Interview with Adia Entertainment: Making Visual Content in China

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Xsolla had a chance to talk with Matthew Dai – the development director from Chinese outsourcing company Adia Entertainment. This studio worked with various AAA-developers and publishers including Ubisoft, ANught Dog, Sega, EA, Sony, Midway, Crytek and Square Enix. Unlike other outsourcing visual content producers Adia manages to produce great work with a very limited staff of 250 people. If you’ve ever played The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite or Lors of the Rings Onli, you must have seen some of the models, CGI or animation made by Adia. No wonder we were so interested to talk with Matthew about his company.

Where is your company based?

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Adia Entertainment is based in China in the city Nanjing. It’s about an hour on a train from Shanghai.

What do you do and whom do you work with?

You probably know that there’s a lot a manufacturing being outsourced to China. This is happening in the video-game industry too. Visual content production is often outsourced to China. Most of the creative oversight in terms of product development happens in home studios, based in US, Germany, Canada, France, Poland. We help with visual assets and marketing visuals.

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In game industry publishers understand that in order to be effective on the market the product has to hit a certain release date. Sometimes development of the game takes a very long time. The production window is very tight. There’s always stress and fears that the studio won’t be able to ship the game on time. This is where we come in. We’re using technical and creative guidelines to assist in game development. We do different stuff: from concept arts to 3D modeling and animation.

You’ve mentioned help with marketing. What do you mean?

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Adia Pictured made a CGI trailer for Monster Hunter Online.

We also work as a CGI-studio and we do a lot of marketing media. Actually Adia Entertaiment is big mother company which has two studios: Adia Digital Arts and Adia Pictures. Digital Arts provides solutions for game art outsourcing, content that is fed into the game engine and eventually appears in the product. Adia Pictures is our CGI-house. That part of our company focuses on creating CGI-animation, which is mostly used for marketing trailers of videogames. We have a pretty unique business-model. We have 2D 3D resources. Our artist can be working on a game and do preproduction for trailers.

How many people work at your company?

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Adia Entertainment at Gamescom 2014.

Internally we have only 250 people. It’s a relatively small number. There are studious based in China, Vietnam or India which have thousands of people. The problem with these big companies is that they have to constantly raise their prices to pay salaries. Instead we hire very expensive talents from Singapore, Malaysia, France, UK, US. With the lean but very effective staff we can make a lot of high-quality content.

What is your main goal?

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Some games that Adia Entertainment helped to develop.

We want to realize the dream of “distributed development”. The game studio designs the look of the game and we take over and make all the work. It should be said that we specialize only in visual production. We don’t do engineering or programming. What we can do is make 70 monsters for your game in two weeks. No problem!

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