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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Video-Game Publishers Outsource Development 786

Posted by simoniker
from the global-world-globality dept.
randomErr writes "According to a San Jose Mercury News article reprinted at the Miami Herald: 'Mark Vange is in the vanguard of globalizing the video-game industry. He employs 30 game developers in St. Petersburg, Russia, who have worked on everything from flight simulators to dragon-fighting games. 'We can get the work done for half the cost that it takes in the U.S.,' said Vange, president of Ketsujin Studios. Similar outsourcing of video-game production is being done in places like China, India, Vietnam and parts of Eastern Europe. California game developers, who are the creative force behind a $10 billion industry in the U.S. market, view the trend with a combination of fear and anticipation'."
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Video-Game Publishers Outsource Development

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:49PM (#8630396)
    Standby for a flood of "In Soviet Russia" jokes in 3....2....1....
  • Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:49PM (#8630399) Journal

    <Sarcasm>This is great! No really -- now my video games won't cost $50+ each.

    What? You mean the price won't go down? But we are saving so much money on the labor -- where is all that extra cash going?</Sarcasm>

    Sarcasm aside I think those three sentences pretty much sum up my feelings (and most other /.'ers?) on all types of outsourcing (techie or otherwise). It's an excuse to pad the pockets of the fat shareholders at the expense of the middle class.

    Too bad smarter people then me have looked at it and can't come up with a solution. I've said this before but I'll say it again: If this trend towards globalization continues I fear we may wind up proving poor old Karl Marx correct. It's really a crying shame too because capitalism actually does drive innovation. Too bad it also drives greed.

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by black mariah (654971) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:51PM (#8630412)
      Because, you know, it would be a bad idea for developers to MAKE MONEY and be able to make more games. That's never a good thing, you know. A business. Making money. It'll never catch on.
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:56PM (#8630439) Journal
        Because, you know, it would be a bad idea for developers to MAKE MONEY and be able to make more games. That's never a good thing, you know. A business. Making money. It'll never catch on.

        Let's see how much money they make when they wipe out the American middle class. How many games are the CEOs going to buy? There's also a wonderful concept to business called: Not shooting yourself in the foot for the sake of a temporary increase in profits.

        • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by black mariah (654971) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:01PM (#8630487)
          Isn't this the same bullshit argument that people have been using for the past 20 years to prove that the outflow of jobs to factories in Japan is going to destroy the American economy within 10 years? Hey! It is!
          • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Shakrai (717556)
            Isn't this the same bullshit argument that people have been using for the past 20 years to prove that the outflow of jobs to factories in Japan is going to destroy the American economy within 10 years? Hey! It is!

            Yeah all these arguments must be wrong because the American economy is doing so well right now. Why just the other day the unemployment rate dropped -- err wait that was because people gave up and stopped trying to find a job.

          • by OmniGeek (72743) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:19PM (#8630628)
            Just because the US middle class hasn't been fully impoverished YET (and we're NOT better off than we were ten years ago!) doesn't mean that continuing outsourcing WON'T do it. Why should one expect a relatively highly-paid workforce with political rights and high expectations to be able to compete with much-lower-paid folk who can't unionize and don't get health insurance or retirement benefits, and will work for peanuts even by local standards 'cause any job is better than none?

            With outsourcing trends as they are, we are rather likely to get what Neal Stephenson describes in Snow Crash as an globally-distributed layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would call prosperity. Unfortunately for us in the US, *we* will call it "abject poverty".
            • (and we're NOT better off than we were ten years ago!)

              Actually, yes we are [census.gov].

        • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by back_pages (600753) <back_pages&cox,net> on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:15PM (#8630591) Journal
          You are absolutely correct about one thing. When enough American jobs have been outsourced, there won't be enough American economy left to purchase the luxury products being produced. All the outsourcers are basically freeloading the system. They make profits off of high paid American and European workers while paying low wages to external workers.

          But seriously, what do you expect a single game company to do about this? Stand up and be the good guys? Compete with other companies with much lower labor costs? Save the world?

          The problem is here to stay; no question about it. Unfortunately, I don't believe this is a problem that the free market will solve without first bleeding the American and European middle classes to the brink of survival. I don't claim to have "the right" solution, but one solution is an export tarrif on wages. Let the Russians develop Russian software, let the Americans develop American software.

          • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by GileadGreene (539584) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:23PM (#8630650) Homepage
            When enough American jobs have been outsourced, there won't be enough American economy left to purchase the luxury products being produced.

            At which point America will become the outsourcing destination of choice for all those companies trying to make luxury products for the Indian and Chinese markets. Nothing like a little cheap American labor to help undercut the competition in all those high-cost-of-living places like Bangalore and Beijing...

        • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by andy1307 (656570) *
          So the American middle class isn't threatened with extinction when you buy computer hardware made in China or Taiwan? If it wasn't for cheaper manufacturing in those countries, you wouldn't have a sub-1000$ PC.

        • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @11:42PM (#8631459)
          This is a common misconception. As the American Middle Class suffers and becomes poor the growing Middle Class in India and China provide all the markets capitalists need. They're abandoning the American middle class. Americans want too high a standard of living for their (capitalists) liking. We expect 40 hour work weeks, Unions, job security and maybe even a little real Democracy (very little of that, but it's still a nusance when you're building a new call center and the locals won't let you because it's a death trap, and they passed an ordinance against death traps in the last election). China and India are ideal. They have so many people that it's physically impossible for enough of them to join the middle class and stem off the supply of cheap, desparte labor.

          The idea that capitalists can't abandon America is actually part of their rhetoric. It's one of the arguments they like to bring up whenever anyone talks about nasty stuff like tariffs and maybe baning some of those Walmart imports from some of the more brutal regimes. "We can't leave, we need America, we need it's people". Don't be fooled. They can leave and they don't need you.
      • It does no good to 'make money' when the number of people that can afford your product dwindle with every layoff and 'outsource'.

        That's the deal. Our economy depends on money moving around. Certainly doesn't help if the money moves overseas OUT of the economy.

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iswm (727826)
      Yes, I think that's how many of us feel.. Less local jobs, same price for the product, more money for the CEOs/top dogs.
    • Re:Awesome! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Saragon42 (763516)
      I'm going to have to disagree with the idea that globalization will prove Karl Marx's theories of capitalism correct; I think it will, in fact, prove exactly the opposite. After all, Marx predicted that capitalism would eventually become communism through a massive worker revolt - and I certainly see no signs of that. That said, I think there is a political backlash against outsourcing that's going to become stronger and stronger in the next year or so. (Just look at the role it's playing in US presidential
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shakrai (717556)
        After all, Marx predicted that capitalism would eventually become communism through a massive worker revolt - and I certainly see no signs of that.

        Wait until we are all working at McDonalds and Wal-Mart getting paid $5.15 an hour with no benefits or hope for advancement. Then you'll see a workers revolt. Marx's theories relied on the greed of capitalism to exploit the working class. This is happening right now!

        Of course communism isn't exactly known for a healthy middle class either. Sigh -- What is t

        • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by aastanna (689180) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @10:15PM (#8630903)
          Marx also said that capatilism wasn't advanced enough to support communism at the time of his writing. Marx was all about productive forces, and communism was supposed to happen when we went from a situation of relative scarcity to abundance.

          If you imagine a world with free electricity due to fusion power, and sufficiently advanced robotics such that providing a basic standard of living for everyone isn't too expensive, communism sounds pretty reasonable. So just sit back, wait for your robotic butler to be invented, and look forward to the revolution. :)
    • It's an excuse to pad the pockets of the fat shareholders at the expense of the middle class.

      And an excuse for me to become one of the fat shareholders!
    • >>It's an excuse to pad the pockets of the fat shareholders at the expense of the middle class.

      Solution...become a shareholder.
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556)
        Solution...become a shareholder.

        Why don't you try putting your kids through college, paying the mortgage and bills and become a fat shareholder. Your 100 shares of MSFT or eBay don't count on this level. What are you going to see from outsourced labor? Perhaps a nickel more a year in dividends?

        Use your head before you make arrogant statements like this.

      • Re:Awesome! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ewhac (5844) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @10:19PM (#8630928) Homepage Journal

        Solution...become a shareholder.

        Seeing this reminded me of a brilliant monologue from the film Network [imdb.com], which will be thirty years old before too long.

        In this scene, Howard Beale, an insane TV news anchor, is being given a dressing down by the president of the network for exhorting viewers on the air to stop an important business deal. Ask yourself if this is the kind of world you want to live in.

