You are about to learn how you can play video games for money as a video game tester.
The upper limit of income right now is about $120 an hour—and you can get there…eventually. Since you are just starting out, you will only make around $15 an hour. That is O.K., it’s still a great place to start.
Now, how in the world can I play video games for money? Who is going to pay me?
The gaming industry is huge, its up to $50 billion. Launching a game that is full of bugs is going to be devastating for the company. It will cost them millions of dollars to recall the game, fix it, and repair it. To pay you a few thousand dollars to test their games is pennies compared to the price they will pay for shipping a faulty game.
But why don’t the programmers find all the bugs?
Programmers are paid ~$50 an hour to program the game. They don’t have time to play the game. Not to mention, there is so much variation in game play a lot of people are needed to test it. Outsourcing help from video game testers is the most cost effective means to test the game.
This sounds too good to be true, what are some of the drawbacks to becoming a video game tester?
Well first starters, you can end up working long hours and your thumbs can get very sore. Also, you are playing games that aren’t complete yet, and that can be very frustrating. And worst of all, you will have to replay a lot of the same levels over and over. It can be a tedious job at times, but if you are willing to take the good with the bad, read on to find out where to find these jobs and how to apply.
For the record, being a video game tester is great once you get into it. You can play video games for money right out of your room. They will mail the game to you and you can work from home, and generally work the hours you want. It really has some nice perks.
Where can I find video game tester jobs?
Make a list of game developer websites (like SEGA, Microsoft, EA, etc). Bookmark their websites and check them every few days. Keep an eye out for a job posting and apply to the first one you find. Keep at this for a few weeks and you should find something soon enough.
How do I apply?
Submit your resume with an emphasis on: good communication skills, strong attention to detail, and patience. They want to know you can play their game for hours and find bugs. You are going to play video games for money, but your role is a TESTER not a PLAYER. Remember that.
How can I make my application stand out?
Offer to work your first job for free. Call up the person in charge of hiring the video game testers and tell them you are so enthusiastic about being a game tester you will work for free. This will get your foot in the door when you have no experience. You can then use this as a reference for your next job.
You can also write a letter with a plastic bug in it and say “don’t let your game ship with bugs, give me a call…” That would leave a positive impression and sell your main point—you find bugs!
Now you know it is possible to play video games for money and why it’s a serious business. You know where to start looking, what to focus on in your application, and how to improve your chances getting hired.
Get out there and get gaming!