Just three years ago, testing still remained alien to China's mobile game developers.
2013 was crowned as the "Year One" for China's mobile game industry. China's mobile game market achieved a total scale of 5.013 billion yuan during the first half of the same year, implying a growth rate of 66.1%, which is the highest rate ever. Until the end of 2013, there were about 20,000 mobile game developers in the domestic market. In Li's opinion, the automated testing of mobile games was still a "market gap" at that time. He recalled that "all the testing work was completed manually, so it involved huge time and costs. Few companies could afford it." In fact, TestBird only served a dozen clients after its automated testing business was introduced to market.
Today, an increasing number of mobile game developers have come to realize the significance of testing work. "The domestic mobile game market is highly competitive, so gamers will turn their attention to other games once they find one game can't operate successfully." TestBird's statistics show that a mobile game's compatibility troubles and other problems can result in a churn rate of 30%, which means a huge financial loss. Now some mobile game distributors in China have started to pose some hard requirements that the new mobile games can't be distributed unless they've received the given scores at the compatibility tests. Some channel operators also treat the compatibility test results as an essential parameter in the game rating.
In June 2015, Li announced TestBird's development plan to explore a full scale app function testing business. In his eyes, apps are becoming a new business and source of income for many enterprises in China.
As the new media has boasted vigorous development, millions of apps have come into existence in the domestic market. These apps differ vastly in quality. Most companies lack the strong testing capacity. "For the automated testing of mobile games, what happens now is quite similar to what we saw three years ago. We've got to do something," Li said. The domestic app market witnessed an increasing demand for automated testing of functions. In particular, banking, securities industry and those large state-owned enterprises are expected to make growing investments in apps.
TestBird introduced the automated testing cloud platform of mobile phones in April 2016. The testers from corporate clients can access this platform and perform independent testing with the tools available there. Now this platform has drawn attention from several hundred app developers, which will grow even further in the days to come.
According to Li, the "crowd-sourced testing" will develop into a main-stream trend. "We can publish the testing tasks on the platform and testers can take orders freely right there." In foreign countries, testers must be programming-literate, but the domestic platform for crowd-sourced testing sets a lower requirement so that more testing can be completed with the help of automated tools. In this way, human costs are reduced, but productivity is raised.
As of June 2016, TestBird has developed more than 40,000 testers and introduced the graphic user interface on the automated testing platform of mobile phones. As Li put it, "what we've done is prepare for the future crowd-sourced testing platform, which will become a platform readily accessible to every ordinary user."
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SOURCE Chengdu Tianfu Software Park