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A Look Back at ‘The Tester’ Season 1 Winner: Where is Will Powers Now?

Kevin Furuichi's Avatar + Posted by Kevin Furuichi on Oct 12, 2010 // Executive Producer, PlayStation Network

It’s been almost six months since the end of the inaugural season of “The Tester”. In April, we introduced you to our first winner, Will “Cyrus” Powers. As we prepare for the second season of “The Tester,” set to premiere on Tuesday, November 2, we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Will about his experience as a QA Tester for PlayStation, how it has affected his gaming habits and impacted his trophy collection. So what’s up with Will these days? Well, here’s what we learned…

Will Powers from The Tester Season 1

Kevin Furuichi, executive producer for PlayStation Network: It has been six months since you started working at Sony. What has the experience been like?

Will Powers, winner of “The Tester”: The experience overall has been a blast. Testing may not be a super glamorous position, but its importance within the industry cannot be overstated. Being able to get my hands on games six months, sometimes even a year, before they are released is still just as exhilarating as it was the first time. But, the most rewarding part of the job? As simple as it sounds, just seeing my name in the credits of a game triggers a feeling of accomplishment that will never get old.

KF: What is working as a QA Tester like? In your opinion, what was the biggest takeaway of your work experience? How has the hard work paid off for you?

WP: Being a QA Tester is a great experience for anyone looking to get into the industry. That’s something that is invaluable about having a firsthand experience seeing how a game comes together from start to finish. Once you have experienced this, you have a greater appreciation for any game as a whole, and the amount of work that goes into it. I’d like to think that all of the hard work I’ve put into this has paid off. I approach situations with the mindset that every contact you make is an important one and I think people in the industry appreciate when people are genuine with them.

KF: Do you still keep in contact with a lot of the cast?

WP: I do keep in contact with a lot of the cast. A cool little trip I had the chance to take was attending E3, where I got the opportunity to hang with “Amped,” “Doc,” and “Nauseous” from the show. But on a regular basis, I often find myself playing co-op or competitive multiplayer with these people, because we’re all always online.

KF: How’s the trophy hunt going? At the end of Season 1, you were sitting at 39 platinum trophies. Any recent trophies that you are especially proud of?

WP: Ha! Funny that you might ask. Recently I surpassed the 3000 trophy point as well as attained my 45th platinum trophy. The Killzone 2 platinum was a particular beast. Between being in the top 1% of all of the online players, to beating the game on Elite difficulty, this is one of the prizes in my collection.

KF: How does being a QA Tester change your gaming habits? What game is currently in your PS3 or PSP?

WP: Great question! It most certainly does change your gaming habits. We joke about it being sort of a “curse” if you let it. I find myself accidentally “breaking” games when I go home. But in the end, I just have to focus on enjoying the games and PLAYING them normally instead of TESTING the games. Currently? I’m running through Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. Playing co-op with the PlayStation Move on that game is so much fun, I just can’t get enough of it. It truly has breathed new life into that game. As far as the PSPgo(es)… see what I did there? *laughs* I haven’t been able to put Valkyria Chronicles II down. This is actually my favorite franchise, and despite the naysayers about this franchise going portable, I think I’d go out on a limb and say that I like this second installment into the series even more than the original.

KF: Let’s talk about the upcoming new season. Tell us what you think of the cast for Season 2. Have you picked a favorite?

WP: It’s hard for me to objectively look at the cast of Season 2, since there will obviously be comparisons to last year’s cast (and I have a personal bias toward them). However, I’m looking forward to seeing what new things these 12 contestants are going to bring to the table. Because from everything I’ve heard, Season 2 is going to be bigger and better than Season 1 in every aspect. For those reasons, I’m not picking a favorite. However, that’s not to say that there won’t be a betting pool here at work as to who our next co-worker will be!

KF: You got a sneak peek at the Season 2 trailer, what are your expectations for the new season?

