The Last of Us: Part II and Horizon Forbidden West each cost over $200 million to develop, based on new documents filed as part of the ongoing Xbox Federal Trade Commission lawsuit. increase.
According to a poorly edited declaration filed by Sony Interactive Entertainment, The Last of Us: Part 2 cost about $220 million to develop and employ about 200 people at its peak. He was a time employee. Horizon Forbidden West, on the other hand, had a development budget of $212 million and involved over 300 developers.
This budget offers a glimpse into the world of big-budget game development, where exact numbers are often kept secret, and the sheer scale of AAA game development. Just recently, Xbox game studio head Matt Booty said that now, big-budget games take him five years or more to make, and failing to do so could ruin the studio.
In this case, the budget was probably well worth it. Both games sold well and were an important part of PlayStation’s branding as a “luxury” platform.
PlayStation justifies these costs by pointing out how AAA games “create a deep and ongoing engagement with players.”
“Comparing our involvement with AAA games to our involvement with big-budget Hollywood films is helpful in understanding player loyalty to game franchises,” the document states. “Most viewers of a movie watch it once, but players of a successful multiplayer AAA game always play it. A movie may run for two hours, but a successful multiplayer AAA game players may play hundreds of hours a year.”
The document goes on to highlight Call of Duty as a “key” component of PlayStation’s competitiveness, explaining that its annual release cycle is unique among AAA games. Call of Duty claims to have “tens of millions” of people playing on PlayStation alone.
The budget is yet another revelation that reveals all sorts of information about Xbox’s annual acquisition attempts, launch dates, and more. The trial, which began last week, will determine whether a preliminary injunction will be issued against the merger of Xbox and Activision Blizzard.
IGN is in court and covering everything that happens, so keep an eye on the site as the trial continues.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s Director of News and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Any tips? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.