Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Outsourcing the American Way!

While I would like to applaud The New Yorker for bringing more video game journalism to their publication, I don't know if the topic of outsourcing is the way to go. Because it seems like a very "no-duh" type of moment. While the core of game designs still come from the source/publisher, outsourcing for testing and technical specs is common, and almost expected. Much like the way a Production Assistant works on a movie/tv set, a Quality Assurance or Game Tester will be brought in to do the grunt work, paid little or nothing (internship!), work 12 hour days for 6-7 days a week, and then get booted after 3-5 months.

Why do they do it? It's cheap, efficient labor and people can use it on their resume as a stepping stone into the business. A lot of companies do this. In fact, I can't think of any that don't. It's common-place to outsource the menial labor to other companies for temporary contracts at little cost, and high benefit to the business.

So when I see someone ask "who built that video game?" I can easily say, this design team, this developer, this publisher, and the hundreds of outsourced workers who won't get their names onto the ending credits. It's expected. Does it make it right? I don't know, but it is something. At least most of them are still getting paid and are not under the guise of "internship" like Hollywood is apt to doing.

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