The budgets of two of Sony’s biggest ever games have been revealed due to some poorly redacted documents, submitted as part of the FTC’s ongoing lawsuit against Microsoft and Activision Blizzard. The US regulator is attempting to temporarily impede the trillion-dollar tech titan’s unfathomable $69 billion buyout of Activision Blizzard, and a slew of gaming companies have been sucked into the ensuing chaos.
One document, which has been poorly redacted by PlayStation’s legal team, clearly reveals the budgets of two of its biggest games: Horizon Forbidden West and The Last of Us: Part 2. The latter – which started development as early as 2014, just a year after the original game – cost Sony an eye-watering $220 million to make, while Aloy’s sophomore outing weighed in at around $212 million. In both cases, over 200 people were working on the projects at peak times.
It's worth noting that none of this includes significant marketing spend, and purely accounts for the game development. Sony notes that “global marketing costs for AAA games are large, even for established franchises”, although it didn’t attach a figure.
The production costs aren’t particularly surprising, as we know game development budgets have been ballooning for quite some time. It does, perhaps, underline the Japanese giant’s reluctance to include these titles in its PS Plus subscription on launch day, however – something the company has argued is unsustainable.