1 . Destiny
Activision spent $500 million on the development and promotion of Destiny, the most expensive game ever made. Destiny cost more than most summer blockbusters.
2 . Red Dead Redemption
This Rockstars Western epic had an estimated development budget of around $100 Million with over 800 people working on the game at once. The workload was so daunting that a lot of these developers were brought in from other studios which were also owned by parent company Rockstar. It took a massive five years to complete the game development. Red Dead Redemption also had an extensive marketing campaign which included a short film airing on the Fox channel. With its release, Rockstar showed the world that they were capable of much more than just the GTA series.
3 . Max Payne 3
The expenditure needed to make Max Payne 3 was mostly due to the fact that the game was in development for multiple years past its original 2009 release date. When the game was finally released in May 2012, Rockstar claimed that the setbacks were to ensure that Max Payne 3 delivers the highest gaming satisfaction. The game needed to sell 4 Million copies to be at par with the production costs. Max Payne 3s release included TV spots that aired during the 2012 UEFA Champions League final and numerous other social media promotions. Its development cost was about $105 Million.
4 . Too Humans
Too Humans was produced at over $100 Million. Its mainly because the game was stuck in development from almost a decade. Originally planned for release on the Play station, Silicon Knights then shifted the development to Nintendo Game Cube before finally selling the title to Microsoft as Xbox 360 exclusive in 2005. The studio lost more money on the game after a lawsuit from Epic Games following the unauthorized use of their unreal engine on which Too Human was developed.
5 . Grand Theft Auto IV
Rockstar North really pushed the boat out with GTA 4 with one of the biggest marketing campaigns ever conceived for a game, reportedly costing 100 Million USDin addition to another $100 Million for development costs. Its release in 2008 made it the costliest video games ever produced. The official website had 13 unique teasers and four different cinematic trailers alongside a TV commercial, viralmarketingand more generic advertising.
6 . Shenmue II
Shenmues estimated production cost adjusted for inflation is a staggering$176 Million. This is primarily because Shenmue II is a gigantic game with a massive open world. Arguably the largest in its generation. A huge staff was required to create such a large game in just under two years. Its unlikely that any of the budgets went under marketing costs as the game had little to no publicity behind it.
7 . Star Wars The Old Republic
Its said that the BioWares development of their MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic started six years before the game finally released. In 2009 BioWare claimed that their project had more story content than all of their other games combined which is why they had a full time writing staff writing the script in lower of full two years before the gameplay development began. During its release in 2011 it was said to be the most expensive game ever. The cost of making it is said to be around 150 200 Million USD. It eventually became the most rapidly growing Massively Multiplayer Online game ever.
8 . Final Fantasy VII
Squares initial foray into 3D technology with the Final Fantasy Franchise required 120 programmers and artists to develop, making it the most expensive video game ever developed at the time. However, Final Fantasy VIIs development costs were considerably small in comparison to the amount spent on the games huge advertising campaign. This included a promotion with Pepsi ads and big magazines such as Rolling Stone and Playboy as well as Marvel and DC comics and multiple TV advertisements. The game finally released in 1997 after its three month long marketing streak. Adjusted for inflation Square spent around $213 Million on Final Fantasy VIIs development and marketing.
9 . Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2
This first person shooter which was released in 2009 is the sixth edition in the Call of Duty Series. After the Universal critical acclaim that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare received, its no surprise that Infinity Ward wanted to go big in its marketing campaign for the sequel. Nearly200 Million Dollarswere spent on the games various publicity materials in addition to the cost of development which was between 40 50 Million USD.
10 . Grand Theft Auto V
While GTA IV cost Rockstar a hefty sum to advertise and develop, this didnt deter them from going even further in the game sequel. GTA V which cost a reported$265 Millionneeded over 1000 Rockstar employees from around the world to work on the game for a number of years. Los Santos is a detailed resemblance of Los Angeles and the games huge open world scale, said to be why the project needed so much work.