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Epic Games forms Shanghai-based outsourcing division

Epic Games has established an outsourcing division to create assets for its own titles, as well as third-party developers and publishers.

Epic Games has established an outsourcing division to create assets for its own titles, as well as third-party developers and publishers.

Epic Games China is based in Shanghai and is staffed by ex-Ubisoft employees who between them have worked on Tom Clancy franchises Splinter Cell, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six, according to a report on Gamasutra.

Speaking at the CEDEC Premium conference at the Tokyo Game Show, vice president Jay Wilbur highlighted the low costs of using a Chinese-based department to concentrate on assets away from its core development team in North Carolina, US.

Wilbur explained that costs per man month in China amount to less than USD $4000 (3133 euro), compared to USD $8500 (6657 euro) in Europe and Japan, and USD $9000 (7049 euro) in North America.

Epic Games has already enjoyed considerable success licensing its middleware solution, Unreal Engine 3, for game development in next-generation titles to companies such as Electronic Arts, THQ, Atari, RealTimeWorlds and Gearbox, amongst others.

However, Wilbur pointed out that the Japanese development community has a "general reluctance" to adopt middleware solutions, even when working with new technology.

He also highlighted a short-sightedness on behalf of the Japanese development community who are unwilling to create titles for other markets.

"Several Japanese developers say they're not focused on Xbox 360 because it's not a success in Japan - video gaming is a global business, we see 50 per cent or more of our game sales revenues outside of the US," revealed Wilbur.

Wilbur believes that this, along with the decision to work on exclusive titles for a single platform means that "many Japanese developers seem to be making a conscious decision to ignore significant title exposure and sales opportunity."

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