*** Transcript begins
<MikeZ> Oh, and also I have a story for everyone here that you may or may not find interesting, and that I hope somebody puts up on the internet because this is interesting.
*** Topic: This is interesting
<MikeZ> So here’s the story:
<MikeZ> I’ve seen a lot of people talk about how expensive this game was, blah blah-blah blah, characters cost a lot of money, and the development stuff.
(MikeZ) Nah, not the game itself, yes, the development. So, my story is this:
<MikeZ> I worked at Pandemic [Studios] from 2003 until they closed in 2008 or 9 or whatever that was.
<MikeZ> Now that Pandemic is closed, no one cares if I talk about what the budget for their games was.
<MikeZ> So, I worked on Star Wars Battlefront 2, OK.
<MikeZ> Which cost a total of twenty eight million dollars ($28M), minus advertising.
<MikeZ> So, with advertising, it was something like thirty-five (35) or forty (40).
<unknown> advertising is always such a huge chunk of [inaudible]
<MikeZ> So, I’m gonna break down that cost a little bit.
(unknown) Haven’t you already broken down the cost for everyone like a billion times?
(MikeZ) No, no, I mean of Battlefront, so I’m going to do a comparison.
<MikeZ> And, also, for everyone who played Battlefront 2, if you enjoyed playing as the heroes, or the droid… soldier – the battle droid – or the copilot, or any of the native creatures like the Wampa, or whatever, those were all me.
(unknown) nice job!
*** Topic: The SWBF2 budget
<MikeZ> Anyway, so, here’s the budget:
<MikeZ> So, Battlefront 2, twenty eight million dollars ($28M), right?
<MikeZ> Let’s assume that level design and implementing the levels cost half (50%) the budget – which it didn’t, it [levels] cost something like a fourth (25%) of the budget.
<MikeZ> But, let’s give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that it cost half the budget, OK?
<MikeZ> If the level design cost half the budget, that gives you fourteen million dollars ($14M) left over for the characters, right?
<MikeZ> And if you’re computing character costs as we are, which is basically one nth of the game cost, not, like, dividing out, like, meals and all that, but it’s just a fraction of the total game cost.
*** Topic: SWBF2 Characters budget
<MikeZ> Anyway, so, fourteen million dollars ($14M).
<MikeZ> If you count every unit, every vehicle, and every hero in the entire game as a separate character – most of which weren’t because a lot of them were re-skins and a lot of them reused animations and whatever… and even the vehicles, right.
<MikeZ> If you count every unit, every vehicle, every unit on every team, every hero from every team, and every vehicle in the entire game, as a separate character, there are eighty (80) of them.
<MikeZ> I looked this up earlier, there are actually eighty-one (81), but eighty (80) makes the math easier.
(unknown) [inaudible] was the eighty-first [inaudible]
(MikeZ) The Rebels and the Empire used the same vehicles so they didn’t even build new ones for that. But, anyway.
<MikeZ> So, if you divide fourteen million (14M) by eighty (80), you know what you get?
<MikeZ> A hundred seventy-five thousand dollars ($175k).
*** Topic: Cost of one character
<MikeZ> You know what that means?
<MikeZ> That means making a skin for the freaking clone pilot and one particle effect for his weapon – no animations, no nothing – costs a hundred seventy five thousand dollars ($175k).
*** Topic: More realistic numbers
<MikeZ> And the best part is, if you remember that Battlefront 2 was a SEQUEL
<MikeZ> we actually had about half of those assets left over from the first game.
<MikeZ> Which means you can double the cost of the characters and it’s still about right.
<MikeZ> So, three hundred fifty thousand dollars ($350k).
<MikeZ> For a first-person shooter character.
<MikeZ> And, if you count duplicate characters as duplicates – except for a skin or whatever – then you can basically take that number down by another third.
<MikeZ> And what that leaves you at is five hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($525k)
<MikeZ> to make a skin for a character and a couple particle effects for his weapon.
<MikeZ> So, for everyone who is wondering what video games cost, that’s what they cost.
*** Topic: Skullgirls budget
<MikeZ> Skullgirls, compared to this game, is not only cheap, it is RIDICULOUSLY cheap!
(unknown) It’s also, well, I dunno … I guess saying it’s better is subjective.
(MikeZ) Well, better… you can’t compare… I wouldn’t compare them, it’s a fighting game and an FPS.
