Game Art Outsourcing: A Strategic Move in the Video Game Industry



In an increasingly competitive and rapidly evolving industry like video games, the development process requires a blend of creativity, technical expertise, and efficient resource management. This is where the concept of game art outsourcing comes into play.

Game art outsourcing, a practice adopted by both indie developers and AAA studios, involves delegating the art creation process to external agencies or freelancers. It’s a strategic move that allows companies to focus on core competencies, manage resources better, and meet stringent deadlines without compromising the quality of the game’s visual aesthetics. For smaller studios and independent developers, utilizing free 3D rendering software can be a valuable part of this strategy.

The importance of game art outsourcing cannot be overstated. It is a key factor that helps shape the overall visual appeal and immersive experience of a game. From character design, environment creation, animation to UI design, all can be effectively managed via outsourcing, contributing significantly to a game’s success.

This article will provide an in-depth look at the reasons behind choosing outsourcing for game art creation, how to select the right outsourcing agency, and the various platforms that can assist in the process. Whether you’re a game developer looking to streamline your art creation process or an enthusiast curious about the industry’s inner workings, this piece aims to shed light on the crucial role of game art outsourcing in today’s video game industry.

Why Choose Outsourcing for Game Art Creation

The dynamics of the gaming industry are constantly evolving, and the decision to outsource game art creation can be pivotal to a game studio’s success. Let’s delve into the reasons why:

Resource Savings and Optimization of Internal Resources

Outsourcing game art creation can lead to substantial cost savings. By partnering with an outsourcing firm, you’re not only getting access to top-tier talent but also eliminating the overhead costs of hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house team. This model allows you to optimize your internal resources and focus on core competencies, such as game design and strategy.

Stimulating Partnerships and Risk Reduction

Working with an external game art provider can stimulate innovative thinking and bring fresh perspectives to your project. They are specialists in their field, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge that can enhance your game’s aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, outsourcing can reduce the risk associated with fluctuating workloads, as these companies are equipped to scale and adapt to your project’s needs swiftly.

Diverse Content and Promotion of Constructive Competition in the Industry

Outsourcing game art creation can lead to a diverse range of styles and aesthetics, enriching your game’s visual experience. For instance, the creation of Cyberpunk character art can be outsourced to achieve a unique and engaging visual experience. It fosters an environment of healthy competition in the industry, pushing game art companies to continuously innovate and deliver quality work. Outsourcing can be a strategic move to stay ahead in the dynamic gaming landscape.

3D Modeling of a Colt Dragoon Game Ready done by a Freelancer.

How to Choose the Right Game Art Outsourcing Company

Selecting the right game art outsourcing partner is crucial for the success of your project. Here are some key factors to consider and helpful resources for finding the best match:

Factors to consider: Experience, Portfolio, Communication, Flexibility, and Costs

  • Experience: Look for a company with a solid track record in the gaming industry. Their experience can directly impact the quality and efficiency of the work delivered.
  • Portfolio: Review the company’s portfolio to assess their style, quality, and diversity. This will help you gauge their ability to meet your specific needs and expectations.
  • Communication: Effective communication is vital for a successful partnership. Choose a company that is responsive, transparent, and demonstrates a clear understanding of your project requirements.
  • Flexibility: Select a partner that can adapt to your needs, whether it’s scaling resources up or down, working with tight deadlines, or accommodating changes in project scope.
  • Costs: While cost savings are a primary reason to outsource, don’t compromise quality for affordability. Analyze the cost structure and ensure it aligns with your budget without sacrificing the end product’s quality.

Using Independent Platforms for Research and Comparing Companies

To find the right game art outsourcing company, explore independent platforms that offer information, reviews, and comparisons of various firms. Some popular options include:

  • ArtStation: A platform showcasing artists’ portfolios, where you can find potential game art outsourcing partners by browsing their work.
  • Gamedeveloper (ex Gamasutra): The online resource for game developers, featuring job postings and industry news, often includes information on game art outsourcing companies.
  • LinkedIn: The professional networking site can be used to research companies and their employees, providing insights into their experience and expertise.
  • Behance: Adobe’s portfolio platform allows you to browse through various game art outsourcing companies’ portfolios and projects.
  • GoodFirms: A B2B research and review platform that lists and ranks game art outsourcing companies based on client reviews, market presence, and industry expertise.
  • Upwork: A freelancing platform with a dedicated category for game art professionals. It allows you to review portfolios, ratings, and client feedback.

