In this day and age console games take a lot longer to make than they use too. Most games take from 1 to 2 years to make in development. Some take a hell of a lot longer depending on the size of the team working on the game is. Being a generalist can often be cheaper as it means less staff working on a game but can take longer. Specialist can work on a specific area of a game like cut scenes and produce bigger more detailed tri counts and texture size.
Assassin’s Creed did this for their cut scenes. They produce a game every year which is really short they don’t really have time to produce trailers so they outsourced to get the trailers done at a high quality. This would normally take a really long time that the to make such a high detailed trailer to promote the game and would cost more to do in the company so outsourcing would save alot of money as it is in country that are not the US or UK as it would have lower costs.
I think this will be the future for gaming as it would mean alot more games would come out each year meaning more sales and more money from costumers as developing a game is business and they are design to make money. This could also be a disadvantage aswell as it could leave to games being rushed and not be good enough quality and bankrupt the company.
Being a generalist can a good thing though it means you can do be more versatile and be able to work on a range of things. This can make you more employable but then again there is alot more competition. Where has being a specialist can mean your alot more skilled and can produce better work but there is alot of people in china that are just as skilled as you can be and work for less. This is where most outsourced staff are from.
Companys like Virtous http://www.virtuosgames.com/what-we-do/3d-art/Get alot of their staff from china:
“Virtuos’ software engineering team includes more than 100 developers with a broad spectrum of skillsets. China provides a vast talent pool from which to select the most skilled, passionate, and creative engineers.”
This can mean for game artists like me its going to become alot harder for me to get a job as a specialist for living in the UK what it costs more to employ people.
For me i think i’d rather be a generalist to start out as i think there is more of a chance of me getting a job and it would help me get more experience for my career. Of course i’d love to focus on the subjects i love to do but then again do i know exactly what i want to specialise in? And that i don’t know yet i’m really earlier to my career i don’t know how i’d want to spend the rest of it. At the moment i’d rather have a wide range of experiences as i think it would make me more employable.