Forbes has a very interesting article regarding the costs of Gears of War explaining the reasons behind the sixty dollar price tag. Art and Design was reported to cost 25%. They commented: “The rippling oceans, expressive faces and explosive action sequences gamers want to see don’t come cheap.” Programming and Engineering was 20%, which includes the gaming engine, artificial intelligence, and so on.
Retail costs were 20% and “console owner fee” 11.5%. It’s quite interesting that gamers first need to purchase consoles for several hundreds of dollars, and then pay for a big piece of game development. Besides these numbers, there were marketing (7%), market development fund (5%), manufacturing & packaging costs (5%), licensing (5%), publisher profit (1.5% – amazingly low!), distributor (1.5%), corporate costs like management (0.3%), hardware development (0.05%). Watch the detailed slideshow with pictures to see in detail where the money goes.
EDIT: And I’ve received a message saying “The forbes article is actually a load of bollocks.”, with additional comments: “Several of us in the industry discussed the forbes article when it first appeared, and I know 2 of the people who work at Epic, who confirm that those figures are fictional.”. Anyone remember what I’ve previously said about questioning authority?