We might spend a good chunk of change on purchasing a game, sometimes a little more when it’s something special, but what about the game’s development costs?
What did these high-profile, triple-A games cost to make? With technology improving at a rapid pace and games getting bigger and more ambitious, the cost to develop a single title is steadily rising.
A game that was relatively cheap to develop a few years ago will undoubtedly cost many times more if it were to be developed today.
Here are the biggest gaming budgets in recent years.
Destiny’s ten year plan has to cost something substantial, and it most certainly does, around $500 million.
This was the game’s initial development cost, marketing, logistics and future content plans.
With three expansions planned, two having already been released, I’m not surprised that it’s so high.
Bungie plans to support Destiny for ten years, and that $500 million budget is likely a necessary cost of doing so.
Up until now, Bungie has spent $140 million on the game, and it’s only the second year.
Grand Theft Auto V
To build an open world masterpiece on the scale of GTA V, you will need a very, very big bag of money.
I doubt Rockstar has issues with money, but shelling out that sort of dough will still have hurt.
GTA V was the best in the series, and when it released on PS4, Xbox One and PC a year after the initial release, it proved that you don’t need any fancy DLC or paid subscriptions to make a game stick around, you just need $265 million.
Final Fantasy VII
Although Square-Enix “only” spent $145 million on the development of Final Fantasy VII, that was way back in 1997. With inflation, that 1$45 million is now worth around $213 million.
With the Final Fantasy VII Remake in the works, I would not be surprised if the game’s budget surpasses the $200 million mark.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Back in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 held the record for the most expensive video game ever created.
Since then, it has been knocked out of the ring by a few titles. Still, the game’s $250 million budget is nothing to scoff at.
Infinity Ward and Activision really outdid themselves with Modern Warfare 2, and it’s perhaps the best in the series as a result.
Sometimes, just sometimes, money really does buy you a good game.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Announced in 2008, Star Wars: The Old Republic was Bioware’s Star Wars baby, built from the ground up using everything they had learnt from their previous experience with RPG games.
The game generated immensely high hopes and it successfully took its place right next to the biggest MMO in the world, World of Warcraft… sort of, for a little while.
Star Wars: The Old Republic cost Bioware a cool $150 million. That’s a lot of money.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
How does a $35 million marketing budget sound? How about a $67 million game development budget?
CD Projekt RED’s latest RPG mammoth cost well over $100 million to produce, market and ship.
It’s not the biggest video game budget in the world, but it is nice to know what one of the greatest RPGs of the year, if not ever, cost the developer to make.