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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

General Discussion  » $300 Million Budget

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56 posts found

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 219

11/12/12 6:50:01 PM#21
Originally posted by Thillian

I have a different opinion then, I don't think they leave milions of dollars to sit on account for 6 years before using them to finance the so-called "future games". I'm certain they used those 300 millions to set up the online division, get licenses, and pay the staff and maintenance for 6 years until 2013, with some reserve, plus marketing and distribution and other costs associated with ESO exclusively. 

i really appreciate your opinion and thoughts, but if you don't belive me just talk with someone from you bank about how investment groups and funds are working. its not uncommon that they do longterm investments. keep in mind that such groups invest in a lot of diffrent companies. and if you look here you can see the amount of money these investment groups are operating with. bertelsmann digital media does have consolidated revenues of 22 billion (!) us dollar. providence equity partners inc, the groups which gives zenimax 300 million $, does have revenues of 21 billion $. so these 300 millions are, well, more or less peanuts to them.


Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 2541

Hype (noun)
1. to trick; gull.
2. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
3. swindle, deception, or trick.

11/12/12 6:51:51 PM#22
Sounds familiar. Lol.

"Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2094

11/12/12 7:52:40 PM#23

In case no one has stated the obvious, a lot of that money likely went to game publishing and marketing, other game development, as well as ESO.  I'd bet only half was really put towards ESO, at the most.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2094

11/12/12 7:53:32 PM#24
Originally posted by Thillian
Originally posted by muffins89
Originally posted by Thillian
Originally posted by Lanfea

first of all the 300 mil $ are for the whole company and their future games, not only for TESO. just read the article. second, high budget mmorpgs do have  50+ mil $ development cost (not included are marketing or administration). third you can easily reconstruct the development cost of a mmorpg by knowing the estimated amount of employees on this project multiply them with 5000 $ (average monthly cost of an employee for a company) and again multiply it with the months the game is in development.

for those who want real numbers simply look at the financial report of ncsoft for q3/2012.

Do you think they would invest 300 milion into "future games" which were to be developed six years from then? Do you think they paid in 2007 for games that were to start development in 2013? 


they werent/arent investing in a game.  they are investing in a a brand new compnay.  Zenimax Online Studios.  which needed a stuido,  employees,  equipment, ......among other things. 

Which qualifies to be included in ESO budget.

Only if ESO were the only game that studio would make.   Otherwise you divide that across titles.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/12/12 8:01:18 PM#25
Two more things spring to mind.

Theyve probably done some preliminary work on the fallout mmo before the court case.

Is it an entirely new engine? I would have thought it would be a heavily modified version of the skyrim engine (itself based on game bryo, which many of the devs will be familiar with from daoc) or even one of iDs engines as they are part of the same group, or dishonoureds engine for sane reason.
  User Deleted
11/12/12 8:58:41 PM#26

$300 million for SWTOR...


$300 Million for  TESO....


Halo 4 estimate 100 million development with marketing costs included (50 Million / 50 million estimated per previous games.) Net return on day one of release was $220 million in confirmed sales.  Franchise returns so far, happily chugging along toward 4 billion.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2094

11/12/12 9:37:51 PM#27
Originally posted by Crazy_Stick

$300 million for SWTOR...


$300 Million for  TESO....


Halo 4 estimate 100 million development with marketing costs included (50 Million / 50 million estimated per previous games.) Net return on day one of release was $220 million in confirmed sales.  Franchise returns so far, happily chugging along toward 4 billion.

this is relevant.

  User Deleted
11/13/12 1:17:14 AM#28
Originally posted by adam_nox
Originally posted by Crazy_Stick

$300 million for SWTOR...


$300 Million for  TESO....


Halo 4 estimate 100 million development with marketing costs included (50 Million / 50 million estimated per previous games.) Net return on day one of release was $220 million in confirmed sales.  Franchise returns so far, happily chugging along toward 4 billion.

this is relevant.

How can anyone justify $300 million for an MMORPG in current times when every major release aside from one with half that budget at most has flopped before justifying its development costs? The problem is that the comparison is too relavent. Companies are emulating single player game models more and more for their MMORPGs because they have yet to show the ability to justify their costs with an adequate return. You read the complaint with every new release now - "it's not an MMORPG, it's a single player game with co-op features."  Every preview indicates the same issue is going to rise up again with TESO. Even the DEV team doesn't want it labeld as part of the genre.


$300 million is insane and frankly a stupid investment for the likely return. Ripping DAOC style RVR won't be enough to enarmor it with players long term. I hope the team is well prepared for a free to play model already.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

11/13/12 1:35:43 AM#29
Originally posted by Purutzil

Or take 100Mill, reskin EQ1 and update it, and pocket the rest.  Oh wait that was what WoW basically did my bad. :) 



WoW was nothing like EQ1.  Why do people post such stupid crap?

One game was solo quest given, the other game was group mob kill driven

One game was streamlined, easily accessible, and had instant gratification.  The other took a big commitment to dive into (and as a result had much bigger payoffs)

One games group content was designed around multiple mobs at once (yes, WoW does have some cc but never to the extent of EQ) and the other games group content was designed around fighting one mob at a time with debuffs being key

One game used a talent tree system for unique builds and had no max level character progression, the other had no customization while leveling but had significant progression at max level (by the third expansion)

One had easy mode tradeskills with mostly gathering, the other had costly tradeskills with mostly mob drops

One's combat was designed to be fast paced, the other game's combat was slower and more strategic

One was a themepark, the other wasnt (not all MMOs are themeparks or sandboxes)


these are pretty signficant differences.

