Gears of War made for less than $10M

Epic Games' vice president says cost to make holiday hit was "between 9 and 10 million"; UE3 designed for "next-gen, high-definition," not Wii.

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While the graphics, sound, and online gameplay of the current wave of gaming platforms is nice, it comes at a hefty price. Development costs of next-generation games have been estimated to run as high as $25 million, with Forbes recently revealing that Capcom's Lost Planet cost $20 million to produce.

However, a game can apparently look fantastic, win multiple Game of the Year awards, and sell like gangbusters for about half that price. In an interview with Wired.com, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein said that Gears of War cost "somewhere between 9 and 10 million dollars" to make. Rein did not talk about marketing costs of the game. As of January 19, the game had sold 3 million copies worldwide, and according to the most recent figures from NPD Funworld, the game sold more than 1.8 million copies in the US last year, generating more than $107 million in revenue.

Rein attributes the cost shaving to his company's popular game engine Unreal Engine 3, and he says that other producers could benefit from licensing UE3.

"People are always saying that making next-generation games is really expensive, and we're saying, you should license our technology," said Rein. "Because we have really great tools for building content and a great pipeline that makes your team more productive...which means that your designers can actually do things that previously, programmers had to do."

As far as any Unreal Engine 3-powered gaming headed to the Wii, it's possible, but Nintendo fans shouldn't get their hopes up, according to Rein.

"It's not in our plans to bring Unreal Engine 3 to the Wii. It's really designed for next-gen, high-definition [platforms]," said Rein. "One of our licensees has been porting it, and they might be successful at that, and that would be great if they do it. It's doable, but not something that we're going to focus on."

Discussion

382 comments
neo16161616
neo16161616

Wow you would think it would cost alot more!

ChiefHunter1
ChiefHunter1

As much a I like the Wii, I don't think that, from a technical standpoint, it would be possible to play games with "next generation" graphics on the system.

rulo_rezn0r
rulo_rezn0r

mmm wii with Unreal engine? interesting, only that it has to be a watered down version all the way

SonyPSP
SonyPSP

This article is slightly misleading Didnt granturismo 4 sell more with 5.6 million copies? Microsoft better get their act together. Sony are about to release the PS3 in Europe/Australasia on the 23rd of march and the UK has pre ordered over 300,000 consoles already! So watch sonys sales go up a by millions overnight.

Teka522001
Teka522001

to be honest i love both 360, wii and PC(don't own a PS3, but im sure its great if you can afford it) but i still dont own a HD tv......... and all of the games still look amazing. If the only thing that makes you enjoy your games are graphics perhaps you should just sit down and watch a CGI movie ( final fantasy advent children is brilliant). I still think that graphics add to game play but they are not the only thing that run a game. Basically i will still be swinging my wii mote in Zelda and yes i will still be coming around corners at you holding down the B button in gears of war, but actually i think all they really rely on is gameplay and the sooner people can get that into there skulls the better. The UE3 engine looks and play absolutely amazing but its only really for the HD consoles and PC.

sanstereo
sanstereo

My Dell 2407 was around $500 and it does 1080p like a charm. I'm sorry, but I don't see where the cash concern comes in. The Wii is sort of gimmicky to me and I don't see the point in getting one. It looks like crap on my friend's HD tv even with the component cables. Everyone seems to be supporting Nintendo as the underdog, which is fine. 27 Wii games?! There were about 3-4 games I actually played on my Gamecube the entire time I had it. My Xbox was played about 70% of the time and my PS2 the rest. Sorry, I won't be dragged into to that again. Nintendo had better find a good group of adult themed games or at least ones that aren't totally adolescent.

midwayj
midwayj

Razu... HDTVs are better and more expensive than SDTVs. Ferraris are better and more expensive and better than civics. You're uncle doesnt value money anymore than me. His priorities are different. As a gamer I want the clearest picture possible and HD gives me that. Graphicly speaking Sony has the Ferrari and Nintendo has the civic. One last question... Can i borrow you're uncles car?

PyroX4414
PyroX4414

Most people on Xbox live are actually in the 18-25 year groups, check stats at Microsoft.com. And I'll keep swinging my remote at my awesome TV. Not all Wii owners are poor. I honestly don't think many of you talking about how much money you have actually have to worry about Rent, Electricity, Heat, Water, children, etc. It isn't as easy for many/most of us to buy such things. I can't exactly save up for a PS3 and HD TV when I have to worry about most of the things on that list. Don't get me wrong I wish I had both, but it just doesnt work like that.

BulletProof007
BulletProof007

High production costs were the reason we have 60 dallor games but I guess if you can make it for about half the cost and still get 60 more power to ya.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

As I said, he values money. And I am not a kid.

