The Witcher III Cost $81M

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by HardOCP News, Sep 9, 2015.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    Considering how much some other triple A titles cost to make, I suppose $81 million isn't so bad, all things considered.
     
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  2. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    So, at $60 1.3 million to break even not including marketing. Most publishers would probably call 6 million a failure.
     
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  3. Kor

    Kor 2[H]4U

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    It's probably somewhere closer to 2 million when you account for various pricing differences. Should be a raging success for them if they hit somewhere around the 5 million mark.

    A chunk of that cost would have been sunk into things like technology development, so hopefully that will continue to pay dividends for their next couple of releases on the Red Engine.
     
  4. Flogger23m

    Flogger23m [H]ardForum Junkie

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    And remember, the developer never gets $60. Valve takes 30%, retail stores take more if I recall. I'd be surprised if they took $40 per each copy sold at $60.
     
  5. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    That's why triple AAA games suck so much these days. Too much money spent on marketing.
     
  6. Killerxp100

    Killerxp100 Gawd

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    That 81 million includes marketing costs as well. Goes to show what a competent team of developers can do.

    Makes me wonder what Star Citizen will/can accomplish, they have almost reached 89 Million. Guess we will see how competent Chris Roberts and team really are.
     
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  7. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    Sigh, so much money for a lame 3rd person fantasy themed game. :p
     
  8. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    Everything I've ever heard in the last decade+ has been that retail margins are razor thin on games. Only reason Gamestop can stay in business is used sales makes them money.
     
  9. Weenis

    Weenis I said WEENIS, not...

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    Valve isn't like store fronts though.
     
  10. w4ffles

    w4ffles 2[H]4U

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    Publishing fees that would traditionally go to physical materials, shipping fees to get the games to brick and mortar locations and warehouses, and the cost of space to store the games are all saved with digital downloads. Sure there's a little money required to host the files and pay for bandwidth, but that's nothing compared to everything I mentioned.
     
  11. a20012001

    a20012001 n00bie

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    Witcher 3 is primarily sold through their own online store GoG with no DRM so I buy there over steam any day.
     
  12. macksomerville

    macksomerville [H]ard|Gawd

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    I think they have proven already how incompetent they are, and that doesn't even count the past failures Mr Roberts has had. I bought a Cutlass back in the original kickstarter, but now, its wait and see.



    it probably crash and burn ;(
     
  13. viscountalpha

    viscountalpha 2[H]4U

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    I must amend my previous comment. CDPR did a fantastic job with the witcher series so far.

    Sadly they are the exception and not the rule for Triple AAA titles.
     
  14. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Why do you consider other titles failures? I thought these other AAA releases for PC weren't bad:

    Pillars of Eternity
    Grand Theft Auto 5
    Wolfenstein Old Blood
    Witcher III
    Dishonored 2 looks promising (if it releases)
    Heroes of Might and Magic VII looks promising
    Fallout 4 looks extremely promising

    And those are just the PC titles. There are probably more on the console side.
     
  15. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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  16. rotarymotor

    rotarymotor [H]Lite

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    Looking at that list, the marketing costs of some games exceeding the actual development costs is absolutely gut wrenching.

    I never understood how marketing was such a big factor if you need to sell a good game. A good game will sell itself just like any other good product in any given market.
     
  17. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Except good products in markets that don't get enough publicity fail all the time...
     
  18. evilsofa

    evilsofa [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You are confusing marketing with advertising. Advertising is only one part of marketing. Products with no advertising can be well marketed. For example, Hershey's famously did no advertising for 70 years because it felt it had no need to. But that doesn't mean they didn't do marketing; "Instead, he said, the company focused on distribution networks and convincing supermarket owners to carry its product." (source) Apple is an example of a modern company that has made extremely good use of marketing in which advertising plays a relatively small part. Microsoft is an example of a company that throws far too much money into advertising while not quite ever understanding how marketing works (see: Seinfeld $500 million).
     
  19. pothb

    pothb [H]ardness Supreme

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    Net profit of 60 million.... doesn't that mean they made money?

    And 1.3 mil * 60 dollars is 80 mil, not 6 mil. Which is close to what they spent. Now, I didn't watch the video. But how much of it was marketing/advertising, how much was single use, how much of it is reuseable (like say an awesome engine)?
     
  20. Dekoth-E-

    Dekoth-E- [H]ardness Supreme

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    That really is interesting. I never imagined FFVII would rank so high. Then i see ix one of the few i hated and am not surprised. That said i dont feel this is fully accurate. I don't see many MMORPG on there and we know those are super expensive and wow cost far more than that.
     
