Phase 2: Test internally.
- Once the highest priority reports have been resolved, the updated game goes through a rigorous internal testing procedure.
- If new issues are discovered or the original issue is not fixed appropriately, more time is needed to research and implement new solutions. Video games are highly complex pieces of software. Every change made has a potential impact somewhere else in the game, so the entire game has to be tested with each update.
- Estimated time: Minimum of 1 week to thoroughly test the entire game and internally approve the update for release.
Phase 3: Console manufacturers test and approve the update for release.
- As soon as our QA team has approved the update internally, it is then submitted to the console manufacturers for their own testing and approval. At this point, it is out of our hands.
- If the game update is approved by the console manufacturers, the cycle is done and the update is prepped for release. If the game update is rejected, an accelerated version of the entire process starts again.
- Estimated time: Minimum of 1 week to get an approval.
- Note: PC patches do not require manufacturer approvals, but because of the high number of variables in computer hardware and OS configurations, both Phase 1 and Phase 2 require additional time that does not exist on consoles which have standardized hardware. The PC patch development cycle takes about the same amount of time start-to-finish as that of consoles.
Phase 4: Release
- Once the game update is approved by both internal QA and the console manufacturers, it gets prepped for release. This is a very short phase, but it can add time to the process depending on a number of variables.
- Estimated time: Generally 2-3 days.
[Source:COD: Black Ops forum]
Dec 1, 2010