Top 3 benefits of outsourced video game development

Outsourced video game development has become more popular due to rising player expectations and increasingly intricate games. To meet these demands, developers often turn to external or co-development studios, known as Xdev, for specialized expertise in areas like UX/UI design, motion capture, and localization outsourcing. These partnerships help alleviate workloads and enhance development capabilities. Here, we highlight the benefits of collaborating with external studios and provide FAQs for selecting the right partner.

#1: Flexibility

One primary advantage of collaborating with an outsourced video game development studio is their remarkable flexibility. The 2020 External Development Summit (XDS) insights report highlighted that the ability to scale resources up or down was a key reason developers turned to external studios.

Video game development is complex, with shifting deadlines and evolving features. An external or co-development studio can help meet these deadlines by filling gaps and supporting demanding aspects of the project. After reaching a milestone, developers can reduce or stop additional support as needed. This adaptability is a significant benefit of partnering with a co-development studio; they adjust to the project’s scope and remain involved as long as necessary.

Outsourcing is also crucial if key team members leave midway through a project. Such events are unpredictable, but the game’s completion cannot be jeopardized. There’s often insufficient time to hire replacements without significant delays. Outsourcing mitigates this risk, ensuring the project continues without the overhead or risks of rapid in-house hiring.

Established co-development studios often have global locations, enabling ‘follow the sun development.’ Studios in different time zones can collaborate almost continuously, with one team handing off to another as their day ends. This near-constant development cycle maximizes time and resources efficiently.

#2: Cost-Effectiveness

Outsourcing video game development can be highly cost-effective in terms of both time and money. While the initial costs of partnering with a co-development or Xdev studio may seem high, many developers underestimate the time and expense of using their existing resources. Hidden risks, such as UX pitfalls due to lack of insights, also exist.

When a project’s scope expands, or deadlines accelerate, developers must choose between hiring more full-time staff or collaborating with an outsourced game development studio. Although hiring new staff may seem cheaper, it often isn’t. Teaching new employees is time-consuming and costly. It takes time for new recruits to produce acceptable work, and the expense of new hardware and software must be considered.

Video game
Video game

Smart outsourcing with the right CoDev partner eliminates hiring complexities and provides immediate access to specialists who can start producing high-quality work from day one. External staff focusing on their expertise often complete tasks faster than new hires. This efficiency is even greater when working with an outsourced studio that practices follow-the-sun development.

#3: Specialization

According to the 2021 insights report by XDS, work quality is the top factor developers and publishers consider when selecting an outsourced studio. External studios often have multiple departments with specialized staff, ensuring high-quality deliverables. Leveraging these specializations is a key benefit of collaborating with an external studio.

Access to specialists who can address specific project concerns allows developers to fill gaps and utilize skills that may be unavailable in-house. These professionals also bring fresh ideas that the developer’s team might not have considered. Effective interaction between departments often leads to some of the best ideas. For example, our UX/UI designers frequently collaborate with our user research or implementation teams, resulting in fresh insights and a more informed end result.

External specialists can also enhance the productivity of a developer’s staff. When team members are assigned duties outside their expertise, efficiency may suffer. With a CoDev handling specific areas, the developer’s team can focus on their strengths, increasing overall productivity.

In an era where risk mitigation and resource maximization are crucial, many top developers and publishers recognize the benefits of outsourcing and co-development partnerships. Flexibility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and enhanced expertise are just a few advantages.

Some developers worry that working with an external studio may complicate the project and reduce productivity. However, collaborating with an outsourced development studio often leads to more efficient use of budget, time, and staff, making the project easier to manage.