'QA should have the power to delay games'

'QA should have the power to delay games'
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

April 26th 2016 at 11:16AM

Testology’s Andy Robson urges publisher not to release titles until they’re ready

The quality of triple-A games would improve if QA companies were able to have a say in when they launch.

That was the message of Andy Robson, MD of Testology, speaking during today’s TIGA QA, Localisation and Customer Support Summit in London.

During his session ‘Ask Us Anything’, in which Robson and his colleagues addressed the biggest concerns of the QA community, the industry veteran suggested that publishers should listen to companies like his when it comes to launching broken or unfinished games.

“QA should have the power to say this game isn’t ready,” he told attendees. “We’ve had times when there has been hundreds of issues still logged on our database – but the game has still be released. We need to be given the time to fix these.”

Robson recognised that a major factor is marketing timelines – “There’s a lot of money riding on these release” – but pointed out that games like Halo, Assassin’s Creed and Metal Gear Solid all suffered at launch because they were still unpolished.

“QA gets a lot of the blame,” he added. “People ask: ‘Why didn’t you find this?’ But check out database – we did.”

Another attendee suggested that publishers and developers have become a little too reliant on day one patches.

“It’s because of the internet,” Robson acknowledged. “In some ways, technology has made things worse – it’s given people a scapegoat.

“Quality is a hard thing to get, and QA needs to be allowed the time to test thoroughly.”