Most Expensive Video Games Ever Created
Grand Theft Auto V – $265 million
Grand Theft Auto V is the best selling game of all time and despite being released in 2013 it still remains one of the biggest games today nearly 5 years later. The game cost a whopping $265 million dollars with $137 million to develop and $128 million to market. And it paid off as the game generated over a billion in revenue and continues to make real bank.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – $250 million
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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released in 2009, it was developed by Infinity Ward this with the Call Of Duty series infamous for being developed by different studios part of the Activision Blizzard corporation and finally published by Activision. The game cost $50 million dollars to develop and $200 million dollars to market bringing the total cost to $250 million.
Star Wars: The Old Republic – $200 million minimum
Star Wars: The Old Republic is the freemium multiplayer version of Star Wars Knights Of the Old Republic. The game was developed was Bioware and published by Electronic Arts and also the LucasArts gaming division. The game costs a massive $200 million to develop but it is not public information how much was spent on marketing so we just have to go with this figure.[smartad id="4" align="center"]
Final Fantasy VII – $145 million
Final Fantasy VII was one of the most successful Final Fantasy games in the popular role-playing series and is even regarded by many as one of the greatest games of all time. It was developed by Square and published in different regions and platforms around the world by Square Enix, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Eidos Interactive. It cost $45 million to develop and $100 million was spent on marketing the game.
Destiny – $140 million
The first Destiny game was published in 2014 and it gained a lot of media attention on how much money was spent on the game. The game was developed by the legendary Bungie who are behind Halo and published by Activision. It is not known how much was spent on development and marketing precisely, however, the total cost is set to be $140 million.
Max Payne 3 – $105 million minimum
Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter developed by Rockstar Studios and published by Rockstar Games, in the game you play as the namesake protagonist Max Payne who is a detective who has taken the law in his own hands after his wife and daughter were murdered. The game cost $105 million to develop and it is not know how much was spent on marketing.[smartad id="7" align="center"]
Grand Theft Auto IV – $100 million minimum
The second Grand Theft Auto game on this list, the predecessor to GTA V cost in total over $100 million to develop but Rockstar has not revealed any information on how much was spent on developing and marketing individually.
Too Human -$100 million minimum
Some readers may not have heard of the Too Human video game, and the reason for that is that the game was a bit of a flop. It was developed by Silicon Knights and published by Microsoft. It cost in the region of $100 million to develop with the marketing budget unknown. The game was criticized for some weird decisions such as an unorthodox use of controls and also the death animations that took very long and were unskippable. The game sold well at the start due to hype at it was once in the top 10 best selling games of the year however after the flaws of the game became widely known the sales dipped severely.
APB: All Points Bulletin – $100 million minimum
APB was an open world multiplayer video game for Microsoft Windows, it was developed by Realtime Worlds and published by Electronic Arts. Approximately in total $100 million was spent on the video game. The game’s release was a literal circus with the company that developed it Realtime Worlds going into administration so the game had to be taken offline, however, this story has a happy ending as the company was bought out by Reloaded Productions and the game has been re-released with it recently being added to the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles.[smartad id="8" align="center"]
Red Dead Redemption – $100 million minimum
Red Dead Redemption is the infamous Western-themed action adventure game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games originally for the PS3 and the XBOX 360. It cost about $100 million to develop with the marketing cost currently unknown.
Battlefield 4 – $100 million minimum
Battlefield 4 is the successful first-person shooter game that sold over 7 million copies, it was developed by EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts for a development cost of $100 million a cost it more than made back from game sales, DLC’s and microtransactions.
Deadpool – $100 million
Interestingly the Deadpool video game was made three years before the commercially successful movie of the same name, Deadpool is the popular Marvel antihero – a good guy but not exactly a role model or one with great morals. The game received praise for its protagonist’s character but critics pointed out that the gameplay was limited and furthermore the game has been plagued with licensing issues with Marvel resulting in it getting removed from online and physical stores multiple times. The game’s total cost was around $100 million.
Disney Infinity – $100 million
Disney Infinity was Disney’s biggest push into the gaming market, Disney Infinity was released in 2013 and is an action-adventure sandbox video games that allowed players and an overwhelming majority of them children to buy figurines of famous Disney characters such as Mr Incredible and Mike Wazowksi with each character unlocking new story modes, collectibles and other bonuses. It was not a concept invented by Disney but Disney’s incarnation was one of the best selling games of this genre and the game still has many players right now with new Disney characters constantly being added. The game was developed by Avalanche Studios and the 3DS developed by Altron with the publishing taken care of by Disney’s very own gaming studio. The total cost was $100 million making it Disney’s most expensive games to develop to date.
Tomb Raider (2013) – $100 million
The Tomb Raider incarnation was a big play by Crystal Dynamics with the game introducing more open world gameplay in a game as linear as Tomb Raider, however, they managed to pull it off with great success with the game being praised by fans. Again as most of the games on this list for some reason it cost $100 million to create the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – $81 million
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is by many fans considered one of the best open world action adventure games created so far, it is was developed by Eastern Europes biggest and most succesful game studio CD Projekt RED and published by CD Project. The game cost $46 million to develop and $35 million was spent on marketing the game making a total of $81 million.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – $80 million
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a good game but also will be remembered by many as the last Metal Gear Solid game to be developed with Hideo Kojima in charge with the series now taking a surprising turn with the next title being a zombie survival video game. The game’s total development costs are set at $80 million.
Shenmue – $70 million
Shenmue is the second oldest video game on this list after Final Fantasy VII, with Shenmue being released in 1999 for the Dreamcast, it was developed by SEGA AM2 and published by SEGA Inc. It was a very expensive venture for SEGA and despite the game selling 1.2 millon copies SEGA made a loss on a whopping development cost of $70 million which may seem small to the other games on this list but it is a serious amount of money.