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Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report


Overview Table of Contents Availability

GD Outsourcing ReportOverview

Game Developer Research is pleased to announce the debut of its eleventh report, the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report'. This 129-page report seeks to provide insight on the current state of outsourcing video game development around the world, as well as analysis of trends observed for outsourcing budgets, regional perceptions, and more.

Data in the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' was primarily gathered from two sources: A 45-question Outsourcing Research survey conducted in 2007 and aimed at game developers whose studios conduct outsourcing or are considering it, and a similar survey also targeting the same audience but conducted in 2008.

Our surveys were distributed through our network of game industry-oriented websites, including Gamasutra and its sister sites. This resulted in sample sizes of 166 for the 2007 survey and of 195 for the 2008 survey.

Both surveys were used extensively throughout this report. The surveys addressed questions regarding participants’ current and future plans for outsourcing, budgets, platforms, employee/developer requirements for picking out studios, and more.

The surveys also gathered data for seven specific regions -- China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, North America, and Latin America – to find out budget/workload break-ups, respondents’ reasons for picking firms in that particular area, and more.

All raw survey data used to create the report’s graphs has been included in an appendix at the end of this report.

Also included in the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' are detailed profiles and specific feedback for over a dozen popular outsourcing firms from all around the world, followed by a listing of more than 60 operations that surveyed developers cited they’d worked with or considered working with.

Selected highlights from the report are available as part of a Gamasutra news story.

Table Of Contents (back to top)

The full table of contents for the 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' report is as follows:

Introduction & Methodology 7

Outsourcing Plans 8
- Outsourcing Status 8
- Future Outsourcing Plans 9
- Outsourcing Involvement 10

Budget Considerations 11
- Comparing Annual Outsourcing Budgets From 2006 To 2009 11
- Comparing Breakup Of 2008, 2009 Outsourcing Budgets 12

Outsourcing Considerations 14
- Types Of Outsourced Development Work 14
- Reasons For Outsourcing Game Development 15
- Outsourcing To Multiple Studios 16
- Outsourced Development Platforms 17

Outsourcing Selection 18
- Selection Process 18
- Minimum Employee Requirement 19
- Minimum Developer Requirement 20
- Preferred Manner For Pricing A Project 21
- Tools, SDKs For Outsourced Projects 22

Outsourcing Regions 23
- Breakup Of Outsourcing Regions 23
- Breakup Of Work Sent To Outsourcing Regions 25

Outsourcing In China 26
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To China 26
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To China 27
- Number Of Chinese Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 28
- Factors That Led To Selecting China 29

Outsourcing In India 30
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To India 30
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To India 31
- Number Of Indian Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 32
- Factors That Led To Selecting India 33

Outsourcing In Russia 34
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To Russia 34
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To Russia 35
- Number Of Russian Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 36
- Factors That Led To Selecting Russia 37

Outsourcing In Eastern Europe 38
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To Eastern Europe 38
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To Eastern Europe 39
- Number Of Eastern Europe Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 40
- Factors That Led To Selecting Eastern Europe 41

Outsourcing In Western Europe 42
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To Western Europe 42
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To Western Europe 43
- Number Of Western Europe Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 44
- Factors That Led To Selecting Western Europe 45

Outsourcing In North America 46
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To North America 46
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To North America 47
- Number Of North American Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 48
- Factors That Led To Selecting North America 49

Outsourcing In Latin America 50
- Percentage Of Total Budget Allocated To Latin America 50
- Percentage Of Total Workload Allocated To Latin America 51
- Number Of Latin American Studios That Outsource Work Was Sent To 52
- Factors That Led To Selecting Latin America 53

Outsourcing Firms (Detailed) 54
- Absolute Quality 55
- CGbot 56
- Epic Games China 57
- Exigent 58
- Glass Egg Digital Media 59
- Liquid Development 60
- Massive Black 61
- Nikitova 62
- Original Force 3d 63
- Pearl Digital 64
- Plastic Wax 65
- Shadows In Darkness 66
- TOSE Entertainment 67
- Ultizen Games 68
- Valkyrie Entertainment 69
- Virtuos 70
- Vyk Games 71
- 3D Brigade 72

