A rapidly changing industry, possibly as fast paced as the technology that it harnesses - but what has the impact of working from home for the past 2 years had on the games industry, and is it likely to change soon?
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Following the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home saw an incredible increase - so much that, by the end of this year, it’s expected that 25% of all jobs in the US will be remote. So what does this mean for the games and CGI industry?
Since 2020, Service Providers, such as outsourcing studios, freelancing platforms and freelancers, have seen an increase of 12% in purchases by clients. Developers and publishers are similarly seeing an upward trend - a 9% increase has been observed in purchasing services.
It’s fair to say that remote work has generally been beneficial to the industry. Freelancers are getting more work, making more money and allowing themselves further flexibility; as a generally introverted industry, it’s fair to assume that these game developers and CGI artists have been more productive as a result.
Certain disciplines are now nearly entirely outsourced - dedicated film and games studios are relying on external parties for motion capture, animation for cinematics, and interestingly, 3D props. The latter is nearly entirely undertaken by 3D artists and freelancers on an individual basis, although a steady demand allows outsourcing studios and dedicated platforms (such as CGHero!) to contribute to this growing sector.
This year, 2% of 3D prop work was resourced externally by studios - in 2021, this figure was 5%. We would expect this to be a continuing trend; for the following years, we anticipate 3D assets to be the most commonly outsourced asset. 3D environment artists and animation roles are similarly seeing an increase in full-time roles. Incidentally, these areas see the most demand from clients at CGHero.
The latter has seen some turbulence in recent years - in 2020, concept art was at an all time high, with nearly 25% of all concept assets being completed in-house. In 2021, reflecting the work from home revolution, concept art production was dominantly outsourced; this year, however, concept art has seen a rise in internal production. This could be due to a lack of freelance concept artists, or because of a preference for permanent employees in concept art due to the rigorous iterative cycle of creating artwork.
Character art has seen a spike and fall in demand for remote work since 2020. Credit: Abimael
Level Design and 3D character art are becoming more and more internal in comparison to previous years. This is likely due to the iterative and collaborative nature of these roles - despite modern technology, these areas are best executed with a team of artists, rather than an individual.
Generally, the industry is benefiting from the en-masse move to remote work; VFX, motion capture, 3D character art and custscene and cinematic animations are all areas seeing a steady increase in demand for external developers across the board - clearly, these are sectors that are simply done better when outsourced.
CGHero operates on a remote-first basis; we harbour and deliver some of the best talent in the industry, using flexible project management tools and industry-seasoned producers to collate incredible results. By taking advantage of this shift to home-working, we’re proud to be at the forefront of getting freelancers’ work, and delivering beautiful results for games, television, film and more.
Join CGHero, and take part in the freelancer revolution today! Reach out and see if we can assist you with your project, be it character art or animation, or VFX and UI design. Whatever it is, our amazing artists and experienced production team will be able to help you out.