A Complete Guide to Game Art Outsourcing

The video game sector is not only a growing industry, but it’s also currently one of the most popular both for developers and consumers. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most competitive sectors. One of the ways that companies or game developers try to gain an edge is by tapping game art outsourcing companies. 

In this article, you’ll learn some of the most crucial things when it comes to dealing with game art outsourcing companies. 

Game Art Outsourcing – What Is It? 

Outsourcing game art is the process of developing digital graphics for your game with the assistance of an external contractor rather than an in-house team. This may be done for both mobile and PC games.

Game Development Outsourcing Vs. Game Art Outsourcing – What’s The Difference? 

Game development outsourcing involves many other disciplines and culminates in a finished product. On the other hand, game art outsourcing is just one part of game development outsourcing, and it primarily focuses on the game’s artwork.

How Much Does It Cost to Outsource Artwork for A Game? 

The answer is going to differ based on the nature, size, and difficulty of the job at hand. Generally, outsourcing game art is often cheaper than making the assets in-house. However, this may vary depending on the market.

An American or Canadian worker might expect to earn much more per hour than their Eastern European counterparts, even when they are both doing the same kind of labor. Hence, the cost will largely differ on where you are outsourcing the job. 

If you live in an area where the cost of living is very expensive, it may be worthwhile to hire an outside company to handle the creation of your game’s artwork. But the price tag will likely reflect the complexity and level of quality required for the task.

Conversely, if you are getting lower-than-average prices, you should seriously consider whether or not your outsourcing partner has the necessary skills and knowledge to complete the project successfully.

Should I Outsource the Creation of My Video Game’s Artwork to Save Costs?

Perhaps, but not necessarily. When you have established a regular flow of content creation but need to expand, an outside partner is frequently a good idea. In such a case, working with an external business may be beneficial to the whole game production process.

Game Art Outsourcing Company Vs. A Freelance Artist – What’s The Difference? 

Production in a game art studio is often well-structured, with a designated project manager in charge of maintaining open lines of communication. Even if there are plenty of qualified freelancers available, it may be time-consuming to coordinate the efforts of so many individuals on a large project.

Working with a game art company also guarantees the presence of management who will oversee progress reports and an art lead/director who will ensure that all assets are created in accordance with the established visual style.

Furthermore, the game art outsourcing company is responsible for replacing an artist who is sick. On the other hand, if your freelancer suddenly gets sick, it is your responsibility to locate a replacement.

If I Outsource the Creation of My Video Game’s Artwork, How can I Verify That The Studio Is Reputable?

You should first look at what their former partners have to say about them. A lot of high-profile businesses are likely to provide reviews if the studio is reputable.

Game Art Outsourcing Studio Vs. Game Art Studio – What’s The Difference?

There are some subtle distinctions, but overall, both serve the same purpose.

Is It Beneficial for Indie Developers To Outsource Game Art?

Companies of all sizes, as well as smaller indie game developers, may make use of game art outsourcing. Having said that, an outsourced team is best put to use when helping to increase the output of a preexisting PC or mobile game. 

Are Game Art Outsourcing Companies Competent In All Aspects Of Game Design?

Some firms specialize in 2D work, while others specialize in animation or 3D services. In order to get the most out of your partnership, it’s important to find out their areas of specialization right away.

Can I Acquire An Estimate For My Game Graphics Outsourcing Job Without First Talking To A Studio Over The Phone?

No, it is not required to make phone calls. However, this does rely on how complex the task is and your preferred way of working things out. 

When Starting A New Project, What’s The Fastest Approach To Acquire An Estimate?

If you want the quickest turnaround, then providing a potential outsourcing company with a project brief is the key. The brief should include the pipeline guide, the art style, requirements, and an accurate description of the asset you want to be produced. 

However, if you provide a sample of the art style you like and a brief description of your project, you may receive a ballpark estimate a lot sooner. Although, this is more suited to 2D artwork than 3D modeling.

In The Early Stages of Working with an Outside Contractor, What Red Flags Should I Be Aware of?

  • There is either a lack of questions or too few. Their ability to provide an accurate estimate increases in proportion to the number of questions they ask.
  • Immediate estimations with no prior knowledge of your situation.
  • Having received no feedback from other clients.
  • Taking a sales approach that is excessively forceful and insistent. 

The competence of the partner to carry out the assignment comes first, followed by the timetable and then the cost considerations. 

Wrapping It All Up

So that’s it for now. Outsourcing your game’s artwork to a third party may seem daunting, but there are situations where it may be the most optimal solution. While this article is far from complete, it should help by providing you with some of the most important information when it comes to game art outsourcing. And, it should help point you in the right direction. 


Yuriy Denisyuk is Game Production Lead at Pingle Studio. He’s responsible for successfully managing the Game Production pipeline. Yuriy is this lucky person who plays the best games for work in order to keep up with trends and create new ones. He likes writing, reading Manga, fantasy, and professional literature in his free time.