Grand Theft Auto V Cost Nearly $267 Million

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Grand Theft Auto V Cost Nearly $267 Million

Grand Theft Auto V SE/CE screen

Grand Theft Auto V is reportedly the most expensive videogame ever made.

Game development budgets are dodgy things and you have to take reports like this one with a grain of salt, but if the numbers reported by the Scotsman are even close to accurate, the total cost to make and market Grand Theft Auto V is absolutely astounding. While it doesn't specify a source, the site claims that Rockstar's "development and marketing budget" on the game was 170 million - $267 million - which Kotaku says makes it the most expensive videogame ever created, far surpassing the $200 million blown (literally) on Star Wars: The Old Republic.

The good news, at least from Take Two's perspective, is that the site also claims "industry experts" are predicting that the new GTA could move 25 million copies in its first year of release, adding up to sales of 1 billion - more than $1.5 billion. That figure presumably comes from EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich, who told NowGamer in November 2012 that he expects the game will "sell upwards of 25 million copies in its first 12 months."

That a healthy return on a hefty investment and it's a foregone conclusion that Grand Theft Auto V is going to be a huge hit, but $267 million for a single videogame is still a ridiculous pile of money. Sooner or later even the deepest-pocketed publishers are going to hit the ceiling on these things. Right?

Source: The Scotsman

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GTA 4 had a big budget too so this is no suprise.

My question is if it can break the highest grossing game line that CoD's been taking for the past 3 consecutive years.

So they want it to sell 4x as fast as it's predecessor? Well it was nice knowing you Rockstar.

A big chunk of this is going to be building the huge multiplayer from almost scratch. Hopefully for the next one they wouldn't have to start /all/ over on the tech.

The only media to ever cost more is Pirates 3, at 300 million.

So to make that back Rockstar and Take-Two are looking for upwards of (not taking into account the marketing, printing, shipping, cuts taken by retail, and cuts taken by Sony/MS) of at least 3.4m sales assuming every copy goes at the regional equivalent of $60.

Dont think its gonna end well.

I wonder how much of that budget is for development and how much is marketing. With all the ads, commercials and what-not being thrown at my face everywhere, I'm guessing a lot.

Also, 25 million copies in a year. Good to see the industry has learned to lower its expectations. Though to be honest, looking at the sales of its predecessors, GTAV might actually get there. One year might be pushing it a bit.

Damn, that's a lot of money. I'd love to see how that is broken down to the various parts of development/marketing etc. I'm expecting a large chunk was to throw adverts at people, but even so that's a huge budget. Maybe they were using strippers as mouse pads?

Why? Just why? What could possibly be in the game to justify that kind of budget?
Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?


Edit: I derailed the thread enough as is. Please don't quote this.

Wouldn't be surprised if they made back more then that on the first day, Games like this prove that their is still room for block buster, triple A games in the age of indie games making it big.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?

Your winner

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?

Also, $267 million is sheer nonsense. It's going to make it all back with plenty to spare, but still, nonsense.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why? Just why? What could possibly be in the game to justify that kind of budget?
Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?

He literally did use it correctly.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/according_to_the_dictionary_literally_now_also_means_figuratively_newscred/

get with the times.

I mean, if a company's got faith in their brand then more power to them... but this just seems excessive. What could have possibly warranted such an enormous budget? Rockstar's got a pretty damn good track record as a competent developer, but damn.

Hopefully the game does well.

Ukomba:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why? Just why? What could possibly be in the game to justify that kind of budget?
Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?

He literally did use it correctly.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/according_to_the_dictionary_literally_now_also_means_figuratively_newscred/

get with the times.

So the word now has two different meanings? People misused it so much that we broke a word? Wow.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Ukomba:

RedEyesBlackGamer:
Why? Just why? What could possibly be in the game to justify that kind of budget?
Off Topic: Is the word "literally" that hard to use correctly?

He literally did use it correctly.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/according_to_the_dictionary_literally_now_also_means_figuratively_newscred/

get with the times.

So the word now has two different meanings? People misused it so much that we broke a word? Wow.

Yup, but also since TOR used ~$200 million dollars to make their game. Saying they literally used $200 million is using the word correctly based on it's original definition, he wasn't being figurative.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

So the word now has two different meanings? People misused it so much that we broke a word? Wow.

Hate to blow your mind but this is what happens all the time. Words get new meanings depending on their usage of the general population. Words get new meanings and are not set in stone.

The good news, at least from Take Two's perspective, is that the site also claims "industry experts" are predicting that the new GTA could move

25 million copies

in its first year of release...

That's a good one. Good-golly-gracious, me.

Now, I know the franchise is really gosh-darn popular, but c'mon, that's crazy. They're shooting for CoD numbers there.

I know they'll make a profit, simply because the series has a huge reputation in the gaming community and are some of the highest quality games in existence, but still... 25 million copies in the FIRST YEAR? Seriously? Don't be ricilus.

It would be fun to create a list of "game budget vs game size" (bits or bytes needed to install the game on a computer). This "cost per bit" would perhaps be an interesting indicator of the true value of a game. Following the same logic of how you would look at the per-capita income rather than the GDP of a country to judge its prosperity.

And just like the GDP, the results might be misleading, because while you have some countries with high per-capita income (such as the U.S.) they might actually have a lower quality of life than lower-rated countries, due to issues that don't factor into the simple GDP calculation, such as the distribution of wealth, crime, education, pollution, freedoms, etc.

