Game quality assurance firms have felt a sizable decrease in their console projects, which has put pressure on some companies to seek new business from other parts of the entertainment sector.
Parallel to this reduction in console projects, there has been an increase in tablet and mobile games, which is filling the hole console projects previously provided for QA firms.
Testology and Universally Speaking are two companies that have experienced this and shared their views with Develop.
Testology’s project manager Harrison Baker said it has seen a “significant percentage increase in favour of mobile platforms.”
“With the current disruption in consoles, there are definitely less projects around and, of course, at this stage of the console cycle this is to be expected,” admits Anna Wojewodzka, operations manager of Universally Speaking.
“We are experts in testing on all platforms and want to maintain a mixed portfolio of mobile, online and console, but maintaining that balance can be a challenge.”
Furthermore, the growing popularity of mobile games is beginning to call the significance of game consoles to QA firms’ businesses into dispute.
Baker has reservations: “We will anticipate Testology being heavily involved in next generation games console testing, but to what extent will be determined by demand. In the past two years we have seen a significant transition in outsourcing requirements, and the console market seems less in need of external QA services.”
And Babel’s CEO Richard Leinfellner adds that the expected high cost of next-gen development means that publishers will be even more risk adverse.
However, Leinfellner does feel the PC architecture of the PS4 and next Xbox will work to the advantage of QA firms, many of whom are already well versed in such technology.