Other than movies, one of this fall’s most anticipated releases is the long-awaited next video game in the “Grand Theft Auto” franchise. GTA V comes to stores September 17, and when it does it won’t only be one of the most expensive games ever made, but also one of the costliest pieces of entertainment to have hit shelves.
At $266 million, the fifth installment of the Rockstar game will have surpassed the estimated production budget (without marketing) for every Hollywood blockbuster adjusted for inflation except “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” which cost an estimated $300 million.
According to a report in Scotland-based paper The Scotsman, the game’s development and marketing budget cost £170 million (equivalent to $266 million).
How does this compare to the cost to make other video games?
Here are three of the priciest games to date:
Red Dead Redemption (also a Rockstar game): $80-$100 million
Disney Infinity: $100 million+
“Grand Theft Auto IV”: $100 million
The only game who that would come close to matching the price of GTA V would be “Star Wars: The Old Republic” which was rumored to cost $200 million after the game was in production for six years. Cinemablend believes the price was slightly lower due to LucasArts licensing fees.
It should come as no surprise GTA V comes at a high cost. Last year, the video game industry was worth an estimated $67 billion, according to Forbes. (Note this figure includes not only console and PC games but also games for mobile devices.)
In four more years, the industry should be valued at $82 billion, according to a report from the Worldwide Market Forecasts for the Video Game and Interactive Entertainment Industry.
Last year, the box office took in $10.8 billion in ticket sales.
Rockstar estimates the game will make $1 billion before the year’s end.
It wouldn’t be an absurd figure for the game to earn. Not only is the “Grand Theft Auto” franchise well recognized, but other titles have made that kind of cash.
The previous two “Call of Duty” (CoD) releases both earned more than $1 billion — and fast.
Last year, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” grossed $1 billion after just 15 days in release.
Prior to that, Activision’s previous release, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” crossed the $1 billion mark in 16 days.
To compare that to the film industry, it took “Avatar” 17 days to earn $1 billion worldwide.