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Steven yeah

Development Cost

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Steven yeah    122
From what i gathered in the forums and research, development costs for a US AAA title is $10 mil. However, i have yet to find any data on the development costs of the non-AAA titles, and the asian ones. How much you guys guess the following games costs to develop? A) Ragnarok Online B) Runescape c) Maple Story d) GunBound does A) 6-7 mil, B) under 100k c) 1-2 mil d)under 1 mil sound like reasonable estimates? or you reckon it's way off?

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Red Falcon    142
Well.... games that dont announce those things are very hard to give an estimate..... you can easlily make a multi-million project and get a crappy result, that looks like its on a few 1000 dollar budgets. also, some good looking games (not fanstastic but good) can have a very low budget...

but i guess you have some reasonable estimates..

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Obscure    175
AAA isn't a measure of its budget but a measure of its quality. You could make a high quality game (with a lot of skill and effort) for $2-4 million. You could also make a non-AAA game with $6-10 million if you don't have the necessary skill and you make mistakes during development.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Steven yeah

A) Ragnarok Online
B) Runescape
c) Maple Story
d) GunBound



One of those was made on a total budget of under $200k, with the first commercially profitable release made for around $25k.

Looking through the GamaSutra Post Mortems, I see the majority of AAA games claiming to have budgets of around $2m - $3m.

Anyone who says a AAA title costs $10m either doesn't make them or is trying to push a hidden agenda. There are exceptions - MMOG's can cost a lot more depending on your launch strategy, and mega-bucks games like sequels can be given a blank cheque on the grounds that the publisher knows they will see well (e.g. late Final Fantasy games have had terrifyingly large budgets, but then they *knew* they would be hits, so they pulled out all the stops).

Of course, once you factor in marketing costs etc, the total price goes up considerably. But development costs should always be sub-$5m, bar exceptional cases.

PS Unreal Tournament == $2m !!!

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Red Falcon    142
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Steven yeah

A) Ragnarok Online
B) Runescape
c) Maple Story
d) GunBound



One of those was made on a total budget of under $200k, with the first commercially profitable release made for around $25k.

Looking through the GamaSutra Post Mortems, I see the majority of AAA games claiming to have budgets of around $2m - $3m.

Anyone who says a AAA title costs $10m either doesn't make them or is trying to push a hidden agenda. There are exceptions - MMOG's can cost a lot more depending on your launch strategy, and mega-bucks games like sequels can be given a blank cheque on the grounds that the publisher knows they will see well (e.g. late Final Fantasy games have had terrifyingly large budgets, but then they *knew* they would be hits, so they pulled out all the stops).

Of course, once you factor in marketing costs etc, the total price goes up considerably. But development costs should always be sub-$5m, bar exceptional cases.

PS Unreal Tournament == $2m !!!


Ok then.... no game costs 10 million? well... what does hl2 cost then? :S

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joanusdmentia    1060
Quote:
Original post by Red Falcon
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Steven yeah

A) Ragnarok Online
B) Runescape
c) Maple Story
d) GunBound



One of those was made on a total budget of under $200k, with the first commercially profitable release made for around $25k.

Looking through the GamaSutra Post Mortems, I see the majority of AAA games claiming to have budgets of around $2m - $3m.

Anyone who says a AAA title costs $10m either doesn't make them or is trying to push a hidden agenda. There are exceptions - MMOG's can cost a lot more depending on your launch strategy, and mega-bucks games like sequels can be given a blank cheque on the grounds that the publisher knows they will see well (e.g. late Final Fantasy games have had terrifyingly large budgets, but then they *knew* they would be hits, so they pulled out all the stops).

Of course, once you factor in marketing costs etc, the total price goes up considerably. But development costs should always be sub-$5m, bar exceptional cases.

PS Unreal Tournament == $2m !!!


Ok then.... no game costs 10 million? well... what does hl2 cost then? :S


Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
and mega-bucks games like sequels can be given a blank cheque on the grounds that the publisher knows they will see well

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Mark Tanner    100
I've been checking into budgets as well and it is very hard to give an average dev. cost.

Right now, the typical AAA title with a PC Xbox and PS2 release will run 4-10M USD. Some titles will easily run above 10M (HL2, Def Jam NY, GTA San Adreas etc. but there are a lot more).
Anything under 1M is budget and anything under 2M is cheap for a AAA, unless its PC only.

The titles you mention are from a smallish Korean company and the budgets could be significantly lower except for maybe one of their 'bigger' online titles.

The problem with budgets is that not everyone on the team knows the actual size of them, and those who do are mostly not interested in sharing or replying about them on forums.
A lot of the Gamasutra postmortum budgets are 2-3 years old and they have easily doubled since then.

Budgets will go up as the industry grows; in a few years 10-20M will be standard.

Mark



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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Could anyone estimate the average game development costs for an 'A title'? I've read that in 2004 and on this thread that it's now 4-10 million but what about previous years like in 2003,2002, etc? I'm doing a school project and the numbers would be useful.

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I might be a bit off topic but I am curious about your opinions.

Do the quality of the games do grow exactly the same as their budget?
Do we see better movies nowadays for $100m than 15 years before when $30m was very high (as I remember RAMBO III was around that)?

What is the reason behind these growing costs?

I asking this because (I worked for nearly 2 years for a company (Appaloossa ltd) and done SEGA titles for PICO console and PC)
and we were a team of 22. Do the number of people needed grew?
I am not sure. The hardware costs are going down.
What is behind this?

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Obscure    175
Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Could anyone estimate the average game development costs for an 'A title'? I've read that in 2004 and on this thread that it's now 4-10 million but what about previous years like in 2003,2002, etc? I'm doing a school project and the numbers would be useful.
As said before budget has no relation to A, AA, AAA. These are measures of the quality/success of a finished product. "Far Cry" is a triple A product but cost less than "Doom III".

You don't say "I will make a triple A game so I need $X millions" - you design a game, then work out what you need to develop that design. You cost that requirement and you get your budget. If you don't have enough money then you redesign the product so that it can be made within the budget you have.

IF, when it is finished, it turns out to be great/sells well then it will be considered a triple A title.

Quote:
Peter Szabo Gabor
Do the quality of the games do grow exactly the same as their budget?
No. Look at Diakatana - big budget, absolute rubbish game.
Other good examples are Forsaken VS ExtremeG. Forsaken cost $1 million to develop and made minimal sales (around $2 million). ExtremeG cost $300,000 and made $30,000,000. The cheaper game was better and made more money.

Quote:
What is the reason behind these growing costs?
Bigger teams, longer development cycles, higher equipment costs (the cost per unit is about the same but you need more dev kits per team), higher cost of living.

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