Uncovering the Most Expensive Video Games of the Last Decade

Uncovering the Most Expensive Video Games of the Last Decade

Do you consider yourself a video game fan, or do you prefer to play in a casino and take payday loans for unemployed on benefits on a daily basis? We hope that you are the first person! Have you ever considered the cost of some of your favorite games? You may not realize it, but video games come with hefty price tags. 

Over the last decade, developers have released many expensive titles, sometimes reaching hundreds of dollars per copy. This blog post will uncover some luxury-level games and explore why they cost so much money. 

From collector’s editions containing real artifacts in addition to digital content to physically large cases packed with goodies like art books and posters – get ready to step beyond the ordinary gaming experience!

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Development Cost: $265 million
  • Marketing Cost: $150 million

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is one of the most successful video games ever. According to a recent poll, Grand Theft Auto V is among the top 3 best games ever. Developed by Rockstar Games and released in 2013, it has sold over 140 million copies globally, generating over $6 billion in revenue as of 2021. 

The game is set in the fictional city of Los Santos and follows three protagonists, Franklin, Michael, and Trevor, as they navigate through various criminal activities and engage in heists.

GTA V has an epic storyline that spans hours of gameplay and hooks players in from the start. The game shines through its exceptional mechanics, including driving, shooting, and action-packed sequences. Players can explore an expansive open-world environment, complete side missions, or cause havoc on the streets.

With such a high level of production quality, it’s not surprising that the cost of developing GTA V was significant. According to reports, the game’s development and production cost was approximately $265 million, making it one of the most expensive video games ever produced. The amount of money invested in creating the game is evident in the game’s breathtaking visuals, incredibly detailed storyline, and gameplay mechanics.


  • Release Year: 2014
  • Developer: Bungie
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Development Cost: $140 million
  • Marketing Cost: $500 million

Destiny, developed by Bungie and published by Activision, is an online multiplayer first-person shooter game. Released in 2014, this game took the gaming world by storm with its unique concept and engaging gameplay. However, the development cost of Destiny raised eyebrows in the industry. According to reports, the game’s production and marketing cost reached $500 million, grabbing the title of the most expensive game ever developed.

Comparing Destiny’s production cost to other popular video games, it continues to rank among the top ten most expensive games ever developed, with a production cost of $140 million to $500 million. Increased development costs can be attributed to the growing complexity of game design, incorporating new technologies, and delivering high-quality experiences to the audience.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  • Release Year:  2011
  • Developer:  Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Development Cost:  $100 million
  • Marketing Cost:  $200 million

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, released in 2011, is a first-person shooter video game. It was jointly developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games and published by Activision. This highly popular game is the eighth main Call of Duty installment and the third of the Modern Warfare series.

Industry experts say the exact cost of developing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is not publicly known. However, it is estimated that the game cost between $200 and $250 million to develop and market. The development process took years of planning, including designing and coding the game, creating various scenarios and environments, and testing different modes and features.

One of the reasons for the game’s high cost of production is its intricate and immersive gameplay, which was made possible by the latest graphics and software technologies. Another factor that contributed to the high cost was the scale of development, which required a large team of developers, designers, artists, and sound engineers.

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077
  • Release Year:  2020
  • Developer: CD Projekt RED
  • Publisher: CD Projekt
  • Development Cost: $307 million

The exact cost of Cyberpunk 2077’s production remains unknown, but estimations suggest that it was one of the most expensive games ever made. Reports indicate that the estimated total cost of production amounted to around $307 million.

According to the reports, most of the funds went towards creating the game’s complex open world, hiring actors and voice actors, and the notorious promotional campaign featuring celebrities. Major investments went to high-end graphic technologies to provide next-generation visuals and detailed characters that the player could completely customize.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Release Year:  2018
  • Developer: Rockstar Studios
  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Development Cost:  $140 million

This action-adventure game features a Western-style open world and an expansive storyline. Its attention to detail and immersive gameplay mechanics sets Red Dead Redemption 2 apart from other open-world games. From how Arthur’s horse reacts to different terrain to the complex relationship system between characters, every aspect of the game feels carefully crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

Of course, creating a game of this depth and scale is no small feat. Red Dead Redemption 2 reportedly took over eight years to develop and cost upwards of $120 million in production costs alone. But the investment paid off, as Red Dead Redemption 2 has been hailed as a masterpiece by players and critics alike.


The gaming industry continually evolves, and many games set new benchmarks for development and marketing expenditure. The cost of video game development means that every new game is a gamble for a gaming company, as it requires significant financial investment. As video game budgets continue to rise, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts to meet the challenges of making games that can generate profits while producing quality products.

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Lucas is an IT student completing his studies in Networking. He worked at Ycombinator as a research analyst. He loves to write about his technology experiences. He also enjoys traveling and captures the best moments with his Canon 5d lens. He is a review specialist at Reviewsed.