Outsourcing is essentially a partnership. As Jason Harris of EA puts it in his LinkedIn post, an outsourced provider or an “external partner” is ideally an extension of your team. The goal of two or more companies becomes one, which ultimately is to ensure the project’s success.
This is true for gaming companies looking to outsource, too. In this partnership, the outsourced provider assigns the necessary members of its team, including their resources and tools, to the gaming company. And as they are integrated into the gaming company’s team, heads and managers from the outsourced provider equally collaborate to meet the gaming company’s goal. It’s easy to see why Harris refers to this setup as a partnership.
If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re weighing the risks and benefits of outsourcing game development for your own company. You might have misgivings about maintaining control over your project or whether the work an outsourcing company provides will be worth their price.
But these benefits alone are such fundamental consequences of outsourcing — you can’t help but have them all. So don’t be surprised if the doubts you have about integrating this strategy into your business magically disappear by the end of reading this.
These are the top nine benefits of outsourcing game development to an experienced external partner!
9 Benefits of Outsourcing Game Development
Benefits of Outsourcing Game Developers
Experienced and trained talent
In game production, multiple development stages must take place before a full-blown game comes to life. There’s the digital art creation stage where artists form the characters, environment, objects, and every little detail that plays into the game. Then, there’s the programming stage where language- and framework-specific programmers build the game’s user interface (UI), backend, and general functionality. But these people are not the only key players in game production — there are many more.
One of the primary draws of outsourcing is this kind of diverse talent pool is readily available to companies. These talents — whether they’re game designers, digital artists, audio engineers, or programmers — have already been vetted by the outsourcing company. This means they passed the outsourcing company’s screening and have likely received training for using tools relevant to their specialization. And if the outsourcing company has gone the extra mile, they have already trained their people to handle clients operating in different industries.
But more importantly, the people you find in outsourcing companies already know how to deliver projects efficiently for clients, such as you. They have established a solid work process and built up enough experience to do the kind of work your game company expects.
No training required
As opposed to hiring in-house, outsourcing generally does not require your company to train new hires. And the same principle goes for outsourcing game development talent. Often, hiring in-house means training new people in terms of skill and helping them acclimate to your company culture.
While this setup may be ideal for some companies, keep in mind that using your resources to train new creatives can be time-consuming, which may result in slowing down your game production speed.
By outsourcing game development creatives, you partner with artists, programmers, and designers already trained in their respective fields and in adapting to other companies’ work styles. This kind of work is what they have been doing for years. It means they now have protocols in place to meet clients’ expectations and goals. And like clockwork, they can execute the tasks designated to them in a timely manner.
When you decide to hire more and more people into your company to fully develop your game, you have also decided to increase your company expenses. This is not a bad thing, of course, if you have enough to pay your augmented in-house team their salaries and government-mandated benefits.
To companies in the small-to-medium range, outsourcing is a more viable option to build a larger game development team. As we noted earlier, the entire process of producing a full-fledged game is one that is complex and multifaceted, requiring people from different fields and specializations.
But with outsourcing, you don’t have to pay the full amount needed to keep your team of game development specialists. And this includes the tools they need. Your partner outsourcing company will do all of this — and more — for you. You’re essentially receiving the same, if not better, output as you would have if you had hired in-house, except with minimal spending.
Scalability and availability
Building a video game from start to finish requires a lot of assets. Not only that, but it also needs tons of large quantities of code for various functions, such as artificial intelligence, game physics, and user experience-related interactions. Plus, there will be peak months, as Harris says, meaning you will want to quickly scale down and scale up your team.
If your company is set on building a triple-A (AAA) game, these features become more intricate. So to meet your deadlines, you will need to up your manpower, ideally with people who have a more flexible schedule.
Here are the two perks of outsourcing that immediately address these needs.
- How quickly you can scale up your workforce with a company’s available talent pool
- The flexible working hours of their people
It’s especially helpful to find a team with a specific specialization in game development. Are they adept at creating realistic game assets? Do they have expertise in using a game engine?
Of course, you have to make sure the outsourcing company’s team works in the time you need them to as well. This will certainly speed up your game development as they can cater to your needs in the schedule you see fit.
