The gaming industry is an industry that just keeps growing. In 2019 Global Mobile Game Revenue grew to $68.5 Billion, Newzoo, a gaming analytics source, estimates that by the end of 2020 that number will hit $76.7 Billion, which would be a 12% increase. There are various jobs in the gaming industry that are in demand such as game designers, audio engineers, game animators and artists, interpreters, analysts and one that is crucial to the lifecycle of a game that’s in development – quality assurance (QA) testers or, as commonly called, game testers. And because of this, QA testers might be one of the most important candidates to carefully choose when hiring for the gaming industry.
BUT WHY IS HIRING THE RIGHT FIT FOR AN ENTRY LEVEL ROLE SO IMPORTANT?
This role interacts with almost the entirety of the development cycle
A QA tester’s priority is to find bugs, or as some like to say, break the game. Sure, QA testers are a common role in the gaming world but it’s important to remember that this role interacts with more of the development cycle of a video game than any other role. In many cases, the QA tester will be brought on during the planning phase of a new game and will be there until the deployment phase, continuing ongoing maintenance.
Candidates require both analytical and creative thinking
The three most important things for a QA analyst to bring to the table is an analytical mindset, creativity and passion. Many jobs usually require mostly an analytical mindset or a creative one but the unique thing about QA testers is that it requires both. The tester needs to be able to catch issues and work with developers to fix any bugs that a user could run into which requires technical/analytical skills while also considering whether the design is up-to-date with gaming trends and consistent with the game’s storyline which requires a more creative mindset.
Attention to detail is crucial
Design glitches can happen throughout the lifecycle of a game. Checking for quality assurance may sound like a very data driven process but the reality is that QA testers need to have an artistic eye in order to catch any possible issues within the system. Attention to detail may be one of the most important skillsets for your candidate. If a QA tester doesn’t have attention to detail, bugs may go unnoticed and future users of the game could run into them. This role requires a lot of patience, persistence and focus.
This role is becoming more specialized
In most cases, a QA tester is considered an entry level, career stepping-stone role. Usually, someone in the gaming industry will want to move beyond QA testing in the future which means they might have a specialization that they have either studied in school or have one they are considering for the future. While there are no specific educational requirements for QA testers, popular degrees for this role include game design, software design or development, software engineering, computer science, graphic communication, software quality assurance and more.
Since QA testers have the unique mindset of being both analytical and creative there are dozens of career paths that are possible. You’ll want to discuss with your candidate on which path they’re considering on going in the future. If they’re a strong candidate for QA testing, they may be a strong candidate for another gaming role in the future.