Halo 4 breaks the bank

We’re not at the point yet where video games are as expensive as movies, but it sure isn’t cheap to properly code a graphics intensive video game.

The technology’s very expensive, and it can take years of development for a game to see the light of day. Not to mention in the case of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, you’ve got an A-list Hollywood screenwriter, David Goyer (Batman Begins), who’s helping create the game from the ground up.

In fact, when you look up a list of the most expensive games in history, it’s frightening to see how big their budgets have gotten over the years. The site DigitalBattle compiled a list, noting that gaming budgets back in the ‘90s were around $100 grand, then Doom upped the ante in 1993 when it cost $200 Gs. 

Compared to gaming budgets today, that’s a real bargain. Indeed, Final Fantasy XII cost $48 million, L.A. Noire cost $50 million, Halo 3 $55 million (which doesn’t include Microsoft’s $200 million promotion budget), and Grand Theft Auto a cool $100 million. (The music rights alone were about $10,000 a track.) 

So now there’s reports on the ‘Net that Halo 4 is Microsoft’s biggest and most expensive game in the company’s history. According to Gamespot, Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft Studios recently confirmed Redmond has spent more money developing Halo 4 than any other game title they ever made. “Absolutely,” Spencer said. “Nothing [else is] even close.”

Halo is of course Microsoft’s most important game, and according to estimates it’s a three billion dollar franchise for the company. There’s no estimate to what Halo 4 cost yet, but as Cinema Blend notes, “We can easily guess that it’s probably over the $100 million mark given all the promotion that’s gone into the game.”

Halo 4, which goes live on November 6, has been ranked the #1 most anticipated game of the season, and even if the title breaks records for costing a ton of money, it should indeed make a huge amount of cash in return.