Many people think that outsourcing and freelancing are the same things. Hence, they use these words as synonyms because they don’t know exactly what these concepts actually mean. The selection of talented and experienced developers who will satisfy clients’ needs is very important in game development services. The best approach to web game development directly affects the end result and whether the project will be successful in the future.
Many developers are looking for a full-fledged development team who already know how to work with each other and have created many successful games together. Others are looking for experienced freelancers and interacting with them. Each option for game development has its pros and cons. This article will explain the difference between an outsourcing game development company and freelance game specialists. We also will tell you what you should define before looking for a good team and how to hire game developers.
What Should You Consider Before Hiring Game Developers?
In order to take a closer look at your needs and select game developers, you should keep in mind the stages of game development. These are pre-production, production, testing, and post-release. The first thing before you start looking for game development experts is to find a game idea and create a game concept. You need to understand which specific technologies will be introduced in your game. Without this, you will not be able to understand what kind of game outsource specialists you need. As we know, everything starts with an interesting idea. Think about what features to implement into the game and what kind of person could help you with the implementation of your wishes.
For instance, you want to add an interesting storyline to your game. Therefore, you need to go in search of an experienced and talented storyteller who can come up with a compelling story and engage your audience. Game developers are different, for example, one is great in Python game development, the other chooses C# or other game design programs, and you may need Roblox developers for hire. You need to determine on which engine the game will be developed, choose a programming language, the type of game graphics, the presence of animations and soundtracks, and so on.
When you hire a game development team, the size depends on the complexity of the game you want to create. If you want to develop a hyper-casual mobile game, it will not take a long time to create it. You only need a few game app developers for hire. Another thing is when you want to create a large AAA game or VR game that will require many years of development and the efforts of many game specialists. If you want to implement the latest technology into your game and make it meaningful, that will also affect the size of your team. The choice of the game genre also directly affects the number of developers you need. For example, creating typical puzzles will not be as expensive as multiplayer. The explanation is very simple: the latter option requires additional funds and specialists to ensure the interaction of players in real-time.
Advantages of Outsourcing Game Development Studios
The main difficulty when looking for freelance game developers is opacity. The qualifications, real experience, and responsibility for the result are not clear. Therefore, choosing a freelancer is often like a lottery. A large number of freelancers are represented on the Internet. Unfortunately, reviews, ratings, and portfolios may be fictitious. The outsourcing company ranks the qualifications and rates of the developers. The client must be sent a resume of the developer allocated for the project. The resume indicates project experience and knowledge of technology. Game developers work in a team and discuss difficult points, improving knowledge of each other. Thus, the overall qualification of the team is constantly growing.
Unfortunately, very often freelancers do not meet deadlines and may not get in touch. Freelancers support freedom of choice and can abandon a project any time they want. You can never be convinced that a freelancer will work to the end. And this can lead to bad consequences and delay the development of the game. A good outsourcing company is distinguished by the presence of several telephones for communication, a single email of technical support, and a mandatory response to inquiries during the day. If an outsourcing company has been operating for a long time, has a large number of regular customers with whom you can contact and get feedback, such a company can be transferred to complex and urgent tasks. A well-reputed outsourcing company will abandon the project if it cannot complete it efficiently and on time, since it values its reputation earned over many years. An outsourcing game studio guarantees reliability and you will not worry about the fact that your project will be thrown halfway.
When developing a game, game specialists should have access to each other, can interact, and provide the necessary materials. When choosing freelancers, you need to reunite them and create an effective team, providing them with the ability to communicate. It also takes time, and an outsourcing team is a great option because they have already developed games together and know how to quickly and effectively use each other’s knowledge, interact, and transfer information. Outsourcing game development studios have a ready-made work scheme that saves time and allows you to achieve effective results.
Using outsourcing makes it possible to attract high-level specialists to the project at a price comparable to the salary of freelancers, while you save on recruiting, office work, and so on. When choosing a freelance game developer, you should remember that each specialist sets a certain price for its services, which is different from all others. You will also need to hire an accountant in order to keep an efficient calculation and give the salary accurately, especially if you decide to hire a lot of game specialists.
