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The Most Expensive Video Games Ever

The production of modern video games requires a lot of time and money. Some of the popular games have impressive budgets. According to the games review, they even break the records of some well-known films. As insider game critics explain, these sums help meet the gamers’ expectations. But game insider sources mention that some games failed to succeed even with a huge budget.

Here you can find the list of the most expensive video games ever — read all about games that required huge sums on production and marketing.

Grand Theft Auto V

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Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most expensive games ever made. With a budget of $265 million, the game made $1 billion in the first three days. Thus, Grand Theft Auto V met all the devs’ and the production crew’s expectations.

It took seven years to release GTA 5, and the game became finally available in 2013. Undoubtedly, it was worth waiting for as the game gave an unforgettable experience and impression to the fans.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

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The launch budget of this first-person shooter was around $200 million. The devs mentioned that the production cost was about $50, but together with marketing expenses and distribution costs, it increased up to $250 million. Amazing visuals and sound effects together with engaging gameplay — all these required huge financial backing.

According to insider game critics, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made a revolution in game production because of its insane budget. Indeed, the outcomes were rewarding.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the second in the reboot series of the Tomb Raider. It had a huge budget of $125 million. The developers had great expectations concerning the success of this series. Fortunately, it made around 6.5 million with about 1 million copies within 48 hours after the release.

New features and insane skills of the main character made the game popular among the players. Overall, Shadow of the Tomb Raider received positive reviews and great appreciation from the fans.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

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The game was announced in 2008 and anticipated by the fans until the final release in 2011. BioWare worked on the production of Star Wars: The Old Republic with a budget of about $200 million. At the time of its release, the analysts predicted it would become the most expensive video game ever produced in the world.

Also, in the first three days after the release, the game got around 1 million subscribers. Hence, Star Wars: The Old Republic became the fastest-growing MMORPG of that time.


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Destiny is another video game with a huge budget of $140 million for development costs. The overall budget, including marketing expenses and distribution costs, reached $500 million. Such financial expenses broke the record of the production budget of several popular movies. According to the game critics, Destiny has quite good reviews and, of course, appreciation from the players.

Max Payne 3

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Max Payne is a classic of neo-noir gaming. The game became popular because of its revolutionary production and visual effects. For instance, the “bullet time” gameplay feature, the same as the famous slowing down effect in Matrix, made this game extremely cool.

The sequel was quite similar to the original game but had a better physics and paint job. The fans had been waiting for a long time until the release of Max Payne 3. The impressive budget of $105 million helped improve the game by adding numerous visual and sound effects. Hence, the updated Max Payne with the classic noir tone and bloody gameplay met all the fans’ expectations.

Grand Theft Auto IV

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Grand Theft Auto IV is one more Rockstar creation on the list of the most expensive video games ever. The budget of the fourth part of GTA reached $100 million. Of course, the game is worth every spent dollar.

The insider games blogs mention that the game has received mostly positive reviews from various critics. The great realism of Liberty City, the amazing physics, and the vibe of the gangster location have made GTA IV really successful.


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The great popularity of the comics and movie “Deadpool” among Marvel fans has resulted in the release of the game with the same title. Deadpool had quite a huge budget of $100 million. The majority of this money was spent on marketing but not on game production.

Although Deadpool introduced the loveable and funny character to the community, it had not received positive reviews from critics. Probably, it was better to spend money on the actual development and include more exciting features; you never can tell.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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The developers tried to do their best to impress the gamers with the Witcher series’s third entry. The budget for the game production reached $81 million. The money was spent almost on the improvement of the graphics and environment. Also, the devs wanted to create the vibe of the medieval world with its unique atmosphere, breathtaking views, and stylistics.

Fortunately, the game met the requirements of the fans. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has mostly positive reviews and high ratings.

Red Dead Redemption

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Red Dead Redemption is a classic drama developed by Rockstar. The Rockstar title impressed the gamers with its storyline. John Marston, the antihero of the game, became the favorite character of almost all players. The budget for this game was about $90 million. This sum is not as impressive as Grand Theft Auto IV and V’s budget, but the game attracted many dedicated fans.

Final Words

All of the mentioned games in this list had quite a remarkable budget spent on their development, production, and marketing. Whether the huge sums or the talent of the devs made these games successful is still a question. Yet, a good game requires a lot of money to impress the players.

Everyone appreciates powerful visual and sound effects, amazing graphics, exciting gameplay, and various unique game features. So, it’s just a matter of the price-and-quality trade-off.

About the author

Pushkar Kathayat

Pushkar Kathayat is the Chief Editor of TechGeekers. His passion is towards SEO, Online Marketing and blogging.