Mac Senour worked at Sega for a few years in the early 1990s. He has blogged a few memories from that time and below is a gem of an excerpt.
In 1992 I was the Producer on Evander Hollyfield Boxing on the Game Gear. One of the features I really pressed for was multiplayer. I really thought this was the killer part of the Game Gear and we didn’t use it enough. But, it did require a LOT of testing, so did a lot of other titles that released about the same time.
At one point I’m sitting in my cube and I noticed a lot of new faces in and around the test department. They had opened the flood gates and were trying to get all of the titles tested. I wandered into what was our main conference room to make sure they testers were really… testing. Of course, the new testers needed some pointers. While I was helping them connect multiplayer, I had the following exchange with one of them:
Me: “Like boxing games?”
Me: “Every play any boxing games before?”
Me: “What were you doing yesterday?”
He turned to another tester and said a few words in Spanish and then did a pantomime that resembled digging, and said: “Ditch”.
Yes, they had hired ditch diggers to test games.
Here’s a bit of trivial: Evander Hollyfield Boxing was the first SEGA game, Game Gear or Genesis, that included a list of the testers in the documentation. I insisted, that was a lesson learned.
Thanks to brandon at Insert Credit for pointing this out.