• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Testers at Activision-owned Raven Software have voted to form the U.S. video game industry's first major union.

Clear

Gold Member
They'll just outsource testing. Most likely gradually so as not to draw attention to it. They'll just let attrition take place naturally and replace minimally until the unit is dead and forgotten.

What I also suspect is they'll quietly blackball everyone in that department, as in they won't get offered promotion via the usual pathways into design and production so as to prevent activism from spreading.

The bottom line is these roles are not unique and irreplacable. In an industry where key talent is often treated as disposable, I really can't see testers being given special treatment and bargaining powers!
 
Jason Screecher sounds like he's getting hard at this news right now.

Good luck staying competitive, and best of luck to MS inheriting this mess.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Googling it, average QA tester wages in the US go anywhere from $30-50,000. I excluded some survey outliers which said $65,000, and one employee survey said they make $100,000 at EA????

Who knows, but for sake of argument, let's ignore the big outliers and say the avg QA tester makes $40,000. That's $20/hr.

Wages and job security are obviously a sticking point, so what kind of wage does an avg QA worker want if they are getting around $20/hr right now? $25? $30? $40?
 

daveonezero

Member
Googling it, average QA tester wages in the US go anywhere from $30-50,000. I excluded some survey outliers which said $65,000, and one employee survey said they make $100,000 at EA????

Who knows, but for sake of argument, let's ignore the big outliers and say the avg QA tester makes $40,000. That's $20/hr.

Wages and job security are obviously a sticking point, so what kind of wage does an avg QA worker want if they are getting around $20/hr right now? $25? $30? $40?
Isn’t it an entry level position?
 
How will Activision ever hope to replace 20 game testers, if this "union" decides to strike?
I swear, American game devs have no idea what they would even do with a union, they just have convinced themselves that they need a union.
 
Wait until you read the comments in this thread on how this is bad or something lol
The word isn't "bad", but rather "irrelevant". 20 game testers have literally zero leverage in this scenario. So, good for them, but let me know how this improves anything for them irl
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Forming a union means nothing. It all comes down to if a company recognizes it as part of employee relations.

I'd just fire them and find good workers who arent unionized. Unionized workers are entitled. The kind of worker that drops everything they do at 5 pm. The stories my brothers told me long time when they worked at the post office as PT summer students. You wouldnt believe the shit the vets did and how little they worked. Yet at the time, posties got paid pretty well.

It's a pretty simple concept if you want a good job at decent pay. Get a role which you arent lumped in with tons other drones all willing to work or $15/hour.

Lots of people out there make decent money. Cant be that hard. You dont have to be a doctor or lawyer to make good coin. The dev team and IT people the QA people work beside probably make 3x or more what they make.

Companies will pay you good money if you are worth it. The money is there. Let's not pretend here that every company pays all their workers $9/hr. If that's all you get offered, you got shit skills because aside from fast food and shopping mall kinds of jobs, nobody gets paid that low.

The lowets job at my company are probably marketing assistants and junior analysts. They get paid around $60,000/yr CDN. Not saying that will make you a millionaire, but getting paid the equivalent of $30/hr to do some basic spreadsheets and rudimentary analysis, it cant be that hard to get a job that pays ok. Most of these people are lousy (young grads who are learning or those stodgy 40 or 50 year olds who cant get better)..... but still getting $60,000. If they can get hired any white collar dude can.

If a company is willing to outsource your job to another country to save a couple bucks, it shows your not as great as you think if some guy half way around the world who can barely speak english and relies on Skype to talk to the boss can do an equally or better job than you.
Can confirm on the USPS story. I worked there during the summers in college. The union employees were the laziest people I've ever met. They got paid twice as much to do 1/8th of the work.

Not that I blame them. I'd do the same.
 

ThatGamingDude

I am a virgin
Pros and cons to unions

For us idiot Americans, go take a course on American History (If you can more focused on the 1890s+) at your local learning annex
Then reverse that 1890s+ and make it 1890s- and be amazed at how anything in life typically has pros and cons

Having a union ain't bad as long as it's handled well
But you could make the same argument about most things in life eh?
oNlY 20 PeOplE That's a pretty large QA team >.>
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Can confirm on the USPS story. I worked there during the summers in college. The union employees were the laziest people I've ever met. They got paid twice as much to do 1/8th of the work.

