HBO can't give a definitive timeline for when to expect the first Game of Thrones spinoff (last word was not before 2020), but they can tell you they are planning a massive budget for it. Uproxx reports that the prequels will, at the very least, have a budget much higher than the series did in Seasons 1-5. For an idea of just how much that was, check out this quote from HBO's senior VP of drama Francesca Orsi:
“$50 million (per season) would never fly for what we are trying to do. We are going big.”
There are no definitive numbers on what last season of Game of Thrones cost to produce, but estimates have climbed as high as $15 million an episode. Orsi didn't specify how much HBO is willing to spend, but it appears as though HBO is ready to break out the pocketbook at a chance at creating another record-breaking series. Do you think this is a smart play for HBO? I know the world loves HBO, but let's remember these spin-offs are allegedly unconnected to any of the characters that have been established. Essentially they're making a new Fantasy series, and I'm not sure that'll be enough to pull in the audience the show has celebrated with Game of Thrones.