If Epic Games had developed Gears of War 4, they would have potentially spent close to $100 million according to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

Sweeney recently mentioned the number during an interview with Polygon revealing the cost of development of the previous games in the series.

“The very first Gears of War game cost $12 million to develop, and it made about $100 million in revenue,” Sweeney said. “It was very profitable.”

Development costs for Sweeney and the team continued to increase with each subsequent title.

“By the end of the cycle, Gears of War 3 cost about four or five times more than the original to make,” Sweeney revealed. “The profit was shrinking and shrinking. We calculated that, if we built Gears of War 4, the budget would have been well over $100 million, and if it was a huge success, we could break even. Anything less could put us out of business.”

As a result, Sweeney and Epic sold the rights to the franchise to Microsoft who have been working on Gears 4 since 2014.

“There was an increasing realization that the old model wasn’t working anymore.”

Gears of War 4 launches on Xbox One on October 11th.

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