Is outsourcing tasks within an organization worth it? Let’s break it down.
On one hand, outsourcing tasks to an experienced partner can help drive cost savings of 20% to 40% depending upon process complexity and capabilities of the service provider. On the other hand, there’s always a nagging doubt in the mind of the management regarding the ability of the service provider in understanding the typical complexities of the market, aligning to their studio culture and delivering on promised service level agreements.
While both approaches have their pros and cons, increased process orientation, better project management and the demand-supply gap for experienced testers are making the case for outsourcing stronger. The current push to work remotely as warranted by the COVID-19 pandemic has also made studios more receptive to outsourcing than before.
Software Testing traditionally has had a rich history of outsourcing success. While Game Testing is conceptually similar to software testing, it has its own nuances and challenges. Game Development studios are constantly struggling to make the right decision between in sourcing and outsourcing. But with a market that’s growing fast both in terms of the number of gamers as well as the number of devices games are being played on, the scope of game development and testing has amplified manifold. With the advent of new technologies and platforms such as Stadia, Apple Arcade etc. it has added on to the complexities of testing to provide optimum coverage in the shortest possible time.
Game developers and publishers now need to ensure a much wider testing coverage to maintain the same levels of quality as doled out before. Agility of testing also needs to improve to test the multiple updates and patches that developers are now rolling out to gamers within shortened schedules. This is where an independent game testing company can help developers get access to the right talent at a cost better than companies can manage internally. Today, we look at how independent game testing service providers like GlobalStep can help your business.
Why should you choose to outsource?
- Gain access to an experienced team of the industry’s best game testers:
Game testing service providers will provide you access to the best-skilled game testers. These teams usually have an experience of working in different genres of games and on multiple platforms. Their credibility, experience, and a wide perspective ensure that defects are identified and communicated at an early stage, enabling you to maintain high-quality standards.
- Ensure complete coverage with the best tools:
Experience with best-in-class tools, technologies and frameworks can be a key factor to ensure that your game is tested inside out. Game testing tools and technologies such as Appium, Robotium, Calabash, Device Anywhere typically require a different skillset.
An independent testing service provider can help you gain access to the best tools in the market as well as the resources trained to use these tools to maximum advantage. Advanced project management methodologies and proven frameworks can further enable independent service providers test various scenarios faster and more effectively than you can internally.
- Optimization of up-front and ongoing investments
All the testing needs discussed above are time- and resource-intensive activities. Sometimes, production houses also put the onus of testing on developers – which is not an ideal use of their time. An experienced game testing provider can provide access to the best resources, tools, platforms, and devices at a fraction of the cost, allowing you to concentrate on the core processes of your organization and expel your resources on your business priorities.
- Achieve a faster go-to-market
Even a small bug can bog down a game’s experience a great deal. With the internet providing a voice to consumers, a negative comment can quickly evolve into a situation which can hamper the success of an entire game.
However, as comprehensive and competent as your developers may be, bugs are inevitable. The only solution is to test effectively, find the bugs and fix them. Unfortunately, this is time-consuming and with the fast pace of the market, simply not possible anymore!
Automation tools and frameworks available with experienced game testing partners can help reduce the time and manual effort needed in testing. With the advent and implementation of new transformation methods – using telemetry for reducing test efforts, risk-based testing, shift left, and other means, you can further reduce your time to reach the market. Test service providers can also leverage experience from working with various customers and implement best practices from across the industry for your project. This enables you to get your game as well as patches to the market faster, giving you a huge competitive edge!
With the dynamics of the modern gaming industry changing at a very fast pace, game development studios must consider a change in their testing strategy. Increased usage of tools, automation, data analytics and collaboration between developers and testers is going to be the key to rising above competition and outsourcing game testing can help you achieve all of these!
It is, however, also key to evaluate service providers on key criteria such as experience, project management frameworks, quality of their QA labs and testing infrastructure, as well as adherence to metrics and SLAs. We wish you luck in your journey towards finding the right partner!
Rachit Jain is Sr. Manager – Solutions Engineering at GlobalStep. He is a management professional with a technology background who loves to analyze and understand business needs and devise the integrated end to end solutions that fits the requirements. At GlobalStep he works closely with CXO’s and senior management to devise strategies for business development and devise a game plan to achieve the set goals.