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How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video Game Trailer?

How Much Does it Cost to Make a Video Game Trailer? Popular video games and those that are new almost always have 1 major marketing element in common — they ALL have video game trailers that attract game players to the idea of the game, showcase the key highlights that build consumer interest and build a sense of urgency to purchase the game as soon as it’s released. Producing an animated video game trailer can help you reach a wider audience & generate consumer interest in the game, but how much does it cost to make a video game trailer?

Video production rates vary, but the average rate for video production without animation is between $1,000 and $10,000 per finished minute. Animated videos can cost significantly more with some animations resulting in $12,000 or more per minute depending largely on the resources necessary to achieve the vision of the project. It’s not uncommon for an animated video to cost more than $20,000 per finished minute, especially if using stop motion or 3D animated graphics.

The cost of a video game trailer is dependent on the length, the complexity, and the style of the video. Let’s take a look at how all of the costs add up.

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Length of the Video Game Trailer

Video game trailers are generally between about 40 seconds and 1 minute long in total length. Keep in mind that video production takes substantially longer to achieve and that 1 minute of video can take several days or potentially weeks to produce depending on the amount of filming, animation, and post-production editing that goes into the video game trailer.

The first 5-10 seconds of your trailer will be most important to engaging your audience and keeping consumer interest. Thus, if you’re working on a strict budget, seek to include the most powerful graphics and animations for your video in this early portion of the production — it will certainly be worth the investment.

The complexity of the Video Game Trailer

The complexity of the video game trailer also impacts the cost of production. The more complex or challenging the video and the production needs are, the higher your costs per minute of production will be. This is largely dependent on the fact that each of your production crew members charge an hourly rate and much of their individual hourly rate is base on their skill level. Higher skills will naturally charge a higher rate for the project.

Average maximum hourly crew member rates are as follows:

  • Film Director – >$250 per hour
  • Script Writer – >$150 per hour
  • Cameraman – >$400 per hour
  • Editor – >$175 per hour
  • Actors – >$500 per hour
  • Equipment – up to 100s per hour
  • Studio Shooting – up to $400 per hour
  • Narrator – >$400 per hour
  • Audio Files – up to $1000
  • Video Rendering – up to $75 per hour
  • B-Roll – expect to pay a percentage between 10 and 50% of your total cost
  • Miscellaneous Fees – can cost very little up to 1000s extra

Style of the Video

Animations, graphics, special effects, and various other techniques are commonly used in the production of a video game trailer, and they all look really COOL. However, all of these techniques that come together to produce a specific style of the video also contribute largely to the costs of the video.  For example, here are a quick look at various animation styles and their associated costs per minute for average, not highly complex animations:

  • 2D animation – $5,000 – $20,000
  • 3D animation – $10,000 – $20,000
  • Motion Graphics – $3,000 – $5,000

The more complex each animation feature or style gets, the more it’s going to cost to produce.

To keep costs in check, keep things simple and focus the heaviest use of animations or other complex production procedures in the first portion of the video (say, the first 10 seconds), this ensures that:

  • The maximum number of audience members SEE the animation and complexities of your production.
  • You attract interest and build hype early on so that your audience will stick around for the rest of the details.
  • Assets that can be reused throughout the video game trailer are finalized early in the production process.

Still wondering what you can expect to pay for the production of a video game trailer? Give Beverly Boy Productions a call and we’ll immediately begin outlining a quote for your project.