List of most expensive video games to develop

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The following is a list of the most expensive video games ever developed, with a minimum total cost of US$50 million and sorted by the total cost adjusted for inflation. Most game budgets are not disclosed, so this list is not indicative of industry trends.

Lists[edit]

Official figures[edit]

Name Year Developer Publisher Original platform(s) Development cost
(million US$)
Marketing cost
(million US$)
Total cost
(million US$)
Total cost with 2021 inflation
(million US$)
Star Citizen TBA[a] Cloud Imperium Games Cloud Imperium Games Windows 339+[3] 61+[3] 400+[3] 419+
Cyberpunk 2077 2020 CD Projekt Red CD Projekt PS4, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One 174[4] 142[4] 316[5] 331
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 2009 Infinity Ward Activision PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 40–50 200 250[6] 316
Final Fantasy VII 1997 Square Square, Sony Computer Entertainment PS1 40–45[7][8] 40–100[9][8] 80–145 135–245
Halo 2 2004 Bungie Microsoft Studios Xbox 40[10] 80[10] 120[10] 230
Destiny 2014 Bungie Activision PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One 140[11] 160
Shadow of the Tomb Raider 2018 Eidos Montréal Square Enix PS4, Windows, Xbox One 75–100[12] 35[12] 110–135 119–146
Dead Space 2 2011 Visceral Games Electronic Arts PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 60[13] 60[13] 120 145
Grand Theft Auto IV 2008 Rockstar North Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 100+[14] 126+
Shenmue 1999 Sega AM2 Sega Dreamcast 47[15][16] 47–70[15] 76–114
Battlefield 4 2013 EA DICE Electronic Arts PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 100[17] 100 116
Genshin Impact 2020 miHoYo miHoYo Android, iOS, PS4, Windows 100+[b] 105+[b]
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 2015 CD Projekt Red CD Projekt PS4, Windows, Xbox One 81[19] 93
Rift 2011 Trion Worlds Trion Worlds Windows 50+ 10–20 60–70+[20] 72–84+
Watch Dogs 2014 Ubisoft Montreal Ubisoft PS3, PS4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One 68+[21] 68+ 78+
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 2012 Ubisoft Paris, Red Storm Entertainment, Ubisoft Bucharest Ubisoft PS3, Xbox 360 65[22] 77
Gran Turismo 5 2010 Polyphony Digital Sony Computer Entertainment PS3 60[23] 60 75
Gears of War 3 2011 Epic Games Microsoft Studios Xbox 360 48–60[24] 48–60 58–72
Gears of War: Judgment 2013 Epic Games, People Can Fly Microsoft Studios Xbox 360 60[25] 70
Heavy Rain 2010 Quantic Dream Sony Computer Entertainment PS3 21.8[26][27] 30.4[26][27] 52.2[26][27] 65
Final Fantasy IX 2000 Square Square PS1 40[28] 40+ 63+
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982 Atari, Inc. Atari, Inc. Atari 2600 22[29] 62
Darksiders II 2012 Vigil Games THQ PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 50[30] 59
Half-Life 2 2004 Valve Valve Windows 40[31] 40 57
Kingdom Under Fire II 2019 Blueside, Phantagram Gameforge Windows 50+[32] 57

Cancelled games[edit]

Name Year cancelled Developer Publisher Platform Development cost
(million US$)
Cost with 2021 inflation
(million US$)
Halo MMO (Titan Project) 2007–2008 Ensemble Studios Microsoft Game Studios Windows 90[33] 113
Fable Legends 2016 Lionhead Studios Microsoft Studios Windows, Xbox One 75[34] 85+
This Is Vegas 2009–2010 Surreal Software Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 40–50[35] 50–62
Volt (working title) 2021 Hangar 13 2K Un­known 53[36] 53

Unofficial figures[edit]

Analyst estimations[edit]

