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Treyarch Testers Describe “Nightmare” Working Conditions During Black Ops 4 Development

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Review

A recent report by Kotaku has come to light revealing some nasty things about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Treyarch, Activision and the development behind the game.

Kotaku interviewed 11 current and former Treyarch staff members who spoke about the working conditions during the development process of Black Ops 4 and things sound horrific. The gaming industry suffers from a common “crunch” problem and Black Ops 4 was no different.

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The QA testers that spoke out during the interview revealed they were treated as inferior to full-time Treyarch employees. One revealed the company often turned the air conditioning off at night after the “usual” staff left their shifts. The QA testers were still in the building for their night shift and had to work in 32-degree offices for a 12-hour shift.

“A couple of jokes were made about sweatshops and all that, but it’s terrifying, because it kind of was sometimes, especially in the dead of July,”

Jason Schreier from Kotaku detailed the full report which you can read here. More unfair treatment revealed that the QA testers were left out of most all celebrations including the welcoming part for the “summer interns” that included pizza, beer and jubilation.

The QA testers were told they were only allowed down at the party for max 20 minutes and were told to not drink because they still had work to do. After their shifts, they would have to scrounge for leftovers after non-testers and “interns” already ate.

But the drama does not end there. The report goes into detail salaries including the $13 an hour rate the QA testers were paid and the 70-hour work weeks. This in contrast to Activision CFO’s $15 million bonus he received in January.

QA testers claim panic attacks, dissociation and burnout followed the tough year of Black Ops 4 development and claim it was a “nightmare”. You can read the fully-detailed report over on Kotaku.

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