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Q&A: THQ's Akmal On Outsourcing With XDG

Following up yesterday's announcement of global developer and publisher THQ's new internal XDG di...
Following up yesterday's announcement of global developer and publisher THQ's new internal XDG division, which serves solely as an asset outsourcing management team for THQ's internal studios, Gamasutra talked with group director Shiraz Akmal, previously director of research and development at THQ's Heavy Iron Studios, for further information. The group, he said, was formed based on the rising need of outsourcing asset creation in this upcoming next generation of games. "We have thirteen-plus studios, and all of our internal development has been doing some level of outsourcing," said Akmal. "And we see that growing, we're relying more and more on external resources to help increase our production capabilities. "Our ultimate goal is really to increase our production capability. If we see the trend is moving upward, this is kind of a forward thinking approach to supporting that. There are a lot of resources out there, and we can use that to help our production capabilities." THQ XDG works with all thirteen of THQ's internal development studios, keeping up on what's being developed and outsourcing assets accordingly. According to Akmal, however, this doesn't mean that the XDG group has control over the content, or even which outside sources a studio will work with. "The final call is ultimately with the studio of who they're going to work with," said Akmal. "But in a lot of ways we bring a lot of options to the studios in terms of who they could work with, and we have very strong recommendations from one vendor to another." Akmai concluded: "We're open to all sorts of relationships. Most of the vendors out there are working for multiple companies. We're actually looking forward to establishing long-term partnerships, and in situations where it makes sense to be exclusive, we'll look into that too."

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