Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Games
  3. Consoles

The cost of developing video games

How much does it cost to create a game for the next-gen consoles? The number might surprise a lot of people. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is estimated to have cost around $50 million to make. The developers at Sony's Polyphonic Digital Inc. have reportedly spent around $60 million for its recently delayed Gran Turismo 5 game.

According to M2 Research, the average single-platform video game costs a studio about $10 million. Studios hoping to spread the love by going multi-platform see that average rise to $18 million.

When the Xbox 360 first hit the market, some gamers were alarmed to see the average price of console games go up from $49.99 to $59.99. It was only a matter of time. With development costs rising, store prices had to follow suit. 

Last December, Wired Magazine published an article about Duke Nukem Forever's failure to materialize. The game's development restarted over and over until the money ran dry. By May of 2009, the studio had spent $20 million with no release in sight and closed shop. 

In many cases, the cost of developing a game may stifle innovation and creativity as studios focus efforts on releasing mainstream fare that brings in profits. Fan favorites like Shadow of the Colossus and the critically acclaimed Panzer Dragoon Saga may never get sequels because they won't bring in enough money. 

The future of video games looks bright as studios look to create non-conventional gaming experiences. Unfortunately, the bottom line dictates to what extent companies will go out on a limb. After all, money doesn't grow on trees.



Don't Miss

  • Unity
    'Assassin's Creed Unity' preview: Ubisoft comes home to its urban origins
    Games Preview
  • Smart vending machine
    This smart vending machine will recommend drinks for you based on your gender and age
    Tech Buzz
  • Destiny
    The 'Destiny' beta: 7 things we absolutely love about Bungie's new franchise
    Games Feature
  • Wi-Fi
    Find out how to stretch your Wi-Fi signal where it has never gone before
    Tech Tips
  • Far Cry
    'Far Cry 4' exclusive: Animals, avalanches, oxygen, side content and much more
    Games Interview
  • Gamer ghost
    Gamer finds and plays with ghost of deceased father on a classic game