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Cost of producing games

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by Sorak, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. Sorak

    Sorak Member

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    Ever wonder what it costs to make a computer game?

    those are pretty scarey figures. games running the lastest engine with the latest graphics need to appeal to millions of people just to break even.

    this is aparently why awesome games are getting dumbed down to fit consoles. the developer is simply trying to make the best game they can but they also have to make money from it.

    however, there's roughly 75million consoles out there, so to break even, the developer needs to get about 2.6% of the people to buy their game. not includeing PC. (high end game $20mill to produce)
    statistically speaking, you can throw shit at the wall and have more than 2.6% of it stick. so in my opinion these figures look like a scarey lot on their own, but when you take a look at all the facts the market is simply open to anyone willing to put in some effort and publish their game.

    source
     
  2. Omarko

    Omarko Member

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    $25M to make a game ? wtf? seriously ?
     
  3. Philll

    Philll Member

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    Makes sense to me. Imagine employing say 100 people, 50k each, 4 year development cycle. It all adds up.

    Didn't GTAIV cost $100 million to make?

    Anyway I agree, sales need to keep up so they dumb them down to sell more, even when they do break even though or make their money back 10 fold it doesn't seem to change anything. Modern Warfare, hint hint. Plus all the clones pop up to cash in as well. Then again GTA always seems to continually improve.
     
  4. TheChemist

    TheChemist R.I.P

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    Yeah..

    Purely in terms of staff to physically produce the game, you need programmers, story writers, voice + regular actors, graphic/3D artists, animators, translators, testers, level developers, managers, HR

    That's after you buy all your hardware and licence your software development kits, and of course rent offices for your staff, pay for public liability insurance, register as a company, etc

    Then, once you've got your game done, you need a publisher, lawyers, sales guys, marketing.

    And you're on a ticking clock the whole time, because every day you wait, the higher the chance that someone else will bring out a similar product or your engine is no longer cutting edge, or your graphics are outdated, or your physics is simplistic.
     
  5. Clippit

    Clippit Member

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    That's why the 'indie' movement has become so much more prominent: Games are turning into (very) big business, and this situation has become unsatisfactory for a lot of people - both creators and players. Developers are looking for more creative freedom and players are looking for more interesting games, better communities, as well as cheaper prices and less bullshit DRM to dodge.
     
  6. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

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    2mx$60=$120million.....
     
  7. ener

    ener Member

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    well thats what i worked out, dunno if they just mean making the game and not including the 50%+ marketing?
    found the source at the bottom of your post
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  8. Lord Belial

    Lord Belial Member

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    I find it amazing that I pay the same for a new PS3 game as I did for SNES games. Compare and contrast the credits for FF IV and FF XIII.

    Getting 2.6% of people to buy a game is not an easy thing by any means. A lot of people buy a console and only get a few games for it and there's a lot of different games on shelves. Remember that this amount is for breaking even, and you'd need to get plenty of hits to compensate for the misses.

    While I wish game development was more adventurous, I can certainly see why it isn't. And I can certainly see why devs would abandon PC or make lazy ports.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Sorak

    Sorak Member

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    this just in:

    "When it launches, Gran Turismo 5 will feature nearly 1,000 vehicles on over 70 tracks in 20-plus locations. Budgeted at a whopping $60 million, " -Gamespot.au

    so according to the rough guess work in the OP they need roughly 8% of the console market to break even.
    something tells me they will
     
  10. taffer

    taffer Member

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    I think the devs get like $45USD back from each $60 game, so I would think a $20million game would only need like 500,000 to break even. I really think a game needing to sell 2million is break even is an overestimate

    EDIT: on further research $12 goes to gamestop (retailer) $36 publisher $10 R+D $9 marketing.... and $17 profit!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  11. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

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    But will it actually work properly with wheels...?
    60m...what a farce that amount of money for a console turd.
     
  12. THeX

    THeX Member

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    Also have to factor in piracy. I wonder what the stats are on the effects of piracy for video game profits. For a game like MW2, I wouldn't think it'd be a huge issue, but smaller titles definitely it would cause some angst.
     
  13. SaTaN

    SaTaN Member

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    development doesnt work that way. the vehicles are all pretty much the same except minor tweaks of iits properties (acceleration, weight etc), they dont actually "rebuild" each car in code, so the first (actually the physics engine) would take a while to build but once that is done you could generate the vehicles pretty quickly...
    The artwork would take a while, but then they dont necessarily need to do a full 3d model for each one either.

    Also, if GT is anything like forza alot of that budget would be coming from the in game advertising so the break even point would be alot lower than (for example) a game like GTA where real brand names arnt used.
     
  14. Kyorisu

    Kyorisu Member

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    Advertising is usually a big cost in "production". You need separate figures for anything to make sense. You can make an awesome game but unless you advertise it no one is going to hear about it. Indie games rely on quick production, cheap price and word of mouth to become successful.
     
  15. akashra

    akashra Member

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    $60m production cost isn't unreasonable. Consider:
    - An average salary of $95,000, plus overhead costs. Artists and accounts get paid less, architects and devs get paid more.
    - 200 developers on a high-profile title
    - 3 years of development time
    - Software/tools licenses

    You're already looking at over $60m there alone.
     
  16. kabab

    kabab Member

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    For a game like gt5 there may also be licensing fees for various cars and tracks...

    Also don't forget audio costs and localization costs...
     
  17. SaTaN

    SaTaN Member

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    so the point is the numbers are impossible to work out, but there must be good money in it or there wouldnt be such a huge industry...
     
  18. andymate

    andymate Member

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    I think the rising costs of game development are why you see alot of developers reusing their engine or someones engine and pushing games out every 1-2 years.
     
  19. Philll

    Philll Member

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    When COD makes over a billion dollars with one game, after a 2 year development cycle, I seriously doubt that's why they reuse it. It costs $40 - $50 million to make. They reuse it because it's cheap and people don't want progress, because progress = new hardware which = more money. People = cheap.

    Even though over time they don't realize how much they do pay. Close to $1000 on release of a new console (or a new one now on average for $400), a TV at the time costs thousands (even now a decent one, or a 3D one will be 1k+), accessories like a new HDD, wireless net, steering wheels, controllers, Live fees, $60 - $120 games, slim versions, add ons like play / kinect. It's not exactly cheap. Though you could say a TV provides many more uses. So does a PC. : )

    It's quite actually one of the best industries to milk people with, mainly because 10 years ago there weren't millions upon millions of gamers, the new ones came in playing Halo or MW, they don't know any better so the same crap again and again will suffice. Ask anyone who's been into gaming for the last ~20 years if they think gaming / engines / graphics / tech haven't stagnated. This is the longest 'generation' to date. If they can push all current games with 7800GTX equivalents imagine what they could really push if 5890's/480's were the go.

    Anyway, a bit off topic, but there's plenty of money to be made if you get it right, so why not invest a lot into it.

    $40m - $50m > a massive player base and $1 Billion +, hmmmmmm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  20. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

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    People are also stupid, especially if we factor in the costs which you outline and the fact that many people think Harvey norman sell gaming PC's....so they pay big dollars for a slow POS and get pissed off when they have to run low GFX and blame the PC industry, but not their own ignorance.

    Some games are so bad/clunky and boring storywise, that they couldn't have spent more than a few million on them....they just hope to sell a few 100 000 copies and keep on repeating the same el cheapo cycle and have net morons defend their shitty work.

    As you know, people critical of gamings state are savaged by scores of fools who must literally be retarded.
     

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