As the constant churn of games industry deadlines, releases and events continues unabated, 2013 is a busy time almost everywhere in the industry.
But among the most active firms lately must be Testronic, having in recent weeks and months welcomed a new CEO, rebranded the entire company and expanded its Polish operation by opening a new facility.
As such the quality assurance, compliance and localisation service provider – which offers 37 languages – appears to be booming. But what instigated this period of ferocious evolution, and what does it mean to the services it offers across the entertainment sectors?
Firstly, there’s the rebranding to consider, which focuses around a clarification of Testronic’s four pillars of business.
“Our new brand gives an identity to our four business lines, each of which is now definitively represented by a coloured tick,” says Testronic CEO Mike McGarvey of the new visual and structural form of the company he presently heads up.
“Testronic has offered a broad range of services for many years, but now we have defined our own internal structure with more clarity, and we are
better able to communicate our range of services to customers.”
And so it is that the four divisions are now unmistakably defined, each catering for one sector within the broad entertainment industry that serves as Testronic’s bedrock.
The new structure is simple. The ‘Games’ division now offers localisation QA, functionality, compliance, compatibility and user experience testing, embracing every major games format from mobile to console. Meanwhile, the ‘Film & TV’ team focus on DVD and Blu-ray, also supporting clients for UltraViolet, Master QC and Library Services.
Elsewhere the ‘Digital TV’ business line provides both manual and automated testing services for an array of TV manufacturers, set-top box producers and cable providers, and also supports the spheres of connected car and connected home entertainment.
Finally, the ‘Software’ team tests an increasingly broad spectrum of mobile applications, websites, online payment mechanisms and much else besides.
“The company image is not only important to attract new business and continue to engage our existing clients, but also assists and satisfies our ongoing search for talent,” elaborates McGarvey, clearly intent on attracting the best staff he can.
“We have brought our image up to date,” he continues. “This has been embraced with huge enthusiasm by the team and, therefore, we feel confident it will also act as an asset to help us further grow the business.”
But for Testronic, cementing the remit of the four divisions does not mean there will not be an overlap, especially in a world where the boundaries that once clearly defined separate mediums continue to merge.
Indeed, it is the fact that there is interplay between the quartet of company units that the firm believes better positions it to serve its clients.
“The overlap frequently comes from automation and specialist testing services that our Software business line is able to offer the other three divisions,” explains McGarvey of the interplay.
“Of course there are other overlaps. The Film & TV and Digital TV business lines frequently attend the same events, and in tandem provide the testing services for the whole home entertainment experience.”
Meanwhile, the arrival of a new team member at the top of the company means it can now take advantage of a broader range of experience from elsewhere in the video games industry and beyond.
McGarvey brings with him not just a fresh injection of management expertise, but also highly specialised knowledge from his time as CEO of well-regarded and famous outfits including Eidos and OnLive.
“The games division can also boast a real understanding of in-house games experience across the whole management team,” affirms McGarvey.
“We really understand the pressure that publishers and developers are under to bring a top quality game to market, as many of the team have undertaken the task from the other side of the fence.”
POLAND OF OPPORTUNITY
And as if those changes weren’t enough to make the company stand out, there’s the significant matter of opening a new games-focused base in Poland; a nation where Testronic already had a presence.
The newly founded Warsaw office allows the service provider to expand its growing games operation in a tailored, newly fitted site, while retaining the previously-shared Piaseczno facility so as to specifically continue to expand the company’s Film & TV business line.
The move follows a substantial eight years carrying out functionality, compliance and compatibility work from the city, with the new location reportedly selected to capitalise on both public infrastructure and a reported abundance of local talent in the area.
"Warsaw is a vibrant and bustling capital city with excellent central transport links and access to high quality personnel, many of which are drawn from the numerous college and university establishments nearby,” confirms McGarvey, clearly besotted by the opportunity the city affords both his team and his clients.
“Poland has already proved to be a hugely successful location for Testronic; our original Warsaw facility has been carrying out games functionality, mobile compatibility and compliance testing for some of the world's biggest games franchises for some time. We have also been testing DVDs and Blu-rays for major Hollywood studios from the same building.”
Testronic’s evolution also includes further changes in the Eastern Euopean country. The company has recently launched a new mobile compatibility service out of the Poland office.
And so it is that Testronic’s staff – both in the London and Warsaw sites and in facilities in the Burbank, California, Tokyo, Japan and Diepenbeek, Belgium – have entered a new era for the outfit some 15 years after the business was founded.
Having already worked with high-profile games creators including Rovio, Zynga and Square Enix, it would be hard to refute that the specialist’s client roster of developers and publishers will do anything but grow, and as it continues to expand its team, the future looks set to be assured for Testronic.