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Outsourcing in Game Development: Pros and Cons

Tuesday, 08 Dec 2015

Program-Ace teamNowadays a great deal of companies more and more prefer outsourcing to other companies for different game development projects. Most of the time business owners seek the help of subcontract companies when they need a one-time job to be performed.

Outsourcing (or subcontracting) literally means delegation of particular business processes or functions to another company that specializes in a relevant field.

Such practice is widespread in countries with a highly developed economy, where it will be cheaper to hand a certain work to third parties, for example, in China than look for a specialist (specialists) for a full-time position. On the contrary, outsourced work must fit company standards.

Nonetheless, it's significant to realize that even in cases when outstaffing is not completely a money-saving arrangement, there is indeed a list of supplementary advantages of these practice.

Let's discuss the key benefits and possible difficulties of outsourcing procedures for game development.

Votes For Outsourcing



It’s necessary to start with the most obvious reason that advocates use to defend outsourcing. As it was mentioned before, well-developed countries often looking for cheap labor outside region's boundaries. For example, USA and Canada frequently hire professionals from India, China, Russia and Ukraine. The difference in wages for indoor (corporate) and outdoor (outsourced) workers vary from a country of interest, contract details and required skills.

In the case when you need an employee for a short period or a one-time project, subcontracting will be beneficial for a company. You will not have to pay full salary to indoor professionals while waiting for the next project. Besides, signing on a full-time corporate expert for a temporary project is a high-priced measure due to the cost of training, adaptation and wage bill. With outsourcing, you will barely notice this problem because you will most likely choose the company that meets your requirements most of all.



Most business owners consider time as money (that, of course, is true). However, they forget that time is a valuable resource itself.

No matter how big or small your company is, offshore or onshore allows you comparatively promptly hire a large team of artists and developers that are capable of implementing your ideas and tasks. Time that company spends on finding, training and preparing of one new employee is prodigious and X times more than the outlay of searching for the right outsourcing company. Besides, delay in work on a project touches not only time but also money resources.



Another huge benefit of subcontracting practice is an absence of overhead. You do not have to pay for a bigger office, expensive computers and accompanying appliances, licensed software... the list is endless. 

Since outsourcing company provides you with a team of qualified specialists, the responsibility of managing the labor pool lies on service provider. This means freedom from additional bureaucracy and unnecessary spendings.



The business of development, especially game development, feels the need in talented and experienced specialists, however, sometimes cannot meet their expectations. On the other hand, outsourcing allows companies to manage employees, for example, hire when needed and discharge when not. It is a service provider you are dealing with, and it's its duty to find you not only a skilled performer but also someone who is feeling enthusiastic about the upcoming project. Business owner doesn't have to worry about choosing appropriate tasks for a specific professional. Outsourcing company will take care of this and find a creative implementer to fit the task perfectly.



Here Program-Ace wants to point out that it's better to delegate complex and time-consuming projects to an outsourcing company. Admit that it is much more comfortable when subcontractors are engaged in such piece of work, and free internal resources, at the same time, can perform much more important tasks. Besides, outsourcer is tied by contract obligations with the customer and must provide qualified services and meet deadlines.



Successful business is partly defined by a right number of people and how well you can satisfy their needs for work. Subcontractors give you an opportunity not to limit the size of the company only by an actual number of indoor employees. You can keep your firm or a studio as big or as small as you like.

Outsourcing is extremely helpful in cases when all you need is outdoor designers to fill your game with different content (minor characters, landscapes, buildings, etc.) In that case, you can spend more money and effort to make a gameplay more addictive.



Outstaffing a big talent pool that provides an ability to communicate with experts from throughout the world. It has a couple of advantages at once. First, there are absolutely no language, religion or cultural obstructions. It's an astonishing possibility to communicate with skilled professionals all over the world. Second, these talents can work with you remotely without being forced to immigrate or relocate. Third, high-skilled developers and artists can help you to reduce research and development time because an in-house team can learn or gather some skills and methods seeing external expert's work. 


Competitive Ability

Subcontract companies need to stay as competitive as possible. That's why business owners can improve the work environment for their internal employees. For example, reduced overtimes, offer fair compensation or spend more money on more powerful equipment. Besides, as it was mentioned before, outsourcing allows you to concentrate team's efforts on a game, not on its content. As a result, the competitiveness of your future game as a product can be increased multiple times.

Votes Against Outsourcing

It should be stressed that this section will be more about possible downsides of outsourcing practice. They may not touch your business at all. This side of subcontracting is discussed below.


Visual Defects

There is a perception that by delegating work to external developers or artists business owners can receive a game with a low-quality graphics and gameplay. It's fairly true in some cases. However, if you work with real professionals, sign a contract where everything will be specified clearly, and you actually read it, you will definitely be ensured from work of inferior quality.        



Outsourcing may cause difficulties associated with the adaptation of temporary staff to your company standards. You may waste some of your resources to teach subcontractors your rules and principles regarding graphics quality or concept of the games, for instance.



Internal employees can do some tasks faster and better simply because they already work for you. They revolve in your company environment 24/7 since you are the only boss they have. Outsourcers, on the other hand, need more time to adapt, as was mentioned before, and apply their skills to comply with the general mood of games created by your company.

What Program-Ace Can Conclude

We can keep going, but we think that we've rested our case. In the modern world, anything can be nothing as it seems at a first glance. Subcontracting, despite widespread opinion, proved to be useful for both game and art studios. Without outstaffing, people won't likely have so detailed and addictive games. Advantages of outsourcing are less obvious, however, they outweigh the downsides completely. And for that reason, subcontracting is experiencing its growth and we can only expect its expanding in the future.

Program-Ace is an outsourcing company with many years of experience in a field of game development and design. If you still have not say “yes” to outsourcing contact our representative to discuss your possible opportunities and future cooperation.

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