Ok, here's my question.
How many copies does this game have to sell to cover the budget of the voice cast alone?
Hard to say without knowing RDR2's actual budget. What we know is that Rockstar's previous game, GTA V, still holds the record for most expensive game ever made with a budget of $265m. GTA V apparently had 113 voice actors. On the surface at least, that makes it seem like RDR2's budget will be absolutely massive. However, that assumes that all actors are paid the same, which isn't actually true. The vast majority of these 1000 actors are essentially going to be the video game equivalent of extras in movies, they will basically be people with a minimum of voice acting experience who came in and recorded just a few lines of dialogue to be used as flavor dialogue spoken by NPC's while you walk around the world. So the vast majority of these 1000 actors will likely be paid for 1 hour of work at the current SAG-AFTRA minimum wage for voice acting in interactive entertainment (which games fall under), which is $400 per hour. This might actually end up saving them money over using a smaller number of popular voice actors to voice multiple characters each, since popular voice actors like Nolan North or Laura Bailey charge more per hour than the $400 minimum wage they'll be able to pay these lesser known voice actors. RDR2's budget probably will end up being higher than GTA V's $265m, but if it does end up higher it won't be because of voice acting most likely, it'll be because the game has been in development across every Rockstar studio for over 6 years, longer than GTA V was in development for, meaning more years of paying developer's salaries.
GTA V very easily broke even, earning $1b in it's first 3 days against it's $265m budget, and made over $6b in revenue lifetime. If RDR2 sells even 1/3rd of the copies that GTA V sold it will still be a big success even if the budget is higher than GTA V's was.
Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 02 October 2018