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How much did it cost to make Hytale (speculation)

Antnest8

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About 3 months ago I wrote this article on the HytaleForum subreddit. Well, I am currently working on a larger post that will take some time and because of that, to meet this weeks post I wanted to share this theory with all of you! I will remind you that these are all in-the-ballpark calculations and I will assume that after the games release, the real information will be released. I am no expert, but I think by the end you will realize how crazy Hytale is as a game!


Ok so I first want to start out from a quote from a really cool NASA Robotics Physicist/Cartoonist
Code:
"This is the kind of calculation where 10, 1, and 0.1 are all close enough that we can consider them equal" - Randall Monroe on planets made out of Moles

Basic Information
I wanted to get some Numbers first on the average price of making a game. According to a google search it takes around $60 - 80 Million (all in USD) to develop a AAA game on average. Since Hytale would Qualify as a AA game at this point I just guessed it would be around $10-30 Million to make.
Now for some messy math...

Math
Hypixel Studios currently has 69 employee's working solely on Hytale. The average Game Designer's Salary is $75,000. Considering Hytale has been in development for 5 years that would give a total amount of 25 Million.
However, employee's salaries are not the only cost for Hypixel Studios. I don't know all of their expenses, but a big one that I do know is the purchasing of their headquarters. According to google (Again) it costs an average of 5-10 Million to build an apartment building. I'll just average the average to get 7 Million for their office and expenses related to it. Then I'll just plop another 3 Million down for Freelancers, purchasing assets, Advertising and other smaller expenses to make it a nice 35 Million.
This all comes out to around my first estimate! Nice!

This would work nicely if Hytale had 69 employee's for all 5 years of development, but Hytale would be considered an Indie game until just recently when Riot Games bought the company. Payroll is the largest cost for the company so any changes to it means a lot of money (Just for perspective, every year Hytale delays it costs them over $6 Million dollers). We have to find a better way to average wages for both Hytale's early years and these later ones. For now I will use a graph (note: Cost is cost per year)
Cost Graph.png
If you take the area of the triangle in this graph (5175000*5)/2 and you get around $13 million. I would expect that the number is on the higher end, so I will round it up to $15 million. Adding all other costs and we get $25 million. Right inside the $10-30 million mark.

How Much Will Hytale need to cost
Now we have to figure out how much it will cost to turn a profit. The best we have for measuring how many people are interested in Hytale is the Announcement trailer. 58 Million views is a lot and if that represented all unique persons who all wanted to buy the game then Hytale could sell for a few quarters!
This is an unreasonable estimate however, since many of these Views are from the same people or from people who might not buy the game. So I just decided to go with a conservative estimate of 10% of the views in the trailer. This puts us at the 5.8 million mark of copies sold. This is a good number considering many popular game titles, the kind that win Game of The year, sell this much in their first year. Hytale has the 20 Million Dev Cost / 5.8 Copies sold = $3.5 Dollars per copy to make it even.
What does this tell us? Well for one that Hytale could reasonably be less than $20, but a lot of these estimates are conservative and If Hytale is what we think it could be it could sell more than 20 Million Copies realistically!
Basically this is saying that Hytale struck the gold mine with their trailer, where they can guarantee at least a couple million purchases (and probably many more). Along with the fact the game hadn't used a ton of money up to that point and that makes it seem like a wonder Riot didn't purchase them faster.


Thank you for reading, and if you didn't the TL;DR is Hytale will make money with cheap copies of the game. I have a larger post coming in the next few weeks so keep an eye out for it! Have a good week!
 
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