How Poor Porting Can Kill Your Mobile Game

How Poor Porting Can Kill Your Mobile Game
Bringing successful games from the Apple marketplace into the Android space and vice versa, is said to be tough work for some developers. Though companies like Unity3D, Unreal Engine, and Cocos2D-X have made the transfer relatively painless, it doesn’t mean direct porting doesn’t come with a lot of compatibility issues. It’s a big topic discussed today in China with great points from many developers and journalists.

Why Direct Porting is a Bad Idea

Well, most of the time it’s not that bad. Most UI and gameplay will have no effect on the transition leaving less regression testing to do with today’s mobile game engines than 5 years ago. Even most graphics and sound files find zero issues with direct porting. But far too often we have seen in China, mobile games receive 2.5 stars or 1 stars due to the game quickly sent out into the market and not working properly on player’s phones.


One game recently released in China did extremely well in the Apple app store, getting a 5-star ranking and a port for Android was released a few weeks later. When people started to play it, we saw a lot of negative reviews showing up simply on issues of compatibility. Users said in the review sections for the game:

“When it runs correctly, this is a good game.”


“The gameplay is great and I like the magic in the game, but you will encounter crashes. Without the bugs, I would give it five-stars.”


“Looks good, but then after I finished the tutorial, the game crashed, which makes me very depressed. But this also reduces the value of the store’s recommendation. I had to delete the game, hope they inform me of the bug fixes soon so I can play it again.”


“These failures had become so troublesome, that players actually sent in a review to complain. This is bad as you can see that they loved the game enough to get the game and want to review it, but now are sharing to other players and the developers that they were very disappointed in the functionality of the game, leading people to not even install the game due to poor star ratings.”


This is very sad as the developers hoped for the same success as the iOS version did. Sadly this could have been avoided with more time in the testing phase for compatibility testing.

Optimization Issues Leads to Uninstallation

Though crashes and freezes are game stoppers, there are many other things that can annoy your gamer to the point of uninstalling your game. We looked at other games that had great compatibility, but poor optimization in the app stores. Some comments included:

“This game is like Bloons Tower Defense. It is also fun, but I encountered a few problems. The first is the loading speed is very slow, especially after the update. After I make a purchase, the interface always puts the packs in the corner of the screen. But overall, this game is excellent, and you should try it.”


“I noticed after the last update, there were several issues. First of all, my saved settings were changed, and there are a lot of information that was lost, which leads to my attacks having no effect. Moreover, the Retry button seems to be of no use.”


“Fun game, interesting ideas, but each card screen makes you lose all your progress. Unless you solve the bug, the game is not worth investing a penny.”


“This game is already very good, but I still had issues, because it has too many hanging problems. If there is no such bug, this game has a full five-star, if you solve these problems, I’m sure you can have a lot of five-star ratings.”


Every device will have a problem. Knowing exactly which have what problem and creating updates to fix the bugs is a game of pop-a-mole that is frustrating to any mobile developer. Adding multiple updates that don’t fix the issues also leads to poor reviews from gamers and adds to to the frustration and lost downloads.
At TestBird we’ve see some examples of this with one phone having CPU usage issues for a game on one device, and no issues for another very similar mobile device. Each device have small issues that need attention if you want to build 5-star ratings on your game.

How can TestBird help out?

Our services were created specifically for these problems. Android and iOS operating systems, their variants, and even the hardware for each mobile device can all bring about some issue for a game. Testing all of them for those specific bugs is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of man hours. This was why TestBird automated the work for developers.


We have worked to not only check the compatibility of a game during the installation, but also from login, gameplay, and uninstallation. Automating all of these steps allows us to test mobile games on our over 1,000 devices all at the same time, allowing for quick turnaround in functional testing. We also supply test reports that include screenshots and logs for better understanding of where you need to optimize your game or fix specific bugs.


It’s our quality that has allowed us to have almost 5,000 companies working with us and over 10,000 games tested in our labs. Contact us for a free trial test and see what we can do for you.

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