During his Q&A at the MIT Business in Gaming conference, Ken Levine revealed the cost of some of his projects and hinted at the cost (and scale!) of 2K Boston's latest, still secret, project.
"Freedom Force was $2 million; System Shock 2 was $600K, it was nothing. BioShock, I think it's been published, was $15 million," Levine said. When we asked how much, on that scale, his new project would cost, Levine teased, "It's more than System Shock 2."
He elaborated, "It's a fair amount of money. Our goal is to build experiences." Referring to the craft of building experiences, Levine noted that BioShock "didn't have the best shooting compared to Call of Duty" and "it didn't have the most revolutionary AI." What it did have was an "experience [gamers] couldn't get anywhere else." It was something "that people can look at it and say, 'I can't have this experience anywhere else.'"
Here's the thing: "Generally those experiences cost a fair amount of money to make," Levine says. Of course, he can't say how much – "because I would probably get fired before I walked out the door" – but he assures us "It won't be the cheapest product ever made." So we've got a ballpark here: Somewhere between $600K and infinity.