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Game developers are outsourcing more as the gaming industry continues to boom

The game development process continues to become more complex.

game developer testing their game
Image: Unsplash

The video game industry has come a long way since its inception more than half a century ago. What started as a few geeks and nerds who wanted to see what computers were capable of has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry that has made its way into popular culture almost everywhere.

As video games themselves have continued to grow, so too has the business side of gaming. Investors quickly saw how the industry was booming, and game studios and publishers turned into massive entities. As games’ coding and development process became more intricate with improved technology, it has become virtually impossible for studios to fully develop a game from start to finish in-house.

That’s where outsourcing comes in. Nowadays, most game developers resort to some sort of outsourcing somewhere in their development processes. Very few of today’s video games are built by a sole developer team in-house.

There are several aspects of game development that make outsourcing an appealing option for video game studios. One of the main reasons developers resort to outsourcing is simple logistics. Take animation for example. There are many studios around the world that specialize in animation, which makes game animation outsourcing a super appealing option for developers.

Another reason is money. Developers, and their investors, make billions of dollars every year in the video game industry, and profit maximization is always a priority. If developers can find someone to do a particular task cheaper than it would cost in-house, they will always choose the cheaper option.

Maybe the biggest reason for the increase in outsourcing in video games is the deadlines that developers have to meet. Video games are generally hyped up before their release, making it super important to deliver on time.

This leads to a pivotal time during the development process where developers have to work overtime to ensure that a game is ready on time. Because developers lack the employees to get everything done in time, they tend to rely on third-party studios to help during the process to avoid a “crunch time” where in-house employees can get overwhelmed.

Outsourcing helps game developers deliver better products faster

Video gaming has evolved into the amazing landscape that we know today because of outsourcing. Through cooperation and collaboration, video game developers have worked to give us some pretty impressive experiences through video games.

It’s pretty cool to think about all the people of the world with different talents and skillsets connected by one common interest: gaming. I wonder what those old-school geeks and nerds would think of the work that they helped to create.

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