WP: They’re in for a lot of surprises this season, for sure! The challenges are harder, the panelists are tougher, and the stakes are higher this season. Let’s just hope all 12 contestants brought their A-games, otherwise they’re going to be sent packing, and quickly!

KF: If there is one thing that you would like to tell the winner of the second season, what would it be?

WP: Make the most of it! The job is a foot in the door into the industry, but it’s up to you what you do with it after that. So, take this great opportunity that you fought tooth and nail to win, and make something of it!

It’s been a pleasure getting to know Will this year. We wish him all the best as he continues to take full advantage of this opportunity at SCEA. As for the Season 2 trailer that he mentioned? We’re releasing it on next Tuesday, October 19 with the Preview Show on Tuesday, October 26 and then the Season Premiere on Tuesday, November 2.

//Add Your Own

45 Comments   2 Replies

1

+ Netweb on October 12th, 2010 at 11:13 am said:

I want to be a tester too..


2

+ BalramRules on October 12th, 2010 at 11:16 am said:

same!


3

+ Chaosrunner on October 12th, 2010 at 11:16 am said:

VC2 is pretty damned addictive, all right. Nice to see the professionals love it, too.


4

+ CF3esBestia on October 12th, 2010 at 11:17 am said:

Cyrus is beast, but I loved my boy Nauseous. Dude was dope


5

+ Nintendo451 on October 12th, 2010 at 11:17 am said:

You can tell how old this interview is because you’ve already Plat’d RE5.

It’s sad when I have great friends that are across the entire country. Guess I have to try and get on Season 3 now, if there is one. *crosses fingers*


6

+ mcbuttz78 on October 12th, 2010 at 11:32 am said:

45 platnuim trophies are you guys 4 real?? I havent got platnuim trophy yet.. :(


7

+ SPOOKULA209 on October 12th, 2010 at 11:32 am said:

lol Will is crazy, if ya’ll only knew


8

+ jipmg on October 12th, 2010 at 11:34 am said:

I follow him on twitter… lawlz


9

+ jvasq on October 12th, 2010 at 11:38 am said:

QUESTION: is being a tester the BEST way to get into the industry? I’m a computer science major and i really want to get into game design but i dont know if its better if i become a tester, or try and get an internship with a company and get my degree. please….please answer. no one here in my college knows and I am going crazy!!!


10

+ Frazz on October 12th, 2010 at 11:41 am said:

Will Powers on Podcast Beyond needs to happen. BEYOND!!!


11

+ HypnoticMonkey on October 12th, 2010 at 11:46 am said:

For a long time I wanted to become a video games tester, but after hearing about it first hand from a friend of mine who actually does it I wouldn’t want anyone who loves video games to do it.

You have to understand, you’re playing the same section of whatever game you’ve been told to play for hours on end (until a scheduled break), write a short report and then continue with something else.

It’s not what people expect, it’s not just sitting down for 8 hours playing a game you love and getting paid for it.


12

+ Crimson_Ryan on October 12th, 2010 at 11:53 am said:

Will Powers is such an awesome dude. Very realistic and level-headed guy. I wish him the best! :)


13

+ KazeEternal on October 12th, 2010 at 11:55 am said:

I like the idea of PSN programming, but I don’t like the tester. Can SCEA please move on to something else that might interest everyone?

@jvasq
I’ll try to make this short, you may want to try a school like FIEA which is a part of UCF here in Florida. My friends and my sister have gone there and managed to secure positions in the game industry pretty quickly. From what I understand programmers are always in demand (I trying to do the same thing you are with my CS degree).

Testing works, but judging from current stories I hear from people that route is more about who you know than what you know. You may want to take some Computer Graphics Courses and create some demos from what you’ve learned. AI as well. UCf actually has a Game AI course where I actually built a game from the ground up. There is also the Indie route of simply making small games and going from there. So XNA with XBLA maybe a good way to not only build a portfolio, but get some experience (what I’m doing now while I save up to get into FIEA).


