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Epic China

Epic Announces Epic China Outsourcing Division recaps a talk at the Tokyo Games Show by Epic's Jay Wilbur in which he comments on Japan's reluctance to embrace middleware for game development and reveals Epic Games China and plans to shanghai some jobs to Shanghai as part of this new outsourcing division in an effort at controlling costs:

According to Wilbur, one of the keys to Epic's carefully managed staff size is the way that the company has outsourced content. Epic's teams were claimed to be 50% or smaller on average than the industry norm, with Gears Of War's average team size over its development life listed as being just 30 developers.

Hence, Epic has initiated the setting up of the Shanghai-based division, which is run by a team responsible for content development at high-profile studios including Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Shanghai, reportedly including former Ubisoft Shanghai studio head Paul Meegan. The people behind Epic China have worked on titles in the Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, and Ghost Recon franchises, and Wilbur indicated that Epic itself is outsourcing to Epic Games China for low-cost, high quality game assets, but it will also be available to other developers.

Why China for Epic, and why now? Wilbur explained that the cost per man month (including overhead) to produce games in North America is around $9,000, and in Europe and Japan, it's $8,500 per man month. But costs per man month in China are less than $4,000 - hence Epic's choice to keep its core team at Epic's NC offices, but outsource significant amounts of art creation for its games.

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43. Jaenos Sep 25, 2006, 18:51 venomhed
 
You want slavery? This here is your slavery, though it's still the more human option than what COULD be taken:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapcf/09/25/nepal.kamlari/index.html

 
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42. No subject Sep 24, 2006, 23:23 venomhed
 
all of you will eventually fall to the superb splendor that is the communist party. You will see the greatness that is the triumph of the PRC and it's model society. 1.6 billion people can't be wrong!

 
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41. No subject Sep 24, 2006, 19:52 RazorWynd
 
yea well guess what you're a faggot

Supporter of "The Only Good fredster Is A Dead fredster" fan club

The Former Leader and Victor of the rebel movement against the dark Lord Surewood and his fiendish cohorts(bunko)
 
Supporter of "The Only Good fredster Is A Dead fredster" fan club
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40. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 18:35 Kosumo
 
A very polite chat all, well done

 
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39. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 17:15  famished 
 
Eventually, I believe that we'll hit a balance point where America is has more imports than people with jobs that can afford them, so that the only people who will be able to buy anything are lawyers, doctors, and CEOs. This sort of economy seems to me to just be putting more weight on the back of Americans, and we keep knocking their feet out from under them. Sooner or later, something's going to break, and it's going to be catastrophic.

Maybe asia will eventually start to outsource their art/programming etc needs to the u.s. purely for cost cutting measures?

 
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38. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 16:17 Yifes
 
"How do you figure? I continue to hear and read about INCREASING poverty in third-world countries, and how we STILL don't have a significant amount of things like running water and health care there."

You are talking about Africa, where the the amount of foreign direct investment is next to nothing. They are trapped in a cycle of poverty, with no jobs, no industrialization. The population are ravaged by aids, civil war, genocide. No sane company in the world wants to outsource to Sudan.

On the other hand, countries that are on the receiving end of the outsourcing, like China and India are seeing 8% or more annual growth in GDP. This is where the greatest reduction in poverty is occurring.

 
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37. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 16:10 galewind
 
Globalization is lifting hundreds of millions of people in 3rd world countries out of poverty. It is creating new job opportunities in the developed world as 3rd world countries industrialize and have more demand for technology and raw materials. It is NOT a zero sum game, and I am sorry if you are hurt by it. However it is here to stay so stop bitching and figure out how you can succeed in the modern world.

How do you figure? I continue to hear and read about INCREASING poverty in third-world countries, and how we STILL don't have a significant amount of things like running water and health care there.

What we seem to be doing here is taking buckets of jobs in the US and sprinkling them throughout the world, hoping that somehow it will make fruit and we will reap the rewards. The truth of the matter is that the sprinkling only marginally helps in these other countries, and the only people who reap the rewards are the companies that outsource. They may reduce their own costs, but this only results in an INCREASE in profit, not a reduction in cost for the consumer.
With the buckets of jobs removed, we find that our unemployment rates increase (as they have in NJ, at least). This makes it more difficult to keep the food on the table.

But it goes much deeper than that, as well. Keep in mind -- many of these people now have to settle for lower-paying service jobs, yet the cost of living continues to increase. Property taxes, utility inflation, even the cost of food is increasing. I am hard-pressed to find a student who has a stay-at-home mom or dad in school nowadays.

Is outsourcing the sole contributor to this? No. But it isn't helping matters either.

 
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36. How Unequal Can America Get Before We Sn Sep 24, 2006, 16:04 Tyrell
 
This link is to a lecture by Robert Reich at UC Berkley. I highly recomend it to anyone, and it speaks to some of what is being talked about in this thread. The lecture starts about 6 minuted into the video.

http://webcast.berkeley.edu/search.php?search_value=Robert+Reich&category=all&type=both&submitButtonName=Go

Robert Reich, Professor of Social and Economic policy at Brandeis University and former U.S. Secretary of Labor, talks about inequality of income, wealth and opportunity in America, which is wider now than it's been since the 1920s.


