How Long Does Video Game Development Take?

Every developer wants to have the next Fortnite, so there are tons of games being developed right now. The advancement of technology has greatly affected and improved the way games are being developed. 

Going from the idea stage of a game to the actual development and release takes a ton of time. Some might even take years to develop while others would only take months depending on the size of the team.


Video game development is not an easy task. It incorporates many different factors and employs many people with different talents and skills. Developing a game is an intricate and complex process that many are not familiar with.

How Long Does Video Game Development Take?
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Initial Concept

As with many inventions in the world, it always starts with an idea. The first step to game development is a high concept idea. With game development, a high concept is mostly just a blueprint of what the game will be.

It is merely a bunch of information that entails the key concept of the game and how players should perceive it. 


While it may have limited information, the high concept will grow over time as the game development process begins and other people start to pitch in their ideas.

Pitching The Idea

Now that you have a full-fledge concept of what the game is about. The next step is to pitch it to studios or game developers. 

Most of the time, these are done in panel interviews or simply a meet-up with promising investors to fund the game for it to be developed and released. 


This is the stage where most game developers have a difficult time as investors discuss how the game would sell or how it would be financially credible to invest in. 

This is where the entire game is being outlined. Developers mold the storyline and provide data about risk analysis and all other information relating to the game itself. 


All of the information mentioned during the meetings is documented. This way, all of the agreements on how the game should be played and other aspects of game development are promised via documentation.  

This is where contracts are being signed and the game is officially being tasked for development. 

Think of it as a checklist where developers need to follow through with the game as what was being agreed upon when the idea was pitched. 


This is the earliest stage of game development and production. An early draft of the game is being built to see what the game is when it is being executed from paper. 

This is the time when the concept is fully realized and goals are being streamlined. 

Game developers also take advantage of this stage to see what works for the game and what's not so they go back to the drawing board to improve and concentrate on what their goals are.

How Long Does Video Game Development Take?
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Production Stage

This is the time when the game production and development is in full swing. The process can take months to several years depending on the scope of the project. 

Different teams are assigned with regards to design, programming, audio, gameplay, and many other aspects of the game. 

Once the game starts to take shape, it is tested through different stages such as alpha and best testing. Testing the game provides a lot of information on what works and what doesn't. 

This also helps improve the game by uncovering bugs and other aspects of the current status of the game that does not bode well. 

Pre-release and Release

At this point, some gaming companies tend to offer access to a group of people to test the game. There will be instances where a large group is invited to test the game and review it. 

It has become a popular choice for developers to open up their projects to the public through pre-release testing so that the core audience of the game can validate the goals that were made during conceptualization.

The audience may not like the game and go back to production to manage the changes or it goes directly for release. This is the proper time to optimize the game and add new functions.

By then, the game is ready to be released to the public and people can purchase or download the game to play.


Video game development is an intricate and very complicated procedure involving numerous job titles like programmers, game designers, level designers, artists, and more. 

This is the reason why modern game developers spend at least three to five years creating the best possible video game.