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The financials

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Bunch of questions :) - So how much does it actually cost to create a game? And i mean a good one, a damn good one. - How long does it take, and how many staff members of each profession (programmer, artist, etc) are required? - How much does an engine cost to buy, or to build? - How does buying vs creating your own affect the amount of money / time spent? - How much does the company get back for each copy sold? - How many copies have to be sold in order for the game to pay for itself? - How many copies does an average QUALITY game sell? - How does the whole scenario with publishers work? Thanks!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Sounds too much like you are digging for homework answers to me. If you were serious about this you might try Google. . .

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www.gamedev.com
www.google.com
www.gamasutra.com

Should answer your overly genearl questions. If you have specific ones we can likely help. Right now you're going to get about 80 different answers from 40 different people on each of those.

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Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- So how much does it actually cost to create a game? And i mean a good one, a damn good one.

If your goal from the outset is to create a AAA title, expect to spend at least $25M USD on development, and at least half again on advertising. MMO games should add a zero thanks to deployment, bandwidth, and other costs, but they'll also (hopefully) recover much of it in monthly subscriptions.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How long does it take, and how many staff members of each profession (programmer, artist, etc) are required?

A few years. Your planning should give you an estimate, but a general guess would be anywhere from 18 to 36 months.
The actual distribution of jobs varies by project.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How much does an engine cost to buy, or to build?

Shop around. It is often cheaper to buy several quality debugged libraries than to develop and debug your own.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How does buying vs creating your own affect the amount of money / time spent?

Varies.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How much does the company get back for each copy sold?

Varies.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How many copies have to be sold in order for the game to pay for itself?

The math is easy: profit - cost. You'll find the numbers are impossible to estimate up front.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How many copies does an average QUALITY game sell?

Extremely variable, and it's not something you can measure up front.
Quote:
Original post by Mr Corporate
- How does the whole scenario with publishers work?

Varies.

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Just reiterating that your questions are far to vague to be answered accurately. "Quality" means different things to different people for starters. And the amount/time/people spent on a project varies drastically based on the platform and genre. You have to get really specific when asking questions like this. For example:

How long did it take to finish halo 2 for the xbox from conception to final release.

How much money did it cost Blizzard to create, market, and distribute, WoW for the PC and how much does it currently cost in overhead? What is their net profit per month including sales and monthly subscriptions?

If your asking for yourself, what are you REALLY trying to figure out? If you're doing it for school, what is your assignment?

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