I've been considering for a long time how much it would cost to hire developers and programers to make a game engine and website for the engine? Posibly even some graphic designers for game engine textures, or maybe some concept art, etc. What would be a ball park estimate of all this?

Edit: It would be for any platform, and for a variety of 3D Gaming Types; RPG, FPS, etc. It's capabilities would be as far as making a complete game from scratch, maps, scripts, etc.

Edit: For the sake of an estimation, let say the platform was limited to PC and Mac.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What kind of game engine? What platforms? What capabilities? It could be anywhere from "100k-ish - 1 man-year of development and expenses" to "tens of millions of dollars - 30-person team over multiple years" \$\endgroup\$
    – Jimmy
    Jul 20 '12 at 18:34
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ This is akin to asking “What does it cost to build a building? Maybe with some parking and stuff?” before you can even ballpark a cost you need to have a clear and detailed set of goals/specs/customer requirements/etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthew R
    Jul 20 '12 at 18:37
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ $128,234.98 no wait... $3,141.59 \$\endgroup\$ Jul 20 '12 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Any platform"? That's not possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – jcora
    Jul 20 '12 at 18:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Well, maybe it is, but then you would have hundreds of completely different programs, both on the implementational and the API level, just under the same name, that support different features. So yeah, no.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jcora
    Jul 20 '12 at 18:42

Lets use Unity3D as our reference "game engine company" It's nice because it's fairly recent, it's open about its history, and it makes an engine without also making games. It's also fairly close to your need to run on multiple platforms and support different game types.

Lets start with some numbers from this answer https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/a/4531/2624:

Total Loaded cost to employer per developer per month 8000 to 15000

History - http://unity3d.com/history.html

By the time the Unity released their first game, it was 3 years of basement-dwelling for 3 full-time developers. By the time Unity released Unity version 1, it was a team of 7. So version 1 of Unity, you could calculate at 15 person-years or so. At 10k per month of employer expenses, we can get a nice round estimate of $1,800,000

By now, Unity is on version 4. Here's a picture of them: http://unity3d.com/company/people/ It would cost significantly more than just a couple million dollars to replicate the current state of Unity.


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