THE PRICE OF INDEPENDENCE: GETTING A GAME RATED COSTS HOW MUCH? - Games Weekly

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Monday, October 20, 2014

THE PRICE OF INDEPENDENCE: GETTING A GAME RATED COSTS HOW MUCH?

You can download Sixty Second Shooter Prime to an Xbox One for a few quid and by the look of it you’d be forgiven for imagining that it didn’t cost much more than that to develop. It’s graphically pretty basic, after all, and came to the console courtesy of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program, while the actual development could be (and mostly was) done by a single person. You’d be wrong.

You see, Jamie Fristrom, former Treyarch director and founder of and coder at Happion Laboratories, has published a list of the costs involved to bring his game to market. Some of his money spent seems almost too trite to mention; USB and video cables are mentioned as costing $72, for example, while he even includes the $63 cost of posting a second (free from Microsoft) devkit to his partner Brett Douvill.

The $181 for a video capture device to make the trailer and $19 for maintaining the game’s web URL when it’s found at www.happionlabs.com anyway? It’s initially like reading a spreadsheet compiled by Ebenezer Scrooge. Until, that is, you get to the $729 it cost to localise the French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese versions, and then the $2,037 required for mandatory Error & Omissions insurance just in case Microsoft gets sued because the game contains illegalities. Largest of all costs was the $2,042 required to get it rated by PEGI and USK (the German board) so the fi nal fi gure was $5,143, with the vast majority being on ratings and insurance.

Fristrom certainly saved cash by not going for a full international release, though he would have certainly suffered similar costs working with Sony.

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