Hundreds of temp testers are being turned into full-time workers with perks at Epic Games.
Epic Games has verified that its contingent workers in the United States will be hired full-time and with benefits. The revelation was initially revealed in an internal memo, which stated that the business will “provide full-time at-will employment to qualifying US-based contingent workers,” with “many of those offers effective April 4th, 2022.” However, certain individuals will not be offered the job, since “there are a few circumstances in which it makes sense for both the worker and Epic to maintain contingent worker status,” according to the document.
Elka Looks, an Epic representative, claimed the game company will hire “a few hundred” contractors, with “most but not all” of them being quality assurance (QA) testers. According to Looks, all of the employees will be entitled to Epic Games’ US employee benefits plans and will be directly employed by the company. QA testers and other workers are currently hired through temp agencies such as Eastridge, Hays, and Nextaff.
Epic’s decision to make contract-based staff full-time employees comes at a time when tensions between workers and large game production companies are at an all-time high; it’s also a significant step toward improving working conditions for QA testers and other employees.
Epic is no exception to the gaming industry’s practice of forcing employees to very long hours during (sometimes unpaid) “crunch” periods. Epic was chastised in 2019 after employees revealed the long workdays required to keep the immensely popular battle royale, Fortnite, on track with players’ expectations. In response to staff concerns, Epic Games shut down its studios for two weeks.
Epic Games abandoned its COVID-era policy of allowing staff to take every other Friday off last year, displeasing employees who said the extra day off was useful. Young Horses, Crow Crow Crow, Die Gute Fabrik, and other indie developers have made the switch to a four-day workweek.