So today, I’m at Lougheed Mall Walmart checking out their DVD section (please, no comments, there are no A&B Sound stores near my house). As I’m perusing, I overhear one dude talking to his buddy in the next section over, the video games. They were moving around slightly and a few displays were obscuring my hearing. Thus, I was not able to hear all aspects of what that one guy was saying. Nonetheless, I will attempt to transcribe his words here.

“Hey, I have this buddy, he’s twenty-five… (unintelligible) …his father… (unintelligble) EA Sports….”

“… architect… (unintelligible) …job… (unintelligible) …his entire job is to play games and tell the programmer about glitches and stuff… (unintelligible)”

“…he makes $113 000 a year just playing games all day… his first job at 25, and he makes $113 000 a year!”

My first instinct was to approach this individual and get the name of the person he was talking to. I thought better of it, since I was still stunned by the contents of his words. I have several comments to make about what I heard. First, I can only assume when he said EA Sports, he means EA Canada in Burnaby. Most of the public can’t distinguish between a line of titles and actual studios. Second, I am highly skeptical of the salary he mentioned for what I can only assume is a testing position with QA at EA Canada. Having worked in the QA department at EA Canada for almost two years, I am almost certain no one is making $113 000 a year being just a tester. It’s just not possible. Perhaps he might have been talking about a project manager, but even for a PM, $113 000 is an extremely high salary. And no PM is only 25 years old at EA Canada. The QA manager probably makes the most money within the QA department, but that position is currently held by a woman who also isn’t 25 years old.

Let’s just play devil’s advocate for a second. What if there is a tester that is making $113 000 a year? Who would it be? From what I overheard, it appears that someone’s father helped this guy get his job. This is not unheard of, but from the instances that I saw while I was a tester, no one got special salaries or anything. I am slightly out of the loop with respect to EA Canada QA now, but those who are still there might be able to get to the bottom of this.

Logically, I’m inclined to believe that this guy at Walmart doesn’t know what he’s talking about, or that his friend lied to him. This is the simplest explanation. However, history has shown some unbelievable decisions have been made at EA Canada. Could this be another instance of that? Only time will tell. I hope I will have more to write about this in the next few days.

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