        You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I... WON'T... HAVE IT!! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal? That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance.

        You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems; one vast, interwoven, interacting, multivaried, multinational dominion of dollars. It is the international system of currency which determines the vitality of life on this planet.

        That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature! AND YOU! WILL! ATONE!!! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little 21 inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

        The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock -- all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

        See this movie. It is at least as quotable as anything by Quentin Tarantino. Find it, rent it, watch it. Apart from the fashions and faded film stock, you'd swear this film was made last month.

        Schwab

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by snookerdoodle (123851) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:06PM (#8630529)
      The solution will occur when all management of all corporations gets outsourced. The truth is, Increasing Shareholder Value is the only objective, and having your corporation managed by a shrewd, talented CEO in Bangalor who gets paid $30,000 per year with no bonus or stock options is a smart thing to do.

      'not even half joking...

      Mark
      • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by demachina (71715) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @11:56PM (#8631543)
        Not to worry, American executives are going to get theirs in the end. They are somewhat blinded by the wonders of cheap labor at the moment to they point that they haven't realized they are exporting capital and intellectual property in to countries that would just as soon bury America as look at it.

        It was a tolerable to export no brainer manufacturing to China but when they started exporting skill jobs, capital and intellectual property they signed their own death warrant. In industry after industry a critical mass of capital, intellectual property and expertise will develop in these outsourcing hotspots. When it does they will reach a point they don't need the obnoxius executives in the U.S. who are taking the lion's share of the wealth. They will, and in some cases already have, take all the expertise, talent, market insight and knowledge they've developed, start their own companies and bury their former American benefactors.

        A key problem with American business is its become incredibly short sighted and is so fixated on quarterly results it simply isn't looking at the long view. They saw this huge boon in their bottomlines with cheap labor but they failed to realize in another decade or two executive in China will be calling the shots and they to will be expendable. Of course American execs, not being entirely stupid, are countering by wholesale looting of their companies now so they and their families will have all the money they need by the time their companies and the U.S. economy collapses. Hopefully they are also smart enough to park their wealth in something besides U.S. dollars. Warrent Buffet, one of the smartest business men in the world is betting heavily against the U.S.dollar with Berkshire Hathaway. He took a look at the half trillion dollar budget deficit and the half trillion dollar trade deficit and quickly realized the U.S. is currently being run by retarded chimps.

        America had some huge advantages after World War II since it came out of that war unscathed versus the rest of the world, and in fact had been transformed in to an engineer rich, manufacturing dynamo by the war. The GI bill further pushed a well educated population that did lead the world. That huge advantage, and the prosperity it engendered, unfortunately corrupted America to the point it simply isn't globally competitive any more. The rest of the world meahwhile has recovered from the ravages of World War II and the Cold War, is hungry and is now very well educated compared to the U.S.

        Add in to this the fact the U.S. government is now completely corrupted. Just look at the insanity, bribery and fraud perpetrated in last years Medicare bill. We are reaching the point the drug and healthcare industries have effectively purchased the government in the U.S. and health costs would drive a dagger in to American competitiveness if cheap overseas labor didn't. Health care and pharmacueticals appear poised to be among the few industries in the U.S. that will prosper in coming years.

        Its unlikely the U.S. will pull out of its competitive tail spin without massive improvements in education, massive health care reform, and a complete gutting of our corrupted governemnt which is spending money like a drunk sailor. Unfortunately we've found a flaw in our two party system in that both the Democrats and Republicans are equally corrupt, and nearly indistinguishable from one other so we can't fix out government through the ballot box. If the U.S. doesn't get a cadre of smart people in power, with a mandate for reform we are doomed, and that isn't going to happen in this years election. Both main party presidential candidates are equally bad, so much so I would really rather take a chance on Nader though he doesn't really have the breadth and sobriety needed to really govern.
    • Re:Awesome! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wrf3 (314267)
      Greed is present regardless of the economic model.
    • Economics 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hng_rval (631871) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:08PM (#8630543)
      What? You mean the price won't go down? But we are saving so much money on the labor -- where is all that extra cash going?

      Unfortunately, that isn't how the economy works.

