10 Most Expensive Video Game Budgets

1. Grand Theft Auto IV, $100,000,000

Only just recently obtaining the No. 1 spot – knocking Shenmue from its lofty perch – by being released at the end of April earlier this year, GTAIV is now officially the game that has been the most expensive to make, not to mention being the game to make people have a sudden urge to compare the market for RAC breakdown or green flag breakdown cover…you know…just in case. And in this current climate you will probably need your credit card to buy it. This controversial crime sandbox took 1000 people over three and a half years to complete!

2. Shenmue, $70,000,000

Released on the Dreamcast back in ‘99/’00, this game most definitely made a dent in the savings and has been the most expensive game ever for the past 8 years. It must have seemed pure insanity to attempt to make a game with a budget like this! Not only that, but it took 7 years to make! Disappointingly, it undersold vastly, only selling 1.2 million copies worldwide. Despite being one of the few Dreamcast titles to sell more than a million copies, gaming website IGN states that every single Dreamcast owner would have needed to buy two copies of the game in order for creators Sega to have even thought of turning a profit!

3. Too Human, $80-$100,000,000

While the budget of this tale of genetically enhanced humans trying to thwart a machine menace is only rumored, developers Silicon Knights have had to scrap plans to use Epic Games’ Unreal 3 Engine and have had to build their own game engine from the ground up, further adding to the cost of creating the game.

4. Metal Gear Solid 4, $50-$70,000,000

No exact figure has been found, but anything between $50 and $70 million has been thrown about. When bundled with the PS3 on its debut, the game helped increased the sales of PS3 units from around 10,000 to up to 77,000! As of August, this tactical espionage action game has shifted almost 4 million copies worldwide!

5. Halo 3, $60,000,000

This highly anticipated installment of the famous first-person shooter franchise reputedly cost just over $30 million, but due to the epic scale of the marketing/advertizing (real-time cinematics, pre-rendered CGI, even a live-action film were all made purely to advertize the game), this added a further $30 million onto the production costs. Luckily, first-day sales in the US reached astounding figures of around $170 million!

6. APB MMO, $50,000,000

This is an upcoming Massively Multiplayer Online game for Windows that will feature two opposing playable sides: Enforcement and Criminals, both competing head-to-head to complete various objectives. Set to be released some time in 2009, but a beta-test is said to be “very close” with some registrations already having taken place.

7. Tom Clancy MMO, $50,000,000

Pretty much anything with “Tom Clancy” in front of it is destined to be a big seller, and I imagine the developers of this $50 million online game are hoping the same. Not much else is known besides it being a Clancy MMO with a large budget, as that is all the CEO of developers Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, had to say when he announced the game was in development.

8. Killzone 2, $40,000,000

Set for a Feb 2009 release, this is the third in the franchise, believe it or not, having been preceded by Killzone: Liberation on the PSP and with the original Killzone on the PS2 before that. Originally announced at 2005’s E3 with a trailer, fans are eager to experience the HD features of Killzone 2, which will be locked at a reasonable 30 frames per second at 720p.

9. Final Fantasy XII, $40,000,000

The eagerly anticipated latest installment in arguably Japan’s most popular gaming franchise managed to sell over 1.7 million copies in its first week in Japan alone. The game also sold over 1.5 million units in its first week of release in the US, and with 5 years of development time, it seems the wait was worth it, making it the tenth best-selling game on the PS2.

10. Final Fantasy IX, $40,000,000

Released in ‘00/’01 for the PS1, FF9 has since become Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu’s 4th fastest-selling game of all time, going on to sell over 5 million copies worldwide, with around 2.8 million of those copies being sold in Japan alone. With the pre-sales of the game topping record highs even before it had been released, the immense budget and the hype were seemingly justified!

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