How Much Does an ID@Xbox Game Cost to Make? $5,000

How Much Does an ID@Xbox Game Cost to Make? $5,000

ID@Xbox 310x

Developer of the recently posted "Sixty Second Shooter Prime," breaks down publishing costs for Xbox indie devs.

When Microsoft and Sony launched new consoles last year, both companies christened the new hardware with a renewed focus on indie game development. Microsoft's ID@Xbox program was specifically designed to lure indie devs to the Xbox One in the release window, promising a low-cost entryway into the ever-popular console gaming marketplace. Free developer kits are always an attractive offer, right?

So with free hardware, and rules in place to foster inexpensive game development, how much does it actually cost to make an indie game for the Xbox One? Jamie Fristrom, former Treyarch director and founder of Happion Laboratories, posted a financial breakdown of his first ID@Xbox project, called Sixty Second Shooter Prime. All in all, it cost Happion over $5,000 to release its game. The cost breakdown...

  • Maintaining the Sixty Second Shooter URL: $19
  • Sending the second dev kit to Brett Douville: $63
  • Hardware (usb and video cables and the like): $72
  • Video capture device (for making trailer): $181
  • Localization (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese): $729
  • E&O (Error & Omissions) Insurance: $2,037
  • Foreign ratings boards (PEGI, USK): $2,042
  • Total: $5,143

    Emphasis added. And the quoted figure doesn't place a dollar value on the man-hours invested into developing Sixty Second Shooter Prime.

    Of the $5,143 laid out by Fristrom, $4,079 was spent on insurance, and age rating fees. The E&O insurance is required by Microsoft, and the policy protects it in the event that Developer X somehow causes financial damage to the publisher.

    Some of the costs, like localization and foreign ratings boards, could be bypassed by not initially releasing a game internationally at first. If your game is a financial success at home, an international release could follow.

    Source: Happion Labs | Engadget

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    Rather cheep entry barrier tbh, but is high enough that it will stop the Green light issue of anyone with a spare $100 publishing there high school game design project.

    direkiller:
    Rather cheep entry barrier tbh, but is high enough that it will stop the Green light issue of anyone with a spare $100 publishing there high school game design project.

    I disagree it is enough to keep me as a indie dev out. 5000 is a LOT of money to spend on something where you don't even have any idea if you will get any of it back in sales.

    direkiller:
    Rather cheep entry barrier tbh, but is high enough that it will stop the Green light issue of anyone with a spare $100 publishing there high school game design project.

    The XBox 360 dev kit cost almost twice as much (around $10,000); that didn't stop XBLIG from being flooded with shit games.

    aba1:

    direkiller:
    Rather cheep entry barrier tbh, but is high enough that it will stop the Green light issue of anyone with a spare $100 publishing there high school game design project.

    I disagree it is enough to keep me as a indie dev out. 5000 is a LOT of money to spend on something where you don't even have any idea if you will get any of it back in sales.

    If you doubt your project to the extent that even $5,000 in sales is in question, you probably shouldn't be bothering to make it anyways.

    Jadak:

    aba1:

    I disagree it is enough to keep me as a indie dev out. 5000 is a LOT of money to spend on something where you don't even have any idea if you will get any of it back in sales.

    If you doubt your project to the extent that even $5,000 in sales is in question, you probably shouldn't be bothering to make it anyways.

    So agreed! I project well over $200k in sales for my game within its first 3 months of release. What do I and my Dev partners care about $5k? Hell, we'll gladly take on $100k+ in production funding investments at that rate. And offer tiered returns from 15-30% over 12-18 months. It takes big money to make big money...

    aba1:

    direkiller:
    Rather cheep entry barrier tbh, but is high enough that it will stop the Green light issue of anyone with a spare $100 publishing there high school game design project.

    I disagree it is enough to keep me as a indie dev out. 5000 is a LOT of money to spend on something where you don't even have any idea if you will get any of it back in sales.

    Honestly on a platform like the Xbone this... seems pretty cheap. You should see the software bills alone for some small companies. Yeesh. The ratings boards are always a bit of a pain for tiny projects... but this barrier to entry isn't that huge.

    If your game's budget will be severely cut into by this then your project should probably begin on the PC or Android. I know it's laughable but these requirements are meant to be a form of QC and ensure some level of accurate product labeling. The main problem i see is that these things are barely fit for purpose, not the price it's self.

    Yes its unnecessary bullshit but any launch on a closed platform like that is FULL of that kind of BS. Once again as has been pointed out, a Dev kit for the 360 cost $10,000 and lots of dross still got put on XBL: Indie

    Making a cheap reference to mastercard commercials? Priceless.

    I guess it's a good thing I never planned on making my games available on consoles in the first place. In fact, I haven't made them available at all yet, maybe I should figure out how to do that before I update the collision physics...

    On topic though, I'd say $2000 is a pretty good amount for insurance, all things considered. The rest of it isn't too bad, though I would like to see some figures for how much you actually make out of the whole deal.

     

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