The video games industry has grown into billions of dollars a year. Game console and software creators like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony create games and consoles for the average person like you and me hoping they will generate revenue. These companies attempt to make sure that every game they release has the greatest profit margin possible. As such, before any piece of software gets released to the public they must first be tested and debugged. This is where you come in and make money by playtesting games. Making money by playing games can be one of the best jobs imaginable. If you love to play video games, why not get paid to do so? It’s akin to being a professional athlete, except you don’t have to be physically fit and can work in the comfort of any office chair or couch!
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Software companies need folks to test their games extensively before they are able to ship and release them. They are willing and able to compensate you for your time and effort so why not let them. Basically what you will be doing is playing the game and relaying how you feel about it to the designers. They’re looking for feedback like, “the difficulty is too extreme, why did that character just say that? or bugs that may and quite often will happen”. The main responsibility as a game tester is to test the game and document any bugs that may occur as you play.
Should a game be released without this kind of playtesting, the software company could lose thousands of dollars from poor reviews of the game. As well, bugs and glitches can very seriously hinder the chances a game has of achieving success. This all sounds fantastic, but how does one get into the business of playtesting games?
Before you can attain a job as a game tester, there are some basic requirements you should be aware of.
Usually, almost anyone can get paid to play games, but there are a few basics that must be met. For example, most software companies will not hire playtesters younger than 18 years old. If you are younger, then perhaps you should shelve this aspiration for the time being. Other than meeting the age requirement and having a professional demeanor and an eagerness for the gaming industry, there aren’t many more requirements that must be met.
Earning a living as a playtester does have some obvious advantages compared to any other job. The most obvious of which is that you get to play games before anyone else! As well, oftentimes you will be allowed to keep the games you playtest, for free! Playtesting is also a great way to break into the software development industry, provides excellent material for your resume, and is simply one of the most entertaining ways to make a living available.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, and who wouldn’t, I encourage you to follow your dreams and get into the game testing field. I think you’ll find it immensely rewarding.