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  • Taisiia Dobrozorova

How to Outsource Game Development in 2023

Updated: Jul 15, 2023


Outsourcing game development in 2023 became a turning point for small and medium-sized studios looking to level up their game. Mobile gaming is going to reach record-breaking revenue of $286.50bn in 2023 and $376.70bn by 2027. Now is the best time to get into the gaming industry, and outsourcing can help a lot.


Pros of Outsourcing


Let's go first with the main advantages. What exactly can you expect when choosing to outsource?



Cost Savings


One of the primary reasons companies choose to outsource is to, of course, reduce costs. Outsourcing allows businesses to tap into lower labor and operational costs in other countries or regions. This cost advantage is especially significant in developing countries with lower wage levels.


Access to Specialized Expertise


The second factor is that outsourcing provides access to a wider pool of talent and specialized expertise that may not be available in-house. By transferring specific tasks or projects, companies can leverage the skills and knowledge of external professionals. It can help to drive innovation and achieve better results.


Increased Focus on Core Competencies


Outsourcing non-core activities allows companies to focus on their core competencies. By delegating peripheral tasks to external service providers, businesses can concentrate their resources and energy on key strategic areas, such as product development, marketing, and customer service.


Flexibility and Scalability


To all others, outsourcing offers flexibility and scalability, enabling companies to adapt to changing business needs. Whether it's scaling up or down based on demand fluctuations or quickly accessing additional resources for new projects, outsourcing allows for agility and responsiveness.


Time Savings


Outsourcing can also save valuable time by delegating tasks to external experts. This allows companies to meet project deadlines more efficiently, accelerate time-to-market, and gain a competitive edge.


Cons of Outsourcing


But every coin has two sides. If you're not developing your project personally, there are a number of hurdles to consider.


Communication Challenges


It may not be obvious in the initial stages, but working with remote teams or service providers in different time zones can create barriers to effective communication. This, in turn, can lead to delays, misunderstandings, and inefficiencies. Establishing robust communication channels is essential to mitigate these challenges.


Quality Control


Maintaining consistent quality standards can be a problem when outsourcing. Differences in work culture, standards, or interpretation of requirements may lead to variations in the quality of work delivered. Establishing clear expectations, providing detailed guidelines, and implementing quality control measures can help mitigate this risk.


Security and Confidentiality Risks


When outsourcing, companies may be required to share sensitive information and intellectual property with external parties. This poses potential security and confidentiality risks. Then, it is better to carefully select reputable and trustworthy service providers and establish robust data protection measures to safeguard sensitive information.


Top outsourcing models in 2023


Outsourcing game development in 2023 presents numerous opportunities to streamline production, tap into specialized expertise, and reduce costs. There are three primary outsourcing models you can consider.


Full-Cycle Outsourcing - gives the entire game development process to an external company.


From concept design to final testing, this approach allows you to leverage the expertise of a dedicated team without the need for an in-house development department. By outsourcing the complete development cycle, you can focus on other critical aspects of your business, such as marketing and monetization, while ensuring a high-quality end product.


Specific Task Outsourcing - assigning specific components of your game development process to external teams.


This approach allows you to tap into specialized skills for tasks like character design, level creation, sound engineering, or quality assurance. Specific task outsourcing offers flexibility, allowing you to choose the areas where external expertise can complement your in-house team while retaining control over other aspects of development.


Co-development - your team and an outsourcing studio team work together.


This model allows you to combine the strengths of your in-house team with the expertise of the external partner. Co-development is especially useful when you require additional resources, have tight timelines, or want to tap into specific technologies or genres. It offers the advantage of shared responsibilities and risk, resulting in a more efficient and well-rounded game development process.


Mobile Game Development Phases


First, understand the mobile game development cycle. Then you can decide which of the stages you need to outsource. Most often, this is production, testing, or full-cycle development.


Concept Development


This phase involves ideation, market research, and defining the game's core mechanics and design. It sets the foundation for the entire development process.


Pre-production


During this phase, the game's concept is fleshed out further, and a detailed plan is created. Tasks such as prototyping, asset creation, and level design take place at this stage.


Production


This is the main development phase, where the game's assets are created, coding is implemented, and the gameplay mechanics are fine-tuned. Iterative development and regular communication with the development team are essential during this phase.


Testing


Quality assurance and user testing are vital to ensure a bug-free and enjoyable gaming experience. Testing includes functionality testing, performance testing, and user feedback analysis.


Release


After successful testing, the game is ready for release. This phase involves launching the game on app stores, marketing, and ongoing support and updates.


How to choose the right mobile game development company?

When outsourcing mobile game development, selecting the right company is crucial for success. Consider the following factors:


Expertise. Evaluate the company's portfolio, previous experience, and the genres or technologies they specialize in.


Communication. Clear and regular communication is essential for a successful outsourcing partnership. Ensure the company has effective communication channels and provides timely updates.


