When playing games we often overlook the financial investment that goes into their creation and the sums forked out can be considerably large, sometimes even matching those of of big budget Hollywood movies. As games become increasingly complex and graphically stunning so does the price, the trend of recent years being for games to cost more and more. Here are 10 of the most expensive games to make.
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Activision’s long running Call of Duty series is triple A by definition, meaning big budgets and armies of developers at hand to craft one of the most iconic first person shooters of our generation. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 stands out as the priciest entry in the franchise with a budget of 250 million dollars if we take into account development and marketing costs. Unsurprisingly, most of the budget went into advertising the game.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
Without a doubt one of the best GTA games, Grand Theft Auto V cost an estimated 265 million dollars to make and market, with an equal share of cash used for both. Rockstar tends to invest a lot of money into their projects and we clearly see the benefit when playing.
3. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Among EA’s forays into the Star Wars universe, Star Wars: The Old Republic is by far the most costly with over 200 million dollars put down to create the massively popular MMORPG. Long before the whole loot box controversy surfaced, Star Wars: The Old Republic did well in recuperating a large portion of the money invested as well through its subscription service.
4. Star Citizen
Cloud Imperium’s ambitious space simulator Star Citizen has cost upwards of 200 million dollars in development costs, though given the pledges and purchases from devoted fans, the developer definitely hasn’t been short on cash. With the game yet to be completed, it’s more than likely that number will rise for the foreseeable future.
5. Halo 2
Beating all development cost records at the time of release in 2004, Bungie’s seminal space shooter Halo 2 had a budget of 120 million dollars when marketing and development expenses were added up. The budget has now been dwarfed by subsequent big release, but at the time represented one of the first truly big budget productions.
Another Bungie game, Destiny necessitated an investment of around 140 million dollars to make, though it sold over 500 million dollars worth of copies just on day one of release. Sadly, big budget doesn’t necessarily correlate with a quality gaming experience and Destiny still has a reputation as a rather big disappointment for many gamers.
7. Final Fantasy VII
Arguably one the best Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy VII cost Square Enix somewhere in the ballpark of 100 million dollars all costs considered. Then again, what a game. With huge hype surrounding the remake, we expect Square Enix are investing just as much, if not more, to ensure it meets the standards of the brilliant original.
8. Too Human
Stuck in development hell for over 10 years, Microsoft Studios’ 2008 action RPG Too Human was billed at around 100 million dollars upon completion. Too bad the game only received mediocre reviews and quickly faded into obscurity in the eyes of players.
9. Grand Theft Auto IV
The second Rockstar game in our list, Grand Theft Auto IV’s budget exceeded 100 million dollars. It’s a great game by any standards and sales have easily earned back the investment. Nothing quite beats roaming the atmospheric back streets of Rockstar’s take on a corrupt and seedy New York City.
10. Max Payne 3
To round things off, Rockstar makes another appearance with May Payne 3. The shooter cost just over 100 million dollars to complete. Bullet time has never looked so good, and May Payne 3 did lip service to the phenomenal original Max Payne game that introduced a generation of players to third person shooters.