Outsourcing Firms (List) 73

Raw 2009 Survey Data 83
- Does Your Company Use Outsourced Game Development For Some Or All Of Your Game Development Projects? 83
- If You Have Not Used Outsourcing, Do You Plan To Use It In The Future? If You Have, Do You Plan To Continue Using It? 85
- If You Have Not Used Outsourcing, Do You Plan To Use It In The Future? If You Have, Do You Plan To Continue Using It? 85
- What Was Your Company’s Annual Outsourcing Budget For 2008, And Your Expected Budget For 2009? 86
- What Type Of Development Work Do You Outsource? (Please Check All That Apply.) 87
- Why Do You Outsource Game Development? (Please Check All That Apply.) 88
- For Which Platforms Are The Development Projects That You Typically Outsource? (Please Select All That Apply.) 89
- Are Either Of The Following Factors Crucial In Determining Whether To Hire An Outsourcing Firm? 89
- What Is The Minimum Number Of Employees A Studio Would Need To Have For You To Consider Outsourcing Work There? 90
- What Is The Minimum Number Of Developers Available To Be Assigned To Work On Your Outsourcing Project That You Would Require A Studio To Have For You To Consider Outsourcing Work There? 90
- What Is Your Preferred Manner For Pricing A Project? 91
- Do You Provide Tools And SDKs To The Studio For Their Developers To Use On Your Outsourced Project? 91
- Do You Require The Studio To License Their Own Development Tools And Obtain Their Own SDKs For Your Projects? 91
- Why Do You Outsource To Multiple Studios? (Please Select All That Apply.) 92
- In 2008, In Which Region Did You Do The Most Outsourcing Business? (Select One) 93
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To North America? 94
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To North America? 94
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In North America In 2008? 95
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For North America. 95
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Western Europe? 96
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Western Europe? 97
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Western Europe In 2008? 97
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Western Europe. 98
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Eastern Europe? 99
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Eastern Europe? 99
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Eastern Europe In 2008? 100
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Eastern Europe. 101
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To China? 102
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To China? 102
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In China In 2008? 103
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For China. 104
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To India? 105
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To India? 106
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In India In 2008? 106
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For India. 107
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Russia? 108
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Russia? 108
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Russia In 2008? 109
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Russia. 110
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Latin America? 111
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Latin America? 111
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Latin America In 2008? 112
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Latin America. 112
- Raw 2007 Survey Data 113
- Does Your Company Use Outsourced Game Development For Some Or All Of Your Game Development Projects? 113
- What Is Your Role Within Your Company In The Decision Making Process For Outsourcing Projects? (Select All That Apply.) 116
- What Is Your Company’s Annual Outsourcing Budget? Please Indicate For Each Year. 116
- What Type Of Development Work Do You Outsource? (Please Check All That Apply.) 117
- Why Do You Outsource Game Development? (Please Check All That Apply.) 119
- For Which Platforms Are The Development Projects That You Typically Outsource? (Please Select All That Apply.) 120
- What Is The Minimum Number Of Employees A Studio Would Need To Have For You To Consider Outsourcing Work There? 120
- What Is The Minimum Number Of Developers Available To Be Assigned To Work On Your Outsourcing Project That You Would Require A Studio To Have For You To Consider Outsourcing Work There? 121
- What Is Your Preferred Manner For Pricing A Project? 121
- Do You Provide Tools And SDKs To The Studio For Their Developers To Use On Your Outsourced Project? 122
- Do You Require The Studio To License Their Own Development Tools And Obtain Their Own SDKs For Your Projects? 122
- In 2006, Did You Outsource Work To China? 122
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To China? 123
- What Percentage Of Total 2006 Budget For Outsourcing Went To China? 123
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In China In 2006? 124
- Why Do You Outsource To Multiple Studios? (Please Select All That Apply.) 124
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For China. 125
- Is One Of Your Selection Criteria That The Head Of The Chinese Studio Be A Foreigner Or Someone Who Has Been Trained In An International Video Game Company? 126
- Do You Plan To Use Chinese Studios In The Future? 126
- In 2006, Did You Outsource To Another Region Outside Of China? If Yes, Which One? (Select One) 127
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Eastern Europe? 127
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Eastern Europe? 128
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Eastern Europe In 2006? 128
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Eastern Europe. 129
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To India? 129
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To India? 130
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In India In 2006? 130
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For India. 131
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Russia? 131
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Russia? 132
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Russia In 2006? 132
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Russia. 133
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Latin America? 133
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Latin America? 134
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Latin America In 2006? 134
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Latin America. 135
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To North America? 135
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To North America? 136
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In North America In 2006? 136
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For North America. 137
- What Percentage Of Total Outsourced Workload Went To Western Europe? 137
- What Percentage Of The Total Outsource Budget Was Allocated To Western Europe? 138
- How Many Studios Did You Outsource Work To In Western Europe In 2006? 138
- Select All Of The Factors That Led To Your Country Selection Process For Western Europe. 139

Availability (back to top)

The 'Game Developer 2009 Outsourcing Report' is now available for paid digital download for a price of US $2,495. Any questions about payment, delivery methods, or further licensing of the data can be directed to Game Developer Research at research@gdmag.com.

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