Making video games is an expensive business. Much more so, in fact, than many seem to assume. A major AAA video game title can cost upwards of $150 million, with some reported to have cost as much as $200 million. How can a game cost this much to make? Very simply; video games can take as many as five years to make, with hundreds, or even thousands of various specialists working on them. From programmers and coders, to artists, animators, and even voice actors, a lot more goes into creating these games than something like online pokies.
This is why when the game Kingdom Come: Deliverance came along, many were sceptical as to whether the game could deliver on its promises. Why? Because the game had had a budget of a paltry $5 million, and was attempting to do what games that cost $100 million were doing. Obviously; a completely impossible task. Or was it?
What Is It?
Kingdom Come: Deliverance set out to create an open world RPG adventure game, set in medieval times, and trying to stay as close as possible to historical accuracy. Often compared to The Witcher 3, Kingdom Come offered players combat in form of sword fighting and bow shooting, detailed and branching dialogue systems, a full main storyline, and multiple side quests. And that wasn’t all. Thieving is also possible, as well as alchemy, a detailed armour system, horse riding, and even a persistent reputation.
The released game does indeed offer all these things, plus impressive graphics, and full voice acting. Once again, how could a small developer studio possibly create such an expansive game with a budget that bigger developers would only sneer at?
Successes And Failures
It was expected that some corners would have to be cut in order for the massively ambitious game to be achieved, with a budget that amounts to video game developer pocket change. The game succeeds in many areas, managing to create an extremely believable medieval world, with a working economy, and authenticity in every detail. The quests are interesting, storyline engaging, and a person can easily get lost simply exploring the world.
But, there are areas where the game clearly shows it’s lack of budget. In comparison to other major RPGs, the facial animations in Kingdom Come, and animation quality in general, is laughably poor. Where games such as The Witcher 3 have lifelike lip syncing and facial animation, Kingdom Come is not even in the same ballpark.
Did It Succeed
So there is much impressive about Kingdom Come, and much to be desired. The question is; was this budget beating production a success and did it pave the way for the future? The short answer is; a roaring success. Given the games budget, and that it sold over a million copies in just a week, the game was a financial success almost instantly.
Some players were disappointed by the games obvious shortfalls, but the majority seemed to embrace it for what it was; an incredible achievement by a developer that worked with a shoestring budget. Love it or not, it succeeded in a big way.