America's Army bill: $32.8 million
Government tallies total budget for free-to-play first-person shooter and military recruitment tool's first decade of development.
The America's Army series of free-to-play PC first-person shooters that double as recruitment tools has cost the US government $32.8 million over 10 years, according to data obtained through a GameSpot Freedom of Information Act request.
The US Army first revealed America's Army in 2002, although expenditures on the project began in 2000. At the time, it was touted as a five-year project with a budget of $7 million.
The PC game received a number of updates and expansion packs before a true sequel, America's Army 3, was launched earlier this year. It has also spawned a pair of Ubisoft-published console spin-offs, America's Army: Rise of a Soldier for the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox, and last year's Xbox 360 game America's Army: True Soldiers.
While operating America's Army 3 does involve ongoing expenses, paying the game's original development team isn't one of them. Days after the game launched in June, representatives with the Army confirmed that ties were severed with the Emeryville, California-based team behind the project, and future development efforts were being consolidated at the America's Army program office at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama.
A decade after its initial foray into the world of gaming, the Army doesn't appear to be withdrawing from the industry anytime soon. In denying other aspects of the FOIA request, the Army stated "disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry."
America's Army year-by-year budget summary