In a bit of welcome news that’s on the opposite end of what happened between Activision Blizzard and Raven Software’s QA team, The Verge has confirmed in a recent report that Epic Games has decided to turn many of its US-based contingent workers into full-time workers with benefits. The offer is being made to both quality assurance (QA) testers and other “eligible” contract-based employees, according to Epic spokesperson Elka Looks, who told the tech outlet that “a few hundred” contractors, most of whom are QA testers, would be hired as full-time employees. Epic Games will still continue to seek out contingent workers for “short-term needs,” however.
Epic Games is making hundreds of temp testers into full employees with benefits (The Verge)
- The news first surfaced in an employee-facing memo obtained by The Verge. In the memo, the company writes it will “offer full-time at-will employment to eligible US-based contingent workers,” and that “many of those offers will be effective April 4th, 2022.” But it also notes that some workers won’t receive the offer, citing “there are a few exceptions in which it makes sense for both the worker and Epic to maintain contingent worker status.”
- Looks confirmed that all the workers will be eligible for the company’s US employee benefits plans, and will also be directly employed by Epic Games. The studio currently contracts out QA testers and other workers through temp agencies, including Eastridge, Hays, and Nextaff.
- Epic’s move to make its contract-based workers full-time employees comes at a time when tensions between workers and major game development studios are high; not to mention that it’s a huge step towards improving working conditions for QA testers and other workers. In December, Activision’s Raven Software laid off a dozen QA testers, prompting a walkout, and later the organization of the Game Workers Alliance union.