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Death Game Quality Assurance  By  cover art

Death Game Quality Assurance

By: Andrew Rowe
Narrated by: Dina Pearlman,Travis Baldree,Yoshi Amao,Andrew Call,Fiona Rene,Judy Alice Lee,Adam McArthur,Jalen Gilbert
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Publisher's Summary

Working as a quality-assurance grunt in the gaming industry sounds like fun, right? You get to play the coolest new games before anyone else. And all you have to do is to find, reproduce, and report bugs before the last pixel is locked in and the games are launched to an eager public. Sure, there’s the unpaid overtime, the office politics, and the ever-present threat of layoffs. But you get to game!

But when a small third-party testing team is assigned to work on Blade Skill Online - a highly anticipated virtual reality MMORPG - they quickly find that some bugs are more serious than others, and some truly insidious features are "working as intended".  

If our intrepid QA team wants to survive the launch cycle, they're going to have to break this game. Hard.

©2021 Andrew Rowe (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Andrew Rowe is The New York Times best-selling novelist of the Arcane Ascension, War of Broken Mirrors, and Weapons and Wielders series. Each of these books is set in the same sprawling, interconnected universe and known for their intricate world building, detailed magic systems, analytical characters, and epic anime-style action.
Andrew started his career as a game designer working for tabletop RPG books for companies like White Wolf, then later entered the video game industry to work on the legendary MMORPG World of Warcraft at Blizzard Entertainment. After leaving Blizzard, he worked at other amazing companies like Cryptic Studios and Obsidian Entertainment. As a long-time RPG enthusiast, Andrew draws heavily from games for his inspiration, especially Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Ys, Fire Emblem, and The Legend of Heroes.
In his free time, Andrew still runs roleplaying games in the same universe as his books, including Spider Climb, an interactive web serial where fans vote on how the story progresses after each chapter.

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What listeners say about Death Game Quality Assurance

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So much fun!

I loved the pop culture references, and really enjoyed the voice acting. I have really enjoyed all of your books so far, even my kids like your "...Demon King..." book. (Hoping to get more of those for them or at least some hard cover print ones to read to the midgets)
I have always loved your character's and diversity, and the message just toward the end of this book really made me smile.
From one Andrew to another, thank you.

6 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Absolutely loved it. This one is going to be a fun relisten. Rowe's works are ALWAYS a treat. Fantastic voice acting as well!!

5 people found this helpful

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Funny and entertaining

Really loved this one, Mythic Quest vibes with Andrew Rowe’s great character building and storyline, big win :)

4 people found this helpful

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Hilarious

amazing, possibly as good as How to defeat a demon king. thanks for your talent Rowe

4 people found this helpful

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Quick story with quirky humor

I loved this story with my background as an avid gamer and absolute nerd. If you have worked in game development, programming, or similar spaces then you will be laughing out loud throughout the work. Fans of Sword Art Online will enjoy this especially.

The voice actors did an amazing job bringing out the dialog with dripping sarcasm and had great chemistry with each other. The voice actor for Prometheus crushed it in particular, but I loved all the characters and related to their personalities.

Highly recommended for a short and enjoyable listen. Wish there was more!

4 people found this helpful

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A Fantastic Quick Read

Loved the characters and the dynamic of the group. Everyone is very interesting in a real sort of way. This feels like reading a real life QA Chat and interactions, which I have been a part of at times. Turns common tropes on their heads, and uses them in new and hilarious ways. More joyful projects like these please. Is Selys in the Orchestra?

4 people found this helpful

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QA at its finest

Peak QA humor. Amazing SAO parody. Amazing characters with stunning performances by an amazing cast.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible work by Rowe!

Once again, I find myself totally captivated by the characters Rowe has written! With such a short book, his skill with dialog and characterization is even more apperant.

The conversation in this book took place over a chat log and was performed by many different narrators. I've listened to books where each character is a different voice talent, and typically, they feel a bit disjointed or off. But this story completely reversed that and felt so natural! The voice actors did an incredible job in taking these characters the extra mile!

On top of that, the story itself was super incredible. There were a number of references to all kinds of pop culture, in specific things like Sword Art Online, Ready Player One, and those are just the major ones I caught! There are plenty of smaller references too, direct and indirect, that are sure to please!

But even if those are unfamiliar or not your cup of tea, this story has some really fun insights into quality assurance and game development and is generally just a lot of fun! I highly recommend it for anyone interested or looking for a light read.

And of course, check out Rowe's other amazing work! He's a great author, and the talent shown in this work is not a one-off thing! (Especially if you liked this but want some more serious moments, his other books have a great mix of levity and seriousness.)

