Blog Game Testing

Gamers and Testers – The Ultimatum

March 24, 2023
Gamers and Tester

Today, more people than ever play video games. These overcrowd our newsfeeds, promote social interactions, and provide us with endless entertainment for hours. You can pick from multiple game genres, including point-and-click adventures, simulations, and virtual reality games. 

In 2022, the number of video gamers in the United States was 188.9 million, a slight decrease from the previous year’s figure of 201.7 million. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the popularity of gaming purchases to rise even faster in 2020 and 2021 before leveling off in 2022 as more alternatives to gaming became available.

Gaming app testing is now more crucial than ever to ensure that the players receive flawless experiences to this extreme popularity.

At least once in their lives, Many players tried to cheat game development studios and download a game for free or at a reduced price. Perhaps as adolescents trying to save their pocket money, or possibly as adults who do not see the need to spend more on entertainment. 

This is how the problem of game piracy spreads and impacts developers, publishers, designers, testers, and even players. Let’s learn more about gamers and testers. 

Current surveys show that around 1 in 10 gamers has illegally downloaded or played a pirated video game in the past three months. The majority of respondents claim that they use such content for the need of cost reduction. While game piracy may satisfy some gamers’ immediate wants, it has a long-term detrimental effect on the entire industry. 

Let’s dive into the reasons why this illegal practice is an issue for game developers and fans, as well as how testers and developers can work together to influence players in the right direction.

Game Testing

Testing in Gaming is Essential.

Video games today are highly interactive with complex gaming mediums and coupled with several users consuming games over multiple platforms, which makes these more susceptible to vulnerability, unexpected errors, and glitches. 

Without a suitable testing mechanism, these could remain undetected and unfixed. Therefore, testing is essential to prevent complaints from gamers and the loss of significant sales as a result of negative experiences. The following are the main benefits of game testing:

Quality Evaluation 

every game developer wants to give players the best experience possible. One of the simplest ways to do this is to hire a qualified game tester. A tester will effectively find the flaws and spot the likely defects.

Ranking of video games  

Game testing directly impacts a video game’s ranking. When a new game is released, testing significantly affects how users perceive it. Once more, when testers are employed, they typically consider a thorough list of the parameters before rendering a final judgment.

Improvement Area

Video games undergo frequent upgrades while they are available on the market. Most of them are expected to start series and release follow-ups. Game testing enables developers to pinpoint the areas where games need to be improved to maintain their marketability.

So the main question is, Does the Gaming Industry Suffer From Piracy?

Video game piracy is the illegal copying and distribution of video game software, which is a type of copyright violation. Due to how simple it is to distribute games for free via torrenting or websites offering direct download links, it is a significant issue that video game publishers face when distributing their products. 

Although it has never been completely effective, right holders typically try to stop product piracy by enforcing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Historically, pirated video games have been distributed digitally via bulletin board systems (BBS) and, more recently, decentralized peer-to-peer torrenting.

Here are the reasons: 

Funding halt 

Everyone involved in the game projects they have invested in wants to make money out of them. Investors can stop providing funding if game piracy significantly reduces sales for publishing houses and development studios. The closure of Video Games, the developer of the role-playing game Beast Breaker and the first US game studio to unionize, is one of the most recent instances that made headlines. 

Fewer chances to release updates and new games

The release of a sequel to a favorite game or another project from a renowned studio always excites gamers. However, development teams struggle to create new, high-quality content or update their current games due to a lack of funding and declining profits. Due to this, paying a reasonable price is essentially a player’s investment in future entertainment that will be of higher quality.

Less incentive to localize a game 

Usually, localizing a game is a way for game publishers and developers to stop piracy. There is a tendency for gamers from a particular nation or area to be more devoted and less likely to look for pirated copies of games if those games could translate into their language. 

Localization for specific markets does not always make sense for studios, though. For instance, the makers of the video game Punch Club, tinyBuild, discovered that localizing the game to Western Europe was profitable because the region had low levels of piracy. 

On the other hand, the day the studio released the game localized for Portuguese-speaking players, the Brazilian market saw the highest number of pirated copies downloaded.

Furthermore, Chinese gamers immediately purchased illegal copies of the game after its release in English without waiting for a version tailored to their market. Such circumstances prompt game developers to think about diverting their localization budget.

Putting indie game studios and new ones at risk

For consistent growth, small game developers require reliable funding and profitable sales. The piracy of video games has a negative impact on both of these, which could put startups and independent game studios out of business.

Gamers and Tester

Why Does Piracy Hurt QA Field?

Software development companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and improve processes in the current economical situation. As a provider of independent testing, we have recently received more requests from clients asking us to assist their teams in making financial savings on software inspections. 

We can assist with this task thanks to our experience by providing tailored solutions and prioritizing specific QA areas that require immediate attention while others may wait for more favorable circumstances. 

