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In-House Game Development vs Outsourcing: Pros & Cons

In a world with rapid technology and modern tools, many companies globally opt for third-party teams to keep up and further their agendas and mission. The game development sector, in particular, has significantly expanded in this direction since the pandemic. Research shows that the game industry has grown by 23% in the last two years with the burgeoning of companies like Argentics and is expected to grow at an annual compound rate of 11% per year through 2024.

With the rising demand for new games, many game art studios rely greatly on game development outsourcing companies to do the job. But while outsourcing could solve a multitude of problems, there is no doubt that outsourced solutions can be tricky. Many companies are still wary regarding employing outsources to speed up their quality work. That is why there are pros and cons of In-House Production vs Outsourcing.

Knowing all the weighing factors is vital to making an informed decision between these two options. So keep reading to unpack all the important information regarding In-house production and outsourcing to make a better choice for your company.

Key Reasons To Hire In-house Game Art Production or Outsourcing

Before we delve into the advantages of each in the game development industry, let’s look at the general key reason why game art production vs outsourcing is an ongoing debate and why each of these methods is beneficial.

Key Advantages of In-House Production

In-house production is when the company makes use of its own employees to get all the tasks done. This means that all the workers must work under one roof and use each other’s expertise to do collaborative work.

Easier Communication
Many companies opt for in-house production because the entire team gets to work under one roof. Not only does this foster a strong connection between the team, but the jobs are completed quickly. Moreover, in case of an issue arising, especially in tasks that require interdisciplinary methods, different teams can reach out to each other and work collaboratively.

That is why communication is much easier when working in-house. However, it is essential to note that post-pandemic workforce life has evolved as many people work from home. But, despite that, in-house teams know each other’s schedules and the nitty-gritty details of the project, so the job is done faster.

Quality is Maintained
Teams working in-house are more careful about maintaining the quality of the work. This is mostly because employees can be assessed over their job right on the spot. Moreover, deadlines are met when there is accountability, which means workflow is always on track.

Employees are More Reliable
When a company hires an employee and provides them with multiple benefits, it helps ensure that the employee remains loyal to the company. Loyalty is vital as you know the workers are devoting themselves to the company's success. This way, they stay for a long time and ensure they are benefiting the company.

Key Advantages of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is when a company hires a third party to do a job for them. It could be freelance workers, or it could be an entire outsourcing agency. In today’s world, more and more companies are relying on outsourcing their long and short-term projects, while others are hiring entire third-party departments.

No Shortage of Top Talent
Sometimes, finding the right person for the job in your vicinity is difficult. But, with outsourcing, the world becomes your playground. You can hire anyone from anywhere in the world with the right skill set for the job. This way, you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your work and get fantastic final results.

Great for both Long-term and Short-term Projects
Going big often requires allocating significant human resources over a rather limited time period, which can be extremely frustrating. A game development outsourcing studio can relatively easily scale its capacities. Also, sometimes, a company needs an occasional short-term project to be done. For this, it is ideal to outsource the job instead of hiring a new employee from the start. Once the job is done, you can end the contract and save money.

Endless Resources To Help You Find The Right Person
In a modern world, there are modern solutions. Many platforms will help you find the right person for your project. You can simply search for a professional with the skill set you require. And, then you can put in the area of expertise, the expected time the project completion needs, and if you require an expert-level freelancer.

In-house Product or Outsourcing in Game Development Industry

The industry is constantly evolving and working towards creating opportunities to improve game development. In order to do this, the game studios are increasingly relying on game art and development outsourcing. However, there is a huge question in the industry if there needs to be an all-in-house game production or hire a third-party outsourcing company to help with the production.

Currently, in the game development world, there is a lot of buzz regarding both options and their respective pros and cons. When it comes to In-house production, there are definitely many advantages, but developers' keen grasp of the conceptualisation and active involvement are the most popular traits.

Many argue that knowing the entire work plan and seeing your employees work in front of you is extremely useful. Moreover, managing the team, the deadlines, and the workflow is easier. This is precisely why in-house development is still not wholly obsolete.

However, outsourcing studios have their own advantages that may or may not outweigh the edges of the earlier. For example, when it comes to in-house production, developers may get micro-managed, which serves as an obstacle in their creative process. So, that is precisely why the debate remains fresh between the two.

When it comes to the gaming industry, there are pros and cons to both in-house and outsourcing methods. Now that we know the key advantages of these two approaches, let’s look at how they apply to the game development sector.

Benefits of Game Art Outsourcing

Employing independent contractors for game art and/or development sourcing helps make tasks easier for the employer. For example, when you hire an external company to complete the task of making the entire or some part of a game, then the cost is marginally less than hiring full-time developers.

When it comes to software development for games, it requires expensive tools. If you opt to develop the game in-house, you’ll have to purchase those tools. This is a costly business. However, if you outsource the same job to independent contractors, you will only need to pay the developers for their labor.

Additionally, if you choose to outsource, you can hire expert developers, which means the company can save money on training and hiring new developers. So, all in all, outsourcing game development to a third party means you can increase the quality of your product and save money.

Moreover, outsourcing jobs helps one in focusing on critical administrative jobs. But on the other hand, this is an excellent way to spend time and energy to collect new ideas, resources, and funding for developing new successful games and marketing them to the right target audience.

Benefits of In-House Game Art Production

There is no doubt that outsourcing has many benefits to its name, but in-house production also has its own advantages in the gaming industry. For example, third-party game developers work on a flexible deadline, which means inconsistency can negatively affect their work. On the other hand, in-house designers are constantly kept in the loop at every step of the game development, so their work is consistent.

While there are many advantages of outsourcing to in-game art studios, there are also a few drawbacks that work as an advantage for in-house production. For example, when you hire an expert to do a job for you, you’re building a remote team. And, there are no guarantees that the third party is from within your country. They could be from anywhere in the world. So, you will need to make a strict and precise schedule and ensure the communication is transparent and straightforward to avoid confusion and delay. Meanwhile, communicating ideas is the main strong point of in-house production.

Moreover, confidentiality in the game development industry is a big problem. When you hire third-party game designers, you need to expose to them the entirety of your project for them to develop it. However, exposure can leave you in a vulnerable state. You will have to take all the necessary steps to ensure the confidentiality is maintained, and under no circumstance will it be compromised. You will have to find a qualified NDA and solid legal support to protect you from unpredictable consequences. But, as for the in-house team, the employees are automatically bound by their contract.

How To Pick The Right Game Development Outsourcing Firm?

Finding the right game designer for yourself is the second biggest hurdle if you decide to outsource. Endless agencies and independent game developers are waiting for a job, so it's essential to know how to pick the right one for your project.

Begin your search by analyzing the game portfolios of the contractors and see if some of their work aligns with your idea. Before signing the contract, ensure you’re aware of their role in their portfolio’s work and their project budget and time duration. Find out how many revisions they accept under the package with no additional costs.

It’s also important to look at past testimonials from previous employers to gauge their work ethics. Moreover, make sure the roles are clear, making communication easier. For example, are they the only game designers in this project, or are they equal partners? This should help you know about their development methodology and understand their expectations.

Bottom Line

So, all in all, outsourcing may be everything you need to speed up your project, but it doesn’t come without risks. Likewise, in-house production has its own set of advantages and risks. So, in the end, it all comes down to your management style and communication to deduce which approach may work the best for you and your project. Whatever road you may choose to walk on, the success of your game should be your main priority.

If you are looking for a reliable game development studio, look no further than Argentics. Hit that green ‘Contact us’ button, and we’ll get back to you in no time!

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