Jocelyn Baxter, a writer at Eidos Montreal (and perhaps more importantly on the studio’s successful Guardians of the Galaxy game), went to Twitter this week with an interesting statistic. In our moment of labor attrition in the games industry workplace, a common thread in many stories is the QA department getting the short end of the stick. But there is some silver lining, based on Baxter’s tweet.
We embedded the tweet below, but Baxter stated that 80% of the writing team on Guardians of the Galaxy comprised former QA staff. Jobs as “game testers” can often be undervalued insofar as how industry jobs are perceived, and in some cases we’ve seen reports of QA being the first line of defense when it comes to things like budget cuts and layoffs. Despite all that, this statistic could be a point of encouragement for people trying to get into game development at the ground level.
To all the game devs out there that undervalue and hold back QA: 80% of GotG game was written by former testers.— Jocelyn Baxter ~ GOTG (@Sizigyy) November 2, 2021
Further replies add more weight to the stat, including Daniel Richter (sound designer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Guardians according to his bio) stating the game’s sound team was also “3/4” former QA testers. Eidos Montreal creative director Jean-François Dugas even chimed in, saying he also started out in QA.
The thread has only grown, with more folks in the industry contributing their own QA history from members of development teams to known leadership names. We recommend scrolling through it, especially if you’ve been considering chasing this sort of career. If not, perhaps it’s just helpful to see a different side of the narrative.