The Cost Of Doing Business (The Jimquisition)

Games cost a lot of money to make. You need to pay developers, you need to license engines, you need do a lot.

Extra Credits pointed out all of these costs in a recent video, and I’m certainly not going the claim the expenses aren’t expensive.

But is it just me, or does the “AAA” videogame do a bit too much twisting and turning to make the cost of doing business out to be some unreasonable cross to bear?


  1. Whenever I read “AAA” I read it in your voice now.

    Thanks for that.

  2. Engineer Lume is here!

    The budget EC gave for the minimum cost of making a AAA game was $55,000,000 (Fifty-Five million), or a fairly standard budget for a mid 80’s film.
    If people spent $15 on a movie ticket, then a movie with that budget would need to get 3,600,000 (Three million Six hundred thousand) to break even.
    If people spent $60 on a game, the game would need about 920,000 (Nine hundred and Twenty thousand) to break even.
    I get the strange feeling the latest Call of Duty can SNEEZE and sell that many copies.

  3. I was at the other side of the discussion about this, but a lot of good points were made here.
    Still need to make some research to verify some things, but now i am a little more lenient to the side of companies not actually needing those predatory practices to stay active.

    Great video Jim 🙂

  4. That was a metric fuckton of cool looking spooders at the end there.

    Holy shit, Sterling fans! You’re one talented bunch.

  5. Is that the Tony Hart music at the end?

  6. Shade's Insane Chamber

    There he is again!

  7. Christopher Woodruff

    I hear all this bullshit from the industry and shove Horizon: Zero Dawn in their face. New IP, almost no marketing (I only knew about from the badass cover art), no microtransactions, no weak ass DLC, an actual expansion (anyone remember when the first Dragon Age did Awakening), and the only loot boxes were ones acquired in game with in game currency, sells over three million copies.

    Seriously, how long are they going to keep claiming poverty and lying to us? Did the Battlefront 2 and Destiny 2 disaster not show that consumers will only put with so much? With games like Minecraft, PUBG, Horizon, Hellblade, etc., the excuse that new IPs aren’t profitable is stupid. No amount of marketing was going to make the generic Call of Duty sequels interesting nor was it needed. The player base was already there.

  8. *remembers massive evolve monster that was dragged around to cons and live action destiny trailers that told us nothing about the game* yep can’t figure out why marketing costs so much.

  9. Oh my game didn’t get showcased… :sadspiderface:

    Conglaturation to the rest and to the winner!

  10. I know you don’t wanna’ hate those guys at Extra Credits, and you don’t want us to hate ’em.
    But they’re being very, very punchable.

  11. Just for Jim Sterling Youtube should make it possible so you can lik,e the same video twice on the same account.


  12. In general I like Extra Credits because I always thought they wanted better out of the industry and then they came out defending these horrid tactics. I just couldn’t believe it. And yeah, Star Wars is a license to print money and shit diamonds. If you can’t make a profitable Star Wars game without the microtransactions and lootboxes then you shouldn’t be in this industryl.

  13. I mentioned it in the video but I want to reiterate it in the comments. It seems so telling that the demands of the majority shareholders are always totally forgotten when the behavior of the “AAA” industry is defended. The demands of “gamers” will be talked about all day long, but the people publishers are *really* trying to please get conveniently left off the table.

  14. dont let this distract you from the fact that THE EAGLES ARE MOTHERFUCKING WORLD CHAMPIONS!

  15. fgregerfeaxcwfeffece

    But marketing is the most important thing, i am just here because of the TV Advertisement where the kelloggs humunculus threatened to kill ALL the puppies if i don’t subscribe.

  16. Just to let you know, the Unreal Engine is completely free to use. The only money you may have to pay when using it is 5% of what you make from the game minus the first $3000 every quarter year. That’s a good fucking deal.

  17. When it comes to NEW anything, we don’t know what we want, because we’ve never seen it. To quote Henry Ford, “if you would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” So all these new graphics are 100% the game industry’s fault for setting and pushing expectations as hard as they could while almost always under performing (e.g., graphical down grades). Basic marketing: When you set an expectation, exceeding it means profiting, under delivering means loss. It can actually be that simple.

  18. I love extra credits, and I appreciate the video they made on the cost of developing games. It’s a pretty convincing video, except for some parts.

    My biggest gripe with that video was that it was all estimation. Nobody could get their hands on real numbers, and I’m wondering, if they are being truthful, that they need to use that much money to sell at all… then.. hm. Why not release the numbers instead of having people just speculate? If the numbers back the point up, show the numbers. If they’re truthful, then there shouldn’t be any reason to hide these numbers. I think they’d only garner positive response in return, because “oh crap, maybe we were a bit too hard on them”.

    Then this video comes out and it just keeps… hitting those points home. Thank god for you, Jim.
    I will admit that they have a level of credibility though that can’t be denied. James Portnow is an actual developer and might therefore have more insight into those things we know nothing about, but even so, I think I’m leaning more to this side here. Fuck loot boxes. Make games cost more than 60 dollars if you absolutely need to, but fuck loot boxes.

  19. Supermassive Gaming

    TGIM Thank God It’s Monday. #TGIM. Make it a thing people.


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