Compensation for playtests are notoriously low in the gaming industry, but Bungie playtesting looks to be among the best, according to insider Tom Henderson. Most game publishers and developers provide gift cards, cash, vouchers, free trips to the officers, and free games for playtesters, while some don’t pay much in compensation at all. That Bungie is at the top of the heap over the likes of EA and Activision is a little surprising, but it’s fully owned by Sony so they’ve got solid backing.
Playtesting rates across the gaming industry
Bungie and Activision currently have the best compensation rates for playtesting 👀 https://t.co/3NoXIMfSBw
— Tom Henderson (@_Tom_Henderson_) October 17, 2022
Here is a short list of pay rates for playtesting for various publishers (in alphabetical order), as relayed by Insider Gaming:
- Activision: $40 per hour in AMAX gift cards for a 5-hour session
- Bethesda: Just a swag bag of Bethesda goodies
- Bungie: $50 per hour in gift cards, also a compensation fee for travel to its Bellevue offices
- EA: Anywhere from 1 to 4 free EA games from their library
- Embark Studios: No compensation at all
- Konami: No compensation, but they’ll pay for your travel expenses
- Square Enix: $100 for 4-hour session in office, or $50 for 1-hour session remotely
- Ubisoft: Free games to 20 Euros an hour
- Volition: $15-20 per hour in Visa gift cards, or around $50 for 3-hour session
- WB Games: $100 for a 5-6 hour session
As you can tell from that list, compensation for playtests is somewhat low for many companies. In general, though, they’re good as a side gig and as a way to get your feet wet in Quality Assurance.