Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy, and no stranger to shattering records. According to The Scotsman, they’ve not merely broken, but shattered another—and the game isn’t even out yet. In addition to your usual dose of ultraviolence, fart jokes, and witty satire you’ll also be looking at the most expensive game developed to date.
And not by a small margin—reports say Rockstar North has spent or budgeted a total of approximately $267,000,000.00 USD for development and marketing prior to release. That’s two-hundred sixty-seven million dollars to produce a game that comes on two DVDs (Xbox 360) or one very, very full Blu-ray disc (PS3.) Star Wars: The Old Republic will fall to second place at an estimated $200 million.
Here’s a picture to give you some idea of just how massively GTA V shatters that record.
Two trends you might notice: That list contains not one, not two, but three Rockstar titles—GTA IV (excluding the expansions) and Red Dead Redemption. What you wouldn’t notice is just how massive that $267M number really is. That number is bigger than Halo 4’s first day sales and very nearly equal to first week sales.
There’s another number that GTA V dwarfs as well—the cost of a Hollywood blockbuster. You may recall a movie from last year called The Avengers. The total budget was $220M—including marketing. It certainly makes it a lot harder to claim that video games “aren’t art” when they’re spending more than even Hollywood is. And I’m fairly certain Rockstar North didn’t spend $167M or even $67M just on Doritos and Mountain Dew.
When it’s released on September 17th, we’ll be able to judge for ourselves whether Rockstar spent that money well. GTA V brings three main protagonists into the action, along with a Los Santos that is claimed to be larger than all of GTA: San Andreas, GTA IV, and Red Dead Redemption combined. And you certainly could be forgiven for not realizing that GTA V also marks the 15th installment in the Grand Theft Auto series since 1997.
Now if only they’d spend some of that on bringing it to PC too.