Gears of War: Judgment Cost $60 Million and Made $100 Million, Dev Says
The first Gears of War, meanwhile, cost $12 million to make.
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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has revealed that the budget for Gears of War: Judgment was $60 million. In an interview with Glixel (via NeoGAF), Sweeney said the game ended up pulling in $100 million from sales, but this was a far smaller profit than for the original Gears of War.
"A funny thing happened in the console market, though. Budgets were being bid up. The first Gears of War cost $12 million for us to make. And it made us $100 million in profit. So that was awesome," Sweeney said. "But by Gears of War: Judgment, the game cost about $60 million to build, and made about $100 million still."
Sweeney previously said that Gears of War 3's budget was around four or five times as much as the first game, so about $48 million-$60 million. Gears of War, Gears of War 2, and Gears of War 3 were made primarily by Epic Games alone, while Judgment was developed by Epic and People Can Fly.
Epic started development on its own Gears of War 4 and Sweeney estimated that it would have cost $100 million to make. Part of the reason why Epic sold Gears of War to Microsoft was because of the ballooning budgets of console game development, Sweeney said.
"We saw as you moved to this new console generation, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, we could expect our costs to double again," Sweeney told Glixel. "And the user base wasn't going to double. It was going to go back to zero and then have to rebuild. We felt we would be of questionable viability as a standalone developer in triple-A."
Microsoft released its Gears of War 4 in October 2016 for Xbox One and PC. The company has not and likely never will disclose the game's budget. Microsoft has not said anything about how the game has sold.
The full Glixel interview with Sweeney is very in-depth and fascinating. Sweeney also talked extensively about virtual reality and how it can be "really dangerous."
"I bet in 20 years, we're going to live a very large fraction of our lives in the metaverse," he said. "Right now we're just typing stuff to each other in social media. Just imagine, if you telecommute, all of your work will be conducted through VR and AR. If there is one corporation that controls and accesses everybody's data stream, then they have complete insight into every aspect of everybody's lives.
"That's really dangerous. That company, and any intelligence agencies and governments that it feeds into, will have the power to blackmail anybody. Because everybody has something to hide. Pervasive information collection is a really dangerous factor for a democracy."
You can read the interview here.