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Epic Games convert several hundred QA testers permanent staff

Epic Games has decided to hire its testers full-time, with benefits.

The company that took Apple to court over its App Store payment practices will now convert its quality assurance (QA) testers to full-time employees, with all the attendant benefits. It is extending the same offer to contract-based staff. However, the policy only applies to the US.

According to an internal memo obtained by The Verge, the upgrade in status will take effect from April 4th. The company clarified that in some cases, it would be beneficial for both Epic and the worker for the employment to remain temporary.

Altogether, a few hundred workers will be affected, and most, not all, will be QA testers. The company spokesperson, Elka Looks, confirmed to The Verge that all the eligible workers would become permanent staff and qualify for all the benefits US employees deserve.

It will be a change from the game developer’s practice of contracting out QA testing to temporary staffing agencies. The company has worked with agencies like Eastridge, Hays, and Nextaff.

However, Epic Games will still hire temporary workers when short-term needs arise. However, she didn’t elaborate on what her company would need temporary workers for apart from QA testing.

Epic Games is making its temporary workers permanent at the time that there have been rising conflicts between game studios and their staff, including temporary workers like QA testers agitating for better contracts and working conditions. Just a few months ago, Raven Software, owned by Activision, dismissed a dozen QA testers, leading to a publicized walkout. It also caused the formation of the Game Workers Alliance union to push for the rights of workers in the gaming industry.

Working in the gaming industry is not for the faint-hearted. Long work hours are not uncommon, especially during the periods known as crunch, and the extra hours are sometimes unpaid. Epic Games is guilty of this too and has been criticized in the past when its employees exposed how grueling it was to keep up with fans’ expectations for the uber-popular battle royale game, Fortnite. To address the concerns raised by the employees, Epic Games closed its studios for two weeks.

Epic instituted a policy that allowed workers to take every other Friday off during the COVID lockdown but ended the practice last year, to the chagrin of the staff that looked forward to the day off. However, some independent game studios have embraced the four-day work week, including Young Horses, Crow Crow Crow, and Die Gute Fabrik.

Meanwhile, Epic reports that it now has more than 500 million user accounts across all its games and the devices that its games are available on. However, you do not need an account to play its most popular game, Fortnite, on consoles, even though the game is responsible for 350 million accounts.

Daily active users (DAUs) peaked at 31.1 million, while monthly active users (MAUs) for December were 62 million.

The company also has plans for the metaverse, even retaining the name Epic Games Metaverse for its effort in this regard.

Written by HackerVibes

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