(Credit: Rockstar Games)
So when The Scotsman reported that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V had cost a stunning £170 million ($266 million) to develop and market, that raised a few eyebrows.
But The Scotsman never notes where it got that number, and Take-Two Interactive Software, the publisher (and financial benefactor) of Rockstar Games, says it doesn't release development costs of its games. So take that giant budget number with a grain of salt.
But just for the sake of argument, what if the number is somewhere in the vicinity of the truth? How would that stack up to other games and major Hollywood properties?
As it turns out, it stacks up pretty well. Even if The Scotsman's number is off by 25 percent -- nearly $67 million -- that would still make GTA V the most expensive video game ever made.
The previous record holder was Star Wars: The Old Republic, which cost EA a reported $200 million. The more recent Disney Infinity came with a price tag of $100 million. Other games in the $100 million club reportedly include two other Rockstar games: Red Dead Redemption and GTA IV.
Hollywood, which is a bit more upfront with its budget costs than the games industry, also has some high-profile releases that don't come close to The Scotsman's estimate of GTA V's cost.
Among the films that may have cost less are "The Avengers," (which carried a budget of $220 million), “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” ($250 million) and “Avatar” ($237 million).
Ultimately, of course, the amount spent on making a game is much less important than the amount it brings in. Just ask EA, which wound up making The Old Republic free to play soon after release due to a steadily declining subscriber base.
Regardless of its specific budget, expectations for GTA V are sky high. While Take-Two is being conservative in its guidance for its second fiscal quarter (which ends two weeks after the game comes out), Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter still expects the company to sell 14 million copies in that time period.
- Video Games
- Arts & Entertainment
- The Scotsman