Forspoken reportedly cost more than $100 million to make.
The LinkedIn account (opens in new tab) of the game's lead writer, Allison Rymer, describes Forspoken as "a fantasy AAA video game ($100,000,000+ budget) with release date set for Fall 2022" (the game's release window before its second delay).
The discovery of Rymer's comments comes just a few days after Square Enix said that the game's sales had been "lackluster," and that its financial failings posed a "considerable risk" to its parent company. It's thought that the game's underperformance led closely to the reabsorption of its developer, Luminous Productions, back into Square Enix, and may have contributed to the departure of the publisher's president.
That $100 million figure has been met with shock on Twitter (opens in new tab), with one user (opens in new tab) suggesting that "they must have accidentally added a 0. There's no way that game had a 100 million budget."
Plenty of responses are struggling to see where all that money would have gone, not least because Forspoken's reviews didn't speak to a game of that kind of quality. While we don't often see behind the financial curtain of AAA projects, it's likely hoped that a nine-figure price tag would result in a Metacritic score of more than 64, which is where Forspoken currently dwells.
In our own Forspoken review, Rollin described it as "exceptionally middling." Personally, I liked it a bit more than that, but only when I could really lean into its magic systems; a serviceable script and some disappointing visuals in some of its most important environments made for a experience that I wouldn't have assumed cost hundreds of millions to produce.
For all its faults, Forspoken's lead actress says she's still proud of the game.