Top 10 Game Art Outsourcing Companies to Consider

Outsourcing your game art development can be a strategic move, provided you choose the right partner. Here’s a brief look at 10 companies that have made a strong mark in the industry:

  1. Virtuos Games: Known for their AAA game development and porting expertise, Virtuos also offers game art services. Their broad range of services and experience with top-tier games makes them a strong contender for any outsourcing needs.

  2. Lakshya Digital: With offices in India, Japan, and the USA, Lakshya Digital has worked on many significant IPs, including Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear Solid. Their global presence and experience with high-profile projects underscore their capabilities.

  3. Streamline Studios: Based in Malaysia, Streamline Studios has collaborated with major brands like Capcom, Square Enix, and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Their proven track record with well-known brands highlights their competency.

  4. Pole To Win (PTW): PTW offers a wide range of services, including game art, quality testing, and localization. Their comprehensive service offering makes them a one-stop solution for various game development needs.

  5. Art Bully Productions: Specializing in 3D modeling, animation, and texturing, Art Bully Productions has collaborated with clients like Ubisoft and ZeniMax. Their specialty in key art development areas ensures a high quality of work.

  6. Volta Creations: Based in Canada, Volta Creations offers game art services ranging from concept art to 3D modeling. Their ability to cover the entire art development process makes them a versatile partner.

  7. Sumo Digital: This British company offers a wide range of services, including game development, art, and design. Their ability to provide end-to-end game development solutions sets them apart.

  8. Keywords Studios: A large global organization offering a wide range of services, including game art, animation, quality testing, and localization. Their size and breadth of services offer a comprehensive solution for game developers.

  9. Liquid Development: Based in the USA, Liquid Development has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Microsoft and Bethesda. Their impressive client list speaks to their capability and reliability.

  10. Sperasoft: Part of Keywords Studios, Sperasoft offers a wide range of services, including game art, software development, and quality testing. Their affiliation with a major industry player and their broad service offering make them a strong choice for outsourcing.

These companies each bring their unique strengths to the table. By considering your project’s specific needs and the company’s specialties, you can find the best fit for your game art outsourcing needs.

Maximizing the Benefits of Game Art Outsourcing


Game art outsourcing can be a game-changer for your project, but to truly reap its benefits, it requires effective management. Here are some tips on how to manage communication, set expectations, and monitor project progress:

Clear Communication: Communication is key in any partnership. Ensure that both parties understand the project requirements, deadlines, and any other important details. Use collaborative tools to streamline communication and keep all relevant information in one place. Regular meetings or check-ins can also help keep everyone on the same page.

Setting Expectations: Be clear about what you expect from your outsourcing partner. This includes the quality of work, the timeline for delivery, and the level of detail required in the artwork. Providing detailed guidelines can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that the final product meets your expectations.

Monitoring Progress: Keeping track of the project’s progress is essential. Use project management tools to monitor tasks and deadlines. Regular updates from your outsourcing partner can also provide insight into the project’s status. Don’t hesitate to provide feedback throughout the process; it can help rectify issues early and ensure that the final product aligns with your vision.

Cultural Understanding: Considering the global nature of outsourcing, it’s important to be aware of cultural differences that may affect communication and work processes. Patience, respect, and understanding can go a long way in building a successful international partnership.

By paying attention to these areas, you can ensure a smooth collaboration with your game art outsourcing partner, leading to high-quality results that elevate your gaming project.

Game Art Outsourcing Pros
Game Art Outsourcing Pros
Game Art Outsourcing Cons


In summary, game art outsourcing has become an essential strategy in the video game industry. With its potential to save on resources, foster stimulating partnerships, and cultivate diverse content, it’s a powerful tool that game developers can leverage to their advantage.

Choosing the right outsourcing partner is crucial, and factors such as experience, portfolio, communication, flexibility, and cost must be carefully considered. Platforms like Upwork, Gamasutra, ArtStation, LinkedIn, Behance, and GoodFirms can aid in this search, providing a wealth of information about potential game art outsourcing companies.

The success stories of collaborations between giants like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, and their respective outsourcing partners highlight the remarkable results achievable through effective outsourcing.

To maximize the benefits of game art outsourcing, clear communication, defined expectations, and diligent project tracking are key. By following these guidelines, companies can ensure a successful and efficient outsourcing experience.

In conclusion, game art outsourcing presents a compelling opportunity for companies to enhance their game development process. It’s a strategy worth considering for any business looking to improve the quality, efficiency, and diversity of their game art production.

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