Global Game Industry News Blog

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What They Really Meant Was...

Much like other areas of software development, the current focus of game developers of outsourcing "production" work ignores a great deal of the reality of globalization. While they're right that it can reduce costs of next-gen game development work, the reality is that much like Apple has found outsourcing to be less cost-effective as the developing economies develop, new industries are being created in the process. Outsourcing provides companies with a source of income while they develop their own industries. This is precisely what you're beginning to see in India. While movie companies have been outsourcing movie FX to India for years now, these same companies have seen an opportunity to do similar work for game companies. Does this mean that they'll be content to just make content for American companies? I don't think so. As the middle-class grows in these contexts, demand for local content will grow. Why do you think mobile games and web-games are growing so rapidly in India and China?

While they're right that in the short term it will offers companies who must fill up next-gen consoles with hi-resolution, hi-capacity content, in the long term it is going to create competing markets. If American/Japanese companies aren't recognizing this, they had better. Todays production work becomes tomorrows new intellectual property.

GameDaily BIZ: GDC Focus On: Game Outsourcing Summit
Today, the CMP Game Group announced a GDC Focus On: Game Outsourcing Summit. The event will take place on August 14, 2006 at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. The summit, being billed as the only one of its kind in the gaming industry, will discuss how outsourcing is becoming more fiscally prudent with next-gen game design.

"Game outsourcing presents both opportunities and challenges to videogame development. In some cases, outsourced development has helped reduce costs and improve efficiencies for the production cycle. In other cases, the complexities of outsourcing have inhibited the process," said Neil Kent, regional conference director, CMP Technology. "The GDC Focus On: Game Outsourcing Summit will bring together key players with first-hand knowledge of, and experience with, outsourcing so that attendees leave better prepared to make critical production decisions."

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