Video games are not the easiest things to create, when it comes to production and then release. For one title, especially in this day and age, there are tens, even hundreds of people working behind closed doors in order to get that new game or expansion ready. For example, when World of Warcraft came out, barely three dozen people were working on the main title.
The first and second expansions? Hundreds of people were hired by Blizzard in order to resume the story of Azeroth and take it further for the millions of fans all over the globe. Games are usually made in either series or with a main title and expansions, DLCs or content packs you can later get. But they all mean expensive, hard work, both creative and technical.
Budgeting A Video Game
Companies that make video games know just how expensive creating a single new title can be. Activision, Ubisoft, EA Games, these are just some of the larger names in the business. These people, when budgeting a video game, have to take into consideration things like drawers, artists, programmers, graphics specialists, psychologists, mathematicians, literally everyone.
Because there’s so much going on when a video game is being made, hundreds of people might be working on one project alone. Which in return means higher costs for the production team, as you’d naturally expect. And that’s why some budgets for certain video games equal or even surpass the ones of movies, which are truly the most expensive products in entertainment.
Most Expensive Games Of The Decade
But enough with the introductions! We’re all here for the ultimate list of the most expensive to make video games of the last 10 years. This list has been put together with the idea of enveloping all genres of the industry into it. And the prices are somewhat speculative because no producer will ever make that detail public by the dollar.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider - Priced at around $75 million, this Tomb Raider game is probably the most expensive production having to do with the legendary story of Lara Croft and her adventures. It is the last chapter in the reboot series of Tomb Raider, so it was somewhat normal to be expensive. The budget of the game is even higher, as David Anfossi of Eidos Montreal has said in an interview, with up to $100 million after marketing and promotion. Luckily for the production team, the game sold amazingly well, with more than 4 million copies that were sold in just 3 months after the release date.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Roughly $80 million in expenses, The Phantom Pain is one heck of an MGS V release! This might be the very last of Hideo Kojima's games in the series, as the Japanese developer ended his collaboration with Konami. It's still a mystery why the split has happened between the two entities, but the budget for this last project was surely a massive one. Just for the production of the game, the company behind it spent more than $80 million. The entire thing, including marketing, promotion, and so on roughly went on to cost more than $100 million.
Defiance - With an estimated price reaching and surpassing $80 million, Defiance is surely an expensive game that's not as popular as the last two on this list. One unique MMO in terms of gameplay, as it is a shooter released for all of the great consoles and the PC back in 2013, Defiance breaks the barrier between first-person combat and massive online multiplayer. The player base is not huge, but steady, and was able to keep it up all the way to 2021 when the online servers were finally closed down. Although the true, final cost of the game remains a mystery, it's clear that the estimated budget helped the developers keep the servers running for so long, as the game's performance in terms of finances was never exceptional, unfortunately.
Battlefield 4 - Priced at around $100 million per its production and development, Battlefield 4 is surely a very expensive game. But honestly, it shows in all its amazing graphics, sounds, mechanics and so on. It's often regarded as part of the very best franchise of FPS games ever made, so there's that. If the former CEO of EA was right when pricing the game at $100 million, this would make Battlefield 4 the most expensive title to date of the franchise. While the game performed amazingly well, with 7 million copies sold already, it's still 3 times lower than Call of Duty: Ghosts, for example, a direct competitor, which means it's still struggling to meet its potential... and price!
Max Payne 3 - Roughly $105 million, that's how much money the third Max Payne game was priced at. A sum that's worthy of movie production, Max Payne 3 is no joke of a game. It comes with the most amazing additions to the other previous two titles in the series, you surely feel they got their money's worth. And you'd expect that since the game at hand comes from the most money-ready producer out there, Rockstar Games, the people behind GTA and Red Dead Redemption. The game sold over 4 million copies as we speak, being a successful last chapter in the story of Max Payne.
Grand Theft Auto V - Now this estimate of $137 million for GTA V is just for the video game itself. If we count in advertisement, post-production and so on, this title would most likely be considered as the most expensive video game ever made and shipped. Yet speaking of production alone, the famous unjust adventures of the three characters in Grand Theft Auto 5, Michael, Franklin, and Trevor, sit at just the middle of our list today. This game has sold more than all of the other games on this list combined, and then multiplied a couple of times, in more than 140 million copies. Yes, that's a figure!