Factor-Zer0
Factor-Zer0

zazu_gamer, if your uncle can buy a Ferrari, then why the hell does he NOT have a 1080p tv? Im what you would call middle class and I have both, Its not that expensive, a good tv plus ps3 is around $2000, I had to save for it, but it wasn't hard. I just had to not buy as many extra things. and frankly, I don't give a s*** if kids like most you can't afford it, less 12 year-olds online.

nathanyc
nathanyc

razu_gamer, good point. Sony has made the mistake of making the PS3 just as expensive as most HDTV screens.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

Most people have middle class jobs. Even sony know that a 1080p screen is expensive. They even mention it in their Ps3 website. They say that 1080p is getting cheaper...implying 1080p is still expensive so full PS3 1080p will take time. Better job??? My uncle has a job where he can buy a ferrari and still have money left over....even he knows that PS3 and 1080p is not worth the money...he unlike you....values money and that most people don't have money to afford all three consoles and a 1080p TV. Either you have a really good job or don't have a wife, children, mortgage, rent, bills. So my comment to you is get a moe realistic life and then you will see how expensive PS3 and a 1080p TV really is......to ordinary gamers.

midwayj
midwayj

razu_gamer... One game? I can buy the tv and have money left over for as many games as I want. My advice to you is to get a better job, or ask mommy and daddy to raise the allowance. Owned me? Son you couldnt afford to rent me. Back to the point HD > SD. P.S. I have a ps3, xbox360, and a wii so i dont care who makes the games.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

@midwayj...while the rest of us are enjoying the cash left over to spend on tonnes of wii games while you stick with your very pricey 1080p TV and one game. 1 1080p TV = £999 = 25 wii games....I owned you.

DOOM_SONYMAN
DOOM_SONYMAN

I LIKE [RESISTENCE] AND [KILLZONE] BETTER.

midwayj
midwayj

In response to G_W_X's wall of text, High def is much clearer then standard. The difference is very noticable on larger TVs. But if youre convinced you dont need HD... thats cool but you might want to get thicker lenses on youre bifocals. You keep swining your silly little remote at your crappy tv. Ill be playing in full 1080p loving every second of it.

HotTopFade
HotTopFade

"WOW! How can it be, you ask? It's just a shooter! That's how. C'mon! It's a shooter with more textures and polygons than usual. Polygons are computed by computers, workin hours won't get any longer. Textures, same story except for some creative effort needed. Only now the pixel quality doesn't have to be toned down that much, again computers at work. " Are you serious? Creating deatailed models is very hard to do. It takes alot of time. Try creating a 3d model, then we will see what you have to say. The more detail the more time to create. Draw a stick figure. How long did it take? Now draw a fully detailed picture of a Gears 3d model. I hope you understand now.

Kruegmeister
Kruegmeister

I guess that is Why it is So Short. Clocking in around 6-8 hours of Gameplay. I guess that is also why there is such a large list of Bugs in the Game as well. It just goes to show that enough Hype and Pretty Graphics will sell a lot of games.

Brother_Boney
Brother_Boney

WOW! How can it be, you ask? It's just a shooter! That's how. C'mon! It's a shooter with more textures and polygons than usual. Polygons are computed by computers, workin hours won't get any longer. Textures, same story except for some creative effort needed. Only now the pixel quality doesn't have to be toned down that much, again computers at work.

Hashbrowns
Hashbrowns

"One thing for sure, EPIC & M'soft MUST NOT EVEN DARE to talk bout DLC that costs Microsoft points. Can they spare bout 3-4 million US on new maps, character models and gameplay and not charging us again? Or release map tools so that the GoW community can build maps, upload them and we can play custom... oh wait, that's not possible on the 360." Well, FarCry thought it was possible. Both on the Xbox and the 360.

fartys
fartys

sly on the wii, i wish it comes to the wii i'll be chuffed!

G_W_X
G_W_X

---edited--- re-read please? its long but... --- So Nintendo was right all along. 8-10MILLION TO MAKE THAT? Question: Is it using the full power of Xbox360's TRIPLE (3)core 1 TERAFLOP of computing power CPUs? No? Then when a game DOES do that...how much will THAT game cost to make? 10million+? Still it shows Nintendo's philosophy. You can get great graphics on Wii may not be as good as gears of War or the PS3 Resistance fall of man or whatever esle they are concupting, BUT it gives an immersive expirience like no other for much cheaper. Plus HD does not rule the world SD(standard definition) does! So the Wii is still sitting pretty? When HD does rule the world and IS 'THE' format...I dont know what will happen? If they pigeonhole the U3E(Enreal 3 Engine) for Wii(or any other powerfull engine?) don't you think the graphics will look amazing? Come on? What does pigeonhole really mean/ What exactly can the Wii do and what can't it do?(all that technical stuff) What will the engine loose when being ported DOWN to the Wii(who really knows..do us gamers know..we won't until the technicians actually do it! and use it so we can SEE!) Take away HD from graphics and whats left, past gen or BAD graphics? Why do people think that must be so? Put it another way...Who says great graphics can't be achieved WITHOUT HD? I am looking forward to one game (just to name one) assuring all those HD and graphics whores that Wii can do some amazing visuals. Oh no it might not be in HD, but where is it said that a system has to be HD to show great visuals? Standard definition TV has been broadcasting the REAL likenesses of people places and things for how many years? It is the most realistic "graphics" I have even seen all my life, and continue to see to this day, without any HD in sight! (and this signal is transmitted over great distances. While your console is directly plugged into your TV?) Games are not even there yet and they are now in HD on PS3 and Xbox360...yet they fail to match a normal standard definition TV broadcast in terms of REALISM. Real people real places and full REALISM on your TV screen, WITHOUT HD! You can still tell if a game is being played vs when REAL TV is being shown. Oh yes I know there are differences in how they make CGI computer graphics for gaming vs simply recording and re-broadcasting REAL people and places, BUT still somthing for you to think about. Think about that folks.

