Grand Theft Auto V Is The Most Expensive Video Game Ever Made

Grand Theft Auto V Is The Most Expensive Video Game Ever Made

Budgets for video games are a bit of grey area, but if this report from Scottish newspaper The Scotsman is to be believed, then Grand Theft Auto V is the most expensive video game ever made.

In a report focusing on the upcoming launch of Rockstar’s latest criminal opus, The Scotsman reports that the total budget ranks at 170 million pounds, which translates into $266,000,000US. It’s worth noting that this figure also includes the marketing budget which is most likely astronomical — it’s difficult to tell precisely how much of this figure was spent in the actual production of the game.

But the release of this figure has been enough to shoot Grand Theft Auto IV to the top of the most expensive video games ever made list. According to released numbers, only Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End can top it in the movie realm at $300,000,000US. The closest video game to Grand Theft Auto V, in terms of expense, is Star Wars: The Old Republic at $200,000,000

Still, I’m not sure if the numbers really match up; if they are including the marketing budget or not, or even if these numbers are correct. Precise budget numbers are a murky business — we can only base them on what is reported.

But still $266,000,000 — that’s a lot of moolah.

New GTA V release tipped to rake in £1bn in sales [The Scotsman]


  • i guess GTA5 is proboly the closest thing to a mandatory percase if you own a ps3 or 360. i9 dont know anyone not buying it anyway.

  • I thought the number on Halo 4 was around $300,000,000.00?

    Either way, I can’t understand how Take Two haven’t had it out with the Housers over their budgets.

    • Probably knowing that GTA is one of the most if not the most valuable gaming franchise, considering that GTA IV (at that time) was the highest grossing game release ever, it may have been an educated guess that this game would do even better.

      Either way, Rockstar is by no means a cash strapped studio and i wouldn’t be surprised if this is wholly funded by R*, not needing any T2 cash.

      • I thought R* was owned by T2?

        Which was part of the reason that they’re constantly under speculation for being bought out.

        • They are owned by T2 but are probably in a position from the sales of previous games where they can entirely self fund GTA V or use minimum funds from T2.

          Or T2 are using the rep R* has with the gaming community to take more risks and maybe give them a little more funding then they might give to anyone else knowing that R* games are quality and generally are well received by the community.

    • Considering San Andreas sold 27.5 million copies, and GTA4 vanilla sold 21.5 million, their ROI is looking pretty healthy.

  • That seems about right, don’t forget that every song needs to be licensed which would be a fair chunk of their budget.

    Legit question here folks, i want to go to the midnight launch, since i havent been to one before, do i have to let EB know i want to come or do i just turn up?

      • And make sure you have a preorder, although sometimes they seem to have extra copies for people that just turn up.

    • If you’re going as a consumer.. just rock up.. if you’re going as a journo and want interviews and photo ops.. maybe give em a tinkle.. but if you just wanna take a few snaps and blog about it.. just rock up 🙂

      • Yeah, i just phoned up my local EB just to ask if i can still pick up a preorder i made online but set to store pickup at midnight.

        I wonder how much this midnight launch is going to cost EB, because most stores are in shopping centres which will need security guards to make sure no one is up too no good.

        • Security guards are usually there anyway.

          Outside of the major centres, they’re usually pretty boring.

          Not many problem starters are gonna go and pick up a video game at midnight, I’d wager.

    • Probably best to at least call the store you have pre-ordered with or that you are taking your chances with. Get their exact details as online details are generic and don’t take into account whether the store is in a shopping centre with odd rules about opening hours.

      A 2 minute phone call will save you a lot of trouble!

  • thats just fucking stupid. i honestly can not see how a game requires that much cash to make and thats including voice acting and song license deals

  • It kinda disgusts me that it costs so much to make games/film. That’s just an absolute craptonne of money.

  • 7.5 days until I can get my grubby mits on this. It might be fair to say that any productivity for age groups 15-40 will be down next week. I wonder how much will be lost on ‘sick’ days

  • They’ll make it back in one day – easy! Im guessing we’ll see around 25 million sold. But Im still hoping for a PC release.

    • They’ve released every other one so far, so I don’t see why they wouldn’t. My prediction is that come October after the initial wave of console sales have been done, they will announce the PC version.

    • Troll.

      Although console owners will be the ones laughing when they pick up the game on day 1 while PC fanboys wait it out for a possible PC release at some time in the future. Just like Red Dead Redemption.

      • Rockstar San Diego (Red Dead Redemption) has not produced a single PC title. Whereas Rockstar North have released all of their AAA titles on PC. Rockstar not announcing the PC version is hardly news, they’ve done this with every single GTA game for years now. Come October, there will be an announcement about a PC version just like they’ve done every other release.

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic cost $200,000,000?? Sheeeeesh, like I didn’t feel bad enough for the guys already.

    • It also had a full retail price at launch too, which would have put a significant dent in that. I would be confident in saying it would have broken even by now, at the very least.

    • From what I hear, the majority of that was pay for the voice actors. There’s some astronomical number of lines of unique dialogue in the game – many someones had to record those for many, many hours.

      For GTAV, I’d guess that the majority of the budget would be split between licensing all the music and marketing.

  • well i’m not surprised, it will without a doubt be the best game on the system. what a way to end a generation, to me for the last game i buy on xbox 360 it looks like it’s going to be one to remember. every person i know will buy buying it and if they don’t they have no reason even to own a ps3 or 360

  • If they had this as a launch title for the next generation consoles, then it probably would’ve been the very thing that made me want to buy one. But as it stands? On current/old gen hardware? I think I’ll wait for Digital Foundry’s verdict. I’m sure the game is going to struggle holding 25 frames a second. Something as beautiful as a game like this just isn’t worth struggling through with constantly choppy gameplay. It’s pretty evident that Rockstar is just making use of the installed user base while it can before moving to PC and next gen. It will easily be worth the wait to play it at a smooth, steady clip.

    • Quite happy to buy 3 license for that game. 360/pc/next gen. Take advantage R*! My wallet and body are ready!

  • As the article itself points out – who knows how much of that money was spent on the game itself?

    I’m interested in GTAV – not because I’ve enjoyed previous GTA games (I thought GTAIV wasn’t particularly good), but I’ve come to really admire Rockstar for Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 and L.A Noire (I know Team Bondi were technically the developers, but let’s face it, Rockstar was the reason that game ever got released). I understand that Rockstar are a conglomeration of different teams, but I’ve really enjoyed all the stuff they’ve released after GTAIV, so perhaps GTAV will be excellent.

    I just hope they fix the rubbish driving mechanics.

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