Want your game project to become award-winning, like Angry Birds or Fortnite? You should find a reliable team of game designers and developers who will be ready to bring it to life in full. You can try the internal resources available in your country, but today you are not limited to only internal teams. Due to access to global expertise, you can significantly expand the capabilities of your business by outsourcing projects to different companies. Game development outsourcing services are growing rapidly to eliminate a lack of skills or qualifications, meanwhile reducing operational costs.

When you are looking for a suitable game development company, you will likely to have many options to choose from – company #1… company #2… company #150… So, how to contact a game development company that really deserves your attention?

This article is devoted to the questions – how to choose a reliable game design company, how not to get into an unstable company with poor performance, how to distinguish freelancers from true experts, and so on. Have the checklist on hand when choosing partners for game development and ultimately get quality design services!

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a GameDev Company

The following checklist will help you out in case if you’re still hesitating – which company to choose and why? Let’s see what questions you should ask before signing any contract.

1. How long has the company been in the market?
It is not always true to believe that the more years a company has been operating in the market, the more reliable it can be considered. Indeed, 20 years in business may affect the final project cost, but nor the level of reliability and quality. However, there is a consistent pattern in this issue – the more a company is on the market, the more services it may offer to customers. Most starting companies do not quickly turn into large enterprises that can cover any aspect of successful game development. For this reason, most of them are initially relatively small teams that build up the internal potential for developing competitive products in the industry. As a result, the company can bring together more experts to work on large projects, a richer portfolio for a considerable period of time.

What is this suitable period of existence in the market when you can fully rely on the services of a company? In general, companies with more than 5 years of experience can offer you highly valuable services. During this time, they may have specific achievements and results, with which you can get familiar and make the final choice.

2. What do the company’s website and portfolio look like?
The first thing you can come across is the company’s website. The way it looks and what it includes, moreover, if there is any website at all, will determine the search progress. You can read a lot about the company on external platforms, but without a proper presentation on the website, any business will not win out. This is especially true for the gaming industry, where corporate visual image plays an important role in gaining an excellent reputation among potential customers. But now it’s not about giving advice to business owners so that they have well-designed websites to inform clients about the company. Instead, you, as a seeker of reliable partners in game design companies, should look at the website of the respective company if any.

What to look for on the gamedev company website? Pay attention to what it includes and how everything is organized there. First, you need a brief description of the company and its team. Secondly, a good site should present you with all areas of competence in which the company specializes. A company profile should provide you with details that allow you to read and understand without contacting anyone else. Thirdly, it’s better when you can explore the portfolio with completed projects, which serves as a visual display of works of art, games and other products. Last but not least, a website should not lack creativity and stylish design when it comes to professional game development companies.

3. Does the company have an office?
In the age of technology, it will not be difficult for you to contact a company representative – via Skype, Zoom, or any other software application. Nevertheless, make sure that there is an office where you can come any minute and see the working atmosphere, or non-working. Face-to-face communication with a CEO, art director, designers, developers in the office will allow you to make a final decision – to outsource a project to this company or not to outsource. But it doesn’t mean that you need to visit all the offices around the world. Just make sure that the company has an office with well-established business processes, qualified teams of experts, etc. One of the options is to visit the chosen company’s office in the final stages. This works when your own list of preferred outsourcing game development companies contains several companies that are hard for you to choose from.

4. What is the company’s team and who is there?
A company with a well-deserved reputation cannot have 2 or 3 specialists on board to implement projects. Depending on the company size, the number of specialists may vary – from at least 20 to 1,000+ specialists. Game development is a fully teamwork requiring a lot of knowledge and skills to achieve positive end results – from concept development to testing and marketing.

When you’re planning a fully featured game from scratch, you can’t limit human resources to several specialists. You may need the core team of:

  • Art director,
  • Artists,
  • Designers,
  • Animators,
  • Programmers,
  • QA specialists,
  • Project manager, etc.

In most cases, the team is supposed to be flexible in accordance with the requirements of the project. So, look for a game development team that is ready to meet the specific business requirements and goals.

As a rule, a trustworthy outsourcing game design company has specialists that can bring ideas to life at a high professional level. Alternatively, HR managers update huge databases of specialists eager to work on new projects to find the best specialist for you quickly.

5. How are specialists recruited for the project?
This is an important question you should find an answer to before cooperating with one or another company. For successful results in the project, the recruiting process must be well-organized and effective from the standpoint of a customer. Successful recruitment requires more than just posting a job advertisement on LinkedIn or any other job search engine. Finding and hiring the right specialists requires special skills, tried-and-true hiring methods along with inside knowledge of game development.

