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EA CCO: Battlefield 4 budget was $100 million

EA's Chief Creative Officer reveals the massive budget for BF4.

EA sued over Battlefield 4Battlefield 4 was EA’s biggest game of 2013, and despite all the troubles it’s been through, it appears to be selling well — EA says that the ongoing problems have not affected sales. Which is good, because Battlefield 4 was a very expensive game for EA to make.

According to EA Chief Creative Officer Rich Hilleman, one of the top guys at the company, Battlefield 4 cost $100 million to make. He contrasted that with the first product he made at EA in the 1980s, which took one guy seven months and cost $8,000.

Compared to Battlefield 4, which he said “will probably be on the high side of $100 million”. He said that the average console game development team at EA has 300 people today.

Hilleman revealed the information during a talk at University of Virginia Darden School of Business (the online video of the talk has since been taken down). He also shared an interesting fact about making games at EA: it’s so expensive to make the big franchise games that titles like Battlefield and Madden NFL compete for money and resources within the publisher.

Finally, he was very honest when he described EA’s business and gaming in general:

“We do not build a product that has a tangible value. If we got up tomorrow and there were no video games, I would be upset, but the truth is that the world would keep spinning. And that means that we’re fundamentally about things that are wanted not needed. We’re not in the asparagus business; we’re in the ice cream business. When that’s true, it means that your customer’s expectations in the future are not something you can measure today because they’re in motion.”

In the end, we’re not surprised Battlefield 4 cost $100 million — the game had a new engine, a bunch of new features, and was developed for no less than five platforms at the same time.

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  1. Individual
    March 14th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    The game had a ginormous marketing budget, and that’s why it sold so well despite all of its flaws.

    • WunderKatze
      March 14th, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      I agree that it has had a lot of issues, but honestly it is my all time favorite shooter game.

      • Mojobro360
        March 15th, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        This Game has a lot of problems but it is one of my favorite fps along with Far Cry 3 and even buggy Battlefield 4 blows COD out of the water. It really surprises me that so many more people play COD than Battlefield and these game crashes and bugs really don’t help Battlefields image.

    • yaselcubano
      March 15th, 2014 at 9:33 am

      Why you guys at bf4 central ban some comments, this is supposed to be a site where we comment good and bad stuff about tha game, are you being paid by EA/Dice too.

  2. BL
    March 14th, 2014 at 9:18 am

    With all the crashes bugs issues…money well spent?

  3. Raimo Ainla
    March 14th, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Buggiest game I have ever seen in my life to shame mankind…

    • Anonymous
      March 14th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Well if it’s that bad to you why are you on a fan site for the game?

      • Joe
        March 14th, 2014 at 2:26 pm

        Sorry, but a lot of us on here are diehard BF fans and are very frustrated that EA has smashed our series into their money maker over putting out a quality product.

        • George
          March 15th, 2014 at 9:06 pm

          ^^ Pretty much this… I am also a diehard BF fan however, I am also disappointed with the direction things have taken in the last few series. BF3 was the last BF I logged plenty of hours in. Though with this game I just don’t desire playing it. I could make time to play after work but if I don’t desire it then why play…

  4. InSaNeOldGuy
    March 14th, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I personally think the game is awesome, and has set the standard for future FPS games to follow. EA may have underestimated the build out of the game and consequently is still “building” it lol, but hopefully they’ve learned a good lesson and BF5 will be fully operational upon release.

    • George
      March 15th, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Negative. With their track record it will be the same or worse… Not that I want to be negative it is just the way things have been.

      It will be something like… BF5 will be the true BF sequel. I heard this about BF4 prior to release. The videos and clanmates helped get me motivated and therefore I pre-ordered. Come release… DISAPPOINTMENT.

      Said it before a bunch of times. Do a BF2 but with destruction, new maps, include the real popular ones from BF2 for free, maybe add the mod/map kit stuff back again?

    • jarhead3270
      May 4th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      I’m 66, two-tour ‘nam vet USMC…and, I love BF. Holy Sh_t! I remember how ‘buggy’ the real-time logistics ‘could be’ and were, back in the day. THIS is a game, that’s true; however, most of the guys (esp. kids) on BF aren’t aware of such realities…so, they bitch and bitch more, ’til they get their parents to demand the game be ‘fixed’ or whatever. Hell’s Bells! I put $117.58 into BF4, and bad netcode, glitches or rubber-banding does NOT sway my love of the ‘game’. At first, I was down on that…’til I tore down my ps3 and cleaned the bitch up, especially the laser-lenses. Worked for me. np!

  5. VINCE
    March 14th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    *bug-get of 100M

  6. John
    March 14th, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    This game rocks! I play on xbox one and despite a few hiccups it runs great. What other game can you play where a sand or rain storm rolls in and completely changes every aspect of the game. Well done Dice!

    March 14th, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    All for advertisement.

  8. Carlos
    March 15th, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Good job EA/DICE! It must have been damn hard to use 100m$ and yet produce a game without the very basic feature – working netcode (not talking about the bullshits you say you are working on, I am talking about the 200ms+ delay resulting in instant deaths)

  9. bafflefield
    March 15th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    storyline LMFAO

  10. Mojobro360
    March 15th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    contact customer support if your battlelog doesn’t work it took them 15 minutes to work some voodoo magic shit and i could log on

  11. Mike
    March 15th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Just check my stats and I’ve quit over 100 games. Good job launching a shitty game EA

  12. Mike
    March 16th, 2014 at 12:32 am

    This buggy game will affect BF5

  13. rob losi
    March 16th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Thats great and all but can sombody at Dice pleeeeeease fix the load freeze from gulman railway to locker on obliteration mode.please

  14. roccozilla
    March 16th, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Pleaaaaase fix loading screen from freezing up when going from railway to the locker on obliteraton pleaaase

  15. Minute_Man_721
    March 17th, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Has this happened to anyone, sometimes after a respawn your automatic goes to 1 burst? Or when you open fire with automatic on it shoots only once then you die with one shot from the opponent? If DICE/EA doesn’t fix this game soon they shouldn’t even release part 5. When the game works it’s marvelous chaos. Sometimes I wonder if I’m playing Lagfield 4 🙁

  16. Matt
    April 5th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Does anyone know the exact amount that was delegated to the Marketing of battlefield 4??

  17. Duane
    April 9th, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    so, they had a 100 Million dollar budget?? Looks like maybe they spend only about $1000 on the coding of the game considering how glitchy it is even after numerous patches… I continue to play ONLY in hopes they someday fix it as well as the fact that I am not going to throw away a game that I spent a good deal of hard-earned money to buy!

    still do NOT see his many issues on Call of Duty Ghosts! they look like they KNOW what they are doing at that company!

  18. juan
    May 30th, 2014 at 7:48 am

    I was a Call Of Duty Player forever but no longer. Battlefield 4 despite the issues is the funnest game I’ve played since Goldeneye. There are moments in that game that just leave me in awe and Lmao. This is a game that demonstrates just how far we’ve actually with tech in gaming. So a few bugs is understandable. God bless Dice for keeping my gaming interest alive.

  19. koko
    July 12th, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    so far I played over 4oo hours (since Feb 2014), it is so fuuuuuuuunnn

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