14

+ Jimmy_Cosmos on October 12th, 2010 at 12:03 pm said:

This reality stuff is all fine & dandy but is anyone at Sony going to comment on the swirling rumors of GT5 being delayed??


15

+ NARDE15 on October 12th, 2010 at 12:03 pm said:

Good Stuff, cant wait!!!


16

+ TheCrazyMerc on October 12th, 2010 at 12:10 pm said:

Can the Tester be streamed live rather than downloaded?


17

+ jvasq on October 12th, 2010 at 12:13 pm said:

@KazeEternal wow man thanks a lot. Man I have been trying to find stuff out for ever. yea i have xna and just need to save up too. thanks a million man.


18

+ Kanedas_Bike on October 12th, 2010 at 12:19 pm said:

Doc is in the house!!! I just wonder when Sony will release official Tester shirts in RL. season 2 got better stuff than season1 but we knew that was gonna happen. Congrats to my boy will and his success. I can imagine what he does next will be just as well recieved.


    Kevin Furuichi's Avatar

     

    + Kevin Furuichi on October 12th, 2010 at 2:31 pm said:

    Hey Doc,

    Hope all is well. Still saving lives?


19

+ Link01 on October 12th, 2010 at 12:30 pm said:

Jesus, the Elite trophy in Killzone 2 is easy cake. I got that a looong time ago. It’s the fricken top %1 that is a pain. Just requires too much time.


20

+ Spinout209 on October 12th, 2010 at 12:36 pm said:

I’m following Cyrus on Twitter, that makes me awesome! lol


21

+ Gas0linE on October 12th, 2010 at 12:37 pm said:

lol, Sony, maybe you should be working on improving PSN (Cross game chat) instead of posting interviews about someone who makes 12 dollars an hour testing video games. LOL, what a joke.


22

+ krae_man on October 12th, 2010 at 12:37 pm said:

That doesn’t read like a real interview. Sounds like he was preped on what to say beforehand. Like one of those annoying pundits on New channels that spews nothing but talking points.


    Kevin Furuichi's Avatar

     

    + Kevin Furuichi on October 12th, 2010 at 2:29 pm said:

    Why so cynical? I sent him questions. Will emailed back. Pretty straight forward…except for the part about what he’s currently working…which we can’t talk about.


23

+ ImSoForKingBedS on October 12th, 2010 at 12:42 pm said:

Yeah being a tester was great until they moved the department i worked at at Sony to San Diego. We all had a big laugh when they came through the bays and filmed us working for the pilot, thought it was funny for people to be fighting to do what we do. And testing is a great foot in the door but I would definitely recommend trying to get on with an individual developer rather than a large publisher as they usually take better care of their people.


24

+ eatthemall on October 12th, 2010 at 12:48 pm said:

“This is actually my favorite franchise, and despite the naysayers about this franchise going portable, I think I’d go out on a limb and say that I like this second installment into the series even more than the original.”
then you will love 3


25

+ LiQuiZoN on October 12th, 2010 at 12:52 pm said:

I’ve developed games and for all the uninformed…Developing a game is shares NOTHING with playing the game. It is work. And Videogames specifically, require an incredible amount of work.


26

+ Lobstermancer on October 12th, 2010 at 1:24 pm said:

Why do I get the sense he had a gun to his head during this interview? This is not what game testing is like, at all. You don’t just get to play games six months to a year before release. If games were ready six months to a year before release, they’d be released six months to a year early.

You get to play the same buggy section of a game over, and over, and over, and over, and over. And you are not allowed to stop till it’s not buggy anymore. Then you get to move on to the next part.


27

+ cronqvist on October 12th, 2010 at 1:52 pm said:

You should have asked him about his Hannah Montana Platinum Trophy. OH SNAP!

Haha, nah. Best wishes to you Will!