Both were level based fantasy MMOs designed around impressive worlds.  Thats really where the similarities end.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

11/13/12 3:05:34 AM#30
Originally posted by adam_nox

In case no one has stated the obvious, a lot of that money likely went to game publishing and marketing, other game development, as well as ESO.  I'd bet only half was really put towards ESO, at the most.

No game company makes two MMOs at the same time.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/31/06
Posts: 3229

OP  11/13/12 4:46:44 AM#31
Originally posted by adam_nox

In case no one has stated the obvious, a lot of that money likely went to game publishing and marketing, other game development, as well as ESO.  I'd bet only half was really put towards ESO, at the most.

This is the official press release:

Which says "The proceeds of the investment will be used to fund future growth, increase game development and publishing, facilitate acquisitions, and finance massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs)."

I.e. proceeds from the investment, not the investment. Part of the ESO sales (proceeds) will be then used to finance future games, but again, not the investment itself.



Advanced Member

Joined: 6/09/08
Posts: 1146

11/13/12 4:55:47 AM#32

Voice Acting is such a waste of money for MMORPGs.

Using these fancy smancy mechanics we see in single-player games is just pouring money down the drain. No-one is gonna keep playing an MMORPG for a year because it has a nice voice acting. Having lots of content, stuff to do and constant need to log-in are the things that keep your subs running.

Not saying SWTOR didn't have awesome voice acting, but since they poured so much money into VA the game ended up being a one playthrough.

If you had a 300$ million budget, you are better off spending 200$ mil pre-production and 100$ mil for the updates after the release.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/13/12 5:08:47 AM#33

Well I doubt that this 300 million are going to be used only on TESO.  There is propably healthy capital not used on it.

STILL TESO is propably only big mmo project worked on by Zenimax.  It is doubtfully that they are working on 2 huge mmo / mmorpg titles.   There might be concept works or other stages of pre-production for other games, like it was with Trion and Rift.  Defiance and End of Nations were planned for a long time but they did not left early stages of production and haven't received huge financing until after Rift was released. Besides Trion received additional financing of 85 million $ in 2012 as Definance and End of Nations are enttering late production stages and propably soon marketting campaigns which is most expensive time in projects like that.  So it is not like those 2 games are wholly financed from first 100 million euro capital from 2006.


I would bet that TESO budget is ~150 million $.


Other 150 million is used for some other games that are in conceptual phases and might get released in 3-4 years or / and low-budget mobile / browser games TES related games that might release some time after TESO and as a financial reserve in case TESO need additional funding or marketting or / and fail to meet revenue and profit margins and Zenimax woule want in example to bring TESO to Asia or South America / Russia in future.



Btw.  WoW Vanilla production budget was not 100 mln$. Not even close.  It is rumored it was 40-60 mln $.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/13/12 6:48:31 AM#34
They were working on a fallout mmo before that court case with interplay, whether it was just rough design meetings and concept art or whatever, we will never no.

Incidently, with the senior devs being from daoc and uo (mostly), and TESO borrowing quite a bit from daoc, I wonder, if they ever git around to making that fallout mmo would it be influenced by uo.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/16/11
Posts: 618

I'll kick your a**e so hard, you could build a swimming pool in the footprint!

11/13/12 7:05:33 AM#35
Originally posted by Thillian

Article from 2007. Back then, WoW was still on rise, theme-park games that later turned into financial failures (AoC, WAR, SWTOR) were still only being prepared. ESO is probably the last huge-budget themepark title.

If ESO has 300 milion budget, how much did SWTOR have with all its glamorous voice acting and adv campaign? The 500 milion budget now sounds a lot more plausible. 

I find it strange that while you can easily link that article you can't find this with a simple Google search:

Also that very old article doesn't state anything specifically about ESO funding, it just says the money was raised for the online division and, 'future', games.  2005 was 5 years ago, Bethesda has released a few game after that date you know...

This looks like a job for....The Riviera Kid!


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Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 800

Make friends not money, then wealth will follow.

11/13/12 7:24:09 AM#36
I'm not sure that any company should or could justify spending 300 million on a games budget in the current state of many countries finance situation it's unreal imo. I doubt that this money will make this game any better than most of the crap made before or even after it. There is so much talent out there and it's not being used to it's full potential and until it is then we will all be looking for that one fix to sort out our gaming needs.

The Bandit


Advanced Member

Joined: 11/11/06
Posts: 1004

11/13/12 7:33:48 AM#37

are they going spend money on voice acting,cutt scenes,solo parts of game....?????



only EVE is real MMO...but I am impressive with TSW


Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/12
Posts: 269

11/13/12 8:57:46 AM#38
Originally posted by JosephJR

are they going spend money on voice acting,cutt scenes,solo parts of game....?????



Voice acting yes, solo parts of the game, obviously... Cut scenes? Not sure.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

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11/14/12 6:23:28 PM#39

Look, I always said the 200-300 million budget of SWTOR sounded very plausible to me, because people have NO IDEA how expensive these games are. I know people laughed, because they were narrow-minded. Maybe now they will realize this is what you MUST invest in a triple AAA MMO!

SWTOR fell behind because it invested it bad, but the sum is what you need. *shrug*


We *know* for a fact, Rift had a budget of 50 million, so SWTOR and presumable TESO, both being several times the size of Rift reasobale have 200 million budgets. I don't find such numbers unplausible at all.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?


Novice Member

Joined: 5/27/12
Posts: 266

11/14/12 6:35:49 PM#40
wondering how much it was spent in voice overs; not another SWTOR please

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