      When you are producing a commodity product, like lumber, coal, or oil, then competition drives the price of your product down to the average total cost of producing that product. In theory, in a commodity market the profit margins are enough by the end of the year to leave each firm in the industry with exactly zero profit. If games were a commodity, reducing either the variable costs or the fixed costs would result in a reduction in price.

      Games, however, are not commodities. In fact, they are much closer to a monopoly market. When a company makes a game, no other company can produce that same game. If I want to purchase Diablo II, I have to pay Blizzard exactly how much they are asking - no one else can provide that product.

      I can purchase Fallout 2 instead, and there is some price sensitivity there. However, I would not necessarily purchase Fallout 2 over Diablo if Fallout was $10 less. Game companies run the demand curve, and price their games accordingly - $50.

      In general, when you are the sole provider of a product you should charge as much as necessary to maximize the equation:

      Profit = (Price - Variable Cost) * Quantity.

      Quantity = Func(Price)

      Changing the cost of producing the game has no effect on the Variable Cost or the Quantity, and therefore should have no effect on the price you pay for the game.
      • Re:Economics 101 (Score:4, Insightful)

        by santos_douglas (633335) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:28PM (#8630681) Journal
        Game companies run the demand curve

        Actually that would be the supply curve.

        And wow, people are still surprised a company would make the rational choice to use cheaper labor that is readily available? Shocking!

        I don't see any video game companies making unusually high (above market) profits, this is just competition. If anything, it means more money available to develop more games, which is (more shock coming) good for the consumer.

        • Re:Economics 101 (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ciggieposeur (715798)
          Your sig: Heartless capitalism has saved more people from poverty than any progressive program of social equality ever has.

          Dead wrong. Under "Communism" (very loosely defined), Soviet Russia and China have both brought literacy, crime control, and medical care to about 2 billion people. Under "Socialist Democracy" European nations, India, and Canada have brought the same to another billion people. With the collapse of Soviet Russia, the Eastern Bloc nations have had serious increases in infant mortalit
          • Re:Economics 101 (Score:3, Insightful)

            First of all, congratulations on being the first to respond to my trolling sig, that didn't take long.

            Two, I'm not going to get into yet another long drawn out flamefest with someone who isn't likely to have his mind changed no matter what is said. But you've obviously given this topic some thought so what the heck. My primary problem is that you are distorting my original statement assuming I equate capitalism with the United States (which is less true each passing year), and proceed to compare it to c

    • Yea, it's true. People keep trying to say "But you still want those cheap computers and cheap software!!"

      It doesn't add up - when a company oursources they never lower prices they just make more profits. GO USA...
  • Sim City (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:50PM (#8630401) Homepage Journal
    I seem to recall that Sim City was ported to the Macintosh by a group in Russia and that a significant amount of the original programming was outsourced to Russia as well? Given that the sim was incredibly slow on a Pentium 3 I had and not that much faster on an old G4, I wondered about the "cleanliness" of the code that went into the sim. There certainly is a huge pool of programming talent in Russia (at least in Kiev that I know of where estimates range from 10-16% of the populace having CS skills), so perhaps the sim code was simply so big that it resulted in the slow performance?

    • Re:Sim City (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iswm (727826)
      Well, like the article says, they only pay them half as much as they would Americans, so there might be the "getting what you pay for" factor, not saying American devs write better code; far from it. But when you pay half has much, you can't always expect the same quality.
      • An American newbie MCSE will probably make two to three times as much as a UNIX sysadmin with 10 years experience in some other countries. Which would you rather pay for? Ted, the MCSE? Or Achmed the BOFH? Choose wisely.
    • Re:Sim City (Score:3, Informative)

      by istewart (463887) *
      The game you're referencing was SimCity 3000, which was ported by a group called Software MacKiev. SimCity 4 was ported stateside, I think, but it was still dog-slow.
  • by SwedishChef (69313) <`ten.slaitnessekrowten' `ta' `giarc'> on Sunday March 21, 2004 @08:54PM (#8630426) Homepage Journal
    Yup... the Simpson's - perhaps the most biting commentary on American life - now has credits for offshore production. From the name of the manager it's likely India or Malaysia. The voices are still American but the graphics are probably done in a country where the sarcasm will not likely be noticed as sarcasm. Nothing is sacred and I'm seriously reconsidering my Simpson's habit.
    • Wow. This is fucking stupid. So since the majority of in-between animation is done overseas (the annoying grunt work), you're going to stop watching the Simpsons? You do know that practically every cartoon produced in the past 4-6 years is animated at least partly overseas, right?
    • by silentbozo (542534) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:11PM (#8630562) Journal
      As a student of animation, I can tell you that this is nothing new. Almost ALL animation viewed in the US has been produced overseas since mid-eighties, corresponding closely to the ill-fated animators strike (they were striking against overseas production...) It's not all bad, however - although the scenes are animated overseas, you're right - there are certain actions and idioms that must be carried through precisely as indicated, or else jokes won't work.

