GTA IV's massive budget pins the title above the previous front-runner Shenmue, released for the Dreamcast in 1999 and costing an unprecedented $70 million to produce.
"It's like making a theatre production, a few movies and an album all to fit into one package," Benzies told the Times Online.
Benzies also noted that about 1,000 people pitched in on the game's development. Beyond the expected tasks of programming and design, Rockstar also set up time-lapse cameras on New York rooftops to capture the correct intensity of the rain, and took over 100,000 photographs on location to piece together Liberty City.
"We're constantly competing against ourselves," says Benzies. "If something isn't exactly right, it comes out of the game or gets fixed."