A recent report by the UK regulator, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), sheds light on the skyrocketing budgets of major AAA video game franchises like Call of Duty. According to the report, Call of Duty and other AAA games now have development budgets surpassing $300 million, marking a significant increase compared to five years ago when budgets ranged between $50 million and $150 million.
Rise of AAA Game Development Costs
The report reveals that AAA games expected to release in 2024 and 2025 have approved development budgets of $200 million or more. Grand Theft Auto VI, one of the highly anticipated titles, is projected to have a budget exceeding $250 million. This surge in development costs is attributed to the increasing demand for high-quality content and the need for constant innovation to meet players’ expectations.
The Challenges of Creating Call of Duty
Activision, the publisher behind Call of Duty, highlighted the immense pressure faced by the franchise in terms of content production. “We have to make so much content for Call of Duty, that we cant even lean on one lead studio anymore. Now we need almost 1.5 lead studios for each annual CoD,” stated Activision. This demand has led to increased outsourcing and collaboration with multiple studios, in order to meet the constant release schedule and deliver engaging experiences.
Marketing Costs and Industry Trends
The report also sheds light on the marketing costs associated with major AAA franchises. One publisher revealed that pre-launch development and launch marketing costs for recent installments amounted to approximately 150 million and 50 million, respectively. Another publisher mentioned that development costs for its AAA franchises range between over $80 million to nearly $350 million, with marketing costs reaching up to $310 million.
William D’Angelo and his Contributions
The article concludes by introducing William D’Angelo, an avid gamer and analyst associated with VGChartz. D’Angelo’s involvement in the gaming community extends beyond his work as an analyst, as he also produces content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. His experience and contributions further enrich the gaming community.
The rising budgets of AAA franchises like Call of Duty signify the growing scale and complexity of game development. As the demand for immersive gaming experiences increases, publishers are investing substantial resources to meet players’ expectations and ensure the success of their flagship titles.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)?The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is a UK regulatory body responsible for promoting competition and enforcing consumer protection laws in various sectors. It conducts investigations, reviews mergers and acquisitions, and addresses antitrust issues to ensure fair competition and protect consumers’ interests.
What were the concerns with cloud gaming in Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard?The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) blocked Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard due to concerns related to cloud gaming. Further details about the specific concerns can be found in the CMA’s final report on the acquisition.
What are the challenges faced by Activision Blizzard in the development of the Call of Duty franchise?According to Activision, the need to produce a significant amount of content for Call of Duty has led to increased reliance on multiple studios and outsourcing. The bandwidth pressure and demand for frequent releases have necessitated the involvement of approximately 1.5 lead studios for each annual Call of Duty installment.
Who is William D’Angelo and what is his involvement in the gaming community?William D’Angelo is an avid gamer and analyst. He has been associated with VGChartz since 2007, initially as a junior analyst and later becoming the lead analyst in 2012. He is also engaged in producing content on his YouTube channel and Twitch channel, further contributing to the gaming community.