Ever Wonder How Much It Costs To Make A Game These Days?

Ever Wonder How Much It Costs To Make A Game These Days?

We hear it a lot these days. It costs a lot to develop a game for the 360 and PlayStation 3. But have you ever wondered how much “a lot” actually is?

According to research undertaken by M2 – the same guys responsible for the disturbance in the workforce study – the average cost of a “multiplatform next-gen game” is between $US18,000,000 and $US28,000,000.

You want to know why so many games get binned in pre-production, that’s why; at $US28 million, a publisher needs to know (or, to be more realistic, needs to think) a game is going to sell millions.

Even if most games inevitably don’t.

Study: Average dev costs as high as $US28m [Develop]


  • I’d be interested to see a breakdown of the costs, wonder how much that extra overbrightening and that extra coat of authentic next gen brown & grey costs

    If they scaled back on graphics just a BIT and put that money into story and level development we might get games longer than 6 hours with a little creativity in their storyline.

    Bah, I shouldn’t feel like an old fogey for wanting more games with the depth of Planescape Torment!

    • Well it’s the current generation of gamers now, they don’t have the attention or concentration like previous gen gamers. I remember before that Nintendo and SNES games were insanely difficult and fun to play with. Games like Chrono Trigger had alot of depth to it despite being 16 abit, it had so much things that could happen in that game.

  • Holy shit…. with all those devlopers and publishers sitting in fear after pouring millions of dollars into such “risk investments” how are there ever going to be any more innovative and original games being released??

    I heard that very same point used in criticism about James Cameron’s Avatar, it cost so darn much that they made the story a generic mish mash of Pocohantas and Star Wars so that it wouldbt have a chance of being disliked base on its plot.

    I wonder if were ever going to see another Pacman in this day and age.

    • The Wu is there cause C.R.E.A.M is the key.
      Cash Rules Everything Around Me.

      Go buy yourself a classic 90s rap album.

  • While I’ll readily concede that the vast majority of games are derivative and basic in terms of plot and overall design, I find it harsh to generalise so readily. The fact of the matter is that narrative is not only subjective but also potentially offensive in some respect. ‘Shiny’ is not. Shiny makes for good press, deep narrative generally gets relegated to good footnotes. The unfortunate fact is that games are a business and a risky one at that.

    That said, there’s hope. With the recent downturn in the world economy (thank you poorly regulated US banking system) there has been mass unemployment and studio shut-downs in the games industry. This, in turn, has led to two things. Businesses, such as, hypocritically, EA are cutting risky ventures from their portfolio. This means the ‘whacked out’, ‘deep’ and ‘revolutionary’ ideas are being put on hold for the moment. The second thing is that the unemployed have formed a much larger independent movement than previously existed. This vast influx of talent, and money, has led to some adventurous undertakings and improved sales as a result. The major publishers are starting to take notice and I think it’s only a matter of time before we see more ‘skunk-works’ operations and outlandish or meaningful concepts. Let’s hope.

    • $100 less for shovelware i pressume 😛

      but in all seriousness, i would assume they would be about the same cost as producing ps2 games and it wouldnt be too much either by using shovelware as evidence devs keep making it

  • Why the fuck are they still calling it next-gen?

    Also, I’d say at least 50% of the cost is in marketing… I don’t know how they could possibly spend, what $250 million on Avatar the movie…? I mean, where the hell does all that money go? Especially when a game is so much longer and more complex…

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