About — QA in the Game Industry

Joshua Gad
5 min readJun 8, 2019

Quality Assurance for games is about finding inconsistencies, glitches, or bugs in the software or game experience. QA involves documenting, reproducing, and reviewing these inconsistencies until they are deemed ok to ship.

Imagine this: you’re an aspiring game developer, fresh out of college, and have managed to land a job at your favorite game company. You couldn’t be more excited to join the team/ Bushy tailed and bright eyed, you walk in on your first day, excited to change the gaming industry as it is known forever with the genius insights you will offer through your newly won position: Quality Assurance Tester.

Record screech. Yeah. If you work in the gaming industry, and you made it past your first day, you know: QA is not a coveted position. In fact, it’s the bottom of the ladder. Maybe even lower than the PA on the production ladder. So it’s no wonder that QA testers, young and hopeful dreamers looking to make a buck or two, after being mistreated by elite game devs who refuse to even look twice at them, they start to shirk their responsibilities.

This is the problem with Quality Assurance.

It came to light with the rise of unionization in the games industry. QA is treated as disposable. And everyone who has been in the game industry knows this.

It isn’t exactly a secret that QA testing requires a lot of time, and that you will probably need to work longer hours, and that chances are you aren’t going to move up in the company while being a QA Tester.

If you are going to graduate within the company from being a QA Tester, you are going to have to be an absolutely amazing QA Tester, happily work overtime, and then with the free time you have left over, prove that you have the skills and know-how to join the development team. That is, if the development team doesn’t dismiss you at first glance.

Now, I can’t actually verify where these myths come from, or what companies perpetuate these cultures, but it is a problem. Not just from the humanitarian perspective of treating all people with dignity and respect, but from the sole fact that QA is…

Joshua Gad

Game Designer with a Bachelor of Science. I talk about techno life and design ethics while I make games.