The Last Of Us Part 2 was one of the videogame products with the greatest visual and emotional impact of the last generation of consoles, as well as one of the videogames with the greatest positive response received by critics and audiences – a result also testified by the recent award record of game for The Last of Us 2.
A product of such magnitude within the era we find ourselves in almost always requires one massive allocation of funds to be dedicated to the various phases of the creation of the game: concept, script, development, realization of the actor’s performances in motion capture, dubbing and, finally, a pounding worldwide marketing campaign, like the one that characterized the months preceding the publication of The Last Of Us Part 2. The latest masterpiece baked by the guys at Naughty Dog is a product that excels in each of the aforementioned categories, with actors able to fully immerse themselves in their character, a stunning graphics component never seen before on a previous generation console (and , in most cases, not even on a gaming PC) and a dubbing that matches the quality of the rest of the game.
Of course, to achieve such high production quality Sony had to invest a lot of time and money in the project: the development required in fact 7 years of total work, years that have certainly increased the overall cost of the work. Although to date no official data has been revealed on the budget made available by the Japanese giant for the realization of what was probably its most acclaimed exclusive of the last generation, it is possible to make a rough estimate based on the time spent on development, the number of people involved and the final quality of the product and of the used technologies.
So let’s start with the number of people involved in the project: several times in the past there was talk of the fact that the developers and technicians working on The Last Of Us Part 2 were more than 2,000, split between Naughty Dog, the main studio, and 13 different secondary studies called to collaborate to reduce timing and speed up the process. Taking advantage of some interviews and credits at the end of the game we are now able to state that the total number of people who worked and contributed to the development of The Last Of Us Part 2 stands at just over 2300, of which about 2200 developers and 150 between actors and voice actors: a decidedly impressive number, which alone has certainly contributed to dramatically increase development costs.
It is then necessary to consider the number of years during which the development has continued, which as mentioned previously amounts to well 7 years, and the final quality of the product, very high from every point of view, both technical and acting. Based on information from the budgets allocated for other products of the last generation, it is therefore possible to make a final estimate of how much The Last Of Us Part 2 could have cost. Considering for example that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain cost about 80 million dollars over a 3-4 year production cycle and with far fewer people involved, it’s easy to guess that a project like The Last Of Us Part 2 may have required a budget of around 100 million, a huge amount for a non-open-world game but which will certainly have been amply repaid thanks to the extraordinary feedback from the public obtained by the game.
An effort, however, paid off considering how much The Last Of Us 2, one of the most acclaimed and popular games of recent years, sold.