77 Starfield External Beta Testers to Receive Increased Pay and Free Copies


todd howard

Could you imagine beta testing a game and not receiving your own free copy? 77 workers at ZeniMax Studios understandably felt left out when Starfield finally came out on September 6, and they were not given complimentary copies.

That can be frustrating, especially if you had to unionize to receive higher pay and that coveted copy of Bethesda’s space explorer RPG.

Kotaku recently reported that, in an industry-breaking move, Microsoft agreed to recognize the newly established quality assurance union in its subsidiary ZeniMax Studios.

This unprecedented move in the video game industry turned 23 beta testers into full-time workers while assuring pay increases and free copies for everyone.

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Credit: Reddit

The Communication Workers of America said that ZeniMax and Microsoft will hopefully " set a new standard for workers across the gaming industry.”

It remains to be seen if Microsoft’s decision will create a “snowball” effect in an industry notorious for employing external contractors, who generally receive lower pay and fewer benefits than their regular counterparts.

They also face uncertain job stability, as many QA staff at Electronic Arts’ Bioware found out when they were suddenly laid off while working on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf.

In related news, Todd Howard revealed that 250 people are currently assigned to work on updates and new content for Starfield. Howard had also previously suggested that Starfield is supposedly meant to be played in the long term, which explains the significant staffing size on the studio’s largest game.

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