While being laid off can be a part of any career, he adds that the process is cold. "The way [my employer] used to handle these things was to send out meeting notices. You would go to a meeting, and someone would walk into the QA area where everyone who didn't have the meeting request were still sitting and simply say, 'If you're here, you've been let go, pack up your stuff, we're escorting you out'...you always hoped that you would be one of the few that would be kept on."
You’ve heard of Blizzard Entertainment, right? They are the incredibly successful company behind games like “World of Warcraft,” “Heroes of the Storm,” “Overwatch,” and “Starcraft”. Blizzard Entertainment has so many ISTQB certified software testers that they are an ISTQB Platinum Partner through ASTQB, the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (this site). This demonstrates Blizzard Entertainment’s commitment to ISTQB software testing certification for their software quality. Think about that.
Hi Brian, it’s great that you’re thinking of turning your love of games into a career. To get hired by a game studio, you need to have some skills that they’re looking for – usually either art, programming, design, or production. If you don’t have any of those skills then you might be able to get a job as a QA tester, but as you mentioned, you’d need to move to a city that has game studios.
Hi Stephen, you aren’t convinced by my articles on game developer salary, which are well-cited? And not by my interviews with game industry veterans from giant game teams like Assassin’s Creed, Forza Motorsports, Project Spark, and mega-hits like Plants vs. Zombies? Or by all my articles on interviewing at game companies, based on many years of experience as a hiring manager? Then I’m afraid you can’t be convinced.
Hi Evan, thanks for the questions. First of all, playtesting isn’t a full-time job, you might be thinking about the QA Tester job that’s described in this article. That is a full-time job, and most companies do not require a degree to do that job. Also, there are dozens (hundreds?) of game studios in the US, so I recommend you don’t limit yourself as to which one you’d work for when you first start out — you’ll have a lot to learn, and you can learn at most any game company.

Hi Darren, I do not think it’s too late for you to start transitioning careers, there are plenty of examples of people chaining to the game industry as a second career. I have some specific advice on an episode of the podcast about how to transition to a new career in games, so check that out for sure. You also might like 10 proven ways to break into the game industry. I wish you luck!

Grammar check and spell check your resume. That's a personal pet peeve of mine and many hiring managers I work with.  Someone that applies for a testing role but can't catch spelling or grammatical errors in their own resume is usually passed over.  Writing bug reports is a large part of a game tester's job, and developers and test managers don't have the time to guess what you meant.


The perfect job! Drink while working or work while drinking! I need you to playtest a drinking party game (dare type, barnyard themed) while checking various aspects of the game: - which cards aren't working/fun. what changes could be made to them (rewording, rating and etc) - is there a way to balance the game better - is the game even fun? - what's the weakest part of the game? - how did the theme and characters fit this type of game? Requirements: - Testing will need to be conducted 3-4 times in 1 week. - Before testing we'll come up with a simple questionnaire that you'll ask your friends (did you like the game? would you buy it? what did you like most/least about it? would you play it again?). - You will need to print out the game (we'll send you the pdfs of cards) - During the test you will need to gather other info to report on (comments on content, reactions to content, playing time and etc). Comments on content can be written in the doc I'll send you, the rest we can just discuss over skype. - You'll propose changes and correction according to that report. :) If we work well together, I'll ask you to continue playtesting the game and even get involved in other game projects later. :) I would rather pay per playtest. So if you know that you are able to test an x amount of times, send me your offer.
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