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  Starcraft 2 cost $100 million to make!  (Read 1923 times)
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Offline appel

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« Posted 2010-07-19 10:49:48 »

The most expensive computer game ever made?

http://www.gamespot.com/news/6269369.html?tag=latestheadlines;title;2

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Offline Abuse

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2010-07-19 11:17:46 »

What on earth did they spend the money on  Lips Sealed

From the beta reviews i've read it doesn't seem to use any revolutionary tech, nor does the game push the boundaries of it's genre much.

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Offline bobjob

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2010-07-19 11:59:02 »

probably all went into cgi cutscenes.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2010-07-19 12:32:35 »

It sort of puts thing into perspective.

If SC2 cost $100 million to make, and someone who wants to make a game "like SC2", it's easy to turn that number into years of dev time.

Let's say you're decently skilled programmer, you make $100K a year. It takes you 10 years to earn $1 million. It takes you 100 years to earn $10 million. And it takes you 1,000 years to make $100 million.

So, unless you're willing to spend the next 1,000 years making a game "like SC2", don't even go there.

Maybe a rather simplistic approach Smiley but still something worth considering.


I honestly don't know how most computer games make a buck. I don't think most of them do. Blizzard is blessed with it's milking cow, WoW. They can essentially make no-profit games for the next decade, and still return enormous profits.


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Offline ryanm

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2010-07-19 12:34:31 »

probably all went into cgi cutscenes.
The TV adverts do look very expensive, and amusingly give no hint of what the game is actually like.
Offline kappa
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« Reply #5 - Posted 2010-07-19 14:49:14 »

What on earth did they spend the money on  Lips Sealed

artists and shader programmers Smiley

anyhow knowing Blizzard and their army of loyal fans they'll probably easily make 5x that money back.

also don't forget the game is split into 3 games/parts so will sell for 3x as much as normal games (if you buy all the parts) and Blizzard is likely to put tons of value into each part.
Offline lhkbob

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2010-07-19 15:36:34 »

What on earth did they spend the money on  Lips Sealed

From the beta reviews i've read it doesn't seem to use any revolutionary tech, nor does the game push the boundaries of it's genre much.

From what I've heard their engine is actually pretty flexible since a number of people have made FPS's with it.  Playing the beta, I know a lot of time went into getting unit balances and faction styles just right but I have no idea how much testers and designers get paid compared to the developers.

Offline appel

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2010-07-19 15:58:58 »

Well, making a modern commercial computer game today involves slightly more than a team of dozen programmers. I reckon the programmer group is relatively small compared to graphical artists, 3D modelers, managers, marketing, content creators, designers, testers, audio artists, etc. I would guess that for every 1 programmer there are 9 other non-programmers.

Maybe $100 million isn't all that much. That's roughly 1000 people working for 1 year. Given they have been working on this project for 3 years (roughly), that's about 333 people working full time for 3 years. Is that a lot? Using my imaginary rule for 1 programmer out of 10 employees, that would mean there were 33 programmers. Even those could be split up into multiple groups, shader programmers, engine, networking etc.

I tried to find the credits list for SC2, but couldn't find any. Hopefully they'll include it in the final release.

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Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2010-07-19 16:15:56 »

What on earth did they spend the money on  Lips Sealed

It's a marketing statistic, it'll be 90% bullshit. It's in the marketing department's best interests to inflate the total production cost as high as possible because it makes the game sound like it's a can't-miss epic (see: GTA4 and Avatar both being hyped as "the most expensive movie/game ever!" at launch as well).

Firstly, about 50% of that figure will be marketing budget, and the other haft development. AAA games have stupidly high marketing budgets now, mostly because marketing departments are good at convincing the rest of the company that it's worth the money.

Of that marketing money, not all of it will be "real". Something like giving an exclusive review to one magazine is nearly free for Blizzard, but marketing will deem it to be "$100k effective marketing spend", ie. they think they got the equivilent of 100k of marketing from it.

Of the development money, most of it will be counted twice. For example they'll have counted the salaries for the entire QA, HR, legal, etc. departments, despite the fact that they are supporting the whole studio's games output.

Similarly they'll have fudged the actual development team's numbers - so if the team at completion is 50 they'll have calculated 50 * numYears salaries, even if there was only two people on the project for the first year.

They'll be a whole load of these fudged estimates added together, with each on rounded up to a nice fat number at each step, so the final figure is completely removed from reality.

I'm sure SC2 wasn't cheap to produce, but this figure is just marketing BS. Nothing to see here people, move along.

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Offline JL235

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2010-07-19 17:33:29 »

It also depends on how much of the engine/libraries/tools are their engine and how much are simple things they have bought and build on top of. Building their own would have driven the cost up further.

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Offline delt0r

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2010-07-19 21:19:56 »

Quote
AAA games have stupidly high marketing budgets now, mostly because marketing departments are good at convincing the rest of the company that it's worth the money.
Marketing departments are good at marketing themselves.

Also someone like Blizzard tends to fix problems with more money. But as the saying goes, "Getting nine woman pregnant will not produce a baby in one month". This is the inefficiency of bigger groups of people. Big companies this becomes a real problem. You can't do anything without legal and marketing overseeing it etc. Everything just takes longer. Want new hardware so you don't wait around for 10 min each compile--wait 5months for "approval", things like that.

Also 100Million isn't that much for blizzard. WoW is netting something like $1.5B per year! Also didn't modern warfare 2 net $1B sales in the first few months?

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Offline kappa
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« Reply #11 - Posted 2010-07-23 20:40:21 »

guess Starcraft 2 didn't cost $100m to make Smiley

source
Offline Dreamcatchermatt

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2010-07-23 22:02:31 »

well I'm paying myself $40M a year in IOU's, so I think that I can beat that...

... Minesweeper 2 - $150 Million in the making.
Offline appel

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2010-07-23 23:51:45 »

$100 million for WoW? That's cheap!  Shocked

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