Name Year Developer Publisher Original platform(s) Analyst Firm Development cost
(million US$)
Marketing cost
(million US$)
Total cost
(million US$)
Total cost with 2021 inflation
(million US$)
Ref
Grand Theft Auto V 2013 Rockstar North Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 Arvind Bhatia Sterne Agee 137.5 69–109.3 206.5–246.8 240–287 [37]
Marvel's Avengers 2020 Crystal Dynamics Square Enix PS4, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One David Gibson Astris Advisory 170+ 178+ [38]
Red Dead Redemption 2 2018 Rockstar Studios Rockstar Games PS4, Xbox One Michael Pachter Wedbush Securities 170 170 183 [39]
Halo 5: Guardians 2015 343 Industries Microsoft Studios Xbox One 160 160 183 [40]
Max Payne 3 2012 Rockstar Studios Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 Arvind Bhatia Sterne Agee 105 105 124 [41]
Tomb Raider 2013 Crystal Dynamics Square Enix PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 Billy Pidgeon 100 116 [42]

Press estimations[edit]

The following budgets have been estimated by press outlets without naming any specific analyst or firm.

Name Year Developer Publisher Original platform(s) Press outlet Development cost
(million US$)
Marketing cost
(million US$)
Total cost
(million US$)
Total cost with 2021 inflation
(million US$)
Ref
Red Dead Redemption 2 2018 Rockstar Studios Rockstar Games PS4, Xbox One VentureBeat 200–300 200–300 216–324 [39]
Grand Theft Auto V 2013 Rockstar North Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 The Scotsman 265 308 [43]
Star Wars: The Old Republic 2011 BioWare Electronic Arts, LucasArts Windows Los Angeles Times 200+ 241+ [44]
Too Human 2008 Silicon Knights Microsoft Game Studios Xbox 360 USgamer 60–100 76–126 [45]
Red Dead Redemption 2010 Rockstar San Diego Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 The New York Times 80–100 99–124 [46]
APB: All Points Bulletin 2010 Realtime Worlds Electronic Arts, Realtime Worlds Windows The Guardian 100 124 [47]
Disney Infinity 2013 Avalanche Software, Altron (3DS) Disney Interactive Studios 3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 Los Angeles Times 100+ 116+ [48]
Deadpool 2013 High Moon Studios Activision PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 GameSpot 100 116 [49]
Mass Effect: Andromeda 2017 BioWare Electronic Arts PS4, Windows, Xbox One Edmonton Journal 100 111 [50]
Defiance 2013 Trion Worlds, Human Head Studios Trion Worlds PS3, Windows, Xbox 360 Forbes 80 80 93 [51]
Mortal Kombat II 1994 Probe Entertainment Acclaim Entertainment Game Gear, Sega Genesis, SNES San Francisco Chronicle 50 91 [52]
Sonic & Knuckles 1994 Sega Sega Sega Genesis Los Angeles Times 45 45 82 [53]
DC Universe Online 2011 Daybreak Game Company Daybreak Game Company, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PS3, Windows Los Angeles Times 50 50 60 [54]
L.A. Noire 2011 Team Bondi Rockstar Games PS3, Xbox 360 BBC 50 50 60 [55]
Super Mario Bros. 3 1988 Nintendo EAD Nintendo NES The Seattle Times 0.8 25.8+ 59+ [56]
The Indianapolis Star 25+ [57]
Final Fantasy X 2001 Square Square PS2 Yomiuri Shimbun 32.3 32.3+ 53+ [58]
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2010 Treyarch Activision Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Windows, Xbox 360, OS X Los Angeles Times 50+ 62 [59]
Pokémon Gold and Silver 2000 Game Freak Nintendo Game Boy Color Bloomberg News 50 50 79 [60]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Playable elements of the game were first released in 2013,[1] but the game remains in early access, with no final release date announced.[2] Costs representative of development up to 2020.[3]
  2. ^ a b In addition to its initial budget of US$100 million, Genshin Impact is said to have an annual budget of US$200 million for its ongoing development.[18]

References[edit]

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