According to this journal, Shenmue (1999) cost SEGA a staggering $20-million to develop over the span of 7-years. Tech demo after the jump.
Shenmue boasted unparalleled freedom and interactivity, even a real time weather system. But this wasn’t enough to impress, the most expensive video game received mixed reviews and experienced mediocre sales. Nonetheless, the expensive game inspired a massive fan base that remains active to this day