If an article just published in Scottish paper “The Scotsman” is to be believed, then Grand Theft Auto V had a development budget of £170 million (or roughly US$265 million).
This would easily make it the most expensive video game ever made and also eclipse the budget of most blockbuster Hollywood movies (like Avatar). In fact the only movie that cost more to make would have been Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End at $300 million.
While $265 million of of course a big outlay for development, given that most analysts seem to believe GTA 5 will achieve sales of well over $1 billion in its first year alone, the return to Rockstar and everyone else involved in getting the title into gamer’s hands is likely to be pretty good!
Rockstar Co-Founder Dan Houser also recently conducted an interview with UK publication The Guardian in which he said there is over 100 hours of single player gameplay. Considering most titles these days have around a quarter of that, and sometimes even much less, the sheer value you’re getting from purchasing GTA V is pretty good. And that’s not even counting GTA Online!
There’s still plenty of kudos in doing a film, but you shouldn’t ever do anything in your life for kudos. It’s much easier to imagine GTA as a TV series, as the form is closer, but I still think we’d be losing too much to ever actually do it. We’ve got this big open-world experience that’s 100 hours long, and that gives players control over what they do, what they see, and how they see it. A world where you can do everything from rob a bank to take a yoga lesson to watch TV, all in your own time. How do you condense that into a two-hour or 12-hour experience where you take away the main things: player agency and freedom?
In The Scotsman article that we referenced above, it is also said that the game world in GTA 5 is 49 square miles – which is huge! We also know that the game environment is extremely detailed and packed with things to do (ie it’s not just miles and miles of the desert) which means we’re all very much in for something special when the game finally launches on September 17.