Sony Court Documents Reveal PlayStation Game Budgets That Exceed $200 Million Each

Sharpie scribbles in a court filing fail to hide the costs of “The Last of Us Part 2” and “Horizon Forbidden West” from a scanner

"The Last of Us" for Playstation (Sony)
"The Last of Us" for Playstation (Sony)

Sony accidentally leaked the budgets and development timelines of two of its biggest titles by failing to properly redact a court-submitted document as part of the FTC v. Microsoft hearing.

According to the document, wherein sensitive data was redacted via what appears to be sharpie scribbles that don’t hold up against the seeing power of a scanner, both “The Last of Us Part 2” and “Horizon Forbidden West” commanded budgets over $200 million. Though it’s hard to decipher the exact figures through the attempted redactions, it appears “Last of Us” cost $220 million and “Forbidden West” cost $212 million.

The document reiterates that the aforementioned price tags are development costs and that marketing expenses are a separate matter.

The doc’s failed redactions reveal that development on “Forbidden West” took five years (2017-2022) and “Last of Us” took six (2014-2020), with each game project requiring hundreds of full-time staffers to complete.

At present, it appears the court has delisted the document as a result of the sensitive information leak.

Sony Interactive Entertainment did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The document in question was flagged by The Verge, as were other interesting industry tidbits relating to the FTC v. Microsoft hearing’s progression. Chiefly, CEO of Activision, Bobby Kotick, stated he regrets not bringing “Call of Duty” to Nintendo Switch.

“It’s probably the second biggest video game system of all time,” he said. He also noted that playing a title such as “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” on a phone would be “like using a refrigerator for a safe.”