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Another Top 10 MOST EXPENSIVE Video Games Ever Made!

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Fred Humphries

It cost HOW MUCH to make?? Welcome to and today we’re counting down ANOTHER of the Top 10 Most Expensive Video Games Ever Made!

Special thanks to our users “HockFin”, “Matt Quirke”, “Imran Babi” and many more for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest


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Another Top 10 Most Expensive Video Games Ever Made

Money makes the video game world go round. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Most Expensive Video Games Ever Made.

For this list, we look at the next lot of games that are notable for the amount of money that went into their development, marketing or other aspects related to bringing a title to market. Like our initial list, specific costs are notoriously difficult to come by, so all quoted figures are as close as we can get with the information available and are accurate for the time the game was created: considering today’s inflation, figures from older games will be much larger.

#10: “World of Warcraft” (2004)

Blizzard initially spent a reported $63 million to develop the vanilla version of their MMORPG phenomenon – a considerable sum in its own right – yet, over four years post-release, they spent $200 million to maintain servers, provide customer service and work on two of the six expansions that were released in that period. Eight years have gone by since that enormous upkeep figure emerged, meaning many more hundreds of millions would have been spent to keep it going for the approximately five million players still invested in their fantasy world. In 2010 the game had 12.5 million subscribers and in 2014 it was generating $1 billion a year – we think it’s fair to say such mammoth initial outlays were well justified.

#9: “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” (2015)

Five months before this legendary stealth series’ latest release, an $80 million development budget was being widely reported –a conservative figure that would become the heart of a controversy that not only ended Hideo Kojima’s three-decade long relationship with Konami, but also now threatens the future integrity of a franchise many gamers have grown up adoring. Kojima’s expensive requirements are well known within gaming circles, and after he once again ran rampant with Konami’s cash, the company finally decided to axe the 53-year-old and move away from making AAA titles. By shipping over 6 million units it’s probably just about broken even, yet that, and unanimous critical appreciation let’s not forget, was not enough to satisfy Konami’s desire for change.

#8: “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” (2015)

Unusually for a AAA developer, the creators of this open-world RPG, CD Projekt Red, are incredibly transparent about their finances: we can say for sure that they spent $81 million on development and marketing, resulting in sales of 6 million units and $62.5 million profit in only the first half of 2015. It’s not just a financial success either: dozens of ‘Game of the Year’ awards are accompanied bynumerous other worldwide accolades honoring its technical achievements. While its budget is certainly in AAA territory, it’s nowhere near what many on our other list spent to achieve a mediocre reception – it just goes to show what sort of production value can be attained once the right corporate philosophy is implemented.

#7: “Defiance” (2013)

Not every expensive game is a stellar hit. Eating up $80 million of the $100 million SyFy had for the simultaneous release of a new show and game, this third-person MMORPG could probably do with losing the first M from its genre description. Only 700,000 copies were sold and now, despite early connection issues being solved and it moving to free-to-play, only 500 players log onto Steam every month for some game time. Even though the accompanying show was cancelled in 2015, Trion Worlds still trudge on with support for their miniscule player base, giving those committed few further expansions for a divisive, confusing story and gameplay widely written off as boring and repetitive.

#6: Cancelled Halo MMO

We don’t know how much of Microsoft’s $90 million budget Ensemble Studios managed to spend before their two to three years of development was abandoned in 2005, but it can’t have been good news for the company. The project, codenamed ‘Titan’, leaked concept art showing new species, vehicles and classes, assets that would have featured alongside gameplay elements like cover systems and public quests –aspects that would become staples of later MMORPGs. Seeing the success of the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft felt casual gaming was where the money lay, killing development before it was officially announced. Fans have since doubted the franchise’ suitability for MMOs, yet Ensemble’s work on RTS Halo Wars demonstrated what they could do with a non-FPS title.

#5: “Disney Infinity” (2013)

Containing the potential to crossover Disney, Marvel and Star Wars properties, a $100 million investment in this toys-to-life title seemed like a venture destined to succeed. Early on things were going swimmingly: reviews were positive, $500 million revenue had been made and it was overwhelmingly outselling its main competitor, Skylanders. Two sequels later, the series was cancelled in a hot mess of corporate interference and gross overestimation of what they could sell. Astonishingly, it was still top of its genre at the time of cancellation, leading many to theorize that the budget for the sequels must have been even more extortionate than the first game. We’re just gutted BB-8 and Elsa won’t be sharing the screen any time soon.

#4: “Tomb Raider” (2013)

Square Enix had an ambitious list of targets for their $100 million reboot of gaming’s favorite British adventurer: sell 6 million units in a month, be profitable in the same period and achieve hugely positive critical reaction – no pressure for developers Crystal Dynamics then. Praise was heaped upon its graphical detail and narrative depth from the outset, but it took a while before their other criteria were satisfied. Selling 3.4 million copies in a month was impressive, but it took eight months after release for them to finally reach profitability. Lara’s new, untested look eventually lead to sales of 8.5 million, the best ever for an IP that many thought was best left in the annals of gaming history.

#3: “APB: All Points Bulletin” (2010)

Early trailers had this game from UK developers Realtime Worlds looking like a GTA-esque MMO, the end product, however, barely fulfilled 10% of that promise. Key shooting and driving mechanics were blatantly unfinished, leaving players bemused as to where the $105 million budget had gone. They got their answer when, with barely anyone playing their game, Realtime closed shop two months after APB’s release, allowing unpaid ex-staff the freedom to reveal all. They say the enormous budget made key executives complacent, resulting in a lack of direction during a meandering five-year development cycle the fledgling company were ill equipped to cope with. A ‘Reloaded’ version is still going on Xbox One – give it a go to see Realtime’s flawed legacy.

#2: “Grand Theft Auto IV” (2008)

If you’re wondering how Liberty City came to look like a detail-perfect imagination of New York City, look no further than Rockstar’s immensely in-depth, $100 million production cycle. Researchers based in the Big Apple analyzed the demographics of various neighborhoods and even studied weather patterns to provide the minute features that immerse you in the enormous cityscape. Those efforts, in combination with delays and having to pay a 150-strong team, made it the most expensive game ever at the time, an investment Rockstar would immediately recoup by earning $310 million in just one day. Apart from the inevitable criticisms of violent content, barely a negative comment has been recorded about a game that defined the open-world market.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s take a look at some honorable mentions.

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
$50-60 million

“Watch Dogs” (2014)
$70 million

“Gran Turismo 5” (2010)
$66 million

#1: “Star Citizen” (TBA)

Ever since No Man’s Sky let down millions of gamers, the pressure on this $137 million multi-genre space MMO has gone through the roof. Since 2012, 1.6 million backers have met every enormous stretch goal, dramatically expanding the game’s content and making it the second largest crowdfunding project ever. Roberts Space Industries – a collection of developers led by Chris Roberts – has gradually added playable modules for certain pledgers, slowly assembling an unprecedented persistent universe promising to contain FPS, simulation and exploration elements. A recent gameplay trailer truly was astonishing, but we’ve had our hopes built up and dashed before, so, at least until its 2017 beta, we’ll wait before hopping on this notoriously expensive hype train.

Do you agree with our list? Which other future games do you think are racking up an extortionate cost? For more top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to


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