(unknown) Battlefront’s not bad, it’s just… I dunno.
<MikeZ> But, anyway, someone should paste this crap – someone should write this down [because] I don’t want to.
<MikeZ> And paste it to ChrisG because I am tired of people complaining about, “oh man that character costs more than my house.”
<MikeZ> You know what?
<MikeZ> If we were any other game company, that character would cost more than three of your houses!
*** Topic: Costs of other games
(unknown) The only problem I have with this whole spiel is that you’ve broken down the cost in every single way possible. Anyone that’s too stupid to not realize it’s a steal at this point, probably isn’t ever going to get it.
(MikeZ) Having a comparison is useful because a comparison is, like–
<MikeZ> Also, that was in 2005, so that was a LONG time ago and games were costing this much.
<MikeZ> If you look at something like God of War 3 whatever, I would be surprised if that game cost them less than eighty million dollars ($80M).
(unknown) Halo 3? [inaudible] I probably don’t even…
<MikeZ> Anyway, the thing is, if you don’t play fighting games, you don’t understand what goes into a fighting game character.
<MikeZ> But, breaking down a game that most people have played, because…
<MikeZ> The reason I chose Battlefront 2 was because it was the best-selling Star Wars game of all time.
<MikeZ> And, also, I worked on it, so I knew, but, I mean, I could have chosen something like Mercenaries 2 or whatever.
*** Topic: SWBF2 returns
<MikeZ> Battlefront 2 sold eight and a half million (8.5M) copies, OK.
(MikeZ) If you multiply eight and a half million by s… I think it was fifty bucks back then, it wasn’t sixty for a PS2 game. I can’t remember spending sixty bucks for a PS2 game.
(unknown) [inaudible] [forty-nine?] ninety-nine (49.99?)
<MikeZ> If you multiply eight and a half million (8.5M) by fifty bucks ($50), what do you get?
<MikeZ> Four hundred million dollars ($400M), OK?
<MikeZ> At the point… even if the game cost you forty million dollars ($40M), you are making a thousand percent (1000%) profit.
<MikeZ> So, yay, costs for video games.
*** Topic: Costs for video game characters
(MikeZ) Oh that wasn’t Pandemic making that, that was… actually, we were the publisher!
(MikeZ) We had to pay LucasArt fees, but I’m sure that we got, like, more than half.
<MikeZ> No, but it’s just funny, because consumers don’t know what games actually cost.
<MikeZ> So, I’m trying to bring that into perspective.
<MikeZ> And the Battlefront 2 thing was really funny [because] I was just like, “I’m gonna figure this out for the hell of it.”
<MikeZ> And I originally did it for just the characters.
<MikeZ> And I was like – well, nah, if you exclude vehicles and all that stuff – I originally did it for just the characters, [because] there were way more vehicles than there are characters.
<MikeZ> If you do it for just the characters, the characters cost like nine hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($950k).
(unknown) I believe it! [inaudible]
(MikeZ) Oh, TF2, yeah yeah yeah.
*** Topic: Mercenaries 2
<MikeZ> I’m actually gonna answer this person’s question [on stream chat] because I can’t believe they remember it.
<MikeZ> I used to know “Oh no you didn’t,” and I thought it was the dumbest thing I had ever heard in my life.
(MikeZ) No, no, the Mercenaries 2 did a “Oh no you didn’t”… song.
(MikeZ) Oh, are you out? What? Yeah! Big Band!!!
(unknown) [inaudible] I actually thought that song was funny [inaudible]
(MikeZ) It was alright
(unknown) You didn’t work on it, the game?
<MikeZ> Oh, actually, what the hell.
<MikeZ> So, I can sort of talk about Mercenaries 2.
<MikeZ> So, I don’t know what the actual budget number is.
<MikeZ> But, what I do know is, it was MORE expensive than Battlefront 2.
<MikeZ> And, that was the actual budget that they had, like, budgeted for it, which meant that it was more than thirty-five (35), because we did our own advertising.
<MikeZ> And, it was over budget by, I think, something like ten (10)
(unknown) oh so they got it done and they just had extra money
(MikeZ) No, it was OVER budget, the other way around.
<MikeZ> Meaning it wasn’t done when it was supposed to be.
<MikeZ> And they spent an extra, like, seven (7) months on it.
<MikeZ> And that game… that game was not very good.
*** Transcript ends