In recent years, video game budgets have skyrocketed so much that they’re nearly as expensive, if not more expensive, than the cost to produce a Hollywood film. Another way to look at it, the epic “Wonder Woman” movie cost $150 million to make, while the video game “Star Wars: The Old Republic” had a budget of $200 million to develop and create. This is simply because designing multiple galaxies, moons, and planets takes time since modern graphics are more demanding and labor intensive than they used to be.
In 1997, it took about two working weeks to create a character while in 2007, it took about seven weeks to create a similar character because the graphics required more work. Then, technology matured so animating that same character tens years later required a more sophisticated and costly approach to texturing, shading, and animation. Video game production costs are also increasing because these characters now involve a dozen or more people to work on it including modelers, texture artists, character riggers, character and technical animators, shader artists, actors, and more. A fine example of this is “Grand Theft Auto IV”, which had over 1000 people working on it over the course of three and a half years.