      Whose job is it to set up all the timing, thumbnails, and notes so the overseas animator doesn't screw up? Layout artists and timers, working here in the US. Although they succeeded in exporting the actual animation jobs, they made the remaining jobs here much more valuable. There's not too much room for screwing up when getting a reshoot of a bad scene takes weeks - hence, timing* is a very important position.

      *timing is literally someone timing out actions with a stopwatch, notating them on an exposure sheet to dictate precisely how, when, and where keyframes and inbetweens fall. The timer has the most control over how a show looks in terms of the actual animation.
  • I wonder how "All your base are belong to us" translates from Russian?
  • changing my name to Grigori Kasamentov doesn't sound like a bad idea at this point. :/

    GJC
  • Good luck... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tirinal (667204)
    The problem with such an approach is that cultural differences will likely cause numerous rifts between the marketability of a game and its ultimate appeal. Not only is guy outsourcing game programmers, but he's also outsourcing game designers, which usually has disastrous results. Games are highly subjective, and you can't have one part of the world design a game for another part of the world and expect it do well with no exceptions. Examples abound. At least 80% of all Japanese video games never make it s
  • What we need is a constitutional amendment defining economic treason as a high crime. Economic treason might be defined as sending "high value" work to a location where wages are substantially lower than Americans would earn.

    • By that definition, you'd end up banning imports - which would completely destroy the economy of the United States and its trading partners (i.e. the industrialized world.) A better way to handle it would be to crack down hard on overseas tax shelters and then provide tax benefits for companies keeping their labor in the US (or your appropriate nation, international /.ers. I'm not greedy.)
    • Nonsense. You need to read some first year economics. Just to help you, try the sections on Comparative and Absolute Advantages.

      Also, read the section on Protectionism. Why, because the next logical step in your statement is to propose subsidies to American developers and restrict imports from overseas (through quotas, traiffs and embargoes), read up on them. You'll learn that protectionism increases the cost of living while preventing a short term increase in unemployment or a financial loss to some o

  • 1)Cultural differences. A culture founded on Confuscian ideals has few reference points with one founded on Hellenistic ones, for example. This pretty much ensures you can't outsource design. It also introduces communication difficulties between designers and coders.
    2)Work ethic. Missed deadlines, shoddy work etc are mentioned in the article. What isn't mentioned is the shit approach to aftersales-Eastern European games are notorious for never being patched.

    Essentially, the only real part that can be ou
  • Nothing new (Score:2, Redundant)

    by SuperBanana (662181)

    Um...since when did "video games from Russia" become a new thing? Tetris anyone?(although I seem to recall the original programmer got screwed somehow out of most of the profits).

    And Asia? Has anyone forgotten that true jem, "all your base are belong to us"?

    Oh, and since nobody else has said it, I might as well get it over with:

    "In Soviet Russia, video game PLAYS YOU!"

  • Good and bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by doormat (63648) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:00PM (#8630481) Homepage Journal
    I suppose it can be good and bad. One of the good things would be cutting development costs, and maybe lower prices. But with the high piracy rates of Asia/Eastern Europe, I'm not sure I'd trust anyone with a large chunk of the code. And I'd say its a lot less likely than it happening here merely because of the legal reprocussions. Going half way around the world to a different legal system to try and apprehend and punish the guy/gal who did it is far more difficult, when compared to staying in your own backyard (USA/Canada) where you know the law.
    • As posted by someone before, there is no "maybe lower prices". The prices WILL NOT be lowered, no matter what. The best we can hope for is that more games would become profitable.
  • here's an idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by negacao (522115) *
    When a company has 50% or more of its "high pay" employees outside of the US, kick them the fuck out - they're not a US company anymore.

