Is GTA 6 The Most Expensive Game In History?

gta 6 budget

Recently, rumours have been circulating suggesting that GTA 6’s development cycle has – so far – set Rockstar back between $1 – 2 billion. This would easily make it the most expensive game ever developed, sitting some way ahead of Destiny (2014 – $500m), Cyberpunk 2077 (2020 – $330m), and Modern Warfare 2 (2009 – $310m).

Even Grand Theft Auto V, released in 2013, only cost Rockstar around $250m to develop. But, when that game launched, it raked in more than $1 billion in just three days – so it’s safe to say that the exorbitant development fee was well and truly earned back.

But is GTA 6 set to dwarf all of these previous titles? If the recently ‘leaked’ budget is accurate, then it will be.

GTA 6 Could Be The Most Ambitious Game Ever

Well, it depends on how you define ‘ambitious’.

What about Starfield, with 1000 fully explorable planets? Or how about Ghost Recon: Wildlands, which was supposed to boast a living, breathing world, with every NPC having a purpose and a life of their own?

If the rumours are true, then GTA 6 will be the most expensive game ever developed. It’s also the most highly-anticipated title in history, and for more than a decade, players have been locked firmly in on GTA 5, desperately awaiting concrete news regarding the development of the next game in the series.

Following a massive leak last year that saw 100GB of data posted online, Rockstar Games had no choice but to come out and admit that it was working on the next Grand Theft Auto game, but that was it. There was no indication of where it’d be set, what timeline it would follow, how many protagonists there would be, or what the GTA 6 multiplayer modes would look like.

There’s apparently a massive marketing campaign on the horizon, though. Reportedly, Take-Two – Rockstar Games’ parent company – is planning a campaign in Miami, Florida – which is essentially where GTA 6 is rumoured to be set, only it’s named ‘Vice City’ in the GTA universe.

There has been an exponential increase in the development cost of Grand Theft Auto games since the series began, but if the rumours are to be believed, then GTA 6 has set a new bar for monumentally expensive games:

  • Grand Theft Auto (1997) – $1 – 2 million*
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999) – $3 – 4 million*
  • Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001) – $5 million*
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) – $5 million
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) – $10 million
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) – $100 million
  • Grand Theft Auto V (2013) – $250 million
  • Grand Theft Auto 6 (2024?) – $1 – 2 billion

(*Estimated based on research)

If we work with that data, then we can assume that both time-wise and financially, the next GTA title might cost around $3 billion to produce and it’ll take around fifteen years for it to be released. But that’s just us having fun with the numbers – don’t quote that.

At the time of publishing, Take-Two is worth some $21 billion, so around $1.5 billion spread out over the course of a decade to develop GTA 6 doesn’t really seem all that unrealistic – especially when you consider how much this game is going to make when it finally does release.


For more Insider Gaming news, check out our coverage of Diablo IV’s post-launch content reveal.

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