Red Dead Redemption 2 - Still in the Rockstar Games category of expensive, yet very successful games is the second Red Dead, priced at just over $170 million, as well as over the Grand Theft Auto V quota. In this game, you play an unlawful hero who tries to escape the long arm of the law. See the theme here? It's GTA but with horses and carriages, really. But that's the thing, the game is so realistic, so amazingly well done, people just flocked in to buy it. Although they've spent more than $300 million on ads, the game generated $725 million in revenue in just its first two days on sale.
Cyberpunk 2077 - There hasn't been much controversy with game launches recently. That's until the Cyberpunk 2077 craziness began. With a budget for the game priced at around $174 million, and a ton more working towards putting the game in front of its possible audience, this title is surely an expensive production. This game took 8 years to be done, and when it came out, it was still filled with bugs and glitches. While the value of the company behind the game crashed because of the criticism over its fallbacks, they still turned some hefty profits from selling this title out to the fans.
Star Wars: The Old Republic -We all know just how famous and expensive a series like Star Wars is. Decades in the making, the movies and games of this particular phenomenon are an actual treasure of the industry of entertainment. It's no surprise then that "The Old Republic", one of the most successful games of the franchise, was priced at roughly $200 million. It was released a decade ago, yet it still gets its fair share of updates on a regular basis. This game is one of the most expensive and ambitious projects ever to be made by EA Games. And with such costs came amazing revenue, with the game pulling out around $1 billion from the pockets of fans all over the world.
Star Citizen - And at last, here's the most expensive game ever made, to date, that we know off. And honestly, we'd expected something completely different than this title, which we know about, but it's not at all famous, even well known. Yet the fan base for Star Citizen is surely solid, as it should be for a game that cost $275 million (that's 275 followed by six zeros) to make. In actuality, the crowdfunding campaigns for this game raised over $300 million, which is just crazy to think about. In the game, players fight through cosmic battles and space exploring. The only issue is, a full version of the game hasn't been released yet. Fans are waiting for the final release after many alphas and betas, but yet there's no release date for the complete game.
How To Buy The Cheapest Games
While all of the video games from this list are very expensive when it comes to production, when it comes down to the resale price, they’re quite okay if you know where and how to look for them. We’d just advertise our own site for you to buy these games, and you should do that, but we also want to give you some tips on how to always buy games at their lowest prices.
Wait for a bit… - Probably the hardest, yet most efficient way to buy games for cheap is to wait for a bit after they’re being released. Why? Because a month or two after the big launch day most companies introduce special rates to these games, making the prices go from normal to 20%, 30%, sometimes even 50% off. These special offers usually appear after the first initial wave of orders, when people who’ve waited for the game for far too long have placed their orders, and thus making the new orders drop. Hence the price being cut down and the game offered at a lower-than-normal rate. If you can wait for a bit and buy the game a little later than your mates, you will surely get a great price and enjoy the game the same way everybody does.
Buy in bundles - Another great “trick” towards cheap games is the bundle. You can buy many games in bundles at lower rates, but also a certain game that comes in a bundle with expansions, extra content, or other DLCs. These bundles help you save tons of money, offering up to 70% off the initial full price of a certain set, based on some Egaming offers on hand. If you want to buy games to enjoy for longer periods of time, not just individual titles, bundle-buying is also ideal for you. Sure, you might be paying a little bit more right now, but as an investment, you’ve already paid for the games you’re about to play for the next 6 months, for example. That means you won’t have to worry about gaming for the foreseeable future. Investment!
Find great direct resellers like Egaming - The final tip we’ll give you is to really look into the market for the best resellers who’re cutting on costs. Egaming, for example, is one such reseller. Our core values are mainly low prices, direct producer-to-gamer selling funnel, and excellent customer support. We are offering the lowest possible prices on all games in our store, and we achieve that by constantly looking for the very best offers out there. We mostly get our games directly from developers, which means there are no extra costs associated with our purchase, and therefore yours. What you see is what you pay for! Also, thanks to our constant care for our customers, you will be in great hands as Egaming offers the ultimate support for all gamers who are buying their games from our platform. You’re in complete control and can shop safely while on our online store.