  21. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wouldn't be surprised if there was a little bit of that ... you know, Hollywood Movie Accounting Magic where movies still lose money despite making hundreds of millions of dollars ..... going on here.

    I doubt seriously we are getting the whole story here.

    “This is a very complicated case Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous.” — The Dude

    I will say, I have NEVER in my life been blown away by the level of detail and beauty this game can sometimes throw at you. The fields with all the sunflowers? Yeah ..... awesome. Countless other breathtaking moments. They absolutely deserve all the riches this game brings them.
     
  22. MrCaffeineX

    MrCaffeineX [H]ard|Gawd

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    MMORPGs are almost a different animal entirely, so it makes sense not to include them. AAA titles have one goal in mind: sell a large number of units. MMORPGs have a different goal in mind: build a player-base, then keep them playing (this was especially true of the traditional subscription model MMORPGs, but even the freemium onslaught shares a similar goal because the more time you spend playing, the more likely you are to buy something for real money).

    $81M could make a halfway decent movie with at least one known actor/actress. Given the scope of modern video games, I'm not surprised that this much money was spent. So many games have become interactive movies of sorts and they are even attracting known-talent voice actors for some of the bigger titles. Productions have reached the point where they are basically filming an entire CGI movie, then adding programmers to create the interactive parts.
     
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  23. cinnamonandgravy

    cinnamonandgravy Limp Gawd

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    $81mil is the equivalent of paying 270 people $100k/yr for 3 years.

    even if we assume half that money went to marketing, thats paying 135 people $100k for 3 years.

    seems like too many people. game development has gotten stupid.
     
  24. Litfod

    Litfod [H]ard|Gawd

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    Except that it's a fucking awesome game, not to mention they've sold around 6 million copies, so I think they had exactly the right number of the right people.
     
  25. TheSoldier

    TheSoldier Limp Gawd

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    I still find it astonishing that I see freemium phone games getting airtime at the Superbowl. By that account, how many new users will sign up by seeing those commercials or marketing? Someone smarter than me probably has those numbers which is why these titles are dumping >100% of game development money into it.
     
  26. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    Some fantasy games are okay, but from what I've seen, the whole Witchthing series is just pointless gore and nudity tied to a pretty lame, half-baked story and underdeveloped characters. If they'd gone more JRPG-ish like Final Fantasy that actually had engaging characters and some in-depth interaction between them or at least aimed for like the quality of some visual novels, they could have done a much better job. I think they wasted too much time on graphics and stupid swords when they could have gone airships and fantasy-style mecha with a good world-saving backed up by a little more believable romance between characters.
     
  27. Aireoth

    Aireoth [H]ard|Gawd

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    No to the JRPG style here, convoluted plots full of holes, mcguffins, deus-ex Machina and very poorly fleshed out characters (they are almost all defined by some kind of teen style trauma). Choices are either non-existence or completely black and white, you just hurl skill attacks at encounters until your high enough level to proceed. A simple fence keeps you from exploring (or my favorite, turn styles in a train station). Its like your playing in a world filled with mentally challenged emo's that can pilot mechs, air machines, use crazy weapons, but can't step over or around something (except in cut scenes).

    I enjoyed the Witcher 3 immensely, the world flowed well, encounters for the large part seamlessly integrated into it, choices where not black and white but a scale of grey (with some leaving a bitter taste in your mouth). It was more an adult style experience than any JRPG I've ever played.
     
  28. flashoverride

    flashoverride Limp Gawd

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    [​IMG]
     
  29. DocFaustus

    DocFaustus 2[H]4U

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    Strange bite there.... Dafuq you two up to?
     
  30. kbrickley

    kbrickley [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Depends on the game. Game development has the same overhead of any other software project (project managers, programmers, technicians, QA/QC, etc). Because it is a creative work of art it will have other personnel as well (artists, sound techs, art directors, writers, voice techs, etc). This is on top of all the standard company overhead you maintain (HR, CEO/president, IT, etc). Some games might require travel to film locations they want to use in the game, they might need to purchase new rendering equipment, etc.

    There are many places that money can be spent for big projects that are perfectly valid and strictly a function of having a big project ;)
     
  31. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    The problem with games like this one is that they try to be too adult. They boil down to some sweating hairball with a beard howling while he chops out something's guts in order to prove his manhood to someone so he can hump her. It's not really adult, in my opinion, and is as childish and shock-factor-y as that stupid Game of Thrones things that was basically carried along by pointless nudity and over the top gore.

    I want entertainment and fun with a nice mix of drama and western style attempts at gritty fantasy just rely too much on eye-appeal, violence appeal, and blatant sexuality to deliver anything meaningful. But like Flashy said with his post...

