Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

December 9, 2009 -

America’s Army, the free-to-play PC game called an extremely effective recruiting tool, has cost taxpayers $32.8 million to-date.

GameSpot filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the game’s budget, and was rewarded with a year-by-year breakdown of costs. The game was initially planned as a five-year long project with a total operating budget of $7.0 million.

Costs for America's Army over the years:

  • 2000 - $3,500,000
  • 2001 - $5,600,000
  • 2002 - $1,862,985
  • 2003 - $2,600,000
  • 2004 - $3,866,482
  • 2005 - $1,288,552
  • 2006 - $4,050,748
  • 2007 - $2,788,137
  • 2008 - $3,887,450
  • 2009 - $3,395,702

Additional, unspecified information (perhaps on future plans for the series or hard numbers on actual recruitment increasing/decreasing as a result of the game) requested by GameSpot was denied, with the Army writing “disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry.”

The game was launched on July 4, 2002.


Comments

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

But why spend so much money when games like Modern Warfare are doing all their recruitment for them for free?  Just buy a ton of Xbox 360s, MW2 copies, Live accounts, and let the troops play with people back home.  It would be the same thing for a lot less money.

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

I used to play it for 12 hours straight back when I was high school. Of course w/bathroom breaks & meal breaks. But other than that, I thought the tests were fascinating. & going w/my brother when he was 17 to join the army at the recruitment station......omg.....it was amazing b/c there is an area set up for future soldiers to use AA to see what their Marksmanship score was. & that was all. My brother doesn't play it at all, but plays Counter Strike online a lot. :) But now I am wondering if the online courses my brother has to take to get to his SGT rank soon (which will be online), will be on the AA game (classes only) or a different army.mil site....

 

 

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"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

The reason they spent more than the original budget plan is most likely because it has been so successful.

I played it when it first came out and it was a great game back then.  Eventually I stopped playing it because I didn't want to sit through all those tests and whatnot to upgrade my character.

They've released a ton of updates for this game as well as released Xbox and Xbox 360 versions. I doubt that was included in the original estimate.

 

Given it's success I'm sure they'll continue giving it the budget they have been to keep it competitive with other games.
 

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Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

 The original $7,000,000 budget is laughable when it comes down to it. When the America's Army project was started, development costs were already at a few million, and even then that would be an offline game without server upkeep and maintenance, staffing, regular updates, community moderation and the like to support.

The military being willing to throw money at the project is probably what has made America's Army both an effective recruitment tool and a popular game rather than a national embarrassment.

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

I see it went over the original $7 mill budget in less then two years.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

so in it's most expensive year it only cost less than 6 million dollars.

On a government level, that's peanuts.

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

For the non-US readers, we (read:the government) just spent a trillion (of our) dollars (that we don't have) on non-sense like why people don't like to wear condoms and they want to do it again..

Re: Price Tag of America’$ Army Revealed

Lol, ya well its not that bad of a game and an effective PR tool. So its a win - win for them to sink more money into.

~Weatherlight~

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