As QA workers across the industry announce plans to unionize, and as studios like Blizzard are accused of busting unions, Xbox Games Studio head Matt Booty has revealed his plans to develop AI that can replace the work performed by quality control teams.
“Some of the processes that we have, really haven’t kept up with how quickly we can create content,” Booty said (as reported by VGC). “Whenever something new comes into a big game, the whole game has to be tested, front to back, side to side. My dream: There’s a lot going on with AI machine learning right now, and the people using AI to generate all these images What I always say when I meet AI people is: ‘Help me figure out how to use an AI bot to test a game.
“Because I would love to be able to launch 10,000 instances of a game in the cloud, so there are 10,000 copies of the game running, deploy an AI bot to spend all night testing that game, then in the morning we get a report Because that would be transformational.”
In recent years, reports have claimed that quality control workers are underpaid and mistreated, with Nintendo employees working at an outsourced company saying it was “like a nightmare.” Former employees allege harassment and inappropriate behavior by male managers, even claiming that a full-time Nintendo worker shared explicit images of Paimon from Genshin Impact in a Microsoft Teams chat.
Meanwhile, workers at Blizzard Albany QA claim that Activision is cracking down on unions, hiring the law firm Reed Smith, who allegedly tried to squash Raven QA’s own unionization efforts. For context, Blizzard Albany used to be known as Vicarious Visions, the developers behind the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. “Instead of following Microsoft’s lead and committing to a labor neutrality agreement, Activision has made a clear and conscious decision to deny us our basic labor rights while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an anti-union company,” said Albany Game Workers. Alliance said in a statement.
Activision Blizzard, the company behind the most infamous cases of alleged union busting in the past two years, is being acquired by Microsoft, the company that owns Xbox, which is now detailing plans to introduce AI replacements for quality control.
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