The Ten Most Expensive Games Cost More Than $2 Billion

The Ten Most Expensive Games Cost More Than $2 Billion

The past decade or so game budgets have ballooned and now often rival those of an average Hollywood movie, and according to AllTime10s, these are the most expensive of the bunch.

10. Deadpool — $US102,100,246
9. Unreleased Halo MMO — $US103,242,337

8. Max Payne 3 — $US108, 776,623

7. Red Dead Redemption — $US109,078,902

6. Too Human — $US110,473,147

5. Star Wars: The Old Republic — $US211,481,334

4. Final Fantasy VII — $US214,481,334

3. Grand Theft Auto V — $US275,568,302

2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — $US277,168,973

1. Destiny — $US500,000,000

Did any of these entries surprise you at all? I’ll admit, I did not expect Deadpool to be here, and I’m hoping most of that cost was marketing and licensing because it sure wasn’t worth that price tag.

You’re reading Numbers, a blog on Kotaku that examines games and culture through the lens of maths and statistics. To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @dcstarkey.


  • I’d really be interested to see the marketing budgets stripped out of these and just get down to the raw development budgets. Because we all know that Destiny did not cost $500M to “make”

  • is Final Fantasy 7 adjusted for inflation or something? coz a $214m game back in 1996 would have been economical suicide.

  • I like how Rockstar equates for 30% of the list.

    They really spent waaaaaay too much on MW3, like how..? It’s like those fools who want to build a house and realise money is no object so they pick the most expensive contractor and end up with an average to sub par result..

      • Really? I found it to be all “MURICA YEAH, PEW PEW, MURICA!!” The original MW was awesome though.

        Different strokes for different folks though I guess.

        • i dunno, ivee always thought that MW2 was COD at its finest. Introduced some awesome changes to the MP. Weapons and killstreaks werent overkill, etc… probably why people are screaming for a remastered version… original MW was also pretty sweet.

          • Oh right.. Multi player, I never liked COD MP, i’ve always been a Counter-Strike, Quake, Unreal Tournament MP kind of person for FPS, heh.

          • hahaha, oh yeah, dont worry, at heart im a Quake/UT man myself… Quake needs a serious reboot to become relevant again, it is so depressing joining a server on Quake Live. Its a pity live never took off, it is honestly the best example of F2P done right. No pay2win bullshit there…

    • I’m guessing a mixture of marketing and licensing costs considering they used a fairly wide variety of Marvel characters. Also guessing that Nolan North and the other VAs probably had the position to demand whatever they wanted as a pay cheque for that job too.

      • I dint think Nolan North demands THAT much money. VAs don’t get paid that well in comparison to most television and film actors

    • Im surprised at the cost too. Was on sale for 6 months until they mysteriously pulled all the titles from the shelves for several Marvel games cause they didnt want to renew the licenses. I mean no warning, no Steam sales… seriously$5 not available digitally in 3 days. Would of made a truck tonne of money.

      Some Licensing, Marketing and Sales People screwed up that golden oppotunity to cash out on all those removed title.s

  • 500 mil for destiny? what did everyone on the project get paid 2 mil? Does anybody know how to manage a project anymore?

    • I think the figure was actually about 670 mil. however, only about 170mil went into actual development, the remainder 500mil is the money allocated solely to marketing over the next few years. They really intend to make this the next “Halo”.. Its actually been a riveting success for them thus far.

      To its credit whilst a little short it was a very fun game. in actuality i personally didnt find it short, i got at least 20-30 hours out of the campaign & strike missions, and have yet to touch the raids.

      also, Destiny was one of the few current gen games that just “worked” straight out of the box.

  • I disliked marketing at uni (there were some fascinating concepts) and it’s stuff like this that pretty much solidifies why.

      • That an increasingly disproportionate about of funding goes to marketing compared to actual development whereupon the actual economic benefits from it are questionable. Resources could be better spent elsewhere imo. Yeah, care to guess what my major was? lol

        • Really? Why would they be spending so much if it wasn’t a ‘invest more in marketing, make more moneyz’ equation?

  • So how about you make this a proper article instead of click gawker fodder and also show what the software also grossed as a bench/comparison. Could even add a little about each success or failure.,

  • I was personally unaware a Halo MMO was even being considered let alone one of the most expensive not-games ever…

    • They sold more than 20million copies of that game, making over $300 million just on the first day. They made a billion dollars from MW3. What are you talking about?

        • I agree. Innovation is rare, especially when they add minor incremental ‘features’ to each new game (Reads: keep shoveling sh*t) whilst people pour in by the boatload to get a piece of it. Why would they change when so many people are still willing to give up their money?

          • I feel a company with that amount of developers, money behind it and already known by everyone could/should branch away from milking their customers with the same shit every year and make a completely new game. Experiment. Sure it’d be risky, but I feel people are so inlove with the company they will buy it anyways and it might bring back the attention of customers who stopped caring about their company long ago.

  • fucking what… deadpool at number 10? sure the game was funny but it was pretty average. whats all that cost? licencing fees?

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