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What are the Most Expensive Games in the World?

What are the Most Expensive Games in the World?

Invogames

Game Development

|

February 5, 2024

|

3 min read

We know for sure that the games have always been very expensive. But, with the latest technologies and different user preferences, games have become even more costly. From development costs to marketing strategies and campaigns, the budget for games has gone up to millions of dollars. It has further led to the curiosity of the most expensive video games in the world.

 

The capabilities of computer rigs and home consoles are stronger than ever. Games are more targeted towards providing a user experience that is different from the old boring ones. So, let’s see what games are the most expensive ones and what factors made them so.

 

5 Most Expensive Games 

 

Well there are a number of games that can be under this section but here are the few picks that are not only expensive but popular as well. Let’s take a look at them. 

 

Grand Theft Auto V 

 

$265M

 

Grand Theft Auto V
Source: Rockstar Games

 

Rockstar's globally popular game is one of the most expensive video games ever made. An interesting fact about the game is that it took five years to develop. The game development started in 2008 and was completed in 2013. The developers are known for creating games that leave a long-lasting impression and legacy. Was this game short of it? No. The game has highly intricate graphic details. The game's visuals are stunning, keeping players engaged for a long time.

 

The development cost of Grand Theft Auto V was more than $200 million. The marketing budget of the game was also estimated at $137 million. To say that GTA V has spent more than $300M would not be wrong. 

 

Cyberpunk

 

$174M

 

Cyberpunk
Source: CD Projekt Red

 

The game took eight years to develop and had multiple delays, yet it faced criticism due to game glitches and other bugs. But does it mean the game did not cost much? No! The game is an open-world project developed by CD Projekt Red. The game is set in the Megalopolis and focuses on power and glamor. If we talk about the cost of producing the game, it was around $316M. The budget was not only for development costs but also for marketing purposes. The development cost alone of the game was $174M for its long-time-taking production and other factors.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 

 

$170M

 

Red Dead Redemption 2
Source: RDR2

 

Some factors speak for the game. In Red Dead Redemption 2, interactivity and smooth gameplay with high graphics make gameplay unique. It also gives us an estimation of its high development cost. The development cost of Red Dead Redemption 2 is US$170 million and US$240 million, respectively. In addition, the game's marketing budget was between US$200 and US$300 million, with total costs up to $500. 

 

Battlefield 4 

 

$100m

 

Battlefield 4
Source: Steam

 

In the FPS category, Battlefield 4 is considered the most expensive video game developed by EA. Richard Hillman, the former Chief Creative Officer, states that the development cost of Battlefield 4 was around $100m. The high development cost of the game makes it one of the most high-budget video games of the franchises. Also, the marketing cost was very high since it was the first FPS game launched by its developers.

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 

 

$80m+

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

 

The game is developed by a famous Japanese video game designer, Hideo Kojima. It is said to be the last Metal Gear game as well. According to a report from a Japanese financial newspaper, the cost of the game was around $80M. But if we consider other costs, such as post-launch content and patches, then the budget goes up to $100.

 

What Factors Make Games Most Expensive?

 

There are several factors that affect the cost and budget of any game. It also depends upon the game category, genre, and functionalities that make one game more expensive than the other one. 

 

Here are some of the critical factors that lead to high game development costs:

 

Scope and Scale of the Game

 

The size and complex features of the game affect its cost. Whether an open-world game or complex mechanics, the game would require a vast resource pool. With complex mechanics, developers would have to use the latest technologies. For example, Battlefield 4 utilized the proprietary Frostbite 3 engine for complex mechanics, SFX, and VFX. The more time it requires due to its extensive scope, the bigger the budget it will cost. 

 

Graphics and Technology 

 

Players now prefer high-resolution graphics that are too realistic. The game developers use the latest technologies to get high graphical fidelity, realistic physics, and advanced visual effects. These technologies, such as virtual reality or ray tracing, increase the game development budget. 

 

Marketing and promotion 

 

Well, you might think that the budget for a game is limited to its development cost. But there is more to that. Game developers have to spend a huge amount on marketing and game promotion. It can include promotional materials, advertising campaigns, and events.

 

Licensing and Intellectual Property Costs

 

It is one of the most important factors for the game developers and publishers. They have to be careful about intellectual property rights, whether pre-existing or not. For example, games based on existing intellectual property may include licensing fees for characters. It is also said that licensing proprietary game engines and tools for development also adds cost. 

 

Post-Launch Support and Updates

 

Often, the budget increases after the game has been launched. The reason is that game developers and publishers have to provide ongoing support and maintenance. Also, the release of the updates, DLCs, and other similar factors contribute to game development costs. That being said, the updates add a lot to the budget for implementing user feedback and improving gameplay. 

 

Conclusion

 

A huge pool of games has been the most expensive games in the world. The factors that affect a game's budget are technological, design detailing, marketing, and promotions. The gaming industry is only rising and generating the highest revenue among other industries.