By managing the hiring process and operational management at Kevuru Games, at the same time using our extensive experience in the industry, we are creating a group of candidates that you can select personally or rely on our expertise. Once the experts are approved by you, they will be hired and ready to work on your tasks under the direct supervision of an art director or team leader.

Kevuru Games has a dedicated recruiter in the HR department who is ready to find the most suitable candidate from a 60,000 database of artists, designers, developers, project managers, business analysts, etc.

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6. How is the work process organized in the company?
Most outcomes depend on the way the workflow is organized. The proper organization provides a comprehensive and dynamic picture of business development. Otherwise, it will look like a mess. Management behavior covers assigning tasks, grouping tasks by departments, delegating authority, and allocating resources throughout the projects. Managers must coordinate employees, create policies, and provide procedures to achieve the business goals and smooth-running workflow.

Companies can be structured in various departments that may determine how they work. But the relationship between job positions that exist at different levels must be clearly defined and put into practice. For example, Kevuru Games is divided into smaller teams by specialty (art and design, gamedev, sales, finance, HR accounting, marketing). These functional areas are managed horizontally, which allows assigning employees in accordance with the needs of the project.

7. Does the company give any guarantee?
What do you need to get from a reliable game design company? These may be guarantees of:

  • High quality,
  • Timely delivery,
  • Security,
  • Confidentiality, etc.

When you address the team of game designers, you expect to see total dedication to the project and high levels of professionalism. Both conditions are included by the tacit agreement. But before starting a cooperation with a company, set your own standards that will be covenanted.

For example, one of our clients that offers world-famous entertainment projects imposes special conditions of cooperation – the highest security standards to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing confidential information. So, discuss any of your own condition to find out if the potential team is able to meet all the demands.

8. What is the cost of services?
While considering several options, you’re likely to compare costs from the perspective of your project budget. Right? Thus, you can find out the average rates of game developers and plan your budget accordingly. However, they can vary from company to company, from market to market. For example, a game development company in the United States will differ from a game development company in Ukraine in terms of the ultimate cost of services. This is a key advantage you can get when outsourcing to Eastern Europe. But keep in mind the average rate in each market, be it America, Europe or Asia. They cannot fundamentally differ from most other market offers in each country. Let’s see what some countries may offer you below in the table!

Average Market Rates of Game Development Companies by Country

Country Rate, $/hr
USA $150 – $199 / hr
UK $100 – $149 / hr
Germany $50 – $99 / hr
Ukraine $25 – $49 / hr
India < $25 / hr

(Data taken from Clutch.co – 2020 Reviews: Top Mobile Game Product Designers – through filtering by location and analysis)

What does it mean for you? Think twice before working with a team in each country that sets lower or higher rates than the average market rate! If it is lower, you risk getting unsatisfactory results in relation to the quality, delivery, and other points that we mentioned above. If you are faced with the high cost of services, there must also be questions. But then again, the final cost depends on the scope of work anyway and the level of qualifications of each specialist. If you’re ready to work with junior, the rates will be lower, and vice versa for senior game developers.

In any case, you should get a detailed estimate of your project and decide if it is within your planned budget or not. We’re ready to offer you a free project estimate at Kevuru Games.

9. Are there any real reviews from previous customers?
What previous customers say about the company can also help you with the choice. The section with reviews is an integral part of any website as this is one of the factors that influence the decision of the client to place an order from the company. So, don’t forget to look at what is said about the company’s expertise in the corresponding section. Even if you are skeptical of some very ‘positive’ reviews, you always can contact the mentioned customers and find out their impression about the services provided by any company. At the same time, you’ll identify if they are real, existing people who turn to the given services.

10. What is the company’s reputation on third-party platforms?
You can double-check whether the preferred company suits you as a reliable partner – visit platforms such as Clutch, GoodFirms, LinkedIn, ArtStation, Behance and scroll through additional pages with comments, reviews, descriptions.

So, How to Understand that the Company Isn’t Reliable?

Imagine you find a game design studio but face some strange challenges. So, what are they?

  • Company representatives don’t react to your requests quickly;
  • They put off meetings or calls;
  • They can’t estimate your project precisely;
  • They don’t connect with specialists who are supposed to work on the project;
  • They miss deadlines and can’t explain reasonable reasons, etc.

In any case, this unreliability will be costly to you and your product. It wastes time, money, and energy. First of all, you need to make sure that you will work with the team with true professionals who will come to work and do what you need. You must be sure before making a final hiring decision.

Overall, choose a partner who values long-term cooperation in the field of business development and does all the best to ensure design products are successfully realized in your project with full value.