Major publisher THQ has announced the formation of XDG (External Development Group), a new team charged with streamlining the company's development outsourcing needs, as the concept of outsourcing major art, audio, and even other assets becomes increasingly important to the biggest game publishers.
According to the company, Shiraz Akmal, previously director of research and development at THQ's Heavy Iron Studios, has been tapped to lead XDG, which is currently hosting information about itself, alongside submission forms for contractors, on its official website
"Our ultimate goal for XDG is to increase our production capabilities and cost efficiency across the entire studio system," said Jack Sorensen, executive vice president of worldwide studios, THQ. He continued: "We're confident that XDG will function as an extremely valuable resource allowing our core teams to focus on delivering the innovative gameplay consumers will expect from the next-generation systems."
Gamasutra will be conducting an interview with THQ executives about why they took this important step, to be published on the website in the near future.