    At the least, put a HIGH tariff on thier products - the same way we currently do with imported steel.

    If the company isn't willing to give back to the country that allows it's existence, the country should cease to allow it's existence.

    Unfortunately, this'll never happen with our current gov't.
  • half the cost (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:03PM (#8630505) Homepage Journal
    'We can get the work done for half the cost that it takes in the U.S.,' said Vange, president of Ketsujin Studios

    Well, let's just hope that Vange gets paid half of what is normal in the U.S. and the price for the games are half as much so that the unemployed, underemployed, and those working a minimum wage to compete with Russia can afford the games.

    Unless, of course, the primary market for these games is Russia.

    I don't really see outsourcing as such a big deal. I just don't understand why some CEOs get paid so much money to supervise a workforce halfway across the world for a company that is officially located in a third world country. It really seems the company could increase shareholder values by moving the CxO to those cheaper countries as well.

  • Well! (Score:5, Funny)

    by LordK3nn3th (715352) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:11PM (#8630566)
    This is an outrage! Next thing you know, Nintendo will outsource to some obscure place, like Japan!
  • Westwood / EA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wo1verin3 (473094) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:12PM (#8630568) Homepage
    Not too long after the EA takeover of Westwood studios, some of the work was contracted out to a group in Germany, keep in mind they did very good work.... but still
  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:37PM (#8630724)
    Here's the moderately simple and brief explanation for outsourcing: Inflation in this country is really out of control, in things we can't trade like health care, tuition, real estate, and things we can't control like gasoline and metals. That's because the government has been pumping so much money into the economy to try to get it to go somewhere via lower interest rates and increased government spending. With all this money flying around it would have already have caused a ton of inflation, and wages would be very high in world wide terms, except people have been able to send the work overseas. That was less possible 20 years ago and almost totally impossible 30 years ago so we have this weird kind of recession where we are losing jobs in anything importable put a lot of people are doing really well in anything we can't export like real estate. The main export of the United States now is inflation. Here's the slightly longer explanation. [squinky.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:39PM (#8630730)
    Today, video game enthusiasts throughout the country announced that they are outsourcing their playing to countries like Burma, Zaire, and Elbonia, where people can be found to play video games much cheaper than in the USA.
  • by silentrob (115677) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @09:50PM (#8630772)
    I'm an independent video game developer and I'd like to point out that the indy scene has been international for quite a very long while.

    Does anybody have a fucking clue about what country the words 'Nintendo' or 'Sega' comes from? Can you guess where the international headquarters for Sony is located?

    Truth is that the video game industry has never been primarily American. It's always been international.

    Everyone needs to quit bitching. Nothing to see here, move along, goddammit.
    • Does anybody have a fucking clue about what country the words 'Nintendo' or 'Sega' comes from?

      Heh, you're slightly glossing over the fact that Sega was founded by an American (something most Japanese are completely unaware of). I agree wholeheartedly with what you're saying though.
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @10:06PM (#8630861) Homepage Journal
    American Jobs belong to YOU.
  • by Alyeska (611286) on Sunday March 21, 2004 @11:33PM (#8631403) Homepage
    ...is that just a generation ago, it was computer technicians and programmers who put millions of Americans out of work by replacing their positions with machinery. ...just sayin'....
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Monday March 22, 2004 @07:57AM (#8633065)
    This is not the last thing to happen in PC gaming.
    The gaming industry is one that can get away pretty easyly with a high throughput of titles, because gamers always want the new and shiny with more polygons.
    I expect the gaming industry to take a hit as soon as OSS gaming engines and tools like crystal space or Blender get a grip. We'll have games for free, the mod community utilizing them (they work for free allready) and the money will be made in providing not a game but the service around it: Servers, special distributions (just like Linux), gaming leagues, high quality mods, automatic online updates - think 'Loki Linux Installer' which makes maintaining UT under Linux easyer thatn under Windows - and other stuff like that.
    Closed Source Games are going to be the last thing to experience the OSS impact, but they're going to feel it nonetheless.
    In fact, this outsourcing thing is a shure sigh for a local industry to get moving into service rather than pushing for cheaper production. No way can anyone in Europe or the US outprogramm a slavic, indian or far-east programmer for the same amount of money. As soon as people hereabouts will get that, the pain will stop.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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