In case you are new to the topic game QA, it primarily refers to the quality assurance of a video game. In other words, after a video game is officially...
Imagine a scenario that you are driving on a highway and your car starts behaving erratically, you can’t continue like that.
So, you stop the car on the sideway.
It is not unusual, what if it’s the same car that has come back from servicing yesterday? How would you feel about it?
Absolutely terrible – and this might lead you to file a complaint against the car servicing company to vent out your frustration or anger.
We all would agree on this that many of us would act in the same way under such circumstances. We do get furious over such things. But when it comes to buggy software of game, we tend to give it a benefit of doubt. No matter how annoying or frustrating a software or game can be at times, we tend to overlook the problem to a great extent. But we would not do the same if our washing machine or LCD TV would have given us the same problem.
The Latent Plight:
Sadly, it has become a trend these days to release buggy games and the way things have been going on in the industry, it would be apt to say that something like this would continue to happen in the times to come. We as consumers haven’t begun making much noise or fuss about the recurring instances of bug-infested games released.
We have learned to live with them.
In fact, some people always label such games as “flawed but great” which is ridiculous in a way. A game can’t be called great just because of its design, graphics or concept. Isn’t it also required to offer the gaming experience too?
Media also plays a very dubious role in defending such buggy games by writing about their other aspects rather than bugs. Amidst all this, a dedicated gamer feels cheated. This experience, and the recurrence of its kind, again pushes everyone to focus on game QA testers.
In fact, big publishers with AAA titles also release such games and now it can be termed as an accepted norm. This is the reason why we had seen launches of games like Battlefield and Driveclub, which had graphical problems of mammoth proportions.
An unavoidable situation:
We can all go with the bashing of big names in gaming industry, but that would not change the fact. Games have become very complex these days and game testing commands the need to be taken more seriously. Now, it is simply impossible to release absolutely bug-free games or software. Even a small loophole or a minor mismatch in environment or a minuscule error in code can lead to a big disaster.
Thus, it is a decisive, but on-time, pursuit of companies to adhere to means that can help them release bug-free games.
Let’s straighten it out:
We need to understand that companies have come a long way in terms of development of console/PC/mobile games – but yet they probably have not understood the need to invest adequate money and effort in testing.
Both demand and delivery have to tag along with each together. Competition has become so stiff these days that games have been developed at a breakneck speed. Developers have to follow tight schedules. The overall scenario is severe, as enormous funds are allocated to support a specific release date of big game titles.
Thus, any delay in the release would translate into a huge loss of money, which is totally unacceptable for everyone related to gaming industry.
Game testing companies too might not have taken QA seriously. Even if they are on it, testing experts have not been giving it a deserved priority. Generally, quality control people are considered those enthusiastic youngsters, who just love to play games and now they are in this industry to make money out of their hobby.
Well, that is the case to a great extent, but companies need to change that image of testers. They should retain experienced testers, hone their skills and treasure them by paying substantial money. It is important to retain an experienced tester, who can scrutinize and report the bugs. The process starts by prioritizing the QA department by filling it up with talented people, who can pursue testing as a career and not just to make inroads into the gaming industry. It is imperative to give importance to your game testers because if you are not doing that then it means you don’t respect you customers.
Obviously, game lovers across the world would love to see such changes in gaming industry, which would make a lot of things interesting and rewarding for everyone. It is also a responsibility of gamers not to review such games and there should be ‘no tolerance’ towards buggy games. By creating such an atmosphere, we can expect encouraging results in the future as companies would be forced to pay more attention to testing.
Laxmikant B. Thipse
Founder & CEO
GameCloud Technologies Pvt Ltd