With this, of course, comes the standard industry procedure of developers leaving established studios to found their own, and China is now home to a growing number of companies whose bread and butter is working on titles for external publishers.
To better understand the business, we visited the offices of Virtuos CEO Gilles Langourieux, who's been operating his firm in Shanghai since the end of 2004. He has a team of around 110 people, working on both art outsourcing and game porting for major publishers including EA, Microsoft, Vivendi, THQ, Atari, and Ubisoft. Virtuos is at the high end of the Chinese outsourcing boom right now in terms of quality and pricing. But its CEO suggests that even his top-end service provides a 50% saving over most Western development costs for any of its services, whether it be a full PSP game port or next-gen art production. In other words, it appears that this is a significant market waiting to be unlocked.
The article also touches on Gamestar, opened by founder David Zhu as the first independent game outsourcing company in China, as well as concerns that an "outsourcing bubble" may be forming in China, certain difficulties associated with outsourcing games, and whether outsourcing affects game jobs in the West.