nevereathim
nevereathim

Wow, and the game is better than lost planet, how did thye do it

paanjang16
paanjang16

One thing for sure, EPIC & M'soft MUST NOT EVEN DARE to talk bout DLC that costs Microsoft points. Can they spare bout 3-4 million US on new maps, character models and gameplay and not charging us again? Or release map tools so that the GoW community can build maps, upload them and we can play custom... oh wait, that's not possible on the 360.

wenbin09
wenbin09

what would happen if they spend more?

smokez4dayz
smokez4dayz

On the Wii, you can use UE2.5, doesn't Red Steel use it? Granted Red Steel is just a tad above a 'tech demo' but It did have top notch graphics for an upgraded Gamecube game(or WiiCube), I bet at this moment, these WiiDevelopers are getting more familiar with what the WiiEngine can actually handle, I think COD3 and Red Steel was able to capture some of the WiiSpecific Upgrades to the HollyWood graphics engine, and it can only get better, Metriod should ooze with beefy graphics (Can't wait for Retro to step it up)No different than GoW with Epic. The Home Studio of said engine should always have superior performance. If the Wii can get a Epic Licensee to pigeonhole UE3 on the Wii , I'm all for it. That WiiMote is changing gaming, no one can deny it. Lets get those graphics up to snuff Nintendo. And Get some REAL SPORTS.

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

Epic must be cutting alot of jobs

faizali86
faizali86

epic games always makes power hungry games. not a surprise theyre not making ue3 based games for the wii.

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Well Epic, since you have made so much profit from Gears I hope that the next Gears game will contain a much more lengthy campaign. The games great but its too short !

Myugenjin
Myugenjin

Lol on Keyhunter, a High flop count is desired in gaming! The more flops the more life like & interactive a game can be which is why accross the board 360 is better then Xbox (or DX10 better then 9) But aren't engines limiting, I mean that if to many devs use one engine games will feel like a mod yet not worth the $60 tag. I think of AREA 51 (on PS2/Xbox) that used Halo's engine or SIN episodes that used sources Other then the VO, & cutscenes these "engine ports" aren't much better then what the mod community has made...and there stuff is free:)

partytimekegs
partytimekegs

Too bad that game was pathetic compared to Rainbow Six Vegas online. They should've spent more time after making the single play on online play.. cause it has no substance.

delema17
delema17

Awsome, it only took that much to make a bad a** game.

theKSMM
theKSMM

The one thing that's missing from this article...how much does it cost to license Unreal Engine 3? Last time I checked, using Unreal Engine 2 for a game targeting the XBOX 360, the PS3, and PCs would cost about $450,000. My guess is that UE3 numbers would probably come in around $1M. Granted, that's still cheaper (and faster) than trying to create your own engine from scratch, but it's a helluva startup cost. And I doubt the GoW team had to factor that cost into their total development. Still UE3 looks great, and if the tools are as good as they say, it might be worth the investment. It just might be out of reach of all but the largest developers. I wonder how much I could charge for the original Quake engine on the XBOX 360...

rickspin
rickspin

And if a couple of companies keep doing this kind of technology to offer via licence there will be more and better games at lower prices!! This is just great

Hawaii6U
Hawaii6U

Why can't we be friends, oh why can't we be friends? Anyway, that's cool that Gears was made for cheap. Bungie should have considered licensing the Unreal Engine for Halo 3. I'm sure it will still have amazing graphics, but if the Unreal Engine is as effective and low-priced as it sounds, it would have been a wise choice.

Factor-Zer0
Factor-Zer0

keyhunter, what in the hell just came out of you mouth? So the ps3 isn't next-gen now, because the processor lacks "general processing power"? X-bots are running out of smart things to say, so they just type random, incoherent rabble. You fail at life.

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

the person who was wondering why it cost $10 more is because of the disc they use

Paper_Knife
Paper_Knife

hey keyhunter, it is more next gen than the wii if you are talking about general processing power.

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

ue3 should stay where it belongs on pc and ps3 and x360

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

x360 and ps3 are not next gen graphics wise but system wise

keyhunter
keyhunter

why does everyone keep saying the PS3 is next gen, with its high flop count and lack of general processing power.

USmellLikePoopy
USmellLikePoopy

I don't think the Wii will ever get it. I think more people are going to stick with the 360, but you never know I guess.

Wiifanboy_4life
Wiifanboy_4life

Once the Wii blazes pass the 360 (if it does), they will flock to the Wii like birds to a telephone line.

mikep09
mikep09

**** they spent over $15 million to market this baby...