To construct a comprehensive look at the segment, almost 200 professional game developers were polled anonymously about their studios' use of outsourcing, their outsourcing budgets and plans, regional factors, and much more.
Furthermore, the results of the survey build on a previous survey conducted privately in 2007, allowing Game Developer Research to discern emerging trends in game outsourcing -- which, despite its already-wide usage, is still undergoing considerable growth.
Significantly, between 2007 and 2008, the proportion of respondents whose studios use outsourced game development rose 10 percent to 86 percent -- from an already considerable majority of 76 percent.
That trend is certain to become more pronounced. Among participating developers, fully half of those who still do not use outsourcing plan to begin outsourcing going forward, and an overwhelming 95 percent of those who already engage in the practice expect to continue doing so.
Results suggest that one major contributor to the explosive growth of outsourcing is the increasing cost and bandwidth required to create a high volume of assets for modern console systems. Respondents reported that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are the two platforms for which elements of game creation are most frequently outsourced.
Outsourcing is clearly on the rise in terms of overall budgetary allocation as well. The high end of outsourcing budgets increased nearly twofold, with the proportion of companies planning to spend $2 million or more on outsourcing rising to almost 20% in 2008.
The new Game Developer Research report also discusses overall budgets, reasons for outsourcing, the selection process for choosing firms to outsource to, and the regions of the world that our respondents worked with.
It also includes a named list of established outsourcing studios from all regions of the world, specifically and solely using firms cited in the survey results -- with particular attention paid to those mentioned multiple times.
For more information on the report, which should be of use to companies wanting to further understand the outsourcing market, please visit the official Game Developer Research website.
[NOTE TO EDITORS: This announcement from Gamasutra sister organization Game Developer Research can be reprinted in full without crediting this outlet.]