The Fortnite Creator is giving Full-Time Employment to “A Few Hundred” of its Contract Workers.
Epic Games has verified that its contingent workers in the United States will be hired full-time and with benefits. The offer is being extended to Quality Assurance (QA) testers and other “qualified” contract-based employees by the Fortnite developer.
The news was initially revealed in an internal document acquired. The business adds in the memo that it 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, said that 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 for 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.
However, Looks stated that the company will continue to hire contingent workers for “short-term needs.” She didn’t have any other details on the various types of contingent workers Epic will be hiring (aside from QA testers), and she didn’t say who would be excluded from the offer.
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. Activision’s Raven Software fired a dozen QA testers in December, provoking a strike and the formation of the Game Workers Alliance union.
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 hours 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 discontinued 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.