Several years ago, gaming studios were able to produce AAA games with budgets as small as $50 million. However, with recent games, development costs have risen significantly, with one example being God of War Ragnarok, costing 5x more than God of War 3.
While it is no surprise that development costs have gone up, the CMA’s latest finding claims that modern AAA games can cost over $1 billion in total.
The report describes that AAA games released on modern platforms cost $200 million or more to produce.
However, one publisher told the CMA that a big AAA franchise costs $660 million to produce. Surprisingly, this figure does not include the marketing budget, which takes up over $500 million.
This adds up to a whopping $1 billion. However, the identity of this franchise and publisher has not been revealed. It is possible that the franchise in question is highly ambitious with an enormous scope.
With AAA games offering more content, targeting bigger worlds, and pushing the boundaries of technology, it is not difficult to see development budgets quickly rising to the CMA’s reported figure.
Franchises like Call of Duty have already exceeded a budget of $300 million before. Considering marketing costs, this number could further increase to over $1 billion for an annual release.
Previously, developers like CD Projekt Red have also claimed that AAA gaming will soon hit a wall. The CMA’s report further highlights this possibility, with modern development budgets rising beyond expectations.
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