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Feature: 'Unnatural Disasters: American McGee On Outsourcing'

For today's Gamasutra feature, we talk with Bad Day L.A. designer and game development outsourcing ch...
For today's Gamasutra feature, we talk with Bad Day L.A. designer and game development outsourcing champion American McGee about name recognition, the future of development cost, and the future of his franchises, including Alice and Oz. Says McGee on the pros and cons of outsourcing a game's art: "I feel sorry for those people since chances are that 95% of the material content in their lives was "outsourced" to places like China. In the future, 40% or more of a game's budget will be spent on outsourcing. This is the reality created when the art asset demand in next-gen games goes up by 300%-400%. The industry simply cannot meet the demand for content using domestic talent alone. The industry is facing a content production emergency. This isn't about lower prices. It's about high-quality content built reliably by scalable teams. The upside for a publisher is that they don't have to recruit, train, and retain several hundred people internally. Publisher layoff waves linked to projects shipping are not healthy for the industry. Outsourcing to dedicated art teams solves a problem like that and many more. The potential downsides include things like reliability, security, communication, and quality. These are issues that we take very seriously and why we've been selective in forming our management team." You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the topic, including more on the weaknesses of current publishing models, and McGee's film projects (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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