Drawbacks of Hiring Studios
While outsourcing online game development to an external studio provides benefits like specialized teams and increased accountability, there are some notable drawbacks to consider as well.
The most notable drawback of outsourcing game development to a studio is the higher costs. As studios provide full teams consisting of designers, programmers, artists, producers, game coders for hire, etc. their fees are substantially higher compared to hiring individual freelancers. For indie developers or those with tight budgets, the overhead of paying for an entire studio may simply be unaffordable, even if they provide more structure and accountability. With freelancers however, you pay for only the specific roles you need.
Studios also allow for less flexibility when it comes to making major changes to game designs or scope midway through development. As they provide standardized processes across projects suited to their teams’ strengths, studios tend to be less agile in adapting to significant shifts. Freelancers working directly with you can pivot more quickly based on iterations or feedback. This lack of flexibility also applies to adopting new, innovative platforms or workflows – studios will likely be more averse to protect operational efficiency.
Finally, communication with a studio goes through layers of account managers and producers rather than direct with the developers. This intermediary hampers the ability to get fast approvals or realignment on updated plans compared to collaborating directly with a freelancer. Communication overhead can slow down development velocity and feedback loops.
Advantages of Freelance Game Developers
The biggest benefit to hire freelance game developers is that you can save money by choosing them. Outsource game development companies require more investment as it guarantees reliability, adherence to deadlines, efficiency, and quality. Freelance rates are often lower, but not always. If you are looking for a true professional, it doesn’t matter if he is a freelancer, because the rates can be the same as outsourcing studios.
One of the main advantages of choosing freelancers to develop your games is flexibility. Freelancers can easily work from home and set a convenient schedule that suits both the freelancer and the client. An outsourcing company specifies its deadlines at the beginning of work and is not as flexible as freelancers. You can contact them at any time and make changes to your order.
Drawbacks of Hiring Freelancers
The most notable drawback of hiring freelance developers instead of a studio is the lack of accountability. As independent agents, freelancers have less liability to deliver on time or up to specifications compared to an entire studio staking its reputation. If a freelancer disappears or does shoddy work, you have little recourse while a studio has much more incentive to make things right. The reliability of an individual can vary greatly compared to a studio with robust processes.
Inconsistency in Quality
Freelancers also tend to have higher variance in skills and quality of work. While an experienced freelancer may provide excellent work, there is risk of getting someone insufficiently qualified if not vetted properly. With a studio, you can expect standard deliverables vetted by production teams. Sifting through and evaluating different freelancer portfolios takes effort compared to a studio with known competency range. There can be surprises in actual delivery versus initial promise.
Increased Management Efforts
Finally, using freelancers places project management and coordination responsibilities fully on the client. You will need to invest significant efforts tracking progress, aligning contributors, following up on deliverables etc. Instead of relying on a studio’s project management staff, you personally have to handle scheduling, collaboration tools, documentation etc – increasing management overhead.
Tips for Deciding
When embarking on assembling game development studios near me for your game project, one of the first key decisions is whether to hire freelance developers to compose an a-la-carte team or partner with an established studio that brings its existing structure and staff. Both have clear pros and cons, so focus should be placed on how options align to your specific project needs and constraints.
|Project Scope and Game Development Cost
• Outline features, assets, phases
• Estimate overall budget & duration
• Larger, complex – studio better
• Smaller, simple – freelancers sufficient
|Flexibility vs Reliability
• Freelancers offer more flexibility
• Studios offer more reliability
• Prioritize what’s more critical:
– Pivoting designs fast or
– Ensuring coherence
• Create delivery schedule, milestones
• Track progress and approvals
• Use Trello, docs for transparency
• Define performance metrics per phase
• Critical for freelancers
• Review legal, testing, publishing support
• Vet reputations on operational excellence
• Ensure game availability
|Internal Team Gaps
• Audit internal strengths & weaknesses
• Identify capability gaps needed
• Weigh options against gaps above
• Reevaluate as concept evolves
Key is open communication and transparency between all team members on priorities, schedules and work quality.