Benefits of Outsourcing Game Development In Terms of Production
Game development is plagued with an endless stream of work in terms of asset creation. You have to account for even the smallest detail to make the world in your game as coherent and believable as possible. Artists may spend days populating a scene with objects (e.g., cars) and characters (e.g., passersby), all of which are necessary for the setting and ambiance the game wants to achieve, even if these don’t play any key roles.
Naturally, the work involved is repetitive, and you will need a large team of artists to plow through asset production. But what if you could expand your digital art staff fast without sacrificing price or quality?
Managing a large volume of assets is one of the main drivers for outsourcing game development. Without unnecessarily spending your resources or exerting effort into recruitment or training, you hire people who can do the significant yet repetitive work for your company, speeding up the time it takes to build your game.
Overall quality — from visuals to gameplay — is a deciding factor in your users sticking with or abandoning your mobile or video game. To ensure it’s ready to be deployed and primed for your target audience, you need experts who can collaborate on prototyping and testing your game thoroughly.
A good game development team should identify problems early on or eventual bugs and visual discrepancies. Then, they should escalate these issues to the artist or programmer tasked to fix these issues. So it’s no surprise these people should have the right synergy and openness to be able to collaborate harmoniously.
The great thing about outsourcing is how fast you can hire this synergetic team without having to build it yourself. With outsourcing, you integrate a group of digital artists, programmers, and other experts into your development process, people who have worked together for years and who know one another’s work habits.
But to make sure the outsourced game development provider encourages a work environment similar to yours, look into their company’s profile. It should tell you whether the outsourced provider tends to be competitive or collaborative in nature.
Benefits of Outsourcing Game Development In Terms of Specialization
Game engine and language
Game development requires a number of stages, and these stages are different, necessitating different skill sets to be accomplished. And in game development, one of these stages is programming.
You could hire a complete team of in-house programmers. But if your game company is on a tight deadline, you need this team fast. It’s important to note programming alone has many facets, from your game’s user UI to its backend.
What outsourcing provides you is a fully formed group of programmers specializing in the game language or game engine of your choice. If you’re looking to have a game developed easily and you want to churn out as many games as humanly possible, you could find an outsourcing company with developers specializing in Unity and C#. For visually breathtaking games with high-definition graphics and excellent responsiveness, see if the company has Unreal and C++ developers.
You can easily circumvent the time (and resources) it takes to build a full team from scratch. These resources are readily available to you, and all you have to do is reach out to the outsourcing firm that meets your goals.
Your game art requires specializations, too. There are so many different art styles, each with their own requirements. And for an artist to be able to work with you, they should have the skills to design the visual aesthetic you envision for your game.
Of course, there are companies that think twice about outsourcing their game art to firms, a hesitation mainly stemming from a lack of creative alignment with the artists. But this can be easily remedied!
Our advice? Check the outsourcing company’s portfolio to see their style and artistic capabilities. At NarraSoft, we showcase our artists’ 3D and 2D work on our website so gaming companies get a feel of what we do. Creative alignment is an old, outdated problem companies have against outsourcing, simply because of how transparent the industry is today. So if you’re in doubt, you can either check the company’s portfolio or contact them to see whether they understand your vision.
Mobile or video games
Outsourcing also allows you to partner with providers who have experienced developing mobile or video games — or perhaps both! The beauty of this practice is instead of sifting through the recruitment channels for developers who can do either, you can simply browse through an outsourcing company’s website to see what services they offer.
The strategic decision to outsource is ideal for gaming companies with either one-off gaming projects or projects that need a scaled-up workforce, stat. By outsourcing game development, your mobile or video game project is likely to be completed faster — one, because they’re well-formed and two, because they have experienced building and deploying games on either platform. So why not put these into good use for your own gaming company?
The top 9 benefits of outsourcing game development are as follows:
In terms of game developers:
- Experienced and trained talent
- No training required
- Reduced rates
- Scalability and availability
In terms of production:
In terms of specialization:
- Game engine and language
- Game art
- Mobile or video games
Want to experience all the benefits of outsourcing game development — and more? Make us your external game development partner today!
NarraSoft has seasoned programmers and creative artists who can easily align with your company’s vision.
Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a free consultation! You may also message our chat box or contact form. Let’s bring your game to the next level!
Other sources: EA’s Jason Harris’s LinkedIn post