But almost three quarters of devs outsourcing development, new research papers suggest

Data: Japan studios reluctant to use external tech

Studios in Japan are reluctant to use externally developed engines, according to a new survey.

Of 64 Japan developers studied, 57.8 per cent of those had experience using a game engine. 43.8 per cent had used one built internally.

This was compared to less than half of that, 18.8 per cent, developing with an externally created platform.

Results for AI engines were similar, with 25 per cent having used an internally built tool, whilst 12.5 per cent looked for solutions created by other companies.

The findings, which come from University of Gothenburg research Mirko Ernkvist (pdf here), comes as the report also detailed consolidated financial data which shows only 55 per cent of 289 Japan developers studied are returning a profit. Overall, studios made a combined loss.

“As one of the challenges facing the Japanese game development industry, individual developers have expressed the perception that Japanese game development in general has not been able to advance its technology to the same degree as U.S. game developers in recent years,” reads the report.

“It has further been argued that Japanese game developers have been reluctant to adapt and invest in the usage of game development tools such as game engines, physics engine, AI engines and Software Configuration.”

Outsourcing development

Using external service providers however was met with a mixed response for specific parts, but nearly 80 per cent of studios surveyed said they had outsourced.

More than half said they had used external developers for animation/CGI and programming, whilst 72 per cent had had music and sound created elsewhere.

Only 20 per cent however outsourced planning and design, whilst less than half sent artwork, story and QA/game testing to another studio.

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