This comment was edited on Sep 24, 16:10.
 
Tyrell. More Human, than Human.
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35. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 15:50 Yifes
 
"See, the point of globalization is that it's a zero sum game."

Ok. You've just proved that you don't know shit about globalization.

"Socialism is NOT communism, bonehead."

No shit. When did I say they were the same thing?

How did you reach the conclusion that I didn't give a shit about anyone else but myself? People have to realize that they are competing in a global market now and have to plan their career choices accordingly.

Globalization is lifting hundreds of millions of people in 3rd world countries out of poverty. It is creating new job opportunities in the developed world as 3rd world countries industrialize and have more demand for technology and raw materials. It is NOT a zero sum game, and I am sorry if you are hurt by it. However it is here to stay so stop bitching and figure out how you can succeed in the modern world.

 
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34. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 15:38 Yifes
 
"The free market has never, ever, been something any society has embraced."

What do you call the policies of Margaret Thatcher? What about Reganomics? What do you call the dominance of Von Hayek's theories over Keynesian economics? How many countries are joining the WTO? The world IS embracing the free market because it works.

I also enjoy how you assume you know the hearts and minds of the workers in China. I suggest that you read "The End of Poverty" by Jeffery Sachs to gain some knowledge about globalization before you start spewing bullshit. The fact is that such IT jobs in China and India are high end, high paying jobs in their respective countries. They pay much better, and the working conditions are much better compared to the blue-collar manufacturing jobs that these countries are traditionally associated with, and the competition to get such a job is intense.

 
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33. Re: No subject Sep 24, 2006, 15:27 Cutter
 
I'm in Canada, we have health care for everyone and I still get paid a lot(though we do have a lot of taxes)

Actually our taxes, personal and corporate, are lower than that in the US in a lot of cases. It's simply a question of where we and they spend our respective taxes. We invest in infrastructure, health care, education, et al. They let the military-industrial complex rob the country blind.


"What are you looking at, Sugartits?"
- Mel Gibson.
 
Avatar 25394
 

"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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32. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 15:24 Cutter
 
Ok. Stop with this socialist/communist bullshit. Its called globalization and capitalism. Yeah, some people will lose their jobs here, but the majority will benifit in the end. Its up to you to develop skills that make you competitive in the global job market.

Really, and how will the majority benefit when it's a race to the bottom. In case you didn't know, the middle-class is dissapearing, with the vast majority moving into the lower classes. The only sector that's been growing is the service sector, which is a lot less money, and the more people that move into it, the worse the downward spiral becomes.

When you've outsourced all the work that created the middle-class - which is what made America what it is - who's going to be left to buy all this outsourced crap? No one will be able to afford it.

See, the point of globalization is that it's a zero sum game. The rich don't care if you and yours starve. They'll very happily go back to the robber baron days of no employment laws, no child labour laws, etc. So long as they have theirs, they don't care if you have yours.

Capitalism, like communism, is an extreme and has never - and will never - work. Socialism is NOT communism, bonehead. Socialism is the Goldilocks political dynamic, not too hot, not too cold, but just right. And its one that most people favour.

If you care about your future, the future of your country, and humanity and in general, boycott companies that outsource or rely on it (i.e. Walmart). But from the sounds of it, you sound like you don't give a shit about anyone but yourself. That makes you the abberation. It makes you the problem.


"What are you looking at, Sugartits?"
- Mel Gibson.
 
Avatar 25394
 

"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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31. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 15:17 Charlie_Six
 
I agree. Americans don't even believe or care about other Americans anymore, to be honest. "Loyalty" and "patriotism" inspire derisive laughter nowadays. It makes sense though. You can't have a capitalist system work alongside a democratic system. Capitalism always wins. Democracy requires community between citizens. Capitalism requires selfish competition. Some would say that the two ideologies balance out each other's excesses. I'd argue that capitalism wins every single time.

What's going on in this thread isn't uncommon here or anywhere else in the world. The bulk of the planet has severe criticisms of the capitalist system. But most people move on with their lives, saying this is just how things will always work.
 
Adventures of a video game mercenary
http://virtualmerc.blogspot.com
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30. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 15:03 Charlie_Six
 
Socialist/communist bullshit? Most of the human race is behind Jaenos' comments, and few of them consider themselves socialists or communists. You talk about the greatness of capitalism while forgetting to realise that most people in the world have no clue what capitalism is really about. The free market has never, ever, been something any society has embraced. So please, a little sanity on your part would go a long way.

If you get all the American and Chinese game industry workers in a room, most of them are going to echo what Jaenos is saying. No Chinese worker is saying "this is ideal, this is great". They are saying it's bullshit just as much as the American workers are. You go everywhere in the world and the workers will tell you that something is DEEPLY wrong with how the global economy works. I guess the world is full of pinko scum then, eh?
 
