Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck The Military United States Games

America's Army Games Cost $33 Million Over 10 Years 192

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-tax-dollars-at-play dept.
Responding to a Freedom Of Information Act request, the US government has revealed the operating costs of the America's Army game series over the past decade. The total bill comes to $32.8 million, with yearly costs varying from $1.3 million to $5.6 million. "While operating America's Army 3 does involve ongoing expenses, paying the game's original development team isn't one of them. Days after the game launched in June, representatives with the Army confirmed that ties were severed with the Emeryville, California-based team behind the project, and future development efforts were being consolidated at the America's Army program office at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. A decade after its initial foray into the world of gaming, the Army doesn't appear to be withdrawing from the industry anytime soon. In denying other aspects of the FOIA request, the Army stated 'disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

America's Army Games Cost $33 Million Over 10 Years

Comments Filter:
  • by GrpA (691294) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @04:34AM (#30385866)

    Three games in total on the budget of a startup... That's pretty good.

    This would have to be one of the army's most cost-effective projects ever then, wouldn't it?

    GrpA

  • Sad but true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MaizeMan (1076255) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @04:44AM (#30385912) Homepage
    An average of $3.3 million a year for ANY government program seems quite reasonably priced!
  • by TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @05:02AM (#30385968) Journal

    How much does it cost to recruit new soldiers via other methods? How about weighted by efficiency?

    Just because it costs $33 million, doesn't mean it isn't a good deal.

  • Re:Sad but true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by francium de neobie (590783) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @05:02AM (#30385972)
    For a game of American Army's complexity and quality, $3.3 million is actually pretty cheap. I'm actually impressed by the Army's efficiency here.
  • by blackchiney (556583) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @05:32AM (#30386090)
    Try connecting to their online server. because I'm still............waiting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 10, 2009 @05:58AM (#30386220)

    MW2 made $550M in the first week, they definitely got to fix this and transition to living off your taxes.

  • Budget Summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @07:00AM (#30386490)

    People seem to assume that is development costs; but AA's budget, in true Army style, could include a lot more - from printing copies, facility costs, operational costs such as vehicle gas, travel and TDY expenses, etc.

    That said, 33 mill is pretty impressive, especially if it is all in costs of the organization.

  • by BondGamer (724662) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @08:34AM (#30386894) Journal
    I have played America's Army a bit and there are a ton of active duty military playing the game. So it has quite an appeal. Plus the army runs training simulations with America's Army. So it has many more benefits than just being "a game". Of course some people are still going to claim it will be a waste of money. If you haven't played, it isn't just another FPS. The game is based on realism. You don't respawn after you die. If an enemy sees you first you die. There isn't kill streaks that give you power ups. Oh, and the current version is super buggy. Probably because they fired the entire development team after the last release.
  • by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @09:33AM (#30387270)
    I'd like to know why our government will compete against video game companies, but won't compete against internet service providers or health insurance companies. Maybe it's just that a video game is a good way to convince people to join the army. That's a much better reason to do this than improving people's lives.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @09:39AM (#30387324) Journal

    War is foolish.

    When 9/11 happened I said to myself, "This is tragic, but I hope the president and Congress doesn't do something foolish, like waste billions of dollars fighting a war, just because ~2000 people died. After all more people die every year from just car accidents, and we don't declare war on Ford or Toyota."

    Well my hope was forlorn. If I didn't know any better, I'd think we were re-enacting the downfall of the Ancient Athenian Democracy - death through war and foolish, out-of-control spending.

  • by Gamer_2k4 (1030634) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @09:50AM (#30387442)

    War is foolish.

    When 9/11 happened I said to myself, "This is tragic, but I hope the president and Congress doesn't do something foolish, like waste billions of dollars fighting a war, just because ~2000 people died. After all more people die every year from just car accidents, and we don't declare war on Ford or Toyota."

    Well my hope was forlorn. If I didn't know any better, I'd think we were re-enacting the downfall of the Ancient Athenian Democracy - death through war and foolish, out-of-control spending.

    War may be foolish, but it's a necessary evil in our world. What if we'd approached Pearl Harbor with the mindset of "Yeah, we were attacked, and a few thousand people died, but it's better to just sit there and take it than to do anything about it"? Things would've turned out a lot differently in Europe, I'm sure. Refusing to participate in war doesn't make it go away, after all.

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @10:44AM (#30387920)

    Bingo.

    Lets put this into perspective. How many TV commercials, all across the US, can you pay for with $33.00 million dollars over ten years? Not many. Now consider how many of those commercials are primarily targeting the very people who you want to entice? Not many. Figure $100,000 per 30-seconds of national airtime. That same money spent on national commercials would have only purchased 330, 30-second, national commercials. Or, thirty three commercials per year. In reality, its likely it would be even fewer than that as $100,000 per slot is likely the minimum. Had they wanted placement during something like American Idol finales (ya, likely bad example), the slot price is likely to be 30% to 50% higher; or more. And even then, the number of people who are actually effectively targeted would be very limited. Especially when you consider with a game the same people they are targeted become inundated with the concept of actually joining the military, versus as most, 165 minutes (2.75 hours) of exposure with the concept - assuming those same people see every commercial, which simply isn't likely.

    Simply put, this is clearly one of the most cost effective advertising campaigns ever produced by the military, let alone government, and is likely providing a huge bang for the buck! Especially when you consider the same game is then used as a direct recruiting tool at public events - as it allows would be recruiters to directly talk to potential recruits at said events. This in turn significantly improves the bang for the buck ratio.

    I don't have a problem with this at all.

  • Not bad... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Schnoogs (1087081) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @11:14AM (#30388264)
    When you consider Avatar has an advertising budget of something like $100 million I'd say the Army had found a cheap and effective way of getting their name out there.
  • by Ill_Omen (215625) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @11:40AM (#30388562)

    From the statistics you posted for the enlisted forces:

    73.3 percent have some semester hours toward a college degree
    16.2 percent have an associate’s degree or equivalent semester hours
    4.7 percent have a bachelor’s degree

    I gotta say, reading that makes me think John Kerry might have been right after all. That's an awful lot of college kids that didn't finish college.

  • by hjrnunes (1135957) on Thursday December 10, 2009 @02:07PM (#30391344)

    Never actually considered to talk with these extremists to know what's pissing them off instead of labeling them extremists did ya? Oh and maybe robbing them out of their oil...

    It's funny Pearl Harbor is mentioned, because it's got to do with - that's right! - oil! In that case, the skillful manipulation of the Japanese empire into attacking first or loosing their supplies of oil.

    I fail to understand how is it that you always manage to think you are the victims of unprovoked attack and aggression. You guys really live inside your own little bubble isn't it? You really believe the whole world hates America because they don't like, what, your flag? The way you talk? Or maybe it's the fact that your successive governments persist in fucking with everyone that has something they would like to have? You fuck with them, they fuck with you... I'll tell you more. You think it's going to stop? Think again. This is not the 40's... Your big bad army is pretty much useless. It's been like 8 years since Afghanistan was invaded right? Are more troops going to finally win the war? Think again. The war is lost already. Whether you want it or not, the talibans are returning to power. It's a matter of time and dead Americans. It's sad but true. Your people is dying there for what? Freedom? Come on...

    Welcome to the big wide world.

Do not simplify the design of a program if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.

Working...