How Much Did GTA 5 Cost to Make?

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How Much Did GTA 5 Cost to Make?

Surya Kumar
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Highlights
GTA 5 was initially released back in 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 followed by a PC release in 2015.
The game was initially allotted a core budget of $140 Million USD.
Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 beats GTA 5’s production budget as it is estimated to have cost between $370 and $540 million USD.

Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA 5) has retained its position of being one of the biggest games of all time, even after being available for decades. The game has kept up its popularity ever since its release in 2013, thanks to its online mode and the numerous consistent updates that keep adding to its gameplay experience. That being said, creating a game of this scale would have certainly been an arduous task, and the developer, Rockstar Games has put in numerous hours and sunk millions of dollars to create this critically acclaimed open-world sandbox. Exactly how much have they spent you ask? Well, let’s go ahead and figure it out.

The Cost of Developing Grand Theft Auto 5

The release of GTA 5 marked the end of a 5-year wait for fans of the franchise, following GTA 4 which came out in 2008. The new game brought drastic changes and it aimed to be bigger and better than ever before, which means it had to beat GTA 4’s $100 Million USD development budget. However, Rockstar only set its sights on making significant improvements and eventually, they did end up meeting their goal.

Grand Theft Auto 5 revolutionized the GTA formula by introducing three main protagonists with an intertwining and compelling storyline that complemented its immersive world made up of cities, desserts, and plains which was three times bigger than the previous game. Considering this, the game was initially allotted a core budget of $140 Million USD to develop, but over time, GTA 5 has cost Rockstar over $265 Million USD in total. Keeping inflation into account the amount might be somewhere between $259 - 310 Million USD.

This led to the title being one of the most expensive IPs to be produced by Rockstar and also earning a spot on the most expensive games of all time list.

How Much Revenue Has GTA 5 Made Over the Years?

Even though the game was extremely expensive to create, it has certainly been a profitable business for Rockstar as they sold over 190 million copies of the game, which has earned them a whopping $7.7 Billion USD in revenue. These massive sales also include the online mode, which is still active with millions of players and new paid and some free content being added consistently. GTA 5 and its online mode are still huge moneymakers for the studio and with the announcement of GTA 6, the franchise is again seen on trending pages of social media platforms. 

It is more than likely that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 6 will also follow a similar trend to its predecessors and it is even expected to make several strides in the gaming industry. The game is already expected to have a production budget of a colossal $2 Billion USD which was reportedly leaked by the infamous hacker who got into Rockstar’s servers. However, this might be the total allocated expense which includes secondary things like marketing, branding, etc. Regardless of that, it will possibly beat every other game’s production budget and is expected to overthrow most records set by GTA 5 as well.


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Surya has been an avid gamer all his life with an emphasis on single-player titles since the PlayStation 2 era. After switching to PC, he has also dabbled in the world of Valorant ever since its beta. He aims to spread his passion for gaming through his writing.

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