Adventures of a video game mercenary
http://virtualmerc.blogspot.com
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29. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 14:28 Yifes
 
Ok. Stop with this socialist/communist bullshit. Its called globalization and capitalism. Yeah, some people will lose their jobs here, but the majority will benifit in the end. Its up to you to develop skills that make you competitive in the global job market.

And calling it sweatshops/slave labour is retarded. Have you even seen the Ubisoft Shanghai offices? They are on par/better than the offices here. If you are complaining that these people have to put in large amount of hours for little pay, you do realize that the cost of living in China is MUCH lower than here right? These are all high paying jobs if you put everything into perspective. And if you say people should not work so many hours, go tell that to the doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, etc who put in 90 hr weeks. All these people can quit their jobs if they want to and switch to something that pays less.

This comment was edited on Sep 24, 14:33.
 
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28. Epic same as every other bastard company Sep 24, 2006, 14:03 Justor
 
Thanks Epic for showing that u are no different than the other corperations and doesnt care about the artist and programers just the bottom line. Watch out Cliffy B as soon as Wang in China makes levels as good as u, your job will be out sourced too. See u at the soup line

This comment was edited on Sep 24, 14:05.
 
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27. Re: No subject Sep 24, 2006, 12:14 Jaenos
 
anon

And why would you think they had to work 17 hour days for the 3d modeling?

I used to train a lot of people, most of them from overseas, I stay in touch and know how they work/what they make.

Yeah, but like I said, that $4000/m is going to the outsourcing company that just gets a bunch of desperate artists in and pays them crap.

Publicly-funded health care probably makes it cheaper.

I'm in Canada, we have health care for everyone and I still get paid a lot(though we do have a lot of taxes)

_________________________________
Lolicon
America is one of the few countries that maintains such high standards for working conditions?

Working for most of your day isn't a "high working standard" it's complete human explotation. And yes I understand that other countries do this, that part of my problem with this.

____________________________
Thanks Tango. But what does modify their output to meet demand mean? Make more games or less games?

_______________________________


galewind, kind of my concern there, I'd pretty much say it's a formula to make a 3rd world nation; but again I know nothing about economics.


 
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26. Re: Bah. Sep 24, 2006, 08:41 galewind
 
people still buy nike shoes.
people still buy ford cars.
people still buy dell computers.
people still buy apple ipods.
people will still buy epic games.

americans are too fascinated with materialism to worry about people in this country or other countries for that matter.

this country is too dog-eat-dog. Eventually, I believe that we'll hit a balance point where America is has more imports than people with jobs that can afford them, so that the only people who will be able to buy anything are lawyers, doctors, and CEOs. This sort of economy seems to me to just be putting more weight on the back of Americans, and we keep knocking their feet out from under them. Sooner or later, something's going to break, and it's going to be catastrophic.

I think we'll really start seeing problems when they start outsourcing teachers. Then Americans really have no place in the world -- their jobs are being done by everyone else, and taught by everyone else to people who won't be able to do them unless they leave the country.

 
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25. Re: No subject Sep 24, 2006, 06:46 The Half Elf
 
But this is what kills me. Steam was said to save gamers money cause it cut out the middle man, And now they are getting their art assets 50% cheaper in the Asian Market. So what does this mean to gamers? NOTHING.

We've been paying 50 bucks for new releases for a decade if not longer. So what it means is that developers spend less on making games, which in turn gives them more money when it's released (if it sells well).

And I don't think we'll ever see games go over the 49.99-59.99 price due to the fact that people would quit buying them outright. With exception to Collectors Editions, or has some uber joystick attachment thingie.

 
Avatar 12670
 
"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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24. Re: No subject Sep 24, 2006, 06:08 Tango
 
Maybe someone with an Economics degree can explain this to me
I'll try. Asian workers cost less to hire because their living costs are less. That's the fundamental thing. Their output is (more or less) the same as an American worker. The costs of getting what they produce to America is pretty low. It is thought that sensible outsourcing can lower costs by up to 50%. Costs are lower, PC games can be made for less, which means the bajillion polygon models can be put into these 'next gen' games without gaming prices going up.

First, outsourcing isn't new and it doesn't necessarily involve foreigners. Ford doesn't make its headlights, its tyres, its yadda yadda. It outsources these to a headlight company, to Pirelli, etc. It even outsources its sales to the franchisee of the garage. Why? Lower costs.

So far, this is far more prevalent in manufacturing industries. However, the internet means that information-based jobs (white collar) can be done anywhere, and their output beamed around the world instantly.

But white collar work is harder to move abroad, as it is less easily inspected, it is less easily described, and it is often tailored to the customer's needs. Thus while maintenance of SAP can be done from India, the installation at some firm in California is much better done by American IT workers. 3D modelling comes under the first heading.

Outsourcing will certainly pinch people in America and the EU whose jobs can be sent abroad. It already has done. But rather than being out of work and in the shit, they will (be forced to) retrain and modify their output to meet the demand.

That's the theory. There are holes in it, there are practical moral objections (as opposed to objecting to the theory) but I don't have time to go into them as I have to be somewhere

 
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