Illustration: Mr Cuddington
The clock symbol on the price tag means "the current round number". The cost to recruit the Playtester in the first round is 5 x 1 = 5, compared to the cost of recruiting them in the last round when it is 5 x 8 = 40. This means that while it is possible to keep the Playtester hidden in your hand for the entire game, the benefit will be somewhat reduced by the extra cost of recruiting them later.
The chosen change in rules affects all players equally.