"The company's turnover has increased by 30%," Alexey Pechenin from Infinite Art Solutions said about the results of 2023

On this frosty Tuesday, we continue to summarize the results of 2023 with the gaming (or related to the gaming sector) teams. Next up is an interview with Alexey Pechenin, founder of the outsourcing studio Infinite Art Solutions.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done, implemented, and what would you like to highlight in terms of achievements?

The year 2023 turned out to be extremely successful for us, it even more than covered all the difficulties that 2022 presented. There are more of us, and the company's turnover has increased by 30%!

In total, this year we managed to work with 35 clients on 41 projects. From the big one: we participated in the development of the AAA shooter, worked with Vizor, G5 and the Warpoint VR park network. Looking back, I realize that if they had come to us a few years ago, we would have missed each other. But now the level of expertise in Infinite Art Solutions is completely different. To see how industry leaders come to us for the best quality is the greatest pride.

Concept maps for the PvP shooter of the VR park network WARPOINT

Among the achievements, I would like to note that we have almost completed the development of a new AI-based tool. Very soon, we will offer customers a completely different pipeline for content production. It will be a tool that is capable of not only generating new events on its own, but also embedding them into the game. From the plot to the balance, everything will be done by AI. The project is currently in the pilot stage, but I hope that very soon we will be able to tell you more about it. Of course, human involvement in the pipeline still remains. But he is already acting as a reviewer at the connecting stages.

Last year, we set a goal to gain a foothold in the co-dev development market. Now I can say with confidence that the goal has been achieved. We have regular customers who come for this very thing. Besides Unity, there is a demand for Cocos Creator this year. And we were able to form a cool team for this engine in the shortest possible time.

In 2023, our sales department implemented an AI automation system that helped us add 7,500 new contacts from the industry to CRM. Summing up the results of 2022, we were proud that the sales department managed to hold 213.47% more negotiations compared to 2021. In the outgoing year 2023, this figure has increased sixfold.

Finally, the disturbing legal issues were resolved and they began to pay more attention to networking. We started 2023 with a warm and big GDC 2023 (San Francisco), then with a short break we visited no less sunny WN Cyprus (Limassol) and TGS 2023 (Tokyo), after which we got soaked in the rain with everyone at Igroprom. We are now preparing for a new trip to GDC 2024.

The breakthrough of the past year for Infinite Art Solutions was, of course, neural networks. More and more companies are turning to us for expertise in this field. So, for one of our clients, we dramatically reduced the cost of producing marketing content using AI solutions. If earlier we used to draw new loaders for events for a month or two with all the approvals, now such art is drawn for 20+ hours.

Working with neural networks

How has the gaming outsourcer market changed over the year?

It is noticeable how the studios began to move out of their comfort zone, especially the old people, who always had everything going well. Some have rebranded, others have gone under the wing of large publishers or agglomerations. But definitely almost all the studios that I have contact with have started doing some kind of pilot projects. Some have done them before, others have broken into the world of "big" gaming just now and started developing their blockbusters. It is clear that everyone is trying something new.

Speaking of neural networks, I believe that in 2023 they have not yet managed to gain a foothold in the industry. So far, we are all at the adoption stage. This year, I haven't seen a single company shut down because of AI. But I admit that something may change in the next one.

Of course, there is a whole layer of companies that, for ideological reasons or, for example, at the request of Steam, cannot use the generated images. But genres such as generic match-3, farms and the like have started to play with new colors. People with industry experience but no money no longer need to assemble a large team. Projects for tests can be assembled right now and "on the knee".

As always, the law of capitalism will continue to work – "strong" studios will become even "stronger", and the gap between Senior and Junior artists will only grow. I see that AI accelerates these processes.

Has the practice of working with customers, their requirements, approaches, and expectations changed?

It seems as if the whole industry has frozen and is waiting for next year. Since the end of the summer, I have increasingly observed situations when large companies stop new production and focus on existing locomotives, giving all their resources to them. Although usually, when a large project rests on the "marketing top", the company tries to make a new game that can become even more successful. However, in the current realities, the industry chooses not to take risks.

Nothing has changed in terms of working with customers this year. The receipt has not changed much, the pipelines have remained the same, and the speed at which customers want to receive content has also changed. But! Companies with an AI pipeline have already started coming to us. The quality they want cannot be realized "by hand" in the requested time frame. The market is changing and we have already received the first confirmation of this.

Regarding the sites, I can note that customers are increasingly coming to adapt mobile games for Yandex and VK games. Sometimes it even seems that some people want to leave the mobile market and switch to the Web.

And things are really going well there. And not only for studios with a lot of projects, but also for indies. Some of them were able to increase revenue on Yandex Games to one million rubles per month in just a year. A good salary increase for single developers.

Promo art for Gedonia 2

What are the company's plans for next year?

I can say that we are finally ready to open an office of the Infinite Art Solutions sales department in the USA. The legal entity has already been opened and the visas are ready. Therefore, we are now looking for key people in this area, namely: Business Development Manager, Art Director and Art Managers. If you want to join us, write to the mail info@infiniteartsolutions.com . I will personally go to supervise this process in January. I will be glad to meet talented colleagues.

This does not mean that we are leaving the CIS and European markets. It remains targeted. It is noticeable how the ru market has started to grow in recent years. Successful AAA projects and cool indie games are coming out. I increasingly see games with folklore themes, for example, INDIKA or "Cossacks against Aliens" from 1C. So far, we are not taking part in such projects, but we would really like to.

Work from the Infinite Art Solutions portfolio

Early next year, we plan to finalize the AI-based tool that I described above and share the results. As they say, stay tuned!

On behalf of the Infinite Art Solutions team, I congratulate my colleagues on the upcoming holidays and wish them a successful 2024!

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