Not that I blame them. I'd do the same.
The best stories my bros had at Canada Post (looks like posties on both sides of the border acted the same) was when the posties would read everyone's magazines for a days passing it around and then finally send it off to the destination. Or they'd be stolen. Porn mags were the most abused.

Other hilarious stories would be people doing nothing all day and smoking in the bathroom, and workers at their bell going home at the drop of a dime. I don't know what mail sorting is like now, but back then my bros would be amazed how the vets would have a bin that can be cleared out as it's almost done, but since it's home time, they leave it. So mail takes an extra day to deliver because someone didn't want to finish off a bin.

For all you magazines subbers (at least the remaining ones left), now you know why mags in the 90s started getting shrinkwrapped or sent in opaque packaging. Mags in the 80s were sent loose so anyone could flip through it.

At my first job involving union workers (university summer job) I made shitty little tools on a machine. One person per machine. The automated setting churned out product about once every 50-60 seconds. Just keep it going till break time or you manually shut it off to refill the plastic hatch. Or you could do the manual way of constantly pressing on after every cycle which would be a pain in the ass.

I made more product than all unionized vets. I was making around $6/hr. They were getting around $20+. It literally took me a few days to learn the machine from loading material to using it. The only thing I couldnt do is fix it if it overheated, which some of these old ass machines did. So when that happened, I turned off the machine and one of the technicians would do whatever he did to fix it over the next hour as I sat outside waiting.

The reason they were making less is because at the end of our shift (we worked the 4 to 12:30am evening shift), I worked straight through till 12:15. Last 15 min to clean up and log my count into the master binder. The machine has a counter on it.

They would quit at 11:30 pm and did nothing for the final hour. No supervisor in the evening shift. The vets were the supervisors. They would be sitting at a table in street clothes chilling. They had to stick around till 12:30 am as it was old school Fred Flintstone punch clocks.

It was the easiest job in the world. The most amazing thing was when one of the vets told me to stop early. lol. Fuck em. I worked till 12:15. My daily count was around 2,500. They'd do about 2,000-2,200 yet got paid way more.

And then the second time I encountered union workers was when I had an office job and the union guys were downstairs in the shipping bays. We were on the fence to make the month or quarter so the VP of our division told us to go downstairs and help out with wrapping skids. The warehouse crew were falling behind and many of us have some warehouse experience. I even know how to drive a forklift. And many of the office workers started out in the warehouse. The union guys didn't let us touch the stuff overriding the VP. They complained to the warehouse manager. I was expecting the floor to be some frantic action where were asked to help out because it's a pressure cooker down there. About 6-7 get down there and everyone is moving at a turtles pace like nobody cared. Assholes. Maybe if you guys picked up the slack we'd hit our numbers.
 
Last edited:

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
As for some of you above talking US or Scandanavian unions, there does seem to be a difference. I don't know what it is, but when people in Europe talk unions it seems (I think) to be more productive and well intentioned as it's meant to be.

But in US/Canada some reason it seems unions can be a clusterfuck.
 

yurinka

Member
"Major union" of 20 testers of the same office? Here we call that afterworks beers.

As for some of you above talking US or Scandanavian unions, there does seem to be a difference. I don't know what it is, but when people in Europe talk unions it seems (I think) to be more productive and well intentioned as it's meant to be.
In Spain there are only a few unions and are global, cross-industries unions and basically do nothing for workers. They are basically more corrupt puppets who collect a lot of -sometimes legally, sometimes illegally- money from tax payers.

There is no game industry specific union.
 
Last edited:

Nautilus

Member
I feel pity for whoever works there. They are going to suffer by the union's hand.

Well, it will be good learning lesson for them.
 

Godot25

Member
Ehhh. 22 people are now considered "major?" Or is someone overselling fact that it is first union in industry?
Or am I missing something here?
 

Dodkrake

Banned
This topic goes to show that most people here have a) never held a job or b) ever worked in a country were unions negotiate the majority of worker / employer relationships.

Not surprising.
 

BadBurger

Gold Member
Hopefully this little whisper is the start of a larger trend in the industry. Workers get taken advantage of so much in the industry that when the stories about it comes out it doesn't even generate shock or surprise any longer.


20 people.

All of the news stories indicate it's 28 people. Not all of the eligible employees voted for whatever reason. Still not exactly a mob of employees, but it's a start. Good for them.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom