The Gaming Industry has changed a lot, from games like minesweeper and Tetris to MMOs and Mobile Apps. The advancing technology is clearly reflected by new and current games. Every year games get more exciting, realistic, visually stimulating with amazing gameplay. But all the credit doesn’t go to just advancing technology, using technology properly and implementing changes to suit the needs as well as expectations of players is more important. This concept is not new and it is technically known as game quality assurance.
However the gaming industry is not what it used to be, it has spread its wings and moved on to many platforms. In the current age you can find games being published on many platforms with most common ones being the PC, popular game consoles, mobile phones and smart phones and now the ever expanding online MMOs and social games. While there are still some very good and interesting single player games available, the gaming market is increasingly moving towards games where players may either compete against each other, or work together for the achievement of a goal. Obviously the same game QA technology, criteria and procedures cannot be used on all these platforms, so how has the game testing industry adapted to these new changes and what is the outlook for the future?
Major firms such as AppLabs have already been concentrating their efforts in developing automated testing tools for mobile games and apps such as android and the iPhone. This collection of new software, tools and data will help in better game testing as well as quality assurance for mobile games. The software and game testing industry is estimated to be worth at $60 billion every year of which $13 billion is outsourced to the Asia Pacific regions. While many elements of the QA process are still handled in house, outsourcing of some tasks related to it is also increasing, much like the outsourcing of customer service and technical support operations in many companies. Game Testers will obviously have more opportunities but at the same time will require more skills and knowledge of various platforms since game testing is now no longer limited to the computer, but is done on various gaming platforms as well like gaming consoles as well as mobile devices.
With many anticipated games such as SWTOR still being in the beta phase and undergoing extensive testing there is no doubt that publishers and developers are looking for excellence with the end results and game testing is at an all-time high. It has become a necessity, since games have become more advanced and complex. After all, no gaming company wants to face the problems associated with releasing a game that doesn’t work well for all of its users, or even worse, an online game that has security holes which exposes its users to various vulnerabilities.