Konami's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will have to maintain its strong sales start in order for its creators to turn a profit.
Forbes reports that that game's development budget eventually reached $80m – which, as rumour will have it, is mostly due to creator Hideo Kojima's willingness to scrap and re-do key elements of the game, agitating employer Konami.
The game has, by the most recent count, shipped 3m copies worldwide. Even if those have all translated into actual sales, Forbes estimates that the game will need to go on to sell 5-6m units, or perhaps more, just to break even.
You'd very much expect the game to hit these numbers, of course, but the further from launch we get the less Konami is likely to make from each sale. Forbes added that the launch numbers are similar to predecessor MGS 4, although that game launched on just one platform as opposed to Phantom Pain's five platforms.
All of which is all the more pertinent thanks to suggestions that Konami is planning a wholesale exit from triple-A console game development.