According to Realtime Worlds' David Jones, new games with online functionality cost about 50 million dollars to make. Noting that games such as Call of Duty 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV have raised the bar so significantly that keeping up is nearly impossible without a lot of time and money, Jones says that investors are committed to spending more money in an environment where games make more money, as well.
For example, experts are saying that GTAIV might pull in something on the order of $350 million over the first week or so of its lifespan, and that's nothing to sneeze at...unless you're allergic to lots of money. Still, games are definitely creeping up to films as far as budgets go, which means you'll be getting more realistic and robust playing experience all the time. It just might cost you.
Games Industry.biz: I'd Struggle To Make An Online Game For Less Than $50 Million, Says Jones