RIP CombatTesting.com


On the 10th of march 2014 part of my digital life off 7 years came to an end.

CombatTesting was a company that specialised in community led alpha and beta testing of the highest caliber. It was also a community of gamers from all walks of life across the globe that were and still are passionate about gaming and doing there damnedest to make sure that the games that was tested were as bug free as possible.

I have made many friends and learnt  a lot during my time at Combat Testing.I have learned about the processes that goes on behind the scenes to make games and how even a small change can cascade down the line into a massive problem. Its a shame that the latest trend is for publishers and in some cases developers choosing to go for paid beta’s/alphas  and cutting costs in QA costs in general. For some it works and I cant deny that it does but for most it doesn’t and just leads to a far greater cost down the road. It is I’m sure in large, part of the reason that has led to this unique community shutting its doors.

As part of Combat Testing I personally have been involved in many different games, web apps and even gaming videos I am proud of the work that we have done although it could be frustrating at times due to circumstances beyond our control. Seeing bugs that we knew about and had reported early on in development still being there at launch or even the game being held back due to platform/time/cost constraints when we could see the potential that it had.

The sadest part for me is losing a group of dedicated and passionate bug hunters many like myself that were willing to spend hours a day to hunt out bugs or potential problem areas for free and not expecting any other reward than the satisfaction of a job well done.

I joined CombatTesting when they were working on the Northern Strike addon for Battlefield 2142 Im not sure of the circumstances but I found an advertisement for them somewhere and signed up and that was the start of what would turn out to be a 7 year journey. I made my way up the ranks over the next couple of years going from General tester, to Senior tester then Lead tester where I was in charge of Mantis the old bug tracking system we used until we changed to a diffrent system and finally to CT level. Each level added more responsibility and more of a challenge.

Here follows a list of some of the stuff that Combat Testing and In turn I had a hand in.

Combat Testing was a division of Combat Studios LLC. was responsible for the testing of:
*Medal of Honor Warfighter*

*Homefront*

*Crysis 2 XBox 360 Beta Support*

*Medal of Honor*
PC, PS3
and Xbox 360
Beta Support

*Outspark*
Download Installer
Fist of Fu
Divine Souls
Fiesta

*Battlefield: Bad Company 2*
PS3 and PC beta support

*Rock Band*
Alpha, Beta, and Load Balancing test support

*Rupture*

*Battlefield 2142*
Alpha1
Beta 1
Beta 2
Patch 1.05
Patch 1.10
Patch 1.2

Northern Strike Booster Pack
Patch 1.4
Patch 1.41
Patch 1.51

*Battlefield 2*
Patch 1.3
Patch 1.4

EA Downloader (EADM)
EA Web Sales

And many other titles you love to play!

There are many more that I have had a hand in this list is by no means all inclusive.
I hope that perhaps there is a chance that in the future CT will live again and if not then the possibility of something similar is possible. I’m sure that the current trend of paid beta’s will end up going away and there are signs already of change in that area. And I’m sure that recent events for certain games will mean that QA testing will once again become a very important part of the development process.

RIP COMBAT TESTING

2006 – 2014

6 thoughts on “RIP CombatTesting.com

  1. Funny, was cleaning out old GMAIL and found a combat testing invite I did… and when I googled “Combat Testing” to see if they were still around it pushed me here. Was a great way to really test games, compared with pay to play these days!

    Sorry for necro’ing this old post!

    • Its not a problem at all. Combat Testing Evolved into EliteTesting which also now has died. unfortunately, the rise in early access and paid access for beta’s killed the business model.

      Unfortunately that has also meant that certain games have suffered having not had enough testing.

  2. if I’m going to pay to be in a beta, and there is no real community around the test.. guess what happens ?
    I understand the developers, they can pay for a “proff” test or have the players pay them to be allowed play the game in beta…

    Rest In Peace CT
    It was time consuming but fun, while it lasted.

    TekoDk

  3. I also just stumbled across your blog.
    IIRC, I did some testing for the BF2 v1.50 and BF2142 1.51 patches, as well as that Gaikai game streaming service.
    Community driven beta testing was really interesting, and I later did testing for some of Team 17’s Worms games.

    What I see as the worst of the early-access model is, that the user pays money and already plays the game.
    That means, by the time the game is “released”, they most likely have seen everything and lost interest.
    If the beta has been really bad during that time, that means the player has a really bad opinion by the time of the release.

    If a company substitute sufficient internal QA with early-access, they can surely save money and grab some quick cash, but the result at release day can be devastating.
    Both by the lack of testing, which most of the early access player probably don’t really do anyway, as well as by bad word of mouth.

    • I realised a while ago that for the most part early access games weren’t for me. A few never actually finished development and just died and a few others by the time they were released I was exhausted with.

      So apart from the odd exception (Factorio), I avoid early access games and just follow the ones I’m interested in on steam.

      I believe a certain series of games still suffer from the death of outside testing groups like CT.

      Paying for beta access is also a pet hate.

  4. Hi,

    I was just filling out my CV and had this listed so was curious if it was still about and it brought me here too. I was at Combat Testing from the very start and on-boarded 100’s of new testers. I moved away towards the end of Battlefield 2142/Crysis due to overlapping politics with also being a moderator on the EA forums but i really enjoyed my time their too. It was a great place to send time with friends and adding some real value into the games by trying to stamp out not only day 1 bugs but provide valueable feedback in terms of gameplay which helped shaped some of the decision before its launch.

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