Pong is still a great game. Space Invaders is too. And Asteroids.
Back in the day, I collected quarters in a pickle jar before heading to the arcade.
But video games have come a long way from simple electronic games in arcades.
Today, video game development is a complex and highly competitive industry with billion-dollar revenues. Your jar of quarters has gotten heavy.
With the growing popularity of video games, the expectations of players have also increased. Players demand high-quality games, seamless gameplay, and immersive experiences. Players want to roam open worlds, have characters controlled by AI, shape the story to their desire. They want interesting characters, multiple story lines, quick, smooth mechanics, 3D audio, animations, VFX.
And they want it to all work.
To meet these expectations, video game developers must invest in quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) processes. In this article, we’ll explore the need for QA/QC in video game production and list the top five reasons publishers need QA to develop a successful video game.
What is QA/QC?
Quality assurance (QA) is ensuring that a product or service meets established quality standards. QA involves testing the game at different stages to ensure that it meets the desired standards. This includes testing the game for bugs, glitches, and errors that could affect the gameplay experience. Quality control (QC) is verifying that the game meets the established quality standards. QC involves testing the game in real-world scenarios to ensure that it delivers a seamless and immersive gameplay experience.
It’s detailed and demanding work. It takes incredible organization and knowledge. A QA team makes all the difference. A great QA team means when the game is in the hands of players, it works.
Can you think of a more important goal for every game?
The top 5 reasons publishers need QA.
1. Enhances the Gameplay Experience
The primary aim of video game development is to deliver an immersive gameplay experience. When the player reaches for his sword, his sword better be there. Bugs kick players out of games. Bugs kill a player’s experience.
QA/QC ensures that the game meets the desired standards and provides a seamless gameplay experience. Testing the game for bugs, glitches, and errors at different stages of development helps to identify and resolve issues before they release the game to the public.
It’s a competitive marketplace. Your game gets one chance. Once it develops a terrible reputation, it’s hard to recover. I’ve seen games flame out in weeks after years of development.
2. Increases Player Satisfaction
In the highly competitive video game industry, player satisfaction is critical to the success of a game. QA/QC helps to identify and resolve issues to increase player satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the game.
Bugs kill, yes, but also basic issues of UI and UX need to be examined, tested and resolved.
3. Reduces Development Costs
No matter how cool your game is, your bottom-line drives result.
At Streamline, we built a world-class QA team right in the middle of our studios. They get involved as early as possible in the development process. Building games this way means you control backend costs and you’re not untangling years of work with weeks to go.
Our motivation for having a robust QA process is simple: Identifying and resolving issues early in the development process is more cost-effective than fixing them after they release the game.
We learned through experience how important QA is. Streamline has been called in after the fact. Major releases are already in the marketplace and reviewers and players hammering the game because it simply doesn’t work.
In the prior days of game dev, players had some patience with debugging games. But those days are gone.
QA/QC helps to identify issues early, reducing the cost of fixing them later. This also helps to ensure that they release the game on time and within budget.
And your players don’t rise in revolt.
4. Improves Reputation
Which leads to reputation. Every publisher needs to protect their reputation. Reputation is the foundation of the future of every business. Reputation means players anticipate your next game. Investors will support your next game. Reputation is the future and you do not want to lose it. It’s a difficult fish to get back in the net.
Word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing tool in the video game industry, and a positive buzz helps increase sales and revenue. A player's peer reviews and comments are gold. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a poor performing game seeps through the community like ground water in a basement. It rots the foundations of a game.
Every game has bugs, but it's how quickly you fix them that matters. And this is yet another critical area of QA/QC operation.
Putting the demon back in the bottle becomes impossible if players start to believe you don’t care. The marketplace is too competitive. Next week there will be a new release and your former players will chase a new game.
Does developing a game for years and having it vanish in weeks make sense?
QA/QC is more than a step in your process. It’s bedrock to your success.
5. Compliance with Industry Standards
Developing a video game isn’t just about creating an entertaining, engaging experience for players. It also involves following industry standards and regulations to avoid any legal issues or complications during the development process. That’s where Quality Assurance/Quality Control comes in.
QA/QC helps to ensure that the game meets those standards and regulations, guaranteeing that the final product is high-quality and satisfies all legal requirements.
Whether it’s making sure a certain amount of accessibility features is included or that the game isn’t too violent, following these standards is crucial.
By bringing in experts in QA/QC, video game companies can rest easy knowing they’re developing a game that’s not only fun to play but also meets all necessary regulations.
From technical specifications of multiple platforms to content guidelines, no detail goes unnoticed. By helping developers avoid any possible complications, QA/QC ultimately saves time, money, and resources.
In the highly competitive video game industry, QA/QC is critical to the success of a game. Testing the game at different stages of development helps to identify and resolve issues before they release the game to the public.
This helps to deliver a high-quality game that provides a seamless and immersive gameplay experience. By investing in QA/QC, video game developers and publishers can increase player satisfaction, reduce development costs, improve reputation, and comply with industry standards. QA/QC is, therefore, a critical response team for immersive engineering success in video games.
Reach out to us to discuss your project and will show you why our QA/QC team is vital to the success of your game.