inhouse outsource transition

Game Dev Timeline: In-house to Outsourced Support for Games

inhouse outsource transition

How long does it actually take to go from a handful in-house support agents to more than ten dedicated support agents?

The answer? One to two months.

If any outsourcing company approaches you and tells you that it only takes a week to set-up an outsource support team, he’s probably full of what makes the ground fertile.

To set-up a truly effective outsource team, it will take a minimum of a month if everything goes on without a hitch. This period will cover everything from planning a timeline, to hiring agents, to training agents in every possible topic about customer support and the game that they will be covering. They will need to know a game inside out so, but can also troubleshoot independently except for the most technical of issues.

Let’s demystify what happens during those months of transitioning from in-house to outsourced support. To make everything easier to follow, we’ll divide the whole process into 2 main steps and 3 phases.
Before Setup

The first step will be the heaviest in terms of planning how the set-up will proceed. Because it happens before the set-up, let’s call it the Before Setup step.

This step is usually when game developers and outsource partners review contract terms and map out setup timelines and tasks for the coming weeks. It will take around 1-2 weeks of planning, because it’s critical to make sure that both parties have covered everything from training materials to KPI’s to making reply templates.

You’re going to want to make sure you leave no stone unturned, as an oversight can lead to mistakes that will translate to frustrated players in the future. No one wants that.

Setup Period

The second step will be the actual Setup Period. Under the setup period, we’re going to have three phases.

Phase 1

For Phase 1, which takes 3-4 weeks, you’re going to be looking for the people who make up your outsourced support team. These are the people who will talk to your players directly, something that developers rarely have a chance to do, so select and pick wisely.

After you form your super support team, you need to brief them about the project they’ll be handling. This includes establishing and sharing KPI’s, tools, knowledge bases, game accounts, templates, social media guidelines, and reports. All of these will be critical later on in making operations flow as smoothly as possible. A well-oiled machine has very fine-tuned pieces.

Phase 2

Phase 2 is where the bulk of creating the materials talked about in Phase 1 will happen. This is where you can review templates, revise, propose, and finally, decide on which ones to use. This is also where developers and outsourced support partners will create manuals for tools, gameplay, and escalation. This is for reference for future agents that may join the team, and also for anyone who needs a quick refresher.

Hands-on English and gameplay training also happens under Phase 2. This whole process takes 2-3 weeks.

Phase 3

Finally, if you’ve gone through all the phases and have made sure that everything operates and runs the way you want it too, we head to Phase 3. This is where agents get their hard-earned social media and customer support accounts (sort of like the diploma at graduation!) and where last checks are made.

Congratulations! If you get to this phase you now have on your hands a team of agents who specialize in supporting your game. This process is the shortest, usually spanning only 1 week.

It’s a lot to take in, and even the most detailed and meticulously made timeline can get confusing along the way. To help you with that, we’ve shared the template calendar we usually use for setting up operations. You can download it by filling up the form below with your email and name.


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