The gaming industry was stunned in the year 2000 when it was discovered that Activision had spent half a billion dollars for Bungie’s first-person shooter destiny. But to claim that Destiny cost $500 million to create and promote isn’t entirely true because there’s a continuing strategy to develop new content for the game and promote it over the next 10 years.
Although Destiny can be considered a long-term investment for Activision but it’s also as expensive as any video game that has ever been created.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
When GTA IV cost Rockstar a significant amount to advertise and develop, it did not stop the company from continuing with the sequel.
GTA V which cost a estimated $265 million required more than 1000 Rockstar employees from all over the globe to develop GTA V for long period of years. Los Santos is a detailed replica to Los Angeles and the games massive open-world scale that is thought to be the reason this project required the most work.
3. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The first-person shooter that came out in the year 2009 was the sixth installment of the Call of Duty Series. Following the Universal applause which Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare received, it’s not a surprise it was Infinity Ward wanted to go massive in its advertising promotion for its sequel.
More than 200 million dollars were spent on various promotional materials, and the costs of development, which ranged from 40 and 50 million dollars.
4. Final Fantasy VII
The first venture of Square into 3D technology with the release of the Final Fantasy franchise required 120 programmers and artists create this game, which was the most expensive game ever created in the time.
But the costs for developing Final Fantasy VII were quite low in comparison to the cost of the game’s massive advertising campaign. The campaign included Pepsi advertisements, as well as major magazines like Rolling Stone and Playboy as in addition to Marvel as well as DC comics as well as a variety of commercials on TV.
5. Star Wars: The Old Republic
It is believed that the BioWare’s creation of the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic began in 2006, six years before the game’s release. In 2009, BioWare stated that the project contained the most story-driven content of any the other BioWare games this is the reason they had a full-time scriptwriting team who wrote the script in less than two years prior to when game’s gameplay was developed.
When it was released in 2011, it was deemed to be one of the costliest games to date. The cost for making it was estimated at 150 to 200 million dollars. It was later the fastest growing Massively Multiplayer Online game ever.
6. Shenmue II
Shenmue’s estimated production costs adjusted for inflation is $176 million. This is due to the fact that Shenmue II is a gigantic game that is a vast open world. It is perhaps the biggest game of its time.
It took a large staff to put together such a huge game in only two years. It’s highly unlikely that any budgets fell below marketing expenses since the game received little or any publicity.
7. Grand Theft Auto IV
Rockstar North really pushed the boat out with GTA 4 with one of the biggest advertising campaigns ever designed for a game. It was reported to have costing 100 million dollars and an additional $100 million in development costs. GTA 4’s release in 2008 was it the most expensive video game ever made.
The official website contained 13 teasers with unique content and four cinematic trailers along with an ad for TV viral marketing, as well as other general advertisements.
8. Too Humans
Too Humans was produced at more than $100 million. This is due to the fact that the game was in development for almost 10 years. The game was initially planned for release via the Play station, Silicon Knights then shifted the development of the game to Nintendo Game Cube before finally selling the game to Microsoft as an Xbox 360 exclusive in 2005.
The studio made a loss for the game due to an action by Epic Games following the unauthorized use of their fake engine, on the basis of which Too Human was developed.
9. Max Payne 3
The cost of making Max Payne 3 was mostly due to the fact that the game had been developing for several years after its original launch date in 2009. When the game finally launched in May 2012, Rockstar said they had set-backs intended to assure it was Max Payne 3 delivers the best gaming experience. The game was required to sell 4 million copies to keep up with the costs of production.
Max Payne 3’s release featured ads on TV that air in the 2012 UEFA Champions League final and many other social media campaigns. The cost of development was approximately $105 million.
10. Red Dead Redemption
The Rockstar’s Western epic was estimated to have a budget for development of about $100 million, with over 800 employees involved in the project at the same time. The task was so overwhelming that many of the designers were recruited from other studios, which were owned by the parent company Rockstar. It took five years to finish the game’s development.
Red Dead Redemption also had an extensive campaign for marketing that included a short movie that aired through the Fox channel. In the wake of its launch, Rockstar showed the world that they could do more than the GTA series.
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