In the fast-moving world of game development, creating an interesting and engaging game is not an easy task. While you may have a team of skilled programmers and game designers, the creative aspect of character creation often requires a different skill set.

This is where outsourcing comes into play. Outsource character creation can be a game changer, offering benefits that can significantly improve your project. Here are the TOP 5 reasons why you should outsource character creation for your game.

1.) Cost-Effectiveness

  • Save on Operational Costs

One of the most compelling reasons to outsource is the cost savings. Hiring a full-time, in-house team of character designers can be expensive. You’ll need to consider salaries, benefits, and other operational costs like software licenses and equipment. Outsourcing allows you to work with skilled professionals without the overhead costs, often at a fraction of the price.

  • Global Talent at Your Fingertips

Outsourcing companies often operate in countries with a lower cost of living, which translates to cost savings for you. You can access a global pool of talent without breaking the bank.

For example, you can find a team of artists from Ukraine or India, and the cost of an hour of work of a 3D artist can be 5-10 times less than a similar worker in the US

2.) Time Efficiency

  • Quick Turnaround

Time is a critical factor in game development. Outsourcing 3d character creation can significantly reduce the time needed to go from concept to a finished product. A dedicated team can work on your project full-time, ensuring that you meet your deadlines.

  • Flexibility in Production

The needs for character design can vary throughout the development cycle. Outsourcing provides the flexibility to scale up or down depending on the needs of the project without having to hire or fire full-time staff.

We’re talking about if you have an unexpected change in development direction or game concept, you can always change your outsourcing team. This will not be the case if you have an in-house team. In this case, you or your HR department will have to find the energy and spend time to find the developer or artist you need.

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3.) Specialized Expertise

  • Access to Skilled Artists

Character creation is a specialized skill that requires a deep understanding of design, anatomy, and storytelling. Outsourcing game art companies offer a team of experts who are proficient in creating diverse and engaging characters.

  • Quality Assurance

These companies have a track record of delivering high-quality work, ensuring that the characters align with your game’s overall aesthetic and storyline.

4.) Focus on Core Competencies

  • Streamlined Workflow

Outsourcing character creation allows your in-house team to concentrate on their strengths, such as coding, level design, or marketing. This leads to a more efficient workflow, ensuring each aspect of the game receives the necessary attention. For example, while an outsourced team works on character design, your in-house team can focus on developing the game’s levels or marketing strategy.

  • Risk Mitigation

Outsourcing can also serve as a form of risk mitigation. If the outsourcing team fails to deliver, it won’t disrupt your entire project, allowing you to make adjustments as needed.

Of course, you should follow risk management – for example, give different outsourcing teams different parts of the work. For example, the development of 3D characters to outsource team RetroStyle Games, and the development of environments – another team, the development of models – a third team.

Some additional advice about outsourcing:

  1. Define Clear Objectives: Clearly define the objectives and expectations for the outsourced team. This includes detailed character descriptions, design style, and deadlines.
  2. Regular Communication: Maintain regular communication with the outsourced team to ensure they are on track and to address any issues promptly.
  3. Quality Check: Implement a quality check process to ensure the outsourced work meets your standards before integrating it into your project.
  4. Backup Plan: Have a backup plan in place in case the outsourced team fails to deliver. This could involve having another outsourcing company on standby or allocating additional time in the project schedule for such contingencies.

Outsourcing character creation is a common practice in the video game industry. It allows developers to focus on other aspects of game development while ensuring high-quality character design. 

Here is a list of video games and the teams that used outsourced character creation services:

  • Fortnite (Epic Games): Epic Games outsourced some of the character creation work for Fortnite to external studios. This allowed them to focus on game mechanics, level design, and other crucial aspects of the game while ensuring high-quality character designs.
  • Assassin’s Creed Series (Ubisoft): Ubisoft has often used outsourcing for various aspects of game development, including character creation, for the Assassin’s Creed series. This helps them manage the massive workload required to create the detailed open worlds and characters in the series.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red): CD Projekt Red outsourced some of the character creation work for The Witcher 3 to external studios. This helped them manage the workload and ensure high-quality character designs while focusing on other aspects of game development.
  • Mass Effect Series (BioWare): BioWare outsourced some of the character creation work for the Mass Effect series to external studios. This allowed them to focus on the game’s narrative, mechanics, and other crucial aspects while ensuring high-quality character designs.
  • Halo Series (343 Industries): 343 Industries company has used outsourcing for various aspects of the Halo series, including character creation. This helps them manage the workload and ensure high-quality character designs while focusing on other aspects of game development.

5.) Industry Standard Practice

Outsourcing is not a new or risky venture; it’s an industry-standard practice. Close to 90% of game companies outsource at least some aspects of their development process. (including such big studios like Ubisoft, EA Games or Naughty Dogs) By outsourcing character creation, you’re following a tried-and-true method that has been effective for many successful games.

Outsourcing character creation offers a lot of benefits, from cost and time savings to specialized expertise and focus on core skills. It’s a standard industry practice that allows you to improve the quality of your game while allowing in-house specialists to focus on their strengths. So the next time you’re planning game development, consider outsourcing character creation to take advantage of these benefits.