letting the user experience computer-generated objects defining real-world objects. In a metaverse, AR can be used for playing games, interactions with objects in an environment, training, etc.

7. Mobile Device Processors

Metaverse requires a huge 3D model that is rendered in real-time. To create a metaverse experience truly immersive, users require mobile device processors. These processors will provide portability and computing power to render real-time 3D objects.

Cost to Develop a Metaverse App

To understand the cost to develop a metaverse app, it is important to understand the type of application being developed.

Primarily the metaverse apps created today belong to three segments i.e.

metaverse development cost

1. Cost to Develop Metaverse App - Gaming

The idea behind a metaverse game is to create a virtual world where gamers are interacting. To pull this through, the game would require a series of technologies such as AR, VR, Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency, and IoT.

Average Cost to Develop a Metaverse App for Gaming

The average metaverse development cost for gaming can lie anywhere from $25/hr to $150/hr. Some of the development firms taking projects for the metaverse can even go higher.

Adding to it, the total cost to develop a metaverse app depends on the scope of the gaming application. Some games have taken years to develop. On the other hand, there are gaming projects that were created stand-alone by a developer in a couple of weeks.

On average, it can take up to 6 months even for a simple metaverse gaming app to develop. If we consider a team of 5 members with 40 hrs of work weekly put in, the cost of developing the metaverse app can take:

Pricing Range $25 - $150/hr
Number of Team Members 5
Weekly Hours Contributed 40 hrs
Total Hours Contributed Weekly hours * Number of Team Members * Number of weeks in a month * Number of Months = 40*5*4*6 = 4800 hrs
Lowest Development Cost $25*4800 = $120,000
Highest Development Cost $150*4800 = $720,000

Note: The calculations mentioned above are rough estimations and can vary depending on the project.

2. Metaverse Development Cost - Social Media

There is no fixed cost associated with developing a social media app for the metaverse. Also, it requires constant integration of new features to stay ahead of the competition.

However, keeping a milestone in mind, let’s say a company decides to launch a beta version in a year. 

The average cost to develop a metaverse app for social media is mentioned in the table below:

Pricing Range $25 - $150/hr
Number of Team Members 10
Weekly Hours Contributed 40 hrs
Total Hours Contributed Weekly hours * Number of Team Members * Number of weeks in a month * Number of Months = 40*10*4*6 = 9600 hrs
Lowest Development Cost $25*9600 = $240,000
Highest Development Cost $150*9600 = $1,440,000

Note: Social media apps require multiple features to work upon, therefore, a bigger team.

3. Cost of Developing the Metaverse - Real Estate

Real estate is another segment that is booming in the metaverse infrastructure. With the power of VR and AR, real estate companies can give virtual tours to their prospective customers.

Keeping a milestone of 3 months in mind for a basic real estate application, here are the calculations for an average cost to develop a metaverse real estate app:

Pricing Range $25 - $150/hr
Number of Team Members 5
Weekly Hours Contributed 40 hrs
Total Hours Contributed Weekly hours * Number of Team Members * Number of weeks in a month * Number of Months = 40*5*4*3 = 2400 hrs
Lowest Development Cost $25*2400 = $60,000
Highest Development Cost $150*9600 = $360,000

Note: Basic real estate apps require fewer pages and 3D simulation, therefore, lower development time.

Metaverse Development Process - Is it Possible to Create Your Own Metaverse? 

It took 15 years for Mark Zuckerberg to come up with the existing metaverse. Adding to it, the platform is still in its evolution phase. Currently, the online avatars on the platform and the overall interaction look a lot more animated in comparison to how they were marketed. Yet, the people in the segment are constantly working to make the experience a lot more immersive. 

Albeit that the question “is it possible to create your own metaverse” can be answered one way. The metaverse development process will require tremendous resources, therefore, it is possible with a huge budget and resources available. On the other hand, developing an application that captures the metaverse market is much easier in comparison. Realistically, the entire cycle for the metaverse development process can be catered by a company of small to mid-level. There are already multiple successful applications operating in the niche. Also, there is plenty to come in the future as the metaverse gains more prominence in the future.

Final Words

There isn’t an iota of doubt that the metaverse market will be growing at a rapid pace. Various metaverse development companies are constantly working to turn this into a reality. There are available technologies that replicate the same experience such as 360-degree views, google maps, google earth, etc. A combination of these and similar technologies in a virtual architecture is going to make the metaverse stronger. With advancements in technology, the metaverse development cost invested has a higher ROI. It only needs a few independent players to push the market into the mainstream and sooner, all of us would be experiencing a new reality.

Sakshi Kaushik

By Sakshi Kaushik LinkedIn Icon

A passionate writer and tech lover, she strives to share her expertise with mobile app developers and fellow tech enthusiasts. During her moments away from the keyboard, she relishes delving into thriller narratives, immersing herself in diverse realms.

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