If geeks love it, we’re on it

GTA V breaks its first record: Most Expensive Game to Develop

GTA V breaks its first record: Most Expensive Game to Develop

GTA V most expensive video game to develop

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.

Game development cost chart
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.


  1. JBoogaloo
    JBoogaloo I may just pick it up for one of my consoles. Money depending, of course.
  2. CrazyJoe
    CrazyJoe This is really amazing. I was on the fence about getting the game, but as it gets closer I am seriously considering picking it up. Anyone else getting the game? The multiplayer looks pretty amazing.
  3. Jokke
    Jokke I hope there will be a proper PC port. I'm not getting a console just to play GTAV. Or will I...?
  4. Canti
    Canti Meaning it will need to sell something like 10 billion copies to make a profit. I'm just gonna go ahead and predict this will be considered a massive failure by Rockstar even if it's a great game.
  5. CB
    CB I'm not interested in console GTA.
  6. fatcat
  7. Pink
    Pink I am totally getting this game and I am totally getting the PC version.
    This is gonna be hella fun!
  8. CrazyJoe
    CrazyJoe Yep, I think I'll wait for a PC version, it does look awesome though! GTA Online doesn't open up until Oct 1 so we should be good sometime this fall.
  9. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster So if you factor in the cost of marketing, you figure they sell five million units and they break even? Seems like a terrible risk to take this late in those consoles life cycle? You are competing with the excitement of new hardware as well as a boat load of less expensive content.
  10. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx PC version will come out, no matter what R* says, probably 6 months out if the past has proven anything.

    I'll buy it on PC when the time comes, but I'm actually thinking about buying it on PS3 to play the singleplayer on.
  11. Winfrey
    Winfrey I'll buy it on PC 2 years from now when it's only $20 on steam
  12. Butters
    Butters Going to pay full retail on Steam.

    Still upset at R* for not releasing RDR on PC unless they miraculously bundle it with GTA5.
  13. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster GTA IV was a miserable experience on PC. Ported horribly, performance as awful even on high end PC's. There were similar issues with L.A. Noire. For Rockstar the PC is not a development priority, they are just going to port whatever they can sloppy if they think they can make money on it. I'd say if you are desperate to play GTA V, get the PS3 bundle and don't hold your breath for a port to PC, because even if it happens it's going to run like garbage.
  14. BHHammy
    BHHammy First Day Sales for GTA V Clear $800 Million

    Dunno about you, but it seems that $267 mil seems to have paid off.
  15. JBoogaloo
    JBoogaloo $800M in sales the first 24hrs? I'd say so :)

Howdy, Stranger!

You found the friendliest gaming & tech geeks around. Say hello!