What does it take to make a good game? A lot of money. Today, it is no surprise that the development of some titles is more expensive than the release of the next blockbuster. The reason is simple: a full-fledged product takes decades of work, and budgets sometimes exceed $100 million. Recently, developers have been trying to invest as much money as possible in projects, hoping to make huge profits. However, such mastodons can be counted on the fingers.
Many famous games have had a budget of $100 million. The most expensive games to develop, like Grand Theft Auto V, May Payne 3, Deadpool, Disney Infinity, and Red Dead Redemption, immediately come to mind. But these are not the most “expensive” games. Surprisingly, the most expensive game to make is Genshin Impact.
What is this game?
If for some reason, you have not heard about this game, we will have a short digression for you. Genshin Impact is an action-adventure game from the Chinese studio miHoYo with RPG elements, that is, a role-playing game.
The plot takes place in the fantasy world of Teyvat, where seven natural elements converge. In the beginning, players take on the role of a traveler who wants to find their lost twin and ultimately tries to uncover the mysteries and secrets of the world in which he finds himself. Meet the first and main plus of the game: the plot is really interesting, filled with both beautiful and touching scenes, and secrets, intrigues, investigations.
For such projects, such a catchy and exciting scenario is a rarity. More often than not, online RPG players generally skip the cutscenes and poke into dialogues at random. But not in the case of Genshin Impact – they come here for the sake of history, in which developers invest unprecedented video game budgets.
Free, Beautiful and Diverse ─ Why Genshin Impact is So Popular
Wait, but if the game is free, why is it called the most expensive video game ever made? Indeed, the game is free on almost all platforms (sorry, Xbox). But the game is distributed on a shareware model. Want more cool characters or powerful weapons? Upgrade the Battle Pass, buy Crystals and Monthly Cards. Don’t want to spend money? Then waste your time. However, you are not limited to paid content. Even free2play gamers can dominate here if they, of course, know what to do.
And, of course, anime style. Apart from the story, the hearts of the players and weebs are tied to the characters, which makes them log into the game every day, and, as we mentioned earlier, pay money to get this character. The banners and character drops system is the main reason developers have the highest budget video game.
Most of the game’s budget is dedicated to characters. All characters are designed with details and features that even those who do not know about this game will recognize them. Anime style is quite a popular type of world design that attracts dozens of fans and gamers. At the same time, they were able to get away from sexualized images competently. Therefore, the studio has the money to attract outsourcing studios and the opportunity to use services such as those at https://retrostylegames.com/outsourcing/3d-modeling-services/.
Let’s Talk About Money
But still, the main question is why is Genshin the most expensive game made of all time? Reddit user KeiraFaith has calculated the total development cost of Genshin Impact so far (based on multiple reliable sources) to be in the order of $500 million. This figure makes Genshin Impact the most expensive game in history by development cost and also allows it to take this title from the current Star Citizen record holder. By the way, the latter has collected 492 million dollars and, in theory, has spent far from all of them.
You might think that $500 million to develop and maintain a single game is too much to break even, but this game made the same $500 million from character banners in China alone. And yes, this figure does not consider other types of donations, as well as the rest of the world.
By simple calculations, you can understand that Genshin Impact demanded half a billion dollars from the creators in the second year of its existence. However, these figures pale in comparison with the project’s earnings – for the year, the game brought the authors $ 3.7 billion. Thus, the return on investment is about 1380%.
Genshin is the most expensive video game to make because of the content (and anime design, of course). All characters, which at the time of writing 47, are voiced in different languages (for example, English and Japanese) by voice actors worldwide.
Support for 3 regions with dozens of servers also does not cost much, so the budget must be distributed wisely so that the scriptwriting team or developers do not leave the project due to low salaries. The good news is that the studio copes with all the difficulties, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in profit every season.