Crunching the Numbers on Mortality
View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.
One of the key traits that make human beings unique on planet Earth is that we’re aware of our own mortality.
Scientific advances have given us insight into which behaviors may prolong life, and which activities carry the greatest risk of death. Naturally, there have been some unique attempts to create a unified structure around risk and benefit, and to quantify every aspect of the human lifespan.
As today’s graphic from TitleMax demonstrates, even when we’re thinking about death, the human desire to codify the world around us is alive and well.
Certain events – such as a parachute failing to open or being hit by a meteor – have an easily quantifiable effect on life, but how do we measure the riskiness of day-to-day habits and situations? This is where a unique unit of measurement, micromorts, comes into play.
This concept, invented by renowned decision analyst Ronald A. Howard, helps compare any number of potentially lethal risks. One micromort equals a one in a million chance of sudden death. Here’s the riskiness of various activities measured in micromorts:
|Ascending Mount Everest||37,932|
|Getting out of bed (Age 90)||463|
|Being born (first day of life)||430|
|Riding a motorcycle||10|
|Running a marathon||7|
|Travelling 6,000 miles by train||1|
|Travelling 230 miles by car||1|
The average person, by the time they reach adulthood, will live approximately one million half-hours. Those 30 minute units are known as microlives.
The microlife concept was invented by professor David Spiegelhalter as a way to measure the consequences of various behaviors. For example, 20 minutes of physical activity earns us two microlives, while watching TV for two hours subtracts one microlife.
This measurement extends beyond nutrition and eating habits. Simply living in a modern era earns us an additional 15 microlives per day compared to those who lived a century earlier.
Casting the die on how we’ll die
How will the estimated 353,000 humans that will be born today eventually meet their end? This was the thought experiment conducted by Reddit user, Presneeze.
While our focus is often drawn to people who meet their end in spectacular and tragic ways, the vast majority of humanity will succumb to conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
Geography can play a big role in shifting these odds:
- In the United States, which is grappling with an opioid addiction crisis, there is a 1-in-96 chance of dying from a drug overdose.
- Diarrheal diseases may not be on the radar of most people living in first world countries, but in developing regions, they remain a leading cause of preventable death – particularly for children.
- In Russia, the odds are 1-in-4 that a man will not live beyond 55 years. The main culprit? Vodka.
On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
Charting Grand Theft Auto: GTA’s Budget and Revenues
Dive into the GTA budget through the years, with GTA VI set to be the most expensive video game of all time.
Charting Grand Theft Auto: GTA’s Budget and Revenues
Over 10 years since the launch of Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V), the second most-sold video game in history, Rockstar Games has announced its sequel GTA VI will be “coming 2025.”
As the anticipation only grows for this next big entry in the franchise, we take a look at the GTA budget through the years. How much have the last two games cost to make, how much have they earned, and how do they compare with the latest entry?
How Much Has GTA VI Cost to Make?
The GTA franchise has grown enormously in scale from humble beginnings as a top-down, 2D video game in 1997. Fifteen installments later, the upcoming release, GTA VI, is estimated to be the most expensive video game to be made yet.
Here’s a look at how much GTA VI and the last two major releases cost, and how much revenue they’ve earned as of August 2023.
|Year||Title||Production Costs ($)||Revenue ($)||Copies Sold|
|2025 (est.)||GTA VI||$2B (rumored)||N/A||N/A|
In 2008, GTA IV cost around $100 million—already a budget that rivalled big Hollywood releases. However with 25 million copies sold, the game earned nearly $2 billion—a five-fold return on its production cost.
Five years later, GTA V (2013) cost more than $200 million to make—twice GTA IV’s budget. A decade after its release, GTA V has generated close to $8 billion, with hundreds of millions in annual revenue from subscriptions and in-game purchases—a model that its successor is sure to follow.
In fact, subscription fees and in-game purchases represented 78% of Take-Two Interactive’s (parent of GTA developer Rockstar Games) revenues in 2023.
Analysts estimate the to-be-released GTA VI’s costs at $2 billion, including marketing and other expenses. A massive open-world (set in the Miami-inspired “Vice City”), cutting edge graphics, and a reportedly brand-new game engine are all reasons for the game’s outsized budget.
For comparison, the current most expensive games to have been made include Red Dead Redemption 2 (also by Rockstar) and Star Citizen, both reportedly with a $500 million budget.
Meanwhile, Take-Two Interactive shares are up more than 50% for the year.
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