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ChangYou MMO budget hits $80 million

The Duke of Mount Deer Online to become one of China's biggest productions

Chinese developer ChangYou has revealed detailed information and costings on the creation of massively multiplayer online game The Duke of Mount Deer Online, whose four year development cycle is beginning to rival Western entries in the genre.

As reported by MMO Culture the game, based on an original novel by Louis Cha, has a 400 strong development team in China, with an average salary each, in Chinese Yuan, of ¥120,000 ($18,600/€12,900).

Over the course of four years, and including factors such as benefits and bonuses, this has so far added up to a ¥210 million price tag ($32.5m/€22.6m).

A separate 200-strong team of developers in Korea, headed by the former art director of NCsoft, command a higher salary of around ¥360,000 ($55,700/€38,800) each. Over the last two years, and including additional costs, the studio has needed a budget of ¥160 million ($24.7m/€17.2m).

The game also contains 260 hours of in-game 3D animation, which costs around ¥5,000 every minute, adding up to a total of ¥78 million ($12.1m/€8.4m).

Motion capture costs, including the hiring of a renowned martial artist, add up to ¥8 million ($1.2m/€0.9m), while organising voiceover and theme songs is budgeted at ¥10 million ($1.5m/€1.1m).

With other miscellaneous costs the current budget of the game stands at the equivalent of around $80 million (€56m). However this does not include marketing costs, which could see the final figure increase even further.

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David Jenkins