Video game outsourcing is a very popular practice that allows at least to significantly reduce the development time for a specific project. Some companies completely outsource the creation of a game to a third-party company and feel great about it. Others, on the other hand, are wary of such options. It seems to them that a third party will not be able to grasp their idea or will not work at full strength.
Read about the benefits and risks of working with game outsourcing studios today in our article.
Advantages vs Risks: What Will Become Decisive?
We’ll get down to business in the following way: describe the well-known benefits of outsourcing and immediately highlight their dark side. Let’s go!
First of all, this is, of course, time-saving, which we have already mentioned. By delegating the task to performers outside of your enterprise, your employees are able to do other tasks in parallel. This greatly speeds up the development process. If you outsource not one, but several tasks, then the speed of work is proportionally increased.
The dark side of saving time is the potential impact on quality. While you are working on your projects with your team, the third party is working outside your control and only provides interim results. They may not meet your expectations at all or be of much lower quality than the work of your artists.
Recommendation. Before starting cooperation, study the work of the selected game outsourcing company, look at its portfolio at ArtStation and Behance. This will give you a rough idea of the skill level of the artists. Be sure to tell them what quality of work you need, show examples. Perhaps the studio will not undertake such work from the very beginning, given the lack of the necessary expertise. This will save you time and money.
Increasing profitability is another reason game publishers turn to outsourcing game studios for help. First, the ability to hire an external team saves you the hassle of growing your own. You do not need to spend time and money on training and equipping workplaces. Secondly, many countries offer much lower rates: India, China, the Philippines, and others. In case of a shortage of resources, you can easily contact an outsourcing company to agree on cooperation on terms convenient for you regarding time and money.
The dark side of saving money is about the same as in the previous paragraph. This is potentially poor quality and possible unreliability of a partner that can only be monitored remotely. Developers from other countries can have their own idea of quality and style. Therefore, the discussion of the results you need should be very thorough and detailed.
Recommendation. In addition to the portfolio, look at the reviews of previous clients. This way you will be able to understand in what way the company works and whether people are satisfied with the cooperation. Many reviews contain interesting details, not just words of praise. Be sure to provide your partner with references and examples of how you see the desired result. It might even make sense to negotiate a paid test project.
Expansion of Expertise
Even if you are confident in the professionalism of your team, this does not mean that there are no people somewhere who could make your project even better. In order to determine the need for improvement, you need to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your team. You may have a great programming team, but you lack artists. Then stick to the straight road to the game art studio, strengthened by good experts in this area. The same goes for other aspects of creating a game, such as a soundtrack. The best option is to outsource it as it is unlikely that you keep sound experts on your staff.
The dark side of this is uncertainty and possible data protection gaps. No one can know in advance what the final result will be. Plus, you jeopardize important elements of the concept of your game, because, in order to cooperate, you will be forced to tell a third party about them.
Recommendation. All you have to do is follow the advice of the previous paragraphs. As for the protection of information, a non-disclosure agreement will help you here. Forced to disclose your project details to a third party, you compromise your privacy. Therefore, a contract is necessary. It is important to ensure that it matches the legal background of the country where your contractors are located.
So what’s the takeaway? Now you know what you need to pay attention to in order to avoid risks and only benefit from cooperation. Remember that you also need to think through the strategy and vision of what you want to end up with. This will make it easier for you to work with a third party. Cooperation with any outsourcing video game design company will be most productive if you provide it with the most complete package of information about your requests and wishes.