How to best work with an outsource game studio
Kamal Aittah
8/7/2021

How to best work with an outsource game studio

Yo, Kamal here.

 

Today I wanted to talk about some mistakes that I see a lot of game developers unintentionally make while working with outsourcing studios and third parties.

I’ve been working B2B for over 6 years now, I started as a freelancer and now I have my own company that also works B2B with game studios and publishers. So I will attempt to explain the best way to get the most out of any third party you work with

 

But first, we need to answer the question Why work with an outsource game studio?

 

Well, there are main advantages to why you might want to outsource some or even all of your game development tasks to third-party studios like Game Hermits.

 

  1. Cost-Effective:

    Right off the bat, cutting development costs is the biggest reason for outsourcing. Cutting development costs means maximizing profit. Outsourcing to countries with cheaper wages might cut 20% to 50% of the development costs of your game. For Example, Egypt has significantly lower wages compared to major countries in Europe and the US; Outsourcing your game to a studio in Egypt means cutting your development costs by 50% if not more. This is a great opportunity, especially for middle-sized and AAA studios working on titles that take a couple of years to finish and are prone to generate insufficient revenue to cover the huge development costs.
     

  2. Reduced Overhead

    When you outsource to a third-party studio, you establish an entity-level relation; That means dropping off your shoulders the burden of hiring and managing new staff, saving time and money in the process. Not only that, but also avoiding paying for utilities like offices, new hardware, Software licenses, etc. This allows you to focus your resources on more executive and marketing operations.
     

  3. WorkForce fluidity

    While working with outsource studios, you get to decide how long you’re working with them. They work as a team that you get to release after the work is done, and bring back if there is more work to do. It gives you the flexibility to quickly bring in additional resources and release them as you see fit, ultimately maximizing your profit.
     

  4. Reduced time-on-tasks

    Working with outsource studio brings more talents to your team allowing you to boost your productivity if the integration between both teams is done smoothly. Instead of training new employees, managing team hierarchies, and hiring, You get to work with an outsource team where you become an executive over the work and avoid all the technical hustle that only serves to delay the production timeline.

 

Now that you know the great advantages of outsourcing your game to third-party studios, it’s time to tell you the biggest mistakes I see game developers and publishers fall into making which doesn’t result in the optimal product

 

  1. Leaving out Details while discussing the job

    I’ve worked with a lot of developers who would present me the job they need in an executive manner. But what you need to know is that you’re dealing with people who are going to take care of your technical process; That means you need to discuss every technical detail with them before any contract is signed so that you don’t face problems down the line.
    I always advise studios and other software companies who are seeking game/interactive application outsourcing to always have someone of technical background in the meetings since this will help deliver the full picture to the outsource studio.
     

  2. Managing outsource team differently from the internal team

    Management style can make the most complex of projects mundane or the simplest of projects a disaster. As an outsource studio, we experience this problem where we are managed on a different timeline and in a different management style from the internal team, which creates division and loss of communication amongst the working force. The best way to seamlessly integrate an outsource team into yours is to first introduce this outsource team to the same management style and timeline of the project this way you can get everyone on the same page, which prevents any loss of communication.
     

  3. Not thoroughly listing the responsibilities of an outsource team

    This is a very common mistake. For example, you seek to outsource your programming tasks. You can’t leave it at that; you have to specifically list everything. Are we writing the backend if it’s a multiplayer game? are we doing UI programming? are we providing external tools? Are we providing technical artists as well? Who’s going to playtest what we code and how the process will go? and so on. This is a very important step before signing any contract as it makes it clear what you’re expecting from the outsource company and what kind of resources they need to prepare to make it all happen.
     

  4. Expecting Outsource teams to join you on your crunch time

    Crunch culture is a sad reality in the game industry. The type of work we do involves a lot of uncertainty and more often than not deadlines are missed and you have to crunch to finish the job within time and budget. But expecting outsource teams to join you in your crunch and putting that in your plans is a big mistake. Outsource teams have their own schedule as well, they usually work on multiple projects at once. Asking them to crunch to meet a hard deadline is probably going to lower their productivity or maybe push them to ask for an even higher prices since they will need to sacrifice time on other projects. So make sure that you plan carefully ahead of time, and always seek outsourcing in early stages of the development so that you can plan out deadlines that fit both the outsource team and your timeline.

 

That was my opinion on why outsourcing in the game industry is very important and how to work with outsource studios to produce the best quality possible.

Since we’ve been through a lot of these issues ourselves, we always try and help game developers and publishers by actually offering solutions to these problems when they seek us for outsourcing jobs. So if you are seeking outsourcing, just email us at info@gamehermits.com, and let’s talk about your project.

Until next time, peace out!

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