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“Utilizing international workers where they sit globally quickens time-to-market as the talent is accessed through a multi-channel sourcing strategy, which includes Independent contracts, project-based contractors (SOW) and consulting firms. This workplace of the future is called a “liquid workforce” that can be turned on and off like a faucet.” Lou Calamaras, CCWP, Director Global Client Solutions, CXC Global North America.
According to this recent in-depth article by the Wall Street Journal, “As outsourcing sweeps through almost every industry in the U.S., the video game business looks a lot like the workplace of the future. A lean core of in-house employees focuses on the most important jobs, with the rest hired out to layers of contractors and subcontractors. Outside workers come and go based on project cycles.”
It goes on to say that the video game industry’s contractor-heavy model resembles Hollywood studios, which hire temporary workers ranging from directors to actors to publicists to make a film and have few long-term obligations after its release.
Companies say the result is just-in-time production fueled with human capital. By outsourcing low-value work or renting high-value expertise needed for a short time, game makers like Psyonix can focus on what they do best.
Outsourcing means studios “can in fact make very large games while still staying small,” Anton Wiegert, the head of outsourcing at Guerrilla Games, owned by PlayStation console maker Sony Corp wrote in an essay in 2014.
The videogame business is emblematic of a wider shift toward project-based work. Casey O’Donnell, a game developer and game-studies professor at Michigan State University, says the industry “is a decade ahead of where a lot of other industries are going.”
In the white-collar world, pharmaceutical companies are already packaging drug development into projects led by a team of employees who oversee a larger, mutable cast of outsourced research firms. Law firms are doing the same thing with complex litigation cases.