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'It’s worse than PC in some ways,' claims Testronic's Chris Rowley

Android fragmentation ‘an absolute nightmare’ for games

The continued fragmentation of the Android market is an absolute nightmare for game developers and testing firms, QA experts have told Develop.

Speaking as part of a roundtable looking at the state of QA and localisation in games, Testronic operations director Chris Rowley said the issue of differing mobile devices was accelerating, and believes the problem won’t be fixed anytime soon.

“The fragmentation around Android is an absolute nightmare, and it’s actually accelerating,” he said.

“We’ve always tried to focus on the top 20 or so of the most popular platforms, but that isn’t consistent across different territories. It’s worse than PC in some ways. And there’s no interest from manufacturers to standardise across devices.”

Stuart Pratt, delivery manager at online poker firm PKR, also spoke out against the increasing fragmentation of the market, and claimed 139 new Android devices had been released this year alone.

He stated there was “no way” companies like his could buy every single device and test against them.

“And we can’t just concentrate on the big companies like Samsung – now there are tablets from supermarkets, too," said Pratt.

"The Hudl from Tesco sold out over Christmas, so we couldn’t get one and didn’t know if our game worked or not until later. But what are we meant to do?”

You can read our full QA and localisation roundtable in which experts discuss the biggest issues currently facing the sector here.

Are you experiencing issues with Android fragmentation? Let us know about your experiences, and potential solutions, in the comments below.

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