In this decade we have seen the numbers involved in making and releasing a video game increase to ridiculous levels. As we covered back in October with part one of the most expensive video games ever made, the budgets of AAA games now make television and films green with envy.
Now we’re back with more big spending developers, who are not afraid to throw some serious cash at their ideas. Sure indie games are incredibly fun to play but when you have awe-inducing 4k visuals, open worlds that feel more like open universes and complete control over all aspects of game play, you have to agree that the millions invested in these games was well spent.
A great place to start on this list is with the notoriously high spending Rockstar! Originally slated to be released in 2009, the games development was pushed back year after year until 2012 because the publisher wanted to “ensure that Max Payne 3 delivers the highest quality.” The games many delays ended up taking the budget to around $105 million. The reviews from gamers and critics alike justified the delays and big budget so everyone at Rockstar had big smiles on their faces!
The first game in a ten-year agreement between developers Bungie and Activision, Destiny had a lot to live up to when Activision CEO Bobby Kotick stated the total cost as $500 million. Although this was pretty exaggerated, the costs were still pretty high at around $140 million! Although the game did see over $500 million on it’s first day, making it the biggest new franchise launch of all time.
The 90′s was a huge for gaming, it seemed like every week a new technological advance was made and so games were evolving quicker than most people could keep up with. Final Fantasy VII was the poster boy for technology in the mid-nineties! It was the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics, fully rendered characters and pre-rendered backgrounds. The most exciting but expensive game of its time, FFVII had a huge for its time budget of $45 million and a huge for any time marketing budget of $100 million.
Tomb Raider (2013)
It’s always going to be expensive to reboot a legendary franchise and that’s why Crystal Dynamics ended up forking over a cool $100 million to create, reinvent and restart the Tomb Raider franchise. The reboot was a big success and many critics praised the stunning quality of the visuals and the length and depth of the gameplay.
In the last list, we included the first Shenmue game which in 1999 cost a staggering $70 million! Well not to be outdone, the sequel Shenmue II set developers back $132 million just two years later. The second game in the series warranted it’s bigger budget as critics felt it refined nearly every aspect of the original. As one of the last games to be released on Dreamcast, the technology used to power the game pushed the console to it’s limits.
The second most expensive game ever made just for PC, APB was a huge multiplayer game based around two waring factions in the fictional city of San Paro. Created by the man behind the Grand Theft Auto series, David Jones, APB was always going to be expensive considering how massive the world in which the game was set was. At around $109 million, the game was a massive expense but despite the money spent, it has only received mixed reviews!