During the trial of Microsoft against the FTC to secure the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, we’ve been getting a massive amount of information regarding how these giants of the videogame industry work behind closed doors. Even Sony has been called in to make an appearance in court. Unfortunately for them, the documentation they presented revealed the cost of developing some of its biggest AAA games.
“Developing and producing AAA games often costs over $100 million, requires hundreds or thousands of developers, and takes years,” states Sony in a court document, which was redacted in such a manner that most of that information has now been made public. “For instance, development on Horizon Forbidden West, a 2022 SIE first-party release, lasted a total of 6 years, starting in 2017 and ending in 2022. The game cost $212 million to develop, and peak headcount was over 300 full time employees.”
Sony’s declaration to the FTC was released to the public and shared on Twitter by The Verge’s Tom Warren. One other game is discussed in the same page of the document, Naughty Dog’ The Last of Us Part 2, which was revealed to have taken over 70 months of work by around 200 full time employees, costing over $220 million USD. However, none of these costs take into account their marketing campaigns, which can raise the amount to astronomical levels.
Xbox isn’t going down without a fight
And what a fight it has been so far. For over a year, the Microsoft division has been toiling away at trials, hearings, and presentations around the world in an effort to convince the many regulating organizations that the purchase of Activision Blizzard is a good idea that will absolutely not lead to monopolization, and that will in fact be considered “fair competition”.
So far, they’ve been getting the green light from almost every regulator except for the UK’s CMA and the US’s FTC. Now, this week we’ve been seeing quite the number of revelations about what has been happening at Microsoft for the past few years internally, and the answer of whether or not they’ll be permitted to buy Activision Blizzard is still unknown. What is sure is that almost everyone in the industry is involved now. Take a look: