Partnering with other studios is essential in the entertainment industry, particularly when it comes to budgets and deadlines. Like any other creative field, the game industry has a core art team, and if a project exceeds its capabilities, it is often outsourced to freelance artists and art studios. The main advantages of outsourcing in game development include reducing expenses and meeting launch dates. By using this approach, studios can save on maintaining full-time staff and investing in hardware and software specifically for game art. Additionally, outsourcing services do not compromise on graphic quality and only require a well-organized art direction lead.
As the trend of outsourcing in game development continues to grow, it also leads to the creation of more job opportunities. For example, when developing a large and expensive AAA game, a major studio may opt to contract a team of specialized industries. This results in smaller companies thriving. For instance, over 14 third-party studios and 2,000 people were involved in the development of The Last of Us Part II. Therefore, Naughty Dog and Sony Interactive employed around 2,169 developers to complete the game, including studios for voice-over, world environment, and editorial work. The outcome was a multi-award-winning game, receiving nominations for “Best Visual Design” and “Best Audio.”
Game Art Outsourcing Services – Companies vs Freelancers
There are notable distinctions between the workflow of game art outsourcing companies and freelancers. In this case, communication and organization are crucial factors. For example, the development of a main character or a crucial scene may require several discussions, which can be more efficiently accomplished within a studio setting. The human interaction in an art house is unparalleled; the interactivity, quick feedback, and team synergy in these scenarios are difficult to achieve when working with individual freelancers. Coordinating multiple contractors may also require more resources as the project scales up.
In this sense, companies excel compared to freelancers in terms of character art outsourcing and concept art outsourcing services – they display better organization and workflow, often implementing strategies centered around timely delivery and art quality. Ultimately, as a business, an external art team depends on project managers to facilitate workflow and allocate necessary resources.
Companies That Utilize Game Art Outsourcing
As previously stated, outsourcing is a trend in game development. Many AAA companies, such as Activision Blizzard, Sony, and others, use this approach during game development. Additionally, many popular games such as Gears of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, BioShock Infinite, Killer Instinct, Star Citizen, Unreal Tournament 3, Final Fantasy 15, World of Warcraft Classic, and Street Fighter 5 relied on external game art outsourcing companies in some part of their development process. Currently, an increasing number of gaming companies are turning to outsourcing.
The mobile game market is highly competitive, and companies that consistently deliver new and updated titles often see success. This explains the current growth in outsourcing in mobile game development. Additionally, companies in development, such as startups entering the game development market, can greatly benefit from outsourcing art components in their games. For example, even if a company has a skilled team of designers, coders, writers, and art leads, they may lack certain branches of game art such as 3D environment, 2D illustration, 3D props, and low poly assets. In this case, a specialized outsourced art studio can assist in these areas.
Game Art Outsourcing Services
In the realm of game art design, specialized outsourcing companies offer a wide range of services, including 2D and 3D character art, concept art, environment design, animation, and more. These services can be customized to fit the specific needs of a project, allowing for
greater flexibility and efficiency in the development process. Outsourcing also allows for access to a wider pool of talent and specialized skills, which can lead to improved quality and innovation in the final product. Additionally, outsourcing game art can free up internal resources and allow studios to focus on other key aspects of game development such as coding, design, and marketing. Overall, outsourcing game art can bring many benefits to development companies, including cost savings, meeting deadlines, and improved quality of the final product.
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