America's Army cost US Govt $33m

Project has now been running for a decade.

The America's Army series of free-to-play shooters cum military recruitment tools has cost the American taxpayer $32.8 million over 10 years.

That's according to figures obtained by GameSpot from the US Government under the Freedom of Information Act. The money's been spent on a number of expansions, new versions, consoles spin-offs and sequels - the latest release, America's Army 3, launched this year.

Originally, the project was intended to cost just $7 million over five years. External development has been cut in favour of an internal US Army development team, according to GameSpot.

Spending isn't drying up, either. The figures show a fairly steady stream of cash leaving the Army's coffers, with the biggest-spending year being during initial development - $5.6m in 2001 - and dipping to a low of $1.3m in 2005, but both 2008 and 2009 saw a budget of well over $3m spent on the game.

The British Army took its first steps into videogame recruitment this year, although former Major Neil Powell argued to Eurogamer that it "would never dream" of fully emulating the America's Army project.

"The US Army is miles ahead of us on that," he said."They understand completely their target audience."

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