    ...that's my opinion and ONLY my opinion. JRPGs, even the bad ones, are a ton-of-more-awesome. Yeah they can get grindy and stuff, but if the grind is what bothers you and you don't mind a linear story like this game (sorry, I feel so stupid typing the word "Witcher" that I'm like mentally half avoiding it because of how silly it sounds in my head) or those of JRPGs, visual novels cut the game mechanics out and get you the story generally without a bunch of dumb stats, leveling, messing with equipment, or any of that other pretty silly game engine trash and a lot of them are free. In fact, some of them get pretty dirty so you have to be picky about what you download. (P)lanets was really good about story without smut and was fan made.
     
  32. runudownquick

    runudownquick Gawd

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    Those bolded, & maybe others were just fine on console, & FO4 may be as well. Not sure why you say "just PC".

    I think OP was referring to massive budgets for marketing & in general. Many studios really have become bloated beasts. Whether they put out good games or not.
     
  33. runudownquick

    runudownquick Gawd

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    It sounds like you have not played each of the games to the end and are making assumptions. You say you want more JRPG style, then go play one, right?

    The games are based on the books & while they don't follow them perfectly it sounds like you should go rag on the source material, which by the way is great.

    Also don't forget lots of the way women are very often tiny waist, large eyed & huge breasted in FF games.

    Witcher has sex in them cause, wait for it, people have sex in the real world.
     
  34. CreepyUncleGoogle

    CreepyUncleGoogle [H]ardness Supreme

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    No, I haven't and have no intention of playing them. The bits of them I've seen you Youtube (which were gross enough to just stop watching) were enough to figure out there was a paper thin plot and it relied pretty much exclusively on gore and porn to get its audience. *shrug* I know that appeals to very base, animal instincts in some people, but it's not for everyone. Some of us grow into other things.

    First of all they're not naked in Final Fantasy games. Second of all, I don't really care much about that since the artistic style is generally more on teh kyooteness than something certain people get gross and disgusting over. And third of all, most of the FF character really aren't bouncing balloon chested losers. Like take Aeris or Yuffie who are both totally not fitting of that particular mold. Even Tifa who was kinda sexualized really wasn't that bad and the guys got the usual over-the-top treatment pretty fairly as well. AND NO ONE WAS HUMPING EITHER! Did I mention that?

    Yeah, and some of us find that a completely revolting idea and don't waste our time with it. I mean really, hairy carpet backed sweat machines rubbing their glands together...that's like a trip straight to gag me and induce vomiting land in games or in real life thanks. And the worst part about that is that it never really contributes to the advancement of the plot of pretty much any story. Plus, it's super easy to just imply it happens and fade to black to spare us the gross act itself. Pretty much it's just there for eye candy for the human animals among us and that's sad.
     
  35. cinnamonandgravy

    cinnamonandgravy Limp Gawd

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    havent played witcher 3, but i couldnt play 1 or 2 for more than an hour (hated the combat). will probably give it a shot down the road.

    ~1/10 of a billion dollars to develop and market one game just seems silly. at that point, its more "business development" than "game development". i know thats the reality of AAA titles these days, but it seems... i dont know, a bit wrong.

    gta5 cost ~$250 million! 1/4 of a billion dollars! gta4 cost less and was a much better game, IMO.

    i guess im just scared gaming will turn into the movie industry where big budget crap will be a profitable spectacle during its release, but is critically remembered as crap.
     
  36. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I was just tired and grumpy, please ignore. :p
     
  37. Snowdog

    Snowdog Pasty Nerd with Poor Cardio

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    Hardly a comprehensive list. Just in similar games, there should be a couple of Dragon Age games on there.
     
  38. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I never played the first one, but a friend of mine highly recommended the second one, so when I saw it on sale for $3.99 or something stupid like that I picked it up.

    I installed it, set up my graphics settings, and then sat through what felt like an hour of cut-scenes before the game finally started, only to find out that it was fantasy themed (homey don't play that) and 3rd person (homey don't play that either)

    I quit the game and uninstalled it :p

    The developers seem like really good guys, and I love their DRM free approach, it's just not my type of game.
     
  39. Snowdog

    Snowdog Pasty Nerd with Poor Cardio

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    Hardly a comprehensive list. Just in similar games, there should be a couple of Dragon Age games on there. Origins and Inquisition must have topped $50 Million. DA2 was quickie cash grab, so it might have cost less.
     
  40. trembli0s

    trembli0s [H]Lite

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    Isn't that actually pretty good?

    I mean, consider that development took what is likely 3 years and they've already turned a profit against the sunk cost of tech and marketing.