Horizon ZD Production cost at least €45 / ~$47 mil, peak team 250 people + 100 china

Oct 11, 2009
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Interview with a Dutch national news paper for the release of the game today some info that might be new but at least thread worthy if not discussed before:

(at least) €45 / ~$47 mil production cost
peak team 250 people + 100 china (outsource for art I assume)
6 years in total to make incl pre-production with 20 staff.

(Dutch)
https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2017/02/26/hoe-de-grootste-mediaproductie-van-nederland-is-gemaakt-6962270-a1547873

(English google translate)

Guerrilla is the only Dutch studio playing in the Champions League of the global gaming industry. The studio makes blockbuster games "being played by millions of gamers around the world. With a production budget of more than 45 million - Guerrilla does not mention the exact amount - Horizon Zero Dawn is the largest Dutch media production ever.
In 2013, after the publication of the fourth volume of Guerilla's Killzone series, the rest of the studio plunges on the project, 250 people in the Netherlands and another hundred in China sculpt the parts into a whole. "We talk constantly to know what everybody is doing," says Wolterbeek Muller.
/Buy me a $50 mil dutch AAA game if old.
 

CHC

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Good thing they didn't fuck it up, then!

I'm sure it will recoup this handily.
 

Turkoop

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45 million (at least) sounds very low for me. GTAV was around 230 million, and Horizon is big, unique and really well made. I was thinking about 80 million at least.
Watch Dogs 1 was also about 45 million
 

kruis

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That's on the lower end these days.
Guerilla Games didn't want to disclose the real cost of the game. It's probably (a lot) higher.
 

Garrett Hawke

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Why are Sony first party so cost effective? iirc the uncharted games also cost a lot less than competing third party titles.
 

CHC

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Also pretty impressive budget considering they got a whole new engine out of this that will serve them and other studios, presumably, for years to come.
 

MatrixMan.EXE

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Considering the production values, the team size and the scope of the game that'd not all that much. Damn. And I suspect a sequel would be cheaper sInce they have the groundwork done for making more RPG's.
 
45 million (at least) sounds very low for me. GTAV was around 230 million, and Horizon is big, unique and really well made. I was thinking about 80 million at least.
Watch Dogs 1 was also about 45 million
The GTA number rolls in marketing to my knowledge, but that was still well over $100 or even $150 million IIRC, the former of which is closer to standard these days.
 

keidashxd

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I think it's not an expensive development being 250 + 100 in its peak, and 6 years total it's a long road to achieve starting with only 20 people, I'm sure god of war 3 cost more or less the same or maybe more...
 

sleepr

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45 million (at least) sounds very low for me. GTAV was around 230 million, and Horizon is big, unique and really well made. I was thinking about 80 million at least.
Watch Dogs 1 was also about 45 million
Witcher 3 was around 81 Million. I wonder what GG would achieve with a bigger budget, hope we get to find out in the sequel.
 

kruis

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Three years preproduction according to the article, three years with a full team (after the release of Killzone: Shadowfall in November 2013).
 

MatrixMan.EXE

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how expensive is a big marketing campaign these days? 60-70 mio in total?
Can be around that, yeah. For a AAA game like Call of Duty or Battlefield, certainly at least 30-40m. I'm truly shocked if that GG figure includes the marketing budget as well. Madness if true.
 

Turkoop

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The GTA number rolls in marketing to my knowledge, but that was still well over $100 or even $150 million IIRC, which is closer to standard these days.
Yup, you're right. All costs were about 230 million, only game development took them over 100 million. They have spend so much in Marketing, incredible.
 
Sony really has tight budgets. I assume Uncharted 4 was more expensive, right?
I'd be surprised if Uncharted 4 wasn't at least $80 million given the location of the studio and I believe a larger team size.

$100 million might be more realistic.

Can be around that, yeah. For a AAA game like Call of Duty or Battlefield, certainly at least 30-40m. I'm truly shocked if that GG figure includes the marketing budget as well. Madness if true.
"Production" budget would be development budget in gaming terms.
 

ncslamm

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It's crazy how much it takes to make a big game these days. Then on the other hand you have indies making amazing titles for thousands.
 

Apathy

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Wow, that is impressive. For as long as they have been working on it and how it looks and how big it seems, thats quite good money management.
 

napata

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Why do so many people here read "at least 45 million" as exactly 45 million? It's just the lower bound. It might be 46 million or it might be 500 million. We just don't know.
 

Alrus

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Seems like a relatively reasonable price. Should have little troubles recouping it's cost considering it's a first part title, the hype and the good reviews.
 

aussiedude08

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Good budgeting by the team. I wonder how much was because of the risk due to being a new ip and moving into RPG. Should get more for a sequel.


In top of dev costs it looks like Sony spent a fair bit on marketing.
 

tuxfool

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Witcher 3 was around 81 Million. I wonder what GG would achieve with a bigger budget, hope we get to find out in the sequel.
Development+Marketing costs. Assuming a 50:50 split I'd say the production costs are roughly the same.

That is if we're also assuming the value quoted in the OP is canonical and not just the lower bound.
 
Nov 22, 2014
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Seems pretty reasonable. They have the extra advantage of that development budget partially helping Kojima productions out with Decima. The sharing between Sony studios must really help them all.
 

RedlineRonin

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I love that companies like GG and CDPR are becoming "titans of industry" in their countries. It's so cool that smaller countries (relatively speaking, in the U.S. here) are able to have companies producing some of the best products in the world in their respective industries.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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Is it a hidden rule that someone has to mention Zelda in Horizon threads?

Not to be mean, I just think it's funny how it always pops up.
I was debating on whether or not to mention it because of that, actually, but I was genuinely curious on how much budgeting difference is made between these sort of companies with similar workforce numbers.