1UP - Why Are Game Budgets So Secretive?

1UP - Before asking the question above to a bunch of people at this year's DICE conference, I assumed everyone would agree with me that the game industry doesn't like talking about how much games cost to make. It turns out I was mostly right, but not entirely -- some weren't aware of what I was suggesting, though almost everyone had a unique take on why things are the way they are.

Check out all the replies below, and we won't complain if you want to offer your own take in the comments at the bottom of the page. Promise.

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Ulf2326d ago (Edited 2326d ago )

In the film industry, spouting the investment costs are seen as PR to be used in favor of the film -- think "Look how much we spent on your viewing pleasure!".

In the games industry, its the opposite, because games have not been grand Hollywood-style showcases on release-day to the general public. You don't enjoy them in a theater with loads of people, and then buy the DVD later... you just buy the disc, or even rent it. It's just not the same kind of spectacle, for most titles.

Thus, blabbing about how much a game cost to make is more of a liability with shareholders, who might not see a return on their investment in the short-term, or might not see "opening weekend" returns as a good indicator, like they do with the nearly century-old film industry.

Activision might want you to know how much they spent on the latest CoD, because they have the "release day impression" mechanics going on that the film industry has had for a while now. Not many other game franchises can make the same claim... yet. Telling you how much the latest CoD cost to make may actually spur more sales, because the marketing machine for said franchise is SO huge, and its a "household" name.