We know for sure that the games have always been very expensive. But, with the latest technologies and different user preferences, games have become even more costly. From development costs to marketing strategies and campaigns, the budget for games has gone up to millions of dollars. It has further led to the curiosity of the most expensive video games in the world.

 

The capabilities of computer rigs and home consoles are stronger than ever. Games are more targeted towards providing a user experience that is different from the old boring ones. So, let’s see what games are the most expensive ones and what factors made them so.

 

5 Most Expensive Games 

 

Well there are a number of games that can be under this section but here are the few picks that are not only expensive but popular as well. Let’s take a look at them. 

 

Grand Theft Auto V 

 

$265M

 

Grand Theft Auto V
Source: Rockstar Games

 

Rockstar's globally popular game is one of the most expensive video games ever made. An interesting fact about the game is that it took five years to develop. The game development started in 2008 and was completed in 2013. The developers are known for creating games that leave a long-lasting impression and legacy. Was this game short of it? No. The game has highly intricate graphic details. The game's visuals are stunning, keeping players engaged for a long time.

 

The development cost of Grand Theft Auto V was more than $200 million. The marketing budget of the game was also estimated at $137 million. To say that GTA V has spent more than $300M would not be wrong. 

 

Cyberpunk

 

$174M

 

Cyberpunk
Source: CD Projekt Red

 

The game took eight years to develop and had multiple delays, yet it faced criticism due to game glitches and other bugs. But does it mean the game did not cost much? No! The game is an open-world project developed by CD Projekt Red. The game is set in the Megalopolis and focuses on power and glamor. If we talk about the cost of producing the game, it was around $316M. The budget was not only for development costs but also for marketing purposes. The development cost alone of the game was $174M for its long-time-taking production and other factors.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 

 

$170M

 

Red Dead Redemption 2
Source: RDR2

 

Some factors speak for the game. In Red Dead Redemption 2, interactivity and smooth gameplay with high graphics make gameplay unique. It also gives us an estimation of its high development cost. The development cost of Red Dead Redemption 2 is US$170 million and US$240 million, respectively. In addition, the game's marketing budget was between US$200 and US$300 million, with total costs up to $500. 

 

Battlefield 4 

 

$100m

 

Battlefield 4
Source: Steam

 

In the FPS category, Battlefield 4 is considered the most expensive video game developed by EA. Richard Hillman, the former Chief Creative Officer, states that the development cost of Battlefield 4 was around $100m. The high development cost of the game makes it one of the most high-budget video games of the franchises. Also, the marketing cost was very high since it was the first FPS game launched by its developers.

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain 

 

$80m+

 

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

 

The game is developed by a famous Japanese video game designer, Hideo Kojima. It is said to be the last Metal Gear game as well. According to a report from a Japanese financial newspaper, the cost of the game was around $80M. But if we consider other costs, such as post-launch content and patches, then the budget goes up to $100.

 

What Factors Make Games Most Expensive?

 

There are several factors that affect the cost and budget of any game. It also depends upon the game category, genre, and functionalities that make one game more expensive than the other one. 

 

Here are some of the critical factors that lead to high game development costs:

 

Scope and Scale of the Game

 

The size and complex features of the game affect its cost. Whether an open-world game or complex mechanics, the game would require a vast resource pool. With complex mechanics, developers would have to use the latest technologies. For example, Battlefield 4 utilized the proprietary Frostbite 3 engine for complex mechanics, SFX, and VFX. The more time it requires due to its extensive scope, the bigger the budget it will cost. 

 

Graphics and Technology 

 

Players now prefer high-resolution graphics that are too realistic. The game developers use the latest technologies to get high graphical fidelity, realistic physics, and advanced visual effects. These technologies, such as virtual reality or ray tracing, increase the game development budget. 

 

Marketing and promotion 

 

Well, you might think that the budget for a game is limited to its development cost. But there is more to that. Game developers have to spend a huge amount on marketing and game promotion. It can include promotional materials, advertising campaigns, and events.

 

Licensing and Intellectual Property Costs

 

It is one of the most important factors for the game developers and publishers. They have to be careful about intellectual property rights, whether pre-existing or not. For example, games based on existing intellectual property may include licensing fees for characters. It is also said that licensing proprietary game engines and tools for development also adds cost. 

 

Post-Launch Support and Updates

 

Often, the budget increases after the game has been launched. The reason is that game developers and publishers have to provide ongoing support and maintenance. Also, the release of the updates, DLCs, and other similar factors contribute to game development costs. That being said, the updates add a lot to the budget for implementing user feedback and improving gameplay. 

 

Conclusion

 

A huge pool of games has been the most expensive games in the world. The factors that affect a game's budget are technological, design detailing, marketing, and promotions. The gaming industry is only rising and generating the highest revenue among other industries.

Writer InvoGames

Written By:

Schouzib I.
Content Lead

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