XBLA, PSN extensive testing â??a barrierâ??

XBLA, PSN extensive testing â??a barrierâ??

By Rob Crossley

May 12th 2009 at 10:18PM

Grinâ??s Andersson brothers say the submission process needs to be â??easier, more accessible and less of an invisible costâ?

Grin’s founding brothers Bo and Ulf Andersson believe that, while Sony and Microsoft’s digital platforms present good opportunities for developers, the whole submission system needs revision.

Speaking in an interview with Develop published today, Creative Director Ulf Andersson said that “it’s still much easier to make digital games on the PC than it is with XBLA and PSN.”

With the consoles’ online platforms, he said, Sony and Microsoft only approve titles after robust QA sessions. He said that this is something that can cause problems for smaller independent developers.

“They may have a small, effective team that can make a great game,” he said, “but they could run into problems when testing their content. And with so much QA, the costs suddenly go up.”
 
“Put it like this,” he added, “for five guys making a game, you’ll ideally need 25 people to properly QA the thing.”

Ulf added that Microsoft and Sony’s quality checks are not dissimilar for digital games than they are with AAA titles. Company CEO Bo Andersson said that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but "a barrier" in the production process.

“Submission will take up a third of your time, and QA will take up a big chunk of your time as well,” he said.

Though praising the PSN And XBLA services for what they have evolved into, Bo added that the submission process needs to be “easier, more accessible and less of an invisible cost.”

Ulf offered his own advice, saying that developers should start quality assurance early in production, and have someone working in that capacity throughout a project.