How Much Does Video Game Art Cost?


Game art creation is a very important process in game production. Basically, it is inclusive of every step in the process from art direction, and creating sketches to animated game worlds.

Everything from Characters, environment, landscapes, props, and UI / UX elements includes game art. The video game artists create the game world and everything that is part of the game world including the characters, NPCs, props, and environment including landscapes, sceneries, etc., It is their work to visualize everything, choose a matching color palette, and craft the world that befits the storyline.

They start from scratch making outlines, rough sketches, and 2D/3D models, then adding animations and visual effects and converting them into memorable 2D and 3D game assets.

It is one of the longest and most creative processes in game development. In order to successfully complete a game art project within the given amount of time, you require advanced technologies and skilled artists.

For that, you need to invest a certain amount of money in the game. The amount required to create a game can vary from one project to another. There are multiple factors that help in determining the cost of game art.

Factors That Determine Game Art Creation Costs

Here we have listed some of the factors that determine the game art creation cost which includes.

1. Type of the game art

The game art type has a significant impact on the game creation cost. There are two types of game art: 2D art and 3D art. Depending on the art style, the cost also varies.

A video game can either be made with 2D art or 3D art or a combination of both. When you take both art styles and compare them, you can see that both art styles follow different creation processes — which is the main reason for their cost difference.

In order to have a better understanding, let us see the difference between two dimensional and three dimensional art below.

What is 2D vs 3D game art?

In simple words, 2D game art is flat structured and creates characters and sprites in two-dimensional space whereas 3D game art uses polygons, lines, and curves to create three-dimensional structures with more depth and realism.

Difference Between 2D and 3D Art

Here let us see how they are different from one another.

In 2D art, the game art will have more traditional and hand-drawn art, whereas 3D art involves computer based art which uses advanced computer technology to create them.

2D game artists create rough sketches and convert them into 2D sprites or illustrations. While in 3D art the game artists will have to make 3D models. Additionally, it involves many other processes like texturing, rigging, lighting, shadowing, and animating. Advanced technologies and tools such as Unity, Unreal, Blender, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, etc., are used in creating artwork for video games.

2D and 3D Game Art Price

The cost of 3D art is higher than 2D art. The reason for this is due to the difference in their art creation method. The starting price of a 2D graphic model will cost around $50 and increase to $1000 or more with more complexity and intricate details. At the same time, a 3D graphic model will cost somewhere between $1000 and tens of thousands of dollars.

But this is not the case with every game. In some games, if there is a need for more sophisticated 2D art it might even cost more than 3D art.

Besides that, the cost of 2D and 3D game art also varies depending on the gaming platform as each platform has a different screen size, OS, and hardware configurations.

2. Staffing cost

Be it a simple indie game or a AAA game, staffing costs account for a higher percentage of the game development costs. And if you are creating your own artwork you can minimize the art production cost by half. Otherwise, you might need to spend tens of thousands of dollars for employee wages alone.

Here we have certain aspects that determine the staffing cost of video games including.

Experience and skill of the team

When considering the art production costs, the experience of the video game artist and their skill level play a huge part. When hiring beginner-level game artists, you can pay the minimum wage. But if you are developing a highly artistic game, you will need senior artists including art directors, 2D/ 3D artists, concept artists, 3D modelers, texturing artists, environment artists, and UI/UX artists.

The game artwork for a simple game can be done with one or two game artists. But if you are making a big budget AAA game, you might require hundreds of game artists working on the game project to complete it on time.

Location of the art studio

The place where the game art outsourcing studio is situated can also be a reason for increased staffing costs. In developed countries like the US, and the UK you would need to pay a higher salary to game artists when compared to Eastern European and Southeast Asian countries like Ukraine, the Middle East, etc.,


Average Salary of Game Artist

US $20 to $50+ (per hour)
UK £15 to £35 (per hour)
Germany €15 to €35 (per hour)
Brazil R$30 to R$80 (per hour)
India ₹500 to ₹2,000 (per hour)
Ukraine $10 to $25 (per hour)
France €15 to €35 (per hour)
Egypt E£50 to E£150 (per hour)


The above given list is an estimated cost of game developers. Depending on various other factors like skill, experience, inflation, etc., the costs might vary.

3. Miscellaneous expenses including IP, license cost, etc.

Obtaining IP and license for game art is necessary for the game artist or the studio to secure rightful ownership, grant permissions and take legal actions against unauthorized usage of game assets.

There are various types of licensing such as royalty-free licensing, rights managed licensing, custom artwork, and subscription-based licensing. The cost of licensing varies with the type of licensing you are using in your game. For instance, custom artwork is very expensive while rights managed licensing is a bit less expensive when compared.

You need to thoroughly read and understand the terms and conditions of the licenses Furthermore, the rates of different types of licenses will be more consistent when you use video game art assets from an existing marketplace.



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Game art is the visualization element in the game which gives life to the story or game concept. The cost of creating game art can vary depending on various factors including the type of art (2D or 3D), staffing costs, and miscellaneous expenses such as IP and licensing costs. Other than that there are other costs such as technologies and tools used to build games.

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