Requesting a Cost Breakdown from the Devs

Less a game suggestion, but more of a suggestion out of curiosity.

If possible, would any of the devs mind posting how much it costs for some of the things in KI? Characters, stages, music, programming, effects, etc.

I think with the recent controversial news of less stages than previous seasons but new lighting on everything else, it might help give insight for the unaware of how you guys balanced your Season 3 budget/your budget in general.

I personally always find stuff like this interesting, but I figured the aforementioned reason might be a better justification than just me asking.

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This is something I would love to know as well but I doubt the devs will actually answer this…they seem to get really quiet once you bring up the budget

Will not happen

As a general rule, ALL companies get quiet once you bring up an internal budget. Detailed breakdowns are almost always proprietary, and even shareholders only get general budget overviews.

So yeah, might be interesting to see, but not gonna happen.


lol, I think this would be as rude as asking someone how much money they make a year or how much tax’s they do.

But they have shared that Characters and Stages are the most expensive. Not only that but revealing numbers like this would be bad for company’s. If MS is paying less or more for certain things in the game another company within MS or outside of it can compare and say something like “Why is MS paying this much yet we are or aren’t.”


Instead of cost breakdown / budget specifics (which we will never see), I’d rather have inteviews with some of the lesser known devs working on the game. Learning about the aspects of their job would give us a good insight into the possible decisions made by the team without revealing sensitive proprietary info.

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You hit the nail on the head. It’s legally problematic and it does nothing good for the company to let you see their budget. What are we going to do, start telling them how to spend their money better?

At some point, guys, you just have to take it on faith that they are doing the best they can with what they’ve got.

Yeah, my company would sue me into space just for sharing our organizational chart. You aren’t getting this info.

I’m not surprised they decided to cut down on new stages though. KI already has more stages than many other fighting games, and a larger and more diverse soundtrack as well. So they’ve already gone far and beyond what most fighting games do in those areas.

As much as I’d like to know, the devs may be under non-disclosure so they might not be able to say anything about it. The PC port obviously sucked alot of money out of the development for S3, but expanding the player base was probably considered more important. With a game this budget, I’d say it costs around 5000 dollars per char, and about 15k a stage, but that’s just a rough estimate. I don’t think the game’s development costed more than 750k.

Not gonna happen

they said a character needs more or less 4 months of work. 5k is nothing. they have probably 10-20 persons working on it. I dont know how much money an average game developer does but whatever it is multiply it by 4 and then by 10-20 and thats how much a character costs.

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I don’t know that it is helpful or meaningful to speculate on these things, so I don’t want to encourage a series of guesses like the release date thread. But I would bet that you are off by AT LEAST a factor of ten. Possibly a hundred. If I were told that it cost $500,000.00 to make a character for KI that wouldn’t surprise me a bit. Heck, double it to a million and it wouldn’t surprise me. When Skullgirls did their Kickstarter weren’t they estimating $150k for a character? Someone here will know… That was a 2D Sprite being drawn by a guy. This is a more elaborate undertaking altogether.

Just to help people who may not have budgeting experience try to understand this better… The cost of having an artist sit at a desk and produce something like a 3D character model is just a fraction of what it costs to actually produce the model. Since both MS and IG are in the US, you are talking salary, benefits and taxes like social security etc. a good rule of thumb is that it costs the company 2-3x what they are actually paying someone to keep them employed. So if you are paying someone $50k it probably costs you about 100-150k/year to keep them employed. You can get around some of that with contracting and outsourcing rather than employing people, but ultimately someone pays those costs so contractors are expensive. Normally the savings come from not paying someone to sit around doing nothing on days when you don’t need them - not from saving money on the actual work.

Now factor in the cost of the computer, the software, IT support for the computer, office space etc. now think about accounting, payroll and human resources. Sure, you don’t need an accountant to make a 3D character model but you can’t employ people, budget your resources, send a report to MS management to explain where their money went if you don’t have one. Ok. So how do you pay your accountant? You can’t just ask MS to write you a check. You pay for that accountant as “overhead” which you divide out across all the different things that you do as a business. Then you do the same for HR, payroll etc.

The point of all this is that it costs way more than you think. Go to KI and run the credits and just count the number of people involved in making the game.! None of those people are participating as unpaid volunteers, and they all require unnamed support services to contribute to the game. Even if we were to get the actual budget sheets that IG sends to Microsoft, it isn’t going to look like:
Tusk: $50k
Arbiter: 55k
Arbiter’s stage: $200k
New lighting engine:$500k

That’s not how things work in the world. I don’t think it would be easy for MS to tell us (even if they wanted to - which they don’t) “how much a stage costs.” It just isn’t that simple.


Individually purchasing characters: $5
Buying Combo Breaker packs: $20
Season 3 Hype: priceless

For everything else, there’s MS cash cards and paypal.

Seriously though, a cost breakdown of a season isn’t really a cost per item thing, it’s more like a labor and software cost thing. It really wouldn’t break down into anything interesting other than people’s wages.

I’m pretty sure your closer than I am Andy. It’s not Halo’s numbers I’m sure, but 1-5 million should be a good benchmark Imo. I wonder what the ceiling is for development costs because the PC port must have been a money sink to develop for.

I love this guy.

Haha, I bet some devs got a hearty laugh out of this. :stuck_out_tongue:

No, I honestly think it helps a lot, just to give gamers with unreasonable perceptions about the costs of development some perspective. The accuracy of these estimates is another matter, but I think six digits is in the right ballpark. I’d guess that each KI season is an eight-digit project.

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