Jump to content

HEY, LISTEN! PLEASE READ THIS

 

HEY, welcome back to GP! You should probably check this thread out here if this is your first time back on the forum since our upgrade. Suffice it to say, some things have changed! CLICK HERE to read more about it, including some new functionality.

Sign in to follow this  
Jason Clement

Darksiders 2 Cost $50 Million to Develop

Recommended Posts

http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/darksiders_2/news/darksiders_2_cost_thq_50m_to_develop_says_nordic_games_boss.html

 

A recent MCV interview with Nordic Games revealed that THQ spent $50 million developing Darksiders 2 (eep!), which is pretty much the lower-end of the most expensive games developed list.

 

The owner of Nordic Games also mentioned they can make a product of similar quality but for less (I certainly hope so), so I guess we'll see what happens with Darksiders 3. Still, $50 million though... that's pretty crazy, especially for a company that was in such dire straits as THQ (which kinda shows why they went out of business).

 

A quick look at Wikipedia shows that at $50 million, Darksiders 2 is in the company of such games as

  • L.A. Noire
  • Homefront (another THQ title, not surprisingly)
  • DC Universe Online
  • Halo Reach
  • Heavy Rain
  • World of Warcraft

...and about 20 others that exceeded that amount. Pretty crazy!

 

For games developed with next-gen technology today, I imagine $50 million is almost the norm for a lot of the higher-end triple-A titles. Destiny no doubt went much higher than that.

 

But are you surprised DS2 cost that much? Did it seem like the quality matched up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Destiny cost like what, $500 million? I have no idea where that money went. I am going to assume marketing. I am a bit surprised the game, DS2, cost so much to make. It be interesting to see some of the highest rated games that cost under $50 million. 

 

"I spent $5m from my own bank account. It was a lot of money for me, but we got the money back very quickly."

 

Must be nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't get the article to load, but in the case of Darksiders and Homefront, it makes me wonder if they just thought throwing a bunch of money at a game would have to end up making it good. Especially with Homefront, like, I guess it had a decent bit of marketing, but I have to wonder if they just thought dropping a bunch of money would automatically put it on the level of CoD or something.

 

In any case, I haven't actually played DS2 (I still need to finish the first one) but comparing it to the list of other games that cost that much, I have to believe the Nordic boss when he says they could make a similar game for less.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprised yes. I don't see how all these games cost so much to make. A lot went to marketing too but man those are a ton of money. And I'm sure we know not all of them made all the money back. I think this is why we see the gaming industry having studios close down and people losing job. Just bad investment and not thinking it fully through. A costly production doesn't always equal good return.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprised yes. I don't see how all these games cost so much to make. A lot went to marketing too but man those are a ton of money. And I'm sure we know not all of them made all the money back. I think this is why we see the gaming industry having studios close down and people losing job. Just bad investment and not thinking it fully through. A costly production doesn't always equal good return.

 

Pretty much what you mentioned, yeah.

 

Seems like the stakes will be even higher this gen; just one or two big games bombing could sink an entire publisher (Square Enix or Capcom, for example). Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I think it's bound to happen at some point this gen. In turn, this would continually reduce the triple-A pool, which is both good and bad in my eyes. Good, because that means less games to buy and not an explosion of titles to keep up with, but bad because it also means less of a diversity among releases.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I try to support lower budget games. It's still possible to make an epic game on a dime. Many big budget games get you less for your dollar anyway when it comes to hours you can put into them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty much what you mentioned, yeah.

 

Seems like the stakes will be even higher this gen; just one or two big games bombing could sink an entire publisher (Square Enix or Capcom, for example). Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I think it's bound to happen at some point this gen. In turn, this would continually reduce the triple-A pool, which is both good and bad in my eyes. Good, because that means less games to buy and not an explosion of titles to keep up with, but bad because it also means less of a diversity among releases.

 

I think though certain big publishers will still be able to take one or two games that bomb because they can fall back on something else. Like Square, the minute they are bombing they will just go to the "get out of jail" free card and remake FF7 and bam they are saved. But I will agree if you though if a big time publisher go down it would probably change the industry practices down the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think though certain big publishers will still be able to take one or two games that bomb because they can fall back on something else. Like Square, the minute they are bombing they will just go to the "get out of jail" free card and remake FF7 and bam they are saved. But I will agree if you though if a big time publisher go down it would probably change the industry practices down the road.

 

Honestly, I think if it were that easy to remake FF7, they probably would have done it by now. They did mention there were a lot of challenges to it, such as actually having to remake the entire game in something like FFXV's engine, adding additional cutscenes, trying to make the battles feel more fresh and such.

 

We'll see if it ever happens, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't. If they manage to do it, they run the risk of ruining peoples' memories of one of the most beloved games if it isn't received well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am, by no means, an expert when it comes to corporate finances, but there seems to be more companies complaining about budgetary issues.  Tim Schafer also joined in on the budget discussion when people questioned how he could blow through ~3 million dollars to finish the first act of his Kickstarter game.   He threw out a bunch of numbers and people applauded him for "silencing the critics," but there was a lot that could use a little more explanation.

 

It's expensive to run a company, there's no denying that.  These companies that insist on setting up in major Californian cities are setting themselves up for a quick trip back to the soup kitchen for refills.  Schafer, for example, tossed out a figure that is quite baffling for something supposed to be a "start up."  He claimed that he's employing 12 employees, which costs approximately $10,000 per month to keep employed.  It also appears that, on top of these 12 employees, they outsourced a lot of their jobs to independent contractors.  A traditional calculation for a business is that it costs an employer 2x a salary to keep a person employed.  I say traditional, but that's misleading and incorrect when it comes to a start up.   

 

I will leave this one particular thought, make of it what you will. Even if we use that $5,000 per month as the employee's salary, that means this particular company is paying each employee $60,000 per year in Salary Earnings.... for something along the same lines a "start up" that essentially hit up the public for funding.

 

So let me get into Darksiders 2.  I'd venture to say that their developing company appears to be just another game in a long-line of tech companies that are rife poor management.   There's more to the world outside of California.  Reasonably priced office space can be found in Texas and a competitive salary for a start up doesn't have to be OVER $60,000 per year.   I'd love to see their financials to see how they squandered that much money, mainly to see if this is another instance of a developer treating the development process as their own personal salary piggy bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I think if it were that easy to remake FF7, they probably would have done it by now. They did mention there were a lot of challenges to it, such as actually having to remake the entire game in something like FFXV's engine, adding additional cutscenes, trying to make the battles feel more fresh and such.

 

We'll see if it ever happens, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't. If they manage to do it, they run the risk of ruining peoples' memories of one of the most beloved games if it isn't received well.

 

I'm sure it would be a challenge but they know that there are some hardcore fans that will love it regardless. The game itself is a bit of a love/hate for many people though so it will have mixed reviews I think. And I would hope they don't give us ATB system but turn based because in my opinion that was more fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, I think if it were that easy to remake FF7, they probably would have done it by now. They did mention there were a lot of challenges to it, such as actually having to remake the entire game in something like FFXV's engine, adding additional cutscenes, trying to make the battles feel more fresh and such.

 

I am convinced they have already re-made FF7 they are just holding out on its release until they run into financial issues--which Square has seen its fair share of. If they were to ever re-release the game in HD, the profits would satisfy them immensely. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds troubling considering that Darksiers II got good reviews, but did not do so well financially. Especially noteworthy considering other games on the list.

I hope Nordic can do something good with the series, and keep the quality of the artwork especially. The story needs someone who can really flesh things out in my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×