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Virtuos: Game Developers Increasingly Open To Code Outsourcing

Virtuos: Game Developers Increasingly Open To Code Outsourcing

April 4, 2011 | By Staff

April 4, 2011 | By Staff
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

In the video game industry, outsourcing work such as art creation is a common practice. But code outsourcing doesn't have as good a reputation for quality as other areas of game production.

Gilles Langourieux, CEO of 600-employee Shanghai-based outsourcing firm Virtuos told Gamasutra in a new feature interview that he is trying to change that perception.

"[Code outsourcing] is something that we've been strong proponents of from day one," he said. "You can outsource much more than art, including code, given the proper setups."

He added, "We've set up the company with a number of security and IP production measures from day one so that clients will feel secure doing this."

Langourieux said Virtuos, founded in 2005 by ex-Ubisoft Shanghai staff, was likely the first company in China to receive source code from major publishers. The company has engineers that work as an extension of central technology groups of some of the major game publishers, he said.

While some game companies are still averse to outsourcing code, Langourieux said it's common practice among non-gaming software industries.

"R&D outsourcing, code development outsourcing, is fairly new to the games industry but it's absolutely not new to the software industry in general," he said. "Microsoft, IBM and HP have thousands of Chinese coders working in Chinese outsourcing companies on their code for them today."

"So if it works for the general software outsourcing industry, there's absolutely no reason why it could not work for the games industry," he continued. "It's just that the games industry is less mature from a development practice standpoint, so a number of processes need to be put in place, some IT setups need to be put in place, and also mentality needs to evolve so that this becomes an accepted practice in the games industry as well. But we're doing it today, and it's growing."

For more from Langourieux on Virtuos as well as the state of the overall game development outsourcing industry, read the full Gamasutra feature, available now.

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