3 Keys for Successful Video Game Development Outsourcing

The video game development industry is predicted to grow an annual rate of 12.9% from 2020 to 2027 with the global video game market valued at USD 151.06 billion in 2019 [1]. As the industry grows, the need for outsourcing has become more popular. By 2008 almost 80% of all game developers were used to outsourcing for at least some parts of their process [2].

The reason why many game studios decide to outsource is because of the many benefits that come from it including cost and time savings, reduction of overhead, and building larger teams.  

Yet, as video game development increases in complexity, involving multiple decentralized teams a more integrated approach to outsourcing is needed.

Traditionally, outsourcing has had a transactional approach heavily focused on outcomes. But this approach is falling short in managing the ever-increasing complexity of the video game industry.

As such, to effectively outsource and deliver world-class video games, the industry should move from a purely transactional perspective to one based on collaborative partnerships.

“ At Alternova, we have learned that real value creation comes from collaborative partnerships. Partnerships that are underpinned by an agile, iterative process focused on planning, execution, and shared objectives.”
- Ricardo Velasquez Alternova CEO

As we move beyond 2020, we found that successful outsourcing processes will be characterized by three key traits. These characteristics are the most evident differences between a transactional approach to outsourcing and collaborative partnerships, and we see them as essential to ensure success in the “modern” outsourcing process.

1)  Active communication: Open and direct processes  

Open and direct communication is the key to building software that truly solves clients’ problems. 

Communication and coordination between the parties involved throughout the process is a determining factor in outsourcing success.

Often during the process, the people that need to talk to each other are not doing so but rather working in silos. Middle management and business people who are managing the relationship with external clients are not including the right people in the process.

A truly collaborative process is about breaking the silos and having a highly integrated and open communication pipeline where the two sides can easily communicate and collaborate without friction.

An essential part of this is having the business and the creative people involved throughout the process, and planning and executing at the highest level.  After all, video game development is a highly creative process where the problem at hand and the solution must be aligned.

2)  Flexible & Hassle-free: Developing solutions for clients’ needs

An essential element that tears apart transactional outsourcing from that of a collaborative partnership is establishing a direct personal connection with the client and the challenge at hand.

Only those studios that stay focused on the importance of relationships and understand their clients' needs will be able to develop exceptional products.

Collaborative partnerships are about moving beyond technical fixes to integrated approaches that deeply understand your clients' problems, and make them your own so you can solve them more effectively. It is about shared ownership and “working together until it works”.

An essential element of building a personalized relationship with your client is spending the time doing the initial groundwork that will allow the progress to be much faster as one moves forward.

A personalized hassle-free process does not mean giving instructions to the outsourcing company and waiting for a finished product, but rather creating an effective process in which clients can easily know where the project stands and give its feedback accordingly.

3)  Shared ownership: A win-win game

Collaborative partnerships by definition engage two or more sides for mutual benefits. A successful outsourcing approach needs to operate under the premise that the partners' success is intrinsically entangled.

“At Alternova, our success is defined by that of our clients. We take responsibility and ownership in creating solutions that work for them. We walk with them until a solution has been properly achieved.”
-   Maria Mesa Abad, COO Alternova

Collaboration implies shared ownership - working towards shared objectives. Framing outsourcing as a collaboration has profound impacts on teamwork, communication, and accountability to deliver reliable services and software that solves problems. Shared ownership communicates that the work we are doing is meaningful and that we are all responsible stakeholders in this process.

As the video game industry becomes more complex and the need for outsourcing rises, these three areas - active communication, flexibility, and shared ownership -  need to be integrated into the process if we want to truly reap the benefits of outsourcing.

“At Alternova, we help our clients accelerate their business growth, but we do so in a way that is sustainable and ensures long-term growth, creating partnerships where each others’ success is integrated. This approach to outsourcing has been widely successful with our clients and the benefits of it can be seen in the great products we have been able to build together. “
- Ricardo Velasquez, CEO Alternova

If you want to learn about Alternova and our outsourcing methodology we would be happy to book a call with you.

Contact us

[1] Grand View Research. (May, 2020). Video Game Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report.

[2] 2GuyGames. (2019). Outsourcing in Game Development.


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