GTA 5 most expensive game in history, cost £170 million to make & market

Monday, 9th September 2013 12:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Grand Theft Auto 5 is the most expensive game in history with total development and marketing spend hitting £170 million.

A report by Scottish newspaper The Scotsman places Rockstar’s spend on GTA 5 at £170 million / $265 million which – when compared to Hollywood movies – comes second to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. The movie had a $300 million budget.

The title is said to have received 2.5 million pre-orders ahead of its September 17 launch on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Here’s a breakdown of GTA 5′s budget compared to the movie and games industry:

What’s your take on the game’s budget? Let us know below.

Via VR-Zone and NeoGAF.



  1. GrimRita

    So £10 million for development, rest for marketing? But wait,does this not include MMO games? Because isnt SWTOR the most expensive game in history?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. absolutezero

    Including marketing in a games budget is one of the most retarded things I think I’ve ever heard.

    Then comparing itself to movies?


    #2 1 year ago
  3. Erthazus

    they are crazy.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Aullah

    @1 It was about 200 million dollars so GTA5 is more expensive.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Djoenz

    So what are they talking about? Costs of stands, billboards and commercials and shit? Its still unbelievable insane amount of money spent.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    This story is of less interest to me than the paid-for ads running below it. Grats!

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Dimaco

    Just wow! FFVII is among those, and it released in 1997?! (Europe at least)

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Max Payne

    Lol at Crysis 3.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Mike W


    Sure is, but this should be proof (more than anything) how important it is for both MS and Sony to be in the market.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. bradk825

    Clarification: Is that the top 9 most expensive games, or just a cross-section to make a comparison?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. ArithonUK

    Which goes to prove that (a) certain developers spend too much (b) it’s no wonder games are poor value for money AND (c) they are insane to think they’ll ever recover that much money from a single title.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. domnage

    @10 Of course it’s cross-section. The second graph.

    #12 1 year ago

    So R* needs marketing or anything else?

    #13 1 year ago
  14. MidlifeAxe

    @11 Why do you believe they won’t make that back? Didn’t GTA IV gross about $500 million in revenue in its first week?

    Edit: Oh, and rumour is that they’ve already made their money back on pre-orders alone.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. xino

    marketing!? what marketing? all I saw so far were just the online trailer reveals:/

    #15 1 year ago
  16. allftw

    @11 They’re assuming that the game will make a billion £ which is not that far-fetched considering how the industry kept growing exponentially since GTAIV.

    And even if we reduce marketing it shouldn’t surprise anyone that this is the most expensive game ever made. Just the two gameplay videos alone show how much effort they’ve put into the game.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. MFBB

    #15 depends on where you live.

    The important countries have TV commercials, magazine commercials, banners on buildings, billboards, being at gameing events/lan parties, promotion tours like a bus with mobile game stations driving from city to city) special events at stores like gamestop etc.

    USA, Germany, UK, France, Japan…etc

    I saw the Beyond Two Souls trucks (with build in gaming stations) driving around last month here in Germany.

    #17 1 year ago

    Everybody knows GTA so they don’t need any marketing -__- R* knows that too

    Edit: “The series has been critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having sold more than 125 million units, as of December 2012.”

    #18 1 year ago
  19. xFidelCashflow

    Damn…I don’t even wanna know how much GTA 6 will cost next gen

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Demigod

    Didn’t we have this story with Gta iv. Part of the marketing budget me thinks.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Arcnail


    Why wouldn’t you compare it to movies? They are both forms of entertainment, both cost money to make, and thus need to earn money in return to earn a profit.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Talkar

    Actually it was between 200 million and 300 million dollars, so it could very well be more expensive than GTAV

    #22 1 year ago
  23. diego-rbb-93

    That its wrong Pirates 3 and Pirates 2 cost 300 millions. Not stand-alone for 300 million. And Avatar cost between 250 and 300.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. absolutezero

    The amounts spoken of are just terrifying. Such insane amounts and this is what we get, another open World GTA.

    All this money and its just… this is it?

    #24 1 year ago
  25. FuntimeBen

    All I know is they have my $60 and I can’t wait to play!

    #25 1 year ago


    #26 1 year ago
  27. MarcoSnow


    Are you suggesting that we’ve got our priorities wrong as a society? I am appalled at the implication, good sir!

    #27 1 year ago
  28. airsick7

    @2 Marketing IS part of making a game. And it’s included because it’s a huge amount. We’re probably talking an amount close to 50 million (or above).

    I think it’s very interesting to see GTA V put side by side with film budgets. They’re bot high cost, collaborative mediums that have a lot in common.

    So ‘pfffttt’ that.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. viperatedrko

    If this game costs more than Avatar, The Avengers, Spiderman 3, and Fast 6 and is more than twice the budget of its previous title, than Grand Theft Auto V will be the most successful video game in history, even passing San Andreas

    #29 1 year ago
  30. DSB

    A quarter of a billion dollars. A quarter of a billion dollars.

    If someone spends a quarter of a billion dollars on a videogame, I want to be riding a fucking giraffe outfitted with miniguns, while getting a blowjob from someone who looks like Jennifer Lawrence, voiced by the real Jennifer Lawrence, while flanked by two bearsharks with brilliant AI, with a velociraptor strapped to my back voiced by Bill Murray, firing rockets at a completely destructable rendition of Paris. So fucking realistic I see crumbs from baguettes and tiny shreds of berets going everywhere.

    I doubt that the game will be that. I’m guessing someone just used the budget to front another supercar and some escorts and blow. “Research”, Houser-style.

    #30 1 year ago
  31. Phoenixblight

    This is not really surprising. Activision blows 100+ million every year in marketing alone for COD. GTA is the game that can do it and make its money back easily because GTA has an extremely long tail after release.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. taylorlauder

    You know what’s even more surprising? John Carter, probably one of the shittiest movies I’ve ever seen, has a budget of almost 250M USD — even higher than Avengers or Avatar.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Dragon246

    Calm your nuts gentlemen,GTA5 will make up that cost easily.
    However, I would have liked to see the “negative cost” of the game, aka the cost before adding marketing and other jazz.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. redwood

    large budgets is NOT a good idea.. but am sure GTA5 is gonna be super profitable like every other Rockstar game lately. so no worries there, I just hope that this doesn’t open up a new trend for 3 digit million dollar games.

    #34 1 year ago
  35. Cobra951

    @26: Same here! $60 is all they’ll ever get me to spend on it. I hope they can recoup the other $264,999,940 elsewhere.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. smartalves

    I’m going to say it again: so much money and no PC version? and no next consoles version? Rockstar you suck so much…
    On my book the new company to get the award “worst company”. Comeback EA you are forgiven!!

    #36 1 year ago

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