Ownership and IP Considerations
Freelancers often assign IP rights to clients within their contracts, providing flexibility. With studios, their processes may assume IP ownership or restrictions by default. Clarifying who retains rights over creative assets, characters, code etc. is important upfront.
Ukrainian game developers and other freelancers can work remotely from anywhere in the world based on online collaboration alone. Studios may require geographic proximity to their office for some on-site interactions, limiting options.
Payment Models and Billing
Freelancer fees can be structured in multiple ways – hourly, milestone based, fixed bid etc. based on negotiations. Game app companies are more likely to have standardized billing models across projects less customizable per client.
Game Making Company Size Fit
Large established studios with ample staff suit bigger publishers and projects because they have capacity. Smaller indie studios or freelancers are a better fit for early-stage startups on tight budgets. Align team overhead to company stage.
Freelancers allow direct creative feedback and discussion with the individuals actually doing the work. With third party game developers, communication gets routed indirectly via account representatives rather than the talent.
With big game development sompanies that house a variety of skill sets even after product delivery, there is inbuilt capacity for continued live ops, updates or enhancements post launch if needed. Pinning down freelancers availability indefinitely can be trickier. Plan for potential volatility or gaps in external individual commitments.
Shared values and communication styles support healthy collaboration – easier assessed when engaging individuals vs largest game development companies with more variability across teams. Cultural coherence impacts work enjoyment.
Specialists vs Generalists
Freelancers tend to excel in specific, narrow, specialized skill sets. Studios provide complementary teams with both specialists and generalists covering a broader range of game creation competencies. Identify range required.
Freelancers provide highly variable capacity scalability – easy to add or decrease roles as needed. Studios offer more standardized teams so scaling capacity up or down may have a higher fixed cost component to account for.
Evaluating differences along these additional dimensions will provide a more complete comparison between resourcing models for different project scenarios.
Popular Game Development Companies
Here are top 10 game development companies world:
– Founded in 1998, creators of extremely popular game franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and Max Payne. Known for open world games with compelling narratives.
Electronic Arts (EA)
– One of the largest video game companies founded in 1982. Owns popular franchises like FIFA, Madden NFL, Need for Speed, Battlefield, The Sims and many more.
– Formed in 2008 merger of Activision and Blizzard Entertainment, and publisher of massively popular Unity mobile games like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch and Candy Crush Saga.
– Multinational game company founded in 1986, with large development teams across the globe. Well known for franchises like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Just Dance, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy games.
– Creator of major game engine Unreal Engine, and developer of global phenomenon Fortnite Battle Royale. Also developed popular titles like Gears of War and Infinity Blade.
– Innovative game development company specializing in mobile game development, game design software, VR and AR experiences. Known for pushing boundaries in emergent categories.
– Renowned studio behind hit game series like Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal and Team Fortress and owner of gaming platform Steam.
CD Projekt Red
– Polish video game developers near me known for The Witcher fantasy RPG series as well as Cyberpunk 2077. Known for immersive open world single player experiences, game design and development.
The advantages of an outsourcing game development agency include:
- A full-fledged team of game developers;
- Experience in coding for game development;
- They have all the necessary tools, technology, and manpower;
- They have the cost and timeline beforehand.
- Hiring game art outsourcing companies will be more expensive than a freelancer game developer;
- The development process is predetermined at an early stage, therefore, the best game development studios will be less flexible than freelancers.
The advantages of freelance game developers include:
- There are many talented game development freelancers that you can get in touch with;
- Indoe game developers are cheaper if compare them to hiring game development outsourcing companies;
- The freelancer will be more flexible.
- Freelancers can give a lack of experience in developing games similar to your game, or in Android game development;
- Sometimes there can be troubles with connection, especially if you have a difference in time-zone;
- Freelancers don’t guarantee the end result and can cut off the connection with you.
To develop a game, you need a good idea and a reliable game development team. Once you’ve created a clear vision of the game you want to create, the next step is always to hire video game developers who will bring it to life. Finding the best game developers who are truly passionate about video games is not an easy task. The choice of specialists depends only on you, you can give preference to an outsourcing game development studio, like EJAW, or you can choose freelancers. It all depends on your financial capabilities and the size of the project.