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"GTA V's" Production Budget Vs. A Real City's Budget

Which costs more: running an American city, or building the most expensive virtual city in video game history?

Posted on October 29, 2013, at 5:46 p.m. ET

Kevin Tang
  1. 1. Which costs more?

    ilc.fd.org
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Peoria, IL for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Peoria is slated to spend $137 million on its city (pop. 115,000) this year.

  2. 2. Which costs more?

    bbofranchising.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Aspen, CO for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Operating costs for Aspen was $51 million in 2013.

  3. 3. Which costs more?

    greenbuildingsnyc.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Hoboken, NJ for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The projected operating cost of Hoboken in 2013 is $40 million

  4. 4. Which costs more?

    blog.hemmings.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Inglewood, CA for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The projected 2013 expenditure for Inglewood is $84 million.

  5. 5. Which costs more?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running LAPD for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The LAPD costs $1.4 billion dollars a year.

  6. 6. Which costs more?

    culvercitycrossroads.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Paying all teachers and school staff in Culver City (LA neighorhood) for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Total school staff salaries in Culver City were $44 million this year.

  7. 7. Which costs more?

    solarpowerrocks.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Burlington, VT for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Burlington's city budget costs $65 million in 2012. It has a population of 42,000.

  8. 8. Which costs more?

    myparkingpermit.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    All 2012 parking tickets in Washington DC
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The city of Washington made $92 million from parking fines in 2012.

  9. 9. Which costs more?

    sandbox.yoyogames.com
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Making GTA V for a year
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Running Compton's police force for a year
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The city of Compton spent $18.5 million on its police force in 2012.

"Grand Theft Auto V" is the most expensive game in history, taking five years to burn through its estimated $265 million production and marketing costs. That comes down to $53 million a year.

It's paying back in spades, though. Within 24 hours of the game's launch, it topped a billion dollars in sales. By the end of October, it will most likely outsell the entire world's music industries. Basically, Rockstar Games is printing money as we speak.

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