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Starfield QA tester claims he had to fight Bethesda to get credit mention

Another case of unfair treatment for essential staff
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Testers in the quality assurance departments of video game developers are the unsung heroes of creating games. They spend months chasing after bugs and trying to replicate crash sources, carefully documenting everything to allow the team of developers to smooth out the experience before release. It’s an essential position and any attempt to cut costs in this area is detrimental to product quality. Unfortunately, that ‘unsung’ part often comes back to bite the testers.

The most recent case is that of a QA tester at Bethesda, who worked on Starfield and Redfall, but was cut from the team shortly before the space RPG was released. Instead of receiving his due mention in the game’s credits – an impactful and important reference point for job hunts –, the tester claims that he was supposed to remain unmentioned entirely at first.

After talking through it with Bethesda’s management, it was decided that he’d get a mention after all, though management wouldn’t guarantee that this would happen in time for release. Another sticking point is that the tester seemingly won’t be listed in the section for QA members, instead receiving a nod in the Special Thanks category – making his role rather ambiguous and the credit pretty much useless as a reference for future negotiations.

Furthermore, it seems like something similar happened with the tester’s work on Redfall.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case of essential staff in roles that have less publicity being treated unfairly when it comes to mentions in the credits. Aside from QA members, translators and localizers are often shafted in this area, as happened recently with Baldur’s Gate 3 or even earlier this year with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. Even developers that were let go before a project released sometimes are left out, as was the case with The Callisto Protocol.