The Cost of Making Games Examined

Cloud firm takes a look at the cost of making games and selecting the right publisher model.

Cloud computing firm ProfitBricks has revealed a number of interesting figures for the cost of making some of the industry's biggest games along with the pros and cons of cloud gaming as well as the different publishing models.

As the chart belows shows it's not always a case of throwing money at a game and getting a major return on investment. $60 million was spent on the combined marketing and production budget for Halo 3 which sold an impressive 11.74 million copies generating a healthy profit for Bungie and Microsoft. However, Star Wars: The Old Republic – the most expensive game of all time – set EA and BioWare back $200 million purely in development costs and sold just $2.56 million copies, the game has since gone free-to-play.

Taking a very modest $10 million budget as an example it's shown that 55% of all costs go into game manufacturing, marketing, publisher profits, console license fees and associated costs with the remaing 45% being used for actual game development.

The chart also examines the benefits and downsides of cloud based gaming referencing the trouble associated with the recent SimCity but also pointing out that cloud games cannot be lost and don't take up pyshical space. With new consoles just around the corner these issues will no doubt come ever more to the forefront.

Finally, they take a look at which publishing model is right for each type of developer suggesting self funding to rarely feasible with crowd funding the apparent recommendation for small and indie studios. Larger or more established developers are recommended to take the traditional publisher funded route.