Shadow of the Eternals Developer Breaks Down The Cost Of Development




Shadow of the Eternals developer Precursor Games are asking for $1.35 million in funds via Kickstarter to help develop the episodic horror game for Wii U and PC. Today, Precursor COO Shawn Jackson and CEO Paul Caporicci broke down the cost of development for the game’s pilot episode in a YouTube video that you can watch above.


Here’s a breakdown of the pilot episode’s budget and all associated costs as detailed by Jackson and Caporicci, with explanations below:



Internal Development – 44.3%

  • Includes current staff salaries and any new hires


Distribution Costs – 3.8%

  • Royalty fees for Nintendo eShop for Wii U and Steam


Physical Goods Rewards – 3.8%

  • Culmination of rewards being shipped out to contributors


Kickstarter/Amazon Payments – 9.2%

  • Payments Amazon and Kickstarter for using their platform


Software Licensing and Overhead – 21.4%

  • Licenses for Autodesk, Adobe and CryEngine products, and rent


Contractors – 17.6%

  • Voice actors, motion-capture, contracting for art assets


Since Shadow of the Eternals is an episodic game, the first episode will require the most upfront investment, with subsequent episodes costing less to develop, as the necessary technology licenses and so on will be accounted for.


Jackson and Caporicci say that future videos will detail the studio’s schedule, which is reliant on how much money they can raise through crowdfunding. As of now, Shadow of the Eternals has only raised close to $87,000 on Kickstarter.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.