For example, you could hire 1000 incompetent developers and create a 50k PacMan for 100 million dollars. This would be one hell of a valuable PacMan game. From this point of view, the budget/size is more akin to a competence meter. On the other side of the spectrum, you could spend a hundred K creating a game with an intricate, pre-generated, procedural, voxel game world, requiring hundreds of gigabytes of data, making it practically worthless by this calculation.

On second thought, the idea sucks. Forget it.

Ukomba:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

Ukomba:

He literally did use it correctly.

http://www.salon.com/2013/08/22/according_to_the_dictionary_literally_now_also_means_figuratively_newscred/

get with the times.

So the word now has two different meanings? People misused it so much that we broke a word? Wow.

Yup, but also since TOR used ~$200 million dollars to make their game. Saying they literally used $200 million is using the word correctly based on it's original definition, he wasn't being figurative.

He used "blown". I got a funny image of Bioware employees with a leaf blower. It is just a pet peeve of mine. I can be a real snarky asshole sometimes. Also, I kind of accidentally hijacked this thread. Sorry, Andy.

TheKasp:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

So the word now has two different meanings? People misused it so much that we broke a word? Wow.

Hate to blow your mind but this is what happens all the time. Words get new meanings depending on their usage of the general population. Words get new meanings and are not set in stone.

The two definitions are opposites, though. Just kind of funny.

DVS BSTrD:
So they want it to sell 4x as fast as it's predecessor? Well it was nice knowing you Rockstar.

GTA IV was hampered by several big things at once:
-No PC release at launch
-PC release was crappy and didn't run on most people's PCs
-PC release used GFWL AND other software as a requirement to run the game, which was (if I recall correctly) not met with a lot of enthusiasm at the time.

The internet hype machine as we know it today wasn't as strong, too ('least as I remember it, wasn't paying much attention to it back in 2008).

I think that game will sell about 10-15 million in the first year from release, and up to 25-30 million total. Even with the internet hype machine, I don't think those sales estimates will be met. Nevertheless, they will undoubtedly manage to cover their costs of development and make some money off of the game inside the first year.

Now on to the other topic, the game's budget. If all of that budget went towards making the game as good as possible and not for fancy-looking gimmicks, then I'm okay with that and will adjust my expectations appropriately[1].

[1] The Witcher 2 cost about 10.3 million US$ to make, so my expectations will be high indeed.

How is it even possible for a game to cost this much, even for one of this scope? Did the designers eat extravagant caviar and stay in luxurious hotels during design? I mean damn, I know it's expensive but that seems really crazy.

Holy over bloated budgets batman!

Seriously, this is an insane budget for the type of game it is.

My guess? They had to spend it on "protection" after some gangers got a good look at how much expensive stuff they had sitting about. :P

Did the real gang members they used for Voice Actors extort money out of them? Although this is GTA, if there was ever a brand to justify that kind of budget then it would be it.

I'm more of a Saints Row person (let me craft my own character and I'll care about it more than piloting three at once), but GTA 4 sold crazy numbers, they probably won't make that in a year, but the game will definitely top that in its lifetime.

A pretty insane amount of money, no discussion there. I just hope the game's worth the cash.

I hope it flops. I just really want to see a titanic failure like TOR again. I dunno, I'm a sadist.

So they'll need to sell 4.5 million copies at $60 a head to supposedly make a profit.

I suspect they can pull it off but god damn, where did all of that money go?

I would like to see a pie chart just showing what portion went towards marketing and advertising.

This kinda helps put the whole "Real Criminal VAs" into context.
They went that route because it was cheaper then getting real VAs :P

bloody hell... id be slightly nervous if i was Rockstar.

A lot of people could hold off purchasing a copy till it comes out on next gen consoles which may hurt sales in the short to mid-term.

For 267 million dollars it better have a fucking pc port or they can kiss their ass goodbye.

Longstreet:
For 267 million dollars it better have a fucking pc port or they can kiss their ass goodbye.

That too.

GTA has VERY strong roots in the PC community. I know a few people who (will) have the consoles that will run it but they won't buy it because they want it on PC.

neonsword13-ops:

The good news, at least from Take Two's perspective, is that the site also claims "industry experts" are predicting that the new GTA could move

25 million copies

in its first year of release...

That's a good one. Good-golly-gracious, me.

Now, I know the franchise is really gosh-darn popular, but c'mon, that's crazy. They're shooting for CoD numbers there.

There's not as big a gap as you think, the last two main stream titles sold 20 million a piece outselling CoD IV and the two before that were hitting 15 million, all of which outsold CoD IV and CoD: World at War which were being sold at roughly the same sort of time.

So it's got a fairly reasonable shot at beating CoD, considering how many more console gamers there are out there now since GTA IV came out

gigastar:
So to make that back Rockstar and Take-Two are looking for upwards of (not taking into account the marketing, printing, shipping, cuts taken by retail, and cuts taken by Sony/MS) of at least 3.4m sales assuming every copy goes at the regional equivalent of $60.

Dont think its gonna end well.

It says marketing is in that budget and printing and shipping? They would most likely come under development costs.

Even then, Tomb Raider sold 3.4m in it's first month so I have no idea why you'd think GTA V, one of the most anticipated games this year, would struggle to make a profit. This game is going to sell ridiculously well and I honestly think it will challenge COD this year.

OT: Hopefully this huge budget means it's really good.

I DEFEND MY USE OF LITERALLY!

$200 million sunk into TOR just so it could be flipped into free-to-play six months down the road is the very definition of blown money in my mind. If EA had designed that sucker as F2P from the start, you can bet it would've been a lot closer to $20 million.

As popular as GTA V is going to be, 25 million copies in a year seems just a little bit outrageous. This does not seem to be a sound investment by Rockstar.

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