- What Is a Game Outsourcing Model?
- Full-Cycle Production
- Specific Tasks (Art, VR, testing)
- How to Outsource Game Development Services?
- 1. Pick a Game Outsourcing Model
- 2. Search for Game Outsourcing Companies
- 3. Contact the Best Candidates
- 4. Pick a Game Development Outsource Company
- 5. Provide as Much Information as Possible
- 6. Sign a Contract
- 7. Communicate and Participate in Their Work
- 8. Analyze the Results
- 9. Ask for Revisions
- 10. Pay for the Work
- What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Game Development?
- Shorter Production Time
- Specialized Skillset
- Staffing Flexibility
- The Ability to Scale Up or Down Quickly
- Improved Cost Efficiency
- How to Choose the Best Game Outsourcing Studio?
- Carefully Study Their Portfolio
- Evaluate the Brands They Worked With
- Consider their Scope of Services
- Check Reviews and Testimonials
- Ask tough questions (how they handled roadblocks)
- Consider Pingle Studio – your trusted game outsourcing partner
Do you have a video game idea but lack the skills or time required to produce it? Or maybe you have your own development team but need a few extra pairs of hands for a project?
In that case, game development outsourcing companies are just what you need.
So in this article, we will cover all there is to know about game outsourcing and show you how to do it step-by-step. Read on to learn more.
According to Technavio’s market research report, the IT outsourcing market share is expected to increase by over 100 billion dollars from 2021 to 2026.
To get a better sense of the global IT outsourcing market, see the image below.
Before reaching out to outsourcing studios, it’s important that you understand the different game development outsource models. These models help define the scope of service that you need and the amount of work you plan to outsource.
Some people get an idea for a game and want to outsource all the work, while others have a development team and only need to outsource specific services such as voice acting.
To get a clear picture of what you need, use the three primary outsourcing models listed below.
Let’s say you have a promising idea for a game but no skills or team to work on it with. Or alternatively, you only have one out of six skills necessary for your project.
Then full-cycle production is the outsourcing service you’re looking for. It basically means that all or most of the work will be done by another company.
Maybe you already have your own game development company, but the team lacks a certain skill. There’s no time to find or train a full-time employee, or you just need this skill for a one-time project.
In that case, you can benefit from outsourcing specific tasks. This includes everything from story writing to implementing virtual reality features.
So you already have a good team, and you just decided to take on a bigger project? If you need multiple new team members with a variety of skills, then the game co-development outsourcing model is right for you.
It’s the most complex outsourcing model because your team and the outsourced team will need to cooperate frequently. This can be quite a challenge, considering how different company cultures often are.
Now you have a better understanding of different game outsourcing models. But where do you even start with this process?
If this is your first time, seeing the big picture can be challenging. So below, we give you our 10-step guide to game development outsourcing success.
To start off, you need to decide how much help you actually need. So use our three outsourcing models above to find out.
Then, it’s time to search and browse through all the relevant outsourcing companies and freelancers. Google, LinkedIn, and freelance platforms such as Upwork are your best bet. Remember to check their portfolios thoroughly.
After you find several good candidates, you’re ready to contact the most promising ones. So reach out to them with initial information on what you need and ask for approximate pricing and time frames.
Now that you’ve interviewed the best candidates, it’s time to decide which one is right for your project. Pricing, delivery time frame, responsiveness, and previous projects, are some of the things you should consider.
If you want the outsourcing company to deliver its best work, you must provide everything that you can. Be precise and descriptive about your needs, and ask for feedback and samples to ensure you’re being understood.
Before reaching this step, it’s vital that you clearly define your goals. You can then translate those goals into a legal document to hold the outsourcing company accountable.
Try to look for samples of similar contracts online, and consider paying for legal consulting to stay safe. Take this step seriously to save yourself from any regrets later on.
Check in with the outsourced company or freelancer as often as you’re able and allowed to. Ask for conceptual samples, demos, and alpha versions of their work. That way, you can provide feedback on time to shape the course of development as needed.
It’s very important not to take any shortcuts or make positive assumptions when analyzing the results. We suggest that, as long as you can afford it, you test the delivered work thoroughly. That’s because there are no freebies once you accept and pay for the work.
If the quality and bug testing that you perform shows issues, don’t forget to ask for revisions. Depending on the contract you sign, you might be eligible to get them for free.
Finally, if everything turns out as expected, pay the company or freelancer for the service. Additionally, you might need to re-negotiate the final price due to inevitable changes over the course of the project.
At this point, you might wonder if outsourcing game development is worth it. Since there are many steps to executing it properly, it’s not unusual to ask that question.
Below, we bring you the most significant benefits of outsourcing game development.
Game outsourcing companies have a single purpose: to deliver your product and charge for it. So it’s in their best interest to do this as efficiently as possible by keeping the production time down.
These companies are result-oriented and usually have a proven track record of delivering projects on time. That’s why you can expect a faster turnaround than you could with a more traditional game development approach.
Small to moderate-sized game development teams usually consist of people with multiple talents. The downside of this is that they can’t provide the same level of production quality as single-skill professionals can.
Outsourcing companies, on the other hand, consist of highly trained professionals who are experts in their specific fields. So you can get higher quality work done.
Interviewing and hiring new teammates can be very time-consuming. Not to mention the training investment required to get them accustomed to your workflows. But even if hiring goes smoothly, you still need to take regular care of people's monthly salaries, vacations, etc.
Thanks to outsourcing companies, you don’t need to worry about any of these challenges. They bring their in-house talent and manage them so that you can focus on what matters most.
As your project’s development moves forward, you might find yourself in need of expanding or reducing the total number of teammates. Due to how employment and interviews work, this isn’t so easy to accomplish in a limited time frame.
Outsourcing companies have dozens and hundreds of game creators on their payroll. They are ready to start working on your project as needed. This benefit allows you to scale at your own pace.
Due to all of the reasons mentioned above, working with an outsourcing game company will greatly reduce your total production costs.
Remember, it’s not just about efficiency and the workforce. There are other costs to consider. For example, you no longer need to worry about extra office space or buying and maintaining hardware.
The work portfolio is the number one thing to consider when hiring outsource game development companies. It’s the only way of making sure they can deliver what you need.
Use this opportunity to evaluate the company’s skills and production quality.
It’s important to consider the company's reputation, and one way to do this is by checking which brands they worked with.
For example, if they worked with Epic Games or Square Enix, you would immediately know you can trust them.
None of these companies is a jack-of-all-trades. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any competition. So make sure to target the specific skills you need when considering them.
Some companies might be better at game testing, and others at game porting or visual effects. At times, you might even decide to hire more than one.
Check their websites for testimonials from previous clients, and make sure they are real. But also check for reviews everywhere.
In order to truly test their abilities, remember to ask the outsourcing company tough questions.
What are some examples of barriers they encountered and overcame in previous projects? Who will replace their employees if they go on long sick leaves or decide to quit? How do they prevent miscommunication?
Pingle Studio is a game development outsourcing company based in Ukraine. Our services include full-cycle development, testing, porting, art, animation, and visual effects.
Over the 15 years of its existence, the company has worked with such major game manufacturers as EA Games, Epic Games, Disney, Square Enix, Zynga, Iron Galaxy Skydance Interactive, Focus Entertainment, Riot Forge, Team17, KRAFTON Inc, Annapurna Interactive, tinyBuild, Good Shepherd, and Embracer Group.
You can contact an expert from our team here and we’ll assist you ASAP.