Epic Games VP Mark Rein has slammed suggestions that huge budgets are required to create next-gen games, revealing that forthcoming Xbox 360 title Gears of War has cost "around $10 million" to produce.
Speaking at the London Games Summit, Rein said that it's taken a team of 20 - 30 people around two years to complete work on GOW - arguing that despite claims by some industry figures, it's still possible to create next-gen titles using medium sized teams and without gigantic budgets.
GOW, he continued, "wasn't cheap but didn't cost the crazy figures you hear other companies quoting of $20, $30 million". Rein made similar comments in an interview with GI.biz last year, where he accused "big companies like EA" of "going around trying to scare people".
When asked by an audience member how much GOW had cost to produce, Rein replied, "So far, around $10 million, maybe a little less.
"The publisher didn't pay much more than that for it... And smart developers don't
go over [deadline], let's say that," he added.
However, as Rein clarified, Epic has not had to budget for the cost of a game engine - since GOW runs on the proprietary Unreal Engine 3. He said the company was also able to save money by outsourcing to new subsidiary Epic Games China.
According to Rein, Unreal Engine 3 has "now reached the first level of performance". It will power Epic's first PS3 title, Unreal Tournament 2007, which he described as "an even more intense game" than Gears of War.