For those bashing EA..... Any old-schooler will tell ya, EA is not some great company. Yeah, they've released some great games, but the bottom line is they're the fabled 'corporate giant' out to make money and eliminate competitors. Been that way since the early 80's. Another victim of EA you might have heard of, the Wing Commander series (Privateer as well). If they can't rush out better games than you, they'll buy you out and kill your franchise.
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Oh man Cara Ellison? She always shows up in the best places!
We met Matthew Dai, Director of Sales at Adia Entertainment, at GDC 2014 previously. We caught up with him again at GDC 2015 to see what has changed with Adia Entertainment and what they are currently working on.
Adia entertainment right now is becoming one of the most powerful CGI houses based in China. We are now the go-to source for many of the biggest publishers in China and also worldwide for cinematic CGI trailers for video games. We are proud to have one of the most advanced, I want to say, tech pipelines in CGI, which is a big achievement for especially our tech directors.
Adia Entertainment is a holdings company. We own two studios. Now Adia Digital Art is the game assets creation lab. It’s a studio providing outsource solutions for game art for use in engines and sprites, whereas Adia Pictures is now its own separate business entity. It’s not just a division anymore. We want this business to be like the Pixar of China because we do CGI and original animation.
Changes and Outsourcing
Not much has changed since the last time that we talked. Our staff size has remained exactly the same. Right now, outsourcing in China, no one is really impressed by having a huge army of people on a huge scale anymore. Outsourcing in China has been around now for many years. With us, our clients know they can get the guarantee in terms of quality and they know that we can take down a contract no problem. Internally, we are keeping our size relatively small and focusing on having really strong subcontractor partners. So a client will send a job to us and if we can win the contract, then if they need to scale up we probably activate one of our subcontractor resources.
Techniques for Obtaining Contracts
I want to say it’s mostly word of mouth. I’m doing a booth right here but it’s mostly for exposure so people know about us, but when people come knocking on our door and (for example) emailing us asking if we can finish 300 guns for a new shooter title they are doing, it’s mostly because somebody they know has already worked with us. Overall we are very low profile. We don’t do a whole lot of advertising or really aggressive sales, because we work with literally the best developers in the industry and they are working on really amazing titles. For example, with AAA consoles when you hear of layoffs when a studio closes, for us it means the people that has worked with us before maybe a year from now they might be working in another studio. For video game development nowadays outsourcing is at the beginning of the conversation when a project discussion begins.
Expansion into Southeast Asian or Europe
We have partners that work with us over there. They are working with us on a work-for-hire basis. We are mostly acqui-hiring within China, but when it comes to expanding out there, no not really.