How to Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner for Your Game Development Project



Outsourcing is a new trend of the game development market. It is not rocket-science to understand the demand for the game product is high, but finding the right contributors to the project is not easy. Among the countless game development outsourcing companies out there, who could be the right partner for your business.  A few effective tips to help you find a reliable company to outsource game development and long-term collaboration will be shared below. The article will help you visualize the game market picture, why to outsource, and a brief guideline for you to choose the best outsourcing GameDev.

Game development market overview and outsourcing demand

It is no exaggeration to say that the cross platform games is booming as its revenue has outstripped all others in the entertainment sector in recent years. In 2021, it is valued at over $175 billion with 2.9 billion players. Industry forecasts predict that by the end of 2023, the gaming industry will have exceeded $200 billion in revenue with 3 billion participants and is expected to grow by 12% by the end of 2025. In the US, reports show that nearly 74% of citizens play video games on a daily basis, while the spending for games amounts to $60.4 billion. These trends have been and are being driven by many social factors in the early 20th decade and easy access to technology today. It may seem like today is the best time to enter the lucrative game development market, but the playing field is not really favorable for companies that do not have a solid developer and technology background, unfortunately. High levels of competition, rapidly changing trends, and leaps of modern technology are existed barriers. Therefore, the need to cooperate with a third party to develop games is increasing to reduce the risk of resources for the organization. The benefits of outsourcing will be mentioned in the next section below.

Why do companies consider outsourcing game development?

Outsourcing game development refers to the companies hiring an outside third party to do all or part of their game creation process. Depending on the capabilities and needs of the business, they can outsource a specific group of freelance experts, a professional GameDev company, onshore, nearshore or offshore.

As mentioned, the game market has been witnessing a massive change, since more and more companies are turning to outsourcing. This alternative strategy is considered by companies with many tangible benefits, such as:

– You get a team of experts with broad knowledge and experience in game genres, market trends, tools, technology instead of having to search for and attract independent talent groups, which is likely to vary in qualifications from what you would expect.

– You get a ready game development service that is more cost-friendly in many ways. No cost for recruitment, training, and process set-up.

– You have more flexible and diverse options depending on your needs.

– You do not need to invest or use your own resources. You can even access higher quality technology property that are better suited for a specific project or give your game more unique features.

– The burden of step-by-step control is offloaded, meaning you can work on multiple projects at once.

A game development company would always take these benefits into account to implement its project more efficiently.

How to choose the most suitable outsourcing partner for your game development project?

Outsourcing game development offers many benefits that are clear, transparent, and verifiable. There are many factors your internal and outsourced game developers’ qualities you need to consider before making a hiring decision.

1. Internal factors:

  • What do you really want? It’s important for you to specify future expectations for the game project you want to outsource. Game development service providers, whether individual or corporate, can help you with the projects but cannot replace you in giving the vision, goals and requirements of the game products. You can start by answering a few questions like: What does your game need to achieve when it is released? Which player market are you targeting? On what platforms will you deliver your game? What unique features does your game need? Do you want to outsource the whole project or only several processes?
  • Thorough budgeting. This is something you should not ignore, especially when the game development project is long-term and does not stop when the game is released. Imagine what happens when you are willing to pay to build the game and get it in the hands of the players, but you can’t maintain and update it? Your game will likely sink quickly as there are always newer, more exciting products coming out later. Once a meticulous budget is in place, your decision to choose an outsourcing partner will also be easier and controllable. Consider quotes from potential game development service vendors that match the affordability of your business. However, don’t try to find the cheapest deals possible. Lowest prices can come with poor quality, and fixing bugs can cost you more time and money.
  • How will you manage the outsourced service? Choose to outsource game development project means you must accept that the management from your side will be limited. Think about how to control the development process and coordinate with the outsourced team, from the communication channels and frequency of communication to the milestones when you want review. You should also not neglect to prepare contractual agreements, including an NDA agreement, and envisage the solutions you will need to adopt if something goes wrong during the partnership.

2. Choose the right partner:

  • Location. This is not a vital factor, but it is worth to consider because it will affect the cooperation and the price of the service. Offshore game developers may have lower prices. Meanwhile, onshore or nearshore companies in the US may be easier to manage. The location where outsourcing unit base may also differ from yours in terms of time zones, thus affecting regular communication and working hours.
  • The service offered. You don’t want to waste time searching, communicating, and eventually find out that the partner you’re about to choose doesn’t have the services you need. So, looking at the range of game development services vendors are capable of performing should be the most critical and the first step you should take.
  • Their technological expertise. The games industry is driven by the unique expertise to work with game engines, platforms and assistive technologies. Proven track records, through the projects they have done is something that you can base on the developer’s competence. Explore deeply at the portfolios they display and their authenticity. If you find a poor listing, they may not have much experience. Their projects are only indicated by titles and not descriptions, consider that their contributions to those projects may not be significant. You can also look at metrics that show the success of their game projects like: downloads, engagement, ratings, etc.
  • Testimonials from past customers and their media. Reviews and feedback from previous customers are valuable because that is what you expect to receive, from cooperation or quality of service. You can also peruse their social media profiles to see how your future partner are communicating with the public as well as verifying information from their portfolios or websites.