Former and current employees have shared their experiences of working at Quantic Lab, a Romanian company which provides quality assurance (QA) support as an external third party.
Quantic Lab came under scruntiny in June when a YouTube video uploaded by channel Upper Echelon Gamers contained details of mismanagement and malpractice at the company while it was helping with development on Cyberpunk 2077.
The allegations, shared with Upper Echelon Gamers by whistleblowers, were brushed off by Quantic Lab CEO and founder Stefan Seicarescu at the time.
In a new report by PC Gamer, employees at Quantic Lab spoke more about conditions at the company and the time spent working on Cyberpunk 2077.
Several employees claimed management told them to "avoid talking" about how many years of experience in QA they had when speaking with CD Projekt Red. CD Projekt Red was not getting the "level of experience" it paid for, and sources said it led to the company raising concerns over the QA's "underwhelming performance" multiple times to Quantic Lab.
Quantic Lab was just one of numerous external QA teams contracted for Cyberpunk 2077, and sources said they accounted for a third of the QA staff on the game. Poor management and lack of experience contributed to the QA team "struggling to fulfil its basic obligations". One former employee told PC Gamer they felt Quantic was partly to blame for the catastrophic state Cyberpunk 2077 launched in, stating "the fact that the game was in the state that it was, [Quantic] contributed".
PC Gamer's sources also revealed the turnover rate at Quantic Lab is high, with lead testers having to lie to clients about the size of QA teams. One former employee described harassment from managers, and many said management would "directly state testing games was unskilled work". Others shared their low salary figures and said it was financially unfeasible to live near the company's office in Cluj-Napoca.
The effects of their time working at Quantic Lab have been damaging. "At this point, [Quantic] should pay for my therapy," one source stated. Another said "Quantic made me hate games and gaming," and ruined their passion for it.
Employees said they were doubtful that making their mistreatment public would prompt Quantic Lab to improve internal conditions. At the very least, it's important we make sure the experiences shared from testers are heard. As we're seeing with QA testers at Raven Software (within Activision Blizzard), it's a slow and difficult process to driving fair conditions for employees, but it can be done.