As a new Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2 was more than just another game in Activision’s long-running Modern Warfare series, shattering records and becoming the highest-grossing entertainment opening of the year.
It broke many records within the franchise by generating over $800 million in just three days. In 2022, Modern Warfare 2 also took the spot for the biggest Call of Duty release on Steam, making it a big hit for Activision.
This success raised curiosity about the amount invested in this Call of Duty title. According to a report, Modern Warfare 2 (2022) cost $250 million.
Why it matters: With time, games are becoming more costly to produce. However, this budget is quite reasonable for a game that made such incredible profits last year.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II's (2022) budget was $250 million pic.twitter.com/Z0ZW1mb9DU
— Timur222 (@bogorad222) November 16, 2023
While the game cost $250 million to develop, Activision did not need long to recover this amount. It quickly made over $1 billion in 10 days after a massive launch. The beta alone became the biggest one in Call of Duty history.
Since Modern Warfare 2 was a massive Call of Duty game, this figure is not too surprising. It included a new version of Warzone, a new campaign, multiplayer, and the DMZ mode.
Such inclusions made it one of the more content-rich Call of Duty games in recent years. Additionally, Activision’s strategy of selling microtransactions likely meant that it did not take long for the publisher to multiply its investment, even after the initial launch hype died down.
Most games require similar budgets to produce these days. A massive release like The Last of Us Part 2 cost around $220 million, while others like Cyberpunk 2077 needed $174 million for development.
On the other hand, games like Star Citizen can require even bigger budgets. With over $600 million in crowdfunding, it has developed a reputation as the most expensive game in the industry.
Compared to its predecessor, the recently released Modern Warfare 3 likely has a much more conservative budget. Since the game is being criticized for a four-hour campaign, recycled content, and 16 months of development, it clearly received much less attention.
However, with Xbox at the helm moving forward, Activision may receive more resources and bigger budgets to enhance future entries in the Call of Duty franchise.
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Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.