spriteCloud @ gamescom 2011

More or less by chance I had an opportunity to attend the first day of gamescom this year, Europe’s biggest video game related trade show. The entertainment area where consumers get a glimpse of new games was a blast, as expected. But the business area open only to trade visitors was particularly interesting to me, because there were a fair amount of test companies present.

It seems as if the games industry on the whole takes their testing a lot more seriously than many other sectors of the software world. That shouldn’t be particular surprising, given that games are probably the most abundantly distributed shrink-wrap software still in existence. When you cannot rely on online updates being available to your customers, testing becomes a crucial part of your business — and the stakes are high in video gaming.

What’s all the more interesting, then, is that so many of the testing companies I’ve seen don’t seem to have all that much of an expertise with testing networking related things. Few if any advertise test labs for massively multiplayer online games. I suppose this is only surprising to industry outsiders such as ourselves…

… however, it means we shouldn’t be industry outsiders. Normal web-related functional, performance and load testing aside, our founders are people who have helped build and test on-demand and live video streaming code at Joost. Online gaming has different demands on network performance than video streaming, granted, but in terms of the two major test variables in networking — bandwidth and latency — video streaming places some of the toughest demands on systems.

Chances are, if you’re an online game company caring about the performance of your servers, you’ll find few testing services providers better suited to your needs than us. So contact us, by all means!

(Also, when we find the time, we’re partial to some instance runs in LotRO. You can ping us just for that, too.)