Reputation. Check the company's reputation by reading reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Seek recommendations from industry peers.


Cost and Budget. Determine your budget and compare it with the company's pricing model. Ensure they offer transparent pricing and fit within your financial constraints.


Support and Maintenance. Inquire about post-launch support, ongoing maintenance, and updates to ensure the long-term success of your game.


How to Outsource Mobile Game Development?


Step 1: Define Your Project Requirements


The first step in outsourcing mobile game development is to clearly define your project requirements. Identify the core features, gameplay mechanics, target platforms, and any specific technologies or frameworks you want to incorporate. This will help you communicate your needs effectively to potential development partners and ensure that they understand your vision.


Step 2: Research and Shortlist Potential Development Companies


Conduct thorough research to identify potential mobile game development companies that align with your project requirements and objectives. Look for companies with relevant experience, a strong portfolio, positive client reviews, and expertise in the desired genres or technologies. Shortlist a few companies that stand out and proceed to the next step. HitBerry Games will also be happy to help you calculate the price of the game and create a project from idea to release!


Step 3: Evaluate the Shortlisted Companies


Once you have a shortlist of potential development companies, evaluate them based on various factors. Consider their technical expertise, team size, communication capabilities, development platforms, and project management practices. Request case studies, testimonials, and references to assess their track record and ensure they have a proven record of delivering high-quality mobile games.


Step 4: Conduct Initial Discussions and Interviews


Initiate discussions with the shortlisted companies to gather more information about their services, processes, and pricing models. Schedule interviews or video calls to further evaluate their communication skills, responsiveness, and matching your project requirements with the services they provide. This step will help you gauge the compatibility and establish a rapport with potential development partners.


Step 5: Request Proposals and Quotes


Ask the shortlisted companies to provide detailed proposals and quotes for your mobile game development project. The proposals should include an overview of their development approach, estimated timelines, milestones, and pricing details. Review these proposals carefully, paying attention to the level of detail, alignment with your requirements, and transparency in pricing.


Step 6: Assess Development Methodologies and Communication


Evaluate the development methodologies employed by each company. Look for agile or iterative development processes that allow for flexibility, frequent updates, and collaboration. Additionally, assess their communication channels and project management tools to ensure effective and transparent communication throughout the development process.


Step 7: Review Contracts and Legal Considerations


Before finalizing a development partner, thoroughly review the contracts and legal agreements. Pay attention to the ownership of intellectual property rights, confidentiality clauses, liability provisions, and termination conditions. It is advisable to involve legal counsel to ensure that your interests are protected and that both parties are clear on the terms and conditions.


Step 8: Start Collaboration and Provide Clear Guidelines


Once you have selected a development partner, commence the collaboration by providing them with comprehensive guidelines. Whether it's a simple idle game or a much more complicated aaa game, prepare including design assets, reference materials, and detailed specifications. Maintain open communication channels to address any questions or concerns that arise during the development process. Regularly review progress, provide feedback, and track milestones to ensure alignment with your expectations.


Step 9: Quality Assurance and Testing


Throughout the development process, prioritize quality assurance and testing. Establish clear guidelines for bug reporting and feedback loops to address issues promptly. Regularly test the game across various devices and platforms to ensure compatibility, stability, and an optimal user experience.


Step 10: Release and Ongoing Support


Once the development is complete and the game has undergone rigorous testing, it's time to release it to the market. Coordinate with the development partner to launch the game on the desired app stores or platforms. Additionally, discuss post-launch support, updates, in-game advertising, and maintenance to ensure that the game remains relevant and enjoyable for your audience.


FAQs:


How much does it cost to outsource game development?


The cost of outsourcing game development typically falls within the range of $10,000 to $500,000 per project. But the cost of outsourcing game development can vary depending on the complexity of the game, the scope of work, the size of the development team, and the location of the outsourcing partner.


What is the future of game development?


The future of game development is exciting and promising. With advancements in technology like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and cloud gaming, the possibilities for immersive and innovative gaming experiences are expanding. Additionally, the growing popularity of mobile gaming, esports, and cross-platform play indicates a shift towards more accessible and interconnected gaming ecosystems. As new technologies emerge and player preferences evolve, game developers will need to adapt, embrace innovation, and focus on delivering engaging and immersive experiences to captivate their audience.


Do game developers outsource?


Yes, many game developers outsource certain aspects of game development to external companies or contractors. Outsourcing allows developers to leverage specialized expertise, access additional resources, and reduce costs. Game developers may outsource tasks such as art and asset creation, sound design, programming, quality assurance, or even full-cycle development. By outsourcing specific tasks, developers can focus on their core competencies, accelerate production timelines, and enhance the overall quality of their games.


Conclusion


Outsourcing game development can be a strategic move for companies aiming to leverage external expertise and resources. By following the step-by-step guide, you can navigate the outsourcing process effectively, from defining project requirements to selecting a development partner and ensuring a successful and seamless mobile game development experience.




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