The Most Expensive Video Games Ever

The Most Expensive Video Games Ever

Video games are an expensive hobby but nothing compares to how much it costs to make one. Throughout my life video games have only gotten more expensive and depending on who you ask video games might STILL be too cheap. As games become more expensive to buy they are also becoming a lot more expensive to make. There is a famous quote by one of the developers of Final Fantasy VII where he said, “We can not continue to make games like this.” Well, Mr. Square employee, games have only gotten more expensive. Here are 10 of the most expensive video games ever made.

Kingdom Under Fire II

©Game Box Shot Kingdom Under Fire II (US, 11/18/2019)

  • Release Date — November 19, 2019
  • Release Platforms — Microsoft Windows
  • MetacriticScore — 62
  • Development Costs — $64 Million

Kingdom Under Fire II was a very ambitious title that tried to blend RTS, RPG, and MMO gameplay into one title. The fact that this game even came out is amazing considering how the developers went over budget multiple times throughout development. $64 Million went into developing this game and it shut down after only 2 years. A sad way to go out for sure.

Half-life 2

© Half-Life 2 – Screenshot PC Home Guides Q&A Cheats Saves Reviews Media News Board GameFAQs Reader Screenshot Half-Life 2 (US, 2004-11-16)

  • Release Date — November 16, 2004
  • Release Platforms — Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X, Linux, Android
  • MetacriticScore — 96
  • Development Costs — $65 Million

Who doesn’t know Valve’s 2004 hit, Half-Life 2? The title revolutionized the FPS genre on release and its development wasn’t cheap. Valve’s President, Gabe Newell, is on record stating that this game was meant to innovate and he was willing to fund this project out of his pocket to make it happen. The game had no deadline and a nearly unlimited budget. Luckily, everything panned out because the game is undoubtedly one of the best of all time.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII gameplay

©Gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — January 31, 1997
  • Release Platforms — PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, iOS, PlayStation 4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
  • MetacriticScore — 92
  • Development Costs — $275 Million (Adjusted for Inflation)

There was once a time when Final Fantasy VII was the most expensive game ever made. Its development is well documented and if you were lucky enough to play the game on release you could tell. This game is considered to be the first AAA title and with all of the money Square put into the massive world and the FMV cutscenes.

The game is a role-playing game about a mercenary joining an eco-terrorist organization to take down Shinra, a corporation that was using the planet’s life essence for energy. The title completely redefined the genre when it was released and it continues to do so with the Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

©GameFAQs Screenshot of Marvel's Spider-Man 2

  • Release Date — October 20, 2023
  • Release Platforms — PlayStation 5
  • MetacriticScore — 90
  • Development Costs — $315 Million

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was a massive hit when it was released last year. The action-adventure game is based around the titular character and pulls from the comic book mythology. The game is known primarily for its narrative. It found a way to characterize the main characters in a way that makes them feel like real people you’d run into in your everyday life. The game has sold 10 million units and is rapidly on its way towards recouping development costs.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

©Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Screenshot of Gameplay

  • Release Date — November 10, 2009
  • Release Platforms — PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • MetacriticScore — 94
  • Development Costs — $355 Million (Adjusted for Inflation)

This game is the peak of the Call of Duty franchise and it was the most expensive to make as well. Modern Warfare 2 is almost universally loved by the industry. The game is praised for its polish and the amount of content available for players to engage with. In retrospect the game, while controversial, is an important stepping stone for the genre and one of the greatest games of all time.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 3

Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales gameplay

©Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — 2028
  • Development Costs — $385 Million

Not much is known about this title just yet but we do know that it will be epic. It has to be since it has a confirmed budget of almost 400 million dollars and the developer has a great track record. All we know for sure is that Miles Morales will be the main Spider-Man moving forward.

Cyberpunk 2077

The Phantom Liberty expansion takes players to strange new locales.

©Screenshot from Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - Original / License

  • Release Date — September 28, 2020
  • Release Platforms — Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
  • MetacriticScore — 86
  • Development Costs — $497 Million

Cyberpunk 2077 began development way back in 2012 after The Witcher 2 was released. The game is probably known for its rocky launch more than its gameplay or story. Cyberpunk 2077 is an action role-playing game based on Mike Pondsmith’s tabletop series of the same title. The game received praise for its storytelling and setting, however many were not fond of how it handled some of its more sensitive topics and representation of transgender people. Its development costs include the costs of updates, marketing, and the very successful expansion: The Phantom Liberty.

Monopoly Go!

©Game Box Shot MONOPOLY GO! (US, 03/22/2023)

  • Release Date — April 11, 2023
  • Release Platforms — Android, iOS
  • Development Costs — $500 Million

Monopoly Go! is a mobile board game developed by Scopely in collaboration with Hasbro. The game is based on the board game of the same name and shockingly required 500 million dollars to market. Reviews of this title are hard to find and the ones present are very critical of the game’s predatory design philosophy. Despite everything, the game still went on to generate over a billion dollars in revenue.

Star Citizen

©GameFAQs Reader Screenshot Star Citizen (Early Access) (US, 2021-11-10)

  • Release Date — TBA
  • Release Platforms — Microsoft Windows
  • Development Costs — $656 Million and counting.

If consumers want something enough, they are willing to pour endless amounts of time and money into it. Star Citizen was initially funded through Kickstarter but as time went on and the game grew in scope so did the funding required. The game broke a Guinness World Record for the “largest single amount ever raised via crowdsourcing” in 2014. In 2018, a billionaire became invested in the game and its developer. People wanted this game to happen.

Star Citizen‘s gameplay combines space simulation, a first-person shooter, and an MMO each accessible through the game’s playable modes. These modes make this game feel like 4 titles smashed into one allowing players to engage with the game’s world however they see fit. Even though many are excited for something of this scale to be released, the game also has its fair share of critics. Many believe the game will never be released due to its massive scope. The game also has consistently received money from funders without actually meeting any of the deadlines set. Some see Star Citizen as a scam but others are still holding out and hoping for it to be released.

Genshin Impact

©Alison Nunes Calazans/Shutterstock.com

  • Release Date — September 28, 2020
  • Release Platforms — Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Windows, PlayStation 5
  • MetacriticScore — 81
  • Development Costs — $700 Million and counting.

Genshin Impact is currently the most expensive game ever made with a whopping 700 million dollars spent on development costs. The game’s development began in 2017, with Mihoyoverse putting 100 million into the initial development and marketing. The game has been receiving continuous updates since its release and the developer continues to pour millions into the game’s development.

The game is an action-roleplaying game reminiscent of Nintendo’s very popularZelda release, The Breath Of The Wild. Its gameplay requires the player to explore a gorgeous open world fighting monsters, gathering resources, and even cooking meals as one of your prime sources of healing. The game is very popular today but it has met its fair share of controversies. From the addictive gacha system to the multiple voice actor allegations, Genshin Impact has a lot to talk about outside of its gameplay and development costs.

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