Back in the day, it didn’t take a team of tens or even hundreds of people to create one video game. It was usually a small group of people trying to turn their hobby into a job they’d love. Fast forward to today, and we have video games that cost more to make than some Hollywood movies.
In fact, we’re pretty sure you’ll be surprised to see that number one ranked game on the list actually costed more to produce than most movies. Without further ado, let’s check out the 10 most expensive video games ever made.
10. Tomb Raider – 2013 – $100 million
Tomb Raider is one of the most popular video game series. It features the female protagonist Lara Croft and it was first available on the original Play Station console. The game even led to a series of movies starring the popular Angelina Jolie. The 2013 version of the game is actually a reboot, create by Square Enix. By investing so much money in it, the company actually had very little chance of surviving for much longer. Thankfully, the game sold more than 5 million copies, which was the break-even point, and became profitable.
9. Disney Infinity – 2013 – $100 million
Disney Infinity is definitely not made for hardcore gamers. It was developed with kids in mind, but it has managed to achieve success nevertheless. In the game, kids can play using different characters from one of the many Disney movies.
8. Red Dead Redemption – 2010 – $100 million
Rockstar Games, the studio behind the famous Grand Theft Auto series, is one of those companies that are not afraid to invest a lot of money in their games. In 2010, they released Red Dead Redemption, which is essentially GTA set in the past. It became a hit and soon the most popular Western video game ever made. Guess they know their way around games, as GTA is also one of the most popular video game series.
7. Grand Theft Auto IV – 2008 – $100 million
You thought we were finished talking about Rockstar Games, but guess what – another one of their games made it to the list. GTA IV took it the roots with this one, as the plot is happening in the heart of present day Liberty City. Compared to GTA IV, its two predecessors GTA: Vice City and San Andreas took place in different cities and were set in 1980s and 1990s. Grand Theft Auto IV was one of the most talked about games of 2008 and proved to be a financial success.
6. Max Payne 3 – 2013 – $105 million
Max Payne 3 was a success when it comes to critical acclaim, but unfortunately this doesn’t always mean it will be successful financially as well. Rockstar Games (yup, again) shipped 3 million copies, but only sold 440,000 copies in the first month of sales. One year later it sold 4 million copies, but this wasn’t enough, which is the reason why company decided to shut down its Vancouver offices.
5. Final Fantasy VII – 1997 – $145 million
This is probably the game that started it all. One of the first games, if not the first, that got the type of budget that is only paralleled to big blockbuster movies is Final Fantasy VII. The cost to develop this game was closer to $50 million, but the marketing costs were enormous, especially at that time, which led to total production cost of nearly $150 million.
4. Star Wars: The Old Republic – 2011 – $200 million
We all know how successful Star Wars movies are. And with a budget of $200 million, this Star Wars video game was destined for success as well. The Old Republic is a massive-multiplayer online game that made about $139 million dollars, before it became free to play. Of course, that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t make money, as many features require payment to be used. In fact, now it makes more money than it did before.
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 2009 – $200 million
You probably knew that at some point there would be a Call of Duty game on the list, and you weren’t wrong. This FPS game is one of the most popular games in its genre, and the company behind it decided to market it hard, in order to make it the most recognizable first person shooter. It is believed that $150 out of $200 million were spent on marketing.
2. Grand Theft Auto V – 2013 – $275 million
Another Rockstar game makes the list, and this time almost at the top of the list. It hold an even more important record than being No.2 on this list – it’s the best-selling video game ever released, earning over $1 billion in just three days after its release. If that wasn’t enough, it also features the biggest map ever made in a mainstream video game.
1. Destiny – 2014 – $500 million
It’s time to make the champion of our list and the most expensive game ever created - Destiny. The development cost was around $140 million, but marketing costs are almost triple that amount (about $360 million), which means the total costs for this game are a whopping half a billion dollars. In case you were wondering, Destiny is a FPS set in an open world sci-fi universe.