$100 Million?

Mr. Koster has an interesting read over at his blog…posted on Friday (damn I am so far behind). Its more or less his take on the future of gaming. I am just going to comment on the cost issue.

His speculative figure of $100 million sounds high, but I imagine a game like WoW was close to that. Just quickly running the numbers through my pee-brain, unless a company is paying a shit-load of money for an IP, they have a bloated staff or over-priced talent, or a 4+ year dev cycle, its hard for me to believe you could drain that much cash. Maybe I am just niave, having struggled with a small developer for many years, but if games like Auto-Assault, Vanguard, Guild Wars, etc., is burning through anywhere near $100M then my opinion would be that there is/was something funny going on.

Games like Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online might have a better excuse as those IPs probably cost a bit. What would be really interesting is being able to view cost versus return on licensing well known IPs. I wonder how Turbine made out with the DnD license for DnD online? How about Monolith with the Matrix IP?

Pam

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~ by roca on April 23, 2006.

3 Responses to “$100 Million?”

  1. $100 million is not far away. Ollie and I sat in on a seminar last year at AGDC and the guy said EA averages (no joke… the guy helped implement Alienbrain for their version control) $82 million per title. What’s interesting is that a huge chunk of that cost is in localization.

  2. Well like I said, I don’t doubt it but if that’s the case, maybe they should look at their production pipeline.
    Far be it from me to question a company like EA’s method of path to retail, but $82 million? Are these games that have licensed the Xbox and PS SDKs? How about existing engines? Farking $500K-$750K plus royalties for a licensed 3d rendering engine could be a good start in a $82 million dollar budget.

  3. I think all of their games have multiple license costs. PS2, Xbox, Xbox360. That’s easily 1.5-2 million right there.

    The guy did say their pipeline is 2 years on each title, starting with about 40 people and then ramping to 200ish. That would come out around $10 million at least in human resources. Add in your voice talent, recording time, audio costs, etc. and you’re up quite a few million. Then do that for 20 languages or something for localization and add in their marketing budget. Yeah. $82 million doesn’t sound that far off at all for them.

    It really doesn’t surprise me given what it takes to get a game out on all of those platforms in all of those languages.

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