Typically outsourcing begins with a self-assessment of a company’s core identity that forms its unique competitive advantage, with the remainder of the work becoming candidates for vendors (or “service providers”) to perform cheaper or better. For game developers, core competencies can be found in any part of the game development cycle: concept development, pre-production, production, testing or distribution. Therefore, a game developer increases efficiency directly proportionally to its ability to minimize the resource use on non-core competencies. Many independent studios have an internal team of about five people, who hire dozens of short-term contractors and engage outsourcing companies to make whatever can’t be done internally. The manpower required to produce games is varied and not trivial in amount, so outsourcing some part of work is always something game developers need to think about.
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