28

+ F-minus on October 12th, 2010 at 1:57 pm said:

Nothing againts Mr. Powers, but when i read the title of this blog post the first image that pop-ed into my odd mind was a picture of him passed out nakey in the gutter… with text below saying “The Tester: Never again, Sorry playstation fans, Will ruined it for you all”

I wish this interview went alittle bit more in depth, but IDK i guess cameras are only let so far in before they must be squashed.


29

+ I3rand0 on October 12th, 2010 at 1:57 pm said:

@krae_man

Agreed. Its pretty obvious this isn’t an interview and more of a PR fluff piece like most of the other non recorded interviews around here. I honestly don’t even know how he can still want to play games in his spare time when its a full time job now.


30

+ FormerPSfan on October 12th, 2010 at 1:57 pm said:

this is nothing but propaganda in its most amateurish form. Sony have you no shame at all? do you not realize how infantile this makes you look as a whole? 45platinums? get real!! Do you expect us to believe he’s been playing his PS3 since launch day nonstop with no sleep or even a trip to the washroom? You guys really should’ve saved this for april fools thats all its good for.


31

+ solace357 on October 12th, 2010 at 2:00 pm said:

Will is a super nice dude. Met him at the Blog meet-up in Boston. I agree with guy above, get him on podcast BEYOND! he could do his own just-a-tip trophy tip.


32

+ Zee_009 on October 12th, 2010 at 2:20 pm said:

Coolest job ever! Btw 45 platinum trophies!!!!!!! I have 2…


33

+ HUnewm on October 12th, 2010 at 2:53 pm said:

He likes Valkyria Chronicles II.

This is a good man.


34

+ JonJonXD on October 12th, 2010 at 2:59 pm said:

Glad to see he’s making the most of it. People tend to forget that you have to start from the bottom to get to the top.


35

+ UNCyrus on October 12th, 2010 at 3:20 pm said:

@16

Last season you could go into The Tester’s theater in HOME to watch the episodes streamed if you didn’t want to download. Not sure about this season, you’d have to ask Kevin on specifics. :)


36

+ digitalman123 on October 12th, 2010 at 3:57 pm said:

I thought he’d be rolling in money, game manuals, and controllers. *shrug* Tell Will I said hi! 45 platinums?!?!? I’ve only got 2! Hi Will!!


37

+ DisnayATX on October 12th, 2010 at 4:06 pm said:

12 Plats. How does that nutrient-rich sludge taste when it floods your cube?


38

+ MaxxAmmo on October 12th, 2010 at 4:34 pm said:

Please ‘bleep’ (censor) your shows or rate them for content. I was watching this with young-un’s in the room and the language got a little nasty and I got in trouble. Pleez?


39

+ OfficialGAYMER on October 12th, 2010 at 5:32 pm said:

@#30 FormerPSFan: All of us new cast members have talked to Will on PSN and they are all real trophies. He’s crazy good.


40

+ towuzzi on October 12th, 2010 at 5:33 pm said:

i think when ps makes the game tester global it will be a hit.


41

+ krae_man on October 12th, 2010 at 6:15 pm said:

I’m cynical because he sounded like a PR person and not Joe schmo form wherever who won his dream job at Sony.

He sounded prepped, not candid.


42

+ JimInPT on October 12th, 2010 at 11:47 pm said:

I have no interest whatsoever in 95% of the game crap that comes out – I can’t imagine how horrible and boring it would be to drag myself in everyday because I *have* to play all that crap to make a buck.


43

+ Mr_AzNDrEaMeR510 on October 13th, 2010 at 12:20 am said:

45 platinums is alot!!! i only have 25. i wonder what games he platinum’d…..


44

+ OmegaAF on October 14th, 2010 at 5:00 pm said:

We miss you Cyrus!

Your friends at N4G (including me, AuTo)


45

+ Looukas on October 20th, 2010 at 4:20 pm said:

I love this show! Can’t wait for new season :D


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