An Empirical Analysis of Compatibility Issues for Industrial Mobile Games


Detecting and fixing compatibility issues become increasingly important for mobile game development. The con- stant evolution of mobile operating systems and the severe fragmentation of mobile devices makes it challenging for game developers to detect and fix compatibility issues in time for various device models. The undetected compatibility issues can ruin the user experience, and cause financial loss to game companies and players. Unfortunately, up to the present, mobile game testing is still rather challenging in general. The pressing compatibility issue of mobile games is largely untouched in the research community so far.
To bridge the gap, in this experience paper, we perform an empirical study on common compatibility issues of popular commercial mobile games. In particular, we select four active and representative mobile games with well-documented bug reports, containing over seven million lines of code and over 20,000 commits over the past several years. We successfully create a dataset with complete information about bugs and bug fixing details, to investigate the common compatibility issues and fixing strategies. We performed an in-depth manual inspection of the most common symptoms and root causes of these compatibility issues, and analyzed the common fixing strategies of issues under each root cause category. We believe our findings and implications are useful for developers in addressing compatibility hurdles during the developing process. Our results also provide insights for future research on compatibility issue testing and bug fixing for mobile games.

In the 33rd IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering.