Video games are computer games played on video screens (normally a television or monitor a built-in screen when played on a handheld machine, or a computer). The best-selling video game console of all time is PlayStation 2, made by Sony. People may also use computers to play games which are often referred to as PC games. Obviously there many reasons for the rise in the price of video games read the article below to know the details.
When Activision, a major game developer, published Destiny in September 2014, it wasn’t just in the gaming press. Many newspapers have written on the eye-watering budget of the game, which is estimated to be about $500 million. How does a video game cost half a billion dollars to make it? The fact is, it wasn’t – Activision wanted Destiny to be the first game in a long-running franchise, and was willing to invest $500 million to make it happen. But the game budgets are still swelling. Developers and publishers are reluctant to report precise figures, but tens of millions of dollars in budgets are not unprecedented. The largest, most polished games will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Star Wars: The Old Republic, an online game released in 2011, is said to have cost between $150 million and $200 million. Grand Theft Auto V, which came out two years later, is reported to have cost $265 million. These are numbers on the same scale as Hollywood blockbuster movies. Why are games so costly to make?
One of the factors is Moore’s law. Computer graphics have changed immensely in the last 20 years; graphics in Destiny, produced by a team of about 500 people, are on the streets ahead of those in Doom, a seminal shooter published in 1993 and written by a handful of friends. With a few exceptions (such as SpeedTree, a piece of software that automates the development of realistic trees), all the art in a video game is created by hand. Because characters, objects, levels and visual effects have become more complex and detailed, the developers have had little choice but to throw more and more artists into the issue. Another explanation why the costs are rising is the growing professionalism of the industry. Today, Hollywood actors are hired (and paid handsomely) to voice characters. The largest developers on the market-testing their goods for destruction. Like political parties honing a slogan, they give snippets of gameplay to target audiences. If something is found to be too complex, too mysterious, or simply not enjoyable, it is sent back to be re-made. That kind of quality management costs a lot of money.
But comparisons with the film industry may be misleading. Movie budgets usually contain just the actual cost of producing a film. Game budgets also include marketing expenses, too. As games have become a common pastime, they’ve become massive. A blockbuster game, such as Battlefield 3, released in 2011, will be advertised in newspapers, on TV, on billboards and online. Publishers are throwing glitzy launch parties featuring stunts like rolling a tank down London’s Oxford Lane. All that could cost more than paying for the coders and artists who first created the game. That said, when it comes to the quantity of entertainment, games are bigger than movies. The biggest-budget games tend to be those that put their players in giant, open-ended worlds and invite them to explore. Whereas film sets are seen only from a few carefully selected shots, game environments must survive inspection from any perspective, by millions of players who can fly around at will. And while few films run much beyond three hours, even a short game will offer ten or more hours of play; many offer several times that.
Increasing game budgets have given rise to stunning, cinematic experiences. Not everybody is satisfied, however. Higher costs have made publishers timid, preferring to serve up more of what their customers like rather than risk tens of millions of dollars on something new and untried. Lists of bestselling games have come to resemble Hollywood blockbuster charts: full of sequels, reboots and minor variations on old, reliable formulas. Dissatisfied developers have left to strike out on their own, recreating the garage atmosphere of game development 20 or 30 years ago. With smaller budgets, and less design by committee, indie games companies are where much of the industry’s innovation is taking place. Many make a virtue of their lo-fi graphics (the blocky visuals of Minecraft being the most famous example). Mobile games, played in short bursts on tiny screens with limited interfaces, don’t need big budgets either. But it is still the big-budget games that rake in the cash. Grand Theft Auto V earned around $800 million on its first day – three times what it cost to make. And with the latest games consoles capable of rendering even more detailed graphics, expect budgets to keep climbing.