Video game trailers are used to show a video game’s features, gameplay, story, and visual elements before or after realizing a game. Each game trailer has unique selling points and uses cinematic sequences, in-game footage, gameplay snippets, and cutscenes to create an engaging presentation to achieve the goals. In addition, several factors like text overlays, voiceovers, sound effects, and music can make it more effective.
But there is always a question, how much does a video game trailer cost? In this blog, we will discuss the price range of different types of video game trailers and the moving factors.
How Much Does a Game Trailer Cost?
A simple 1 minute game trailer might cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. However, professional game trailers may cost from $5K to $50K for high-quality and complex ones for different types of game art styles.
These price ranges include scriptwriting, storyboarding, capturing in-game footage, editing, sound design, voiceover work, music licensing, and other post-production elements.
It’s also important to know a video game trailer cost can vary based on many factors, from the location to timing.
Example of Game Trailer Cost
The cost of creating a game trailer for Paladins cinematic trailer called “Go to War” can vary and change significantly based on several factors. However, as a rough estimate, this game trailer costs around $15,500 or more.
Pixune Studios charged this game trailer about $10,000 for high-quality performance, including storyboard, character design, concept art, environment design, VFX, animation, sound FX, modeling, texturing, rigging, rendering, etc.
While providing an approximate estimate, the cost of creating a game trailer for this project is around $8,000. However, it’s essential to note that this is not an exact figure, and the actual game trailer cost can vary and change depending on various factors.
Here is a list of Pixune Studios’ services for creating a game trailer:
$200 – $500
Storyboard and Animatic (per minute)
$200 – $400
$200 – $1000
3D Character Design (including modeling, texturing and rig)
$1500 – $10000
2D Character Design (including design and rig)
$300 – $1500
3D Environment Design (including modeling and texturing)
$500 – $5000
2D Environment Design
$300 – $1500
2D Animation (per minute)
$500 – $2000
3D Animation (per minute)
$1000 – $5000
3D Lighting (per environment)
$200 – $800
3D Rendering (per minute)
$200 – $1500
Compositing and Editing (per minute)
$100 – $500
$250 – $2000
Sound FX (per minute)
$100 – $300
Factors Influencing Game Trailer Costs
A number of factors can affect a game trailers cost. Some of the key factors include:
The number of scenes, special effects, animations, and visual elements can greatly increase or decrease a game trailer cost. The more complex the video game trailer is, the more it costs.
The duration of the video game trailer is an important factor for estimating the pricing. Longer trailers require more footage, editing, and post-production work, which might increase the expenses.
How Long Should a Video Game Trailer Be?
Game trailers can range in length from a few seconds to several minutes, depending on the complexity, scope of the game, game stage, platform, budget, and time.
The high-quality resolution, visual fidelity, and production value require more effort, time, resources, and expertise, and as a result, more price tag.
4. Production Team
The experience, reputation, location, and skill set of the production team or company who are working on the project can affect the game trailer cost. Many reputable companies and teams may charge higher fees due to their expertise and track record.
5. Licensing and Assets
Licensed music, voiceovers, and other copyrighted materials will influence the cost to cover the licensing fees. Additionally, creating custom assets can add to the game trailer cost.
6. Scope and Requirements
The need for live-action sequences, multiple language versions, or platform-specific adaptations can directly act on the trailer cost.
Tips for Controlling Game Trailer Costs
Here are a few tips to decrease your game trailer production costs:
Use In-Game Assets
Maximize the use of existing in-game assets, if possible. Try to leverage the assets to save time and money instead of creating custom content from scratch. Your script plays an important role here. Try to write a script that allows you to implement the game’s assets, environments, and characters and doesn’t need new ones to create.
Use In-Game Screen Recording
Recording gameplay directly from the game to capture gameplay footage could be cost-effective for those with low budgets.
Keep it Short
Viewers, especially gamers, have a relatively short attention span. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid lengthy trailers and instead focus on creating concise and impactful 1-minute trailers rather than tiresome 10-minute ones. A shorter duration can help reduce production time and costs. Cut out any unnecessary scenes that doesn’t add value to the overall message.
Tips for Creating an Efficient Game Trailer
Follow the Hook Principle
The Hook Rule in advertising states that you have only 5 seconds to engage the viewer and convince them to watch the rest of the video. In video game trailers, the first 5 seconds are crucial and require an intriguing concept to capture the viewer’s attention.
Have a Clear CTA
Adding a compelling Call to Action (CTA) at the end of the game trailer is beneficial to guide viewers toward the desired action of installing, downloading, or purchasing the game after watching the trailer.
9 Popular Types of Game Trailers
There are many types of game trailers used in the gaming industry. Each type is created for a different purpose and targets specific aspects of the game. Here are a few examples of different types of video game trailers:
- Announcement Trailer
- Gameplay Trailer
- Cinematic Trailer
- Story Trailer
- Launch Trailer
- DLC/Expansion Trailer
- Teaser Trailer
- Developer Diary/Behind-the-Scenes Trailer
- Gameplay Demo Trailer
Video Game Trailer Production Process
Needs and Requirments
First, the company or team working on your game trailer must completely comprehend your needs, unique project requirements, goals, and aspiration to plan the path by your criteria and factors.
Playing Your Game
Your game must be played by them to understand your gameplay, interesting visuals, mechanical points, and the main selling point of your game.
Script - Storyboard
Here, a script or storyboard that outlines the structure and content of your trailer is developed, which includes selecting key scenes, transitions, and any text overlays.
Sound design, voiceovers, narration, music composition, and sound editing are what the team must do here to capture the most compelling aspects of your game.
Creating an original soundtrack, using licensed music, and a clear voiceover that matches the tone and style of your game, is the key point here.
Capture Gameplay Footage
Now, they can use software or hardware to record high-quality gameplay and in-game footage that aligns with your trailer’s script. Capturing multiple angles and showcasing a variety of gameplay mechanics and environments can make it more engaging.
Edit the Footage
The team must trim, arrange, and enhance the captured gameplay footage; and add visual effects, text overlays, transitions, and graphics to create a polished trailer.
Review and Refine
It’s time to step back and review the video game trailer multiple times while also seeking feedback from players and others to gain different perspectives and improve the overall quality.
Export the Result
The final version of your game trailer is exported in a suitable format and optimized for various platforms and devices.
Read More: 3D Animation Pipeline
Why Outsource Trailer Production Instead of Producing It In-house?
Generally, outsourcing could always be effective and affordable. Gathering different artists and designers with different locations, time zones, languages, and cultures is more complex than it seems. There are four logical reasons to consider outsourcing video game trailer production, including saving money and time, creativity, quality, and scalability. An outsourcing game trailer company has the mentioned factors itself and doesn’t leave worry.
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How To Choose the Best Game Trailer Company?
The best ways to choose the best game trailer company are as follows:
Checking their portfolio. Nothing tells better what they are capable of than their previous works.
Read their online reviews. How their clients think about them can help you.
Focus on communication. The first impression really matters when it comes to communication.
Compare your time and budget with them. The company must meet all your needs as well as your budget and schedule.
Many game publishers are looking to create engaging video game trailers to achieve their selling points and goals. These trailers may have different pricing; a game trailer cost depends on several factors like quality, length, complexity of assets, needs, scoop, licensing, and the production team. So the answer to how much does it cost to make a video game trailer is different from hundreds to thousands of dollars. We also covered the reason for outsourcing, the production process, and ways to choose the best outsourcing company to help you make your video game trailer considering your budget and the best result.