However, some tech firms take more extreme measures, such as cutting off QA completely, firing testers and giving developers more work than they can handle, or hiring QA engineers with less experience at lower pay. When players pirate game titles, game producers suffer financial losses, which intensifies the situation. The effect is that everyone is lost.

Gamers seek out high-quality entertainment but download illegal copies of it. Studios must release games at a low price because they sustain losses and have low returns investments. The quality declines if QA isn’t given enough attention. Testers lose their jobs, publishers and developers feel more pressure, game content gets worse, and players are dissatisfied.

How TOP Studios Deal With Piracy?

Some developers can’t remain motionless as they watch their profits dwindle. Let’s look at how some of the most well-known game developers combat piracy.

Pokemon Games

Nintendo started implementing interesting anti-piracy features after experiencing a loss of almost $1 billion because of illegal copies of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum in Japan. For instance, the battles become impossible if their successor games, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, detect players using unofficial hardware. Later, Nintendo improved their security in Pokémon Black and White. 

The player’s Pokémon stop learning new moves if the game detects that it is an illegal copy, and they can’t level up.

Arma II

The creators of this shooter also include a package to combat piracy. It starts slowly changing over time until playing it becomes impossible. As the players’ weapons malfunction, the accuracy of their shots decreases, and the screen can waver. The Arma II logo eventually fills the player’s screen.

Game Tycoon 

The developer Greenheart Games decided to give pirates a taste of their own medicine since the game is about managing a development studio. For a while, Players won’t experience any negative impacts from using an illegal copy, but once they become popular, their studio starts to run into financial difficulties. Because of the game piracy, The in-game staff eventually advises a gamer that nothing can be done.


The game’s developers, Rocksteady, weren’t kind to pirated copies either. Due to the illegal copies of Batman’s cape being unable to open, the Dark Knight can’t escape the poison-gas-filled room without dying. 

The problem you’ve encountered is a hook in the copy protection, designed to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free, admin of one of the game forums once responded to a player who asked about this problem. It’s a flaw in your moral code rather than a bug in the game’s code.

GTA Whycity

Rockstar North has put in place a plethora of anti-piracy measures. In pirated versions, the game’s camera will have a drunken, spinning effect, the cars will frequently break down, and the player won’t be able to begin accelerating once inside a vehicle. The game will make it impossible to repair the cars, and some missions will be locked in if these problems are not enough to deter someone from using a cracked version.

What Can We Do?

There are plenty of things as game creators where we can protect ourselves from piracy:

(a) Copyrights, patents, and end-user agreements

Both patents and copyrights can be used to protect software. These give companies a legitimate foundation to safeguard their electronic and intellectual property. What a customer is permitted to do with a piece of software is further outlined in end-user agreements. 

Purchasers are regarded as users, not owners, as the name implies. Agreements outline what software users are and are not permitted to perform. They are explicitly prohibited from sharing it with more users than their license allows or illegally copying it. Of course, people continue to engage in these practices, which is why the remaining anti-piracy strategies are necessary. 

(b) Software product keys 

Each purchaser receives a unique software product key. The software won’t install or run if the user doesn’t enter the key. Product keys are expected to reduce end-user piracy because those who want to distribute locked software can produce keys using their codes. One of the strongest types is a hardware-locked software key because it is based on the user’s specific computer. 

(c) Obfuscation 

Making a product’s source code unintelligible to humans is a technique called obfuscation. Complex algorithms can alter software code to make it appear random or to be something else. Obfuscation isn’t a foolproof method, a hacker can find the source code when given enough time. Because of this, obfuscation is frequently combined with the method on our list, tamper-proofing. 

(d) Tamper-proof software

Tamper-proof software is guarded against alterations and reverse engineering. The software will crash or cease to function if an attacker modifies a portion of the source code. Attackers alter software to avoid authentication, turn off security monitoring, or get around the license code to make unauthorized copies. 

(e) Software watermarking

Owners of software may also incorporate a watermark into the source code. The watermark, which is hidden within the software, can be used to show program ownership or origin when the software is extracted. This traceability may deter criminals from producing counterfeit copies. 

Similarly, thanks to recent developments in blockchain development, forensic watermarking is a new technology to stop movie piracy. It is accomplished by subtly altering some invisible to the human eye pixel colors in a video file. This traces the product’s ownership as well. 

Gamers and Testers: The Ultimatum

A growing community of individuals working together (some more successfully than others) to give the world a pleasurable experience through electronic immersion is the video game industry. In return for the hard work of creating a world to immerse themselves in, they ask for a bit of your money. 

Undoubtedly, not everyone has the resources to do this, but it’s vital to remember that even if you are unable to do so, these individuals—those who gave their all to the project—might suffer. It’s along the lines of a dine-and-ditch. It’s false. While it may be straightforward, it is not necessarily correct. As a result, the need for testers and quality assurance (QA) is critical in the gaming industry.

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