A mistake during the Microsoft/ Activision Blizzard FTC hearing has accidentally revealed the cost of making some of Sony’s biggest titles.
Thanks to some very poor redacting, anyone who has been following the ongoing court case will be able to make out some key information concerning the development cost for The Last of Us 2 and Horizon Forbidden West.
While the documents have now been pulled from the FTC hearing’s list, The Verge’s Tom Warren tweeted a screenshot of the documents after they were uploaded. The small snippet revealed that Sony spent $212 million for Horizon Forbidden West over a five-year period with 300 full-time developers. While Sony rolled out the red carpet for The Last of Us 2 spending $220 million over six years with 200 full-time employees.
Sony did great job on the document redactions… not 🙃 https://t.co/aPQgk9JU8L pic.twitter.com/5rJQbZbbd0June 28, 2023
These numbers mean that Horizon Forbidden West and The Last of Us 2 take second and third spot in the most expensive video games to develop ever, beating out Cyberpunk 2077 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while only just losing out to Star Citizen that sits at the top with over $400 million. However, these numbers don’t even include the cost of marketing two massive games which must have shot through the roof.
The rate in which cost of making video games are escalating means that numbers like we saw over at Sony will become more common. Earlier this year the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority published a 418-page report that revealed how the average budget for making games five years ago was $50-$150 million. Whereas nowadays the cost is more like $200 million, a number that lines up easily with Sony’s apparent Triple-A budget.
The fiasco surrounding Microsoft‘s acquisition of Activision Blizzard has revealed all sorts of information that wouldn’t usually be public information. Whether its Microsoft claiming the UK is closed for business or how crucial Call of Duty is to Sony, it seems like the drama still isn’t over.