Behind the Games: Economy Tester, Miriam Khalaf


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One incredibly important role within Gameloft is that of the Economy Testers. These talented members of the team methodically and systematically play all of our games before they reach your hands, ensuring that the game you experience is the best possible.

Gameloft Barcelona - the studio behind many of our top titles including Asphalt 8 - is the home of one of these Economy Testers, Miriam Khalaf. She is a passionate gamer, whose path into the industry speaks to her dedication and persistence.

Igniting a flame

Miriam started gaming around six or seven years old. She caught the bug at her friend’s house. The two of them played on a console that was a hand me down from her friend's brother.

“I remember it was an old console, I don’t remember which one because her brother just gave it to us and we played.” (She was also quite young at the time). “We mostly played [1-on-1] fighters on a massive old TV. I loved it.”

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It wasn’t long before Miriam wanted to play at home, but not able to afford a console she moved to playing on the family PC.

“I started playing 80’s point-and-click adventure games.” This puzzled me, Miriam was born after the 80’s, so I asked what attracted her to this style of game. “It was the stories, I love telling stories.”

“School [socially] wasn’t always easy for me, but games gave me the chance to take control. I remember one game with the tagline [translating] ‘Do you want to be the hero’ and I thought ‘yes, that’s what I want!’ I wanted to create and be a hero.”


The path to Gameloft

“This was actually my first job in the industry.”

It’s a common starting place for many, but that doesn’t mean Miriam entered without experience. “I always wanted to work in gaming. I read Media Studies [at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona], where I was able to select courses in Interactive Development and Script Writing.” Yes, her love of stories persisted.

“When I first left school I didn’t have the confidence to apply for a job in gaming. Instead, I wanted to perfect my English to increase my chances.”

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So, moving to the UK, she got a job in catering while also continuing to study gaming topics (this time online) and polish her English. After a year or so she returned to Barcelona and realized there was nothing to stop her following her dream, and so she began applying to companies.

“I [feel like I] must have sent out hundreds of applications for jobs in gaming. I knew it was what I wanted to do, but it’s so competitive.” Then, about one year ago, she got the job as Economy Tester in Gameloft’s Barcelona Studio.

“It’s great. I’m still constantly learning, and it is a perfect start in the industry.” Her enthusiasm is palpable as she tells me, “every day I discover more about the process of making games.”

A lifetime in training

There is one other part of her past that still plays into the equation. “If there was one thing point-and-click games taught me, it’s that there is always a solution.” It seems that was good training because her job as an Economy Tester has her looking at many games early in the development process. “Whenever there is an issue I keep playing, always looking for an answer.”

Testing games from multiple studios, this persistence has proved invaluable as she’s worked on a list of titles that include Asphalt 8: Airborne, War Planet Online, and Iron Blade. It is also this quality that has made her such a brilliant addition to the tight-knit Economy Tester team.