4 people found this helpful

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SAO from a QA perspective

This is an excellent and quick listen. The story is primarily told through chat logs and issue reports. If you've ever had an interest in game design or the game industry this is a hilarious and excellent read. This is such a fun listen.

4 people found this helpful

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this was clever

smart and fast audiobook. great cast. excellent use of nods to other VR fantasy books/movies, as well as to nerd culture. very enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Olipie
  • 03-17-22

Short, sweet and absolutely hilarious.

Much like How to Defeat a Demon King in Ten Easy Steps, Rowe has crafted an extremely fun story that both pokes fun of and embraces the source material he is parodying. I'm a huge Sword Art Online fan despite the many problems and it's deeply fun to see them made fun of in such a way whilst still managing to tell a complete story. It's not the only series parodied here but it is clearly the major one and it's done in a great way where it never feels meanspirited, I just love the scenario of believable QA testers actually analysing some of the bizarre game design that works great in the story but realistically would never fly!

The cast are all great, and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments as well as just enjoyable conversations and dynamics between the characters. I usually don't go for sound effects in my audiobooks but they never felt too annoying here and there was one in particular toward the end that definitely got me good with how unexpected but funny it ended up being. As with Demon King this book is chock full of great references and jokes that I'm sure I'll end up catching even more of on a second listen.

Rowe really puts his background in the game industry to use with some interesting insights and detailed descriptions of what QA is actually like compared to what people think it is. I'm not that knowledgeable about the industry but I'm sure those who are will get some great enjoyment out of some of the lines. The line about someone being in QA despite knowing how to code and the requirement of multiple years experience for even basic positions definitely hit home.

It's honestly very impressive to me that despite referencing the SAO series and game industry so much you could easily enjoy this book with no knowledge of either. A lot of the bugs/features the characters mention are taken straight from SAO, but used in some original fun ways and John is a great portal into the world for newcomers.

Can't recommend this audiobook enough, especially if you're familiar with SAO. It's great that this has come out just as the Sword Art Online books have started hitting audible too. I hope Rowe continues writing great witty stories like this one alongside his other works.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-22

The format wasn't for me

Writing the entire book as a chat log and having a full cast perform it is a fun idea, but the weird format combined with various over the top characters made it very hard for me to get into the story, and I dropped the book. I guess it's not my kind of humor.

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  • Martin Grisman
  • 07-03-22

Simple, Short, and Fun

This is quite an enjoyable little listen - the description should say it all, it's a series of log chats (but voiced, each user with its own recognisable VA) for a QA team that are testing what sounds an awful lot like Sword Art Online. And riffing off a few other things too.

It's free with an Audible subscription at time of writing, and takes up about the same length of time as a good movie - if your interest is piqued, you've got little to lose :D

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  • BenHawkes
  • 04-07-22

Seems like a knockoff...

Very short sword art online vibes, and the end was awful... Would not recommend

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  • D. B. Hubert
  • 03-26-22

Too many tropes to be truly enjoyable

While the cast did a good job on narration, the story is overflowing with stereotypes and unrealistically flippant and one dimensional characters. Doesn't have any (good) vibes of a lit RPG either.

Was really looking forward to this but was let down by sheer mediocrity.

Even as a free title (with plus), this unfortunately wasn't worth the listen.

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  • Jessika H.
  • 03-22-22

fun but no masterpiece

I really liked the feeling of this one. the characters where likeable and felt like a gang of goofs. and all the references made the read so much fun! for a 2 hour story I hade a fun time

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  • Daniel Hogan
  • 03-18-22

Much Fun!

Such a fun story, and such amazing performances. If you're a fun of the LITRPG genre and want to have some tongue in cheek fun at the expense of the major clichés... then this is the story for you!

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  • Paul walker
  • 04-17-22

what nonsense

thank goodness this was under three hours long or it would have not been listened to I like to give every audio book a chance but wow

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  • Mike Borg
  • 04-07-22

Excellent performance

Got me grinning at all the nerdy references, and very much enjoyed listening to the likeable characters. The short duration of the book works well as this was short and punchy. Highly recommended for any fantasy and IT fan. Totally better than Ready Player One.

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  • Leonie
  • 04-01-22

Is this going anywhere?

Sorry I can't finish this, it's just dragging on and I'm sick of hearing all the bug details. I'm a gamer but the characters were too childish for me

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  • Ender
  • 03-19-22

A Comedy Of Errors

A fantastic parody of an SAO-esque evil plot... as told "from the trenches" of the outsourced external Quality Assurance team!