A case study of the lead time between eliciting and implementing the requirements in mobile game apps

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Abstract: Context. There has been a remarkable growth of the mobile game industry since the raging pandemic covid-19 destroyed many businesses across several industries [1]. Nowadays mobile gaming has been one of the highest performing industries globally, raking in more billions in revenue [1,2]. Understanding the direction and aspects to improve the quality of products and reduce the cost is important for a mobile gaming company to stand out. There is a plethora of literature on how to improve the related product quality [3]. One of them is to analyze and optimize the various requirements in each version update, and how these requirements could be elicited from the company’s development plan and user feedback. Specifically, mobile game companies would review the user comments of their products from various application platforms such as Google Play and Apple store, select the informative comments with specific user requirements according to their own standard, and finally elicit and then implement these requirements in the follow-up version updates. During this process, it is important to control the lead time---the time cost for mobile game companies to review and select the valuable user comments, make decisions to apply the changes, make a development plan afterwards and finally put it into action. In the current increasingly intense competitive environment, time-based dimensions of a product such as the lead-time are becoming an increasingly important component in assessing strategic advantage, since having products early increases the possible market introduction window. Meanwhile, traditional long lead times and high inventory levels may be less appropriate and more costly endeavors that may not even achieve product parity [4]. To compress the product lead time was the priority task to help companies keep their competitiveness [5]. To fulfil this aim, fundamental changes must be made in every function that affects the delivery of the product. However, most existing literature focuses on the lead time in the traditional software industry, which can be different in the case of the mobile game apps. We herein in this paper explore the contents of lead time in the mobile gaming industry. We designed a series of steps to explore the real situation of lead time in the mobile gaming industry. Differences between mobile gaming and traditional software industries are also of interest to be explored.       Objectives. The main purpose of our research was to study the lead time which would be caused during the process of implementing users’ requirements. We tried to achieve the purpose from two aspects: First, we investigated whether there were differences in the lead time of different requirement types. Second, we investigated whether the lead time differences existed in different types of mobile games.   Methods. Our group used Case Study as the main research method to investigate the lead time in real cases.   Results. .First, there were differences in the lead time of implementing different types of requirements. Such as the lead time of bug fix types of requirements would be shorter than feature added types of requirements. Second, different types of mobile game apps had differences in the lead time. For example, MOBA games would take longer time on Function update or Feature request types of requirements, and FPS games would take longer time on exclusive event types of requirements. The details would be shown in part 4.2 and 4.3.   Conclusions. Two research questions in our thesis were answered. When mobile game companies dealt with requirements in user feedback, the lead time objectively existed. We could calculate the length of the lead time of different types of requirements. Moreover, different types of requirements had various lead times. For example, the lead time caused by bug fixing requirement would be shorter compared with that of adding new functions. And this research provided some fundamental results to both academic field and mobile game industry field.   Keywords: Mobile game apps, User reviews, User requirements, Lead time

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