Court mistake reveals how much Sony's first-party games like Last of Us 2 costs

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(Image credit: Sony)

A mistake during the Microsoft/ Activision Blizzard FTC hearing has accidentally revealed the cost of making some of Sony's biggest titles. 

Thanks to some very poor redacting, anyone who has been following the ongoing court case will be able to make out some key information concerning the development cost for The Last of Us 2 and Horizon Forbidden West

While the documents have now been pulled from the FTC hearing's list, The Verge's Tom Warren tweeted a screenshot of the documents after they were uploaded. The small snippet revealed that Sony spent $212 million for Horizon Forbidden West over a five-year period with 300 full-time developers. While Sony rolled out the red carpet for The Last of Us 2 spending $220 million over six years with 200 full-time employees. 

These numbers mean that Horizon Forbidden West and The Last of Us 2 take second and third spot in the most expensive video games to develop ever, beating out Cyberpunk 2077 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, while only just losing out to Star Citizen that sits at the top with over $400 million. However, these numbers don't even include the cost of marketing two massive games which must have shot through the roof. 

The rate in which cost of making video games are escalating means that numbers like we saw over at Sony will become more common. Earlier this year the UK's Competition and Markets Authority published a 418-page report that revealed how the average budget for making games five years ago was $50-$150 million. Whereas nowadays the cost is more like $200 million, a number that lines up easily with Sony's apparent Triple-A budget. 

The fiasco surrounding Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard has revealed all sorts of information that wouldn't usually be public information. Whether its Microsoft claiming the UK is closed for business or how crucial Call of Duty is to Sony, it seems like the drama still isn't over.

Elie Gould
Features Writer

Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications. 

Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.