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jollamolla

How much does it cost to make a videogames?

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I read some news about game budgetings. These articles doesn't specifically says how much videogames actually cost. So, I did some research on game budgets over the internet , but couldn't find anything that satified me. One thing I found was that Final Fantasy X cost about 30 - 40 million dollars, and their annual salaries are about 400 - 500 millions? I know Square used to make 2, 3 games per year, and Final Fantasy series sells about 6 - 7 million copies usually, but how could they make so much money? does it also mean that their games make 10 times more than what they invested? Another thing I found was that EA makes about 1.5 billion a year. The numbers seem so unbelievable'. Is the game industry that huge? or is it overrated?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
EA now has a turnover of more than USD 2bn. Turnover! Not profit!

How much a videogame costs depends on a lot of factors such as quality target level (budget, mid-price, full price or block-buster), target platform (PC, PS2, Xbox etc.).

Typically you should aim at two years from the first line of prototype code to the final submission of goldmaster. Take that period and multiply it with number of people working on the project multiplied with the monthly cost of having those people working then add on-off costs such as middleware, development tools and hardware and office supplies. The result is the total cost for development.

It adds up pretty quickly.

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Sometimes gamastura postmortems list the budget for games. Here are a few examples:

* Black and White- $5.7 million
* Thief: The Dark Project - $3 million
* Heavy Metal: FAKK2 - $2 million
* Unreal Tournament - $2 million

Think probably around $3 million average for a good-selling PC title.

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Hello,

a quick way to compute such kind of things is to use the following rule: each working day costs approximately $300 for one people. This includes the worker salary, the hardware, the software, the desk surface, and so on. You have approx. 20 working days a month (not counting saturdays and sundays). Therefore, it is $72000 a year for one guy. Multiply by the number of guys who may work on an average video game (approx. 20), you'll get (approx. again) $1.5M per year. Currently, most games need one year and a half to complete, leading us to $2.1M for the game development. The game distribution costs even more.

Now, a typical developper may get something like $5 for each sold box. A somewhat successful game sells 250.000 to 300.000 games, covering the whole development. Then the development studio gets another contract and begin to work on another game.

And, according to their offcial annual report, EA got a net revenue of $3bn (go there then go to page 19), and a net income of $500M. They even got a 22% increase in net revenue for Q1 2005 and expect a 12% increase in net revenue for the whole 2005. These figures drive me mad.

Regards,

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Emmanuel, I fear your costs are a bit low for the USA. Many developers have salaries greater than your total cost.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Emmanuel, I fear your costs are a bit low for the USA. Many developers have salaries greater than your total cost.


Depends where in the US. In certain places in california, that may not be much due to cost of living and such.. but around where I live, it's a substantial salary.

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Quote:
Original post by Emmanuel Deloget
Hello,

a quick way to compute such kind of things is to use the following rule: each working day costs approximately $300 for one people. This includes the worker salary, the hardware, the software, the desk surface, and so on. You have approx. 20 working days a month (not counting saturdays and sundays). Therefore, it is $72000 a year for one guy. Multiply by the number of guys who may work on an average video game (approx. 20), you'll get (approx. again) $1.5M per year. Currently, most games need one year and a half to complete, leading us to $2.1M for the game development. The game distribution costs even more.

Now, a typical developper may get something like $5 for each sold box. A somewhat successful game sells 250.000 to 300.000 games, covering the whole development. Then the development studio gets another contract and begin to work on another game.


o_O

(250,000 to 300,000) * $5 = $1.25 to $1.5 million in
minus $2.1 million + distribution out

= how does anyone turn a profit :s

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