Jagex

  www.jagex.com
  www.jagex.com

Jagex Reviews

Updated 24 November 2014
Updated 24 November 2014
65 Reviews
2.4
65 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard
Mark Gerhard
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are great, all interesting, capable and all care about the finished product (in 9 reviews)

  • Oh and the benefits that we get, such as free fruit and gym membership (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • In the past senior management was ignorant of the competition and thus lacked vision (in 9 reviews)

  • Generally very poor relations between upper management and development teams (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good company run by boys masquerading as business executives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great perks - more vacation days, free gym membership, daily organic fruit, free bike repairs, childcare vouchers, monthly clothing, private health insurance.

    Beautiful surroundings - the Cambridge Science Park is a lovely place to work at, with lots of greenery and walkways. You can easily go for a walk to make sure you are not sitting all day.

    Competent people - very qualified for the job, passionate about the game they are working on.

    Bonuses and celebrations - employees get bonuses when profits are good, there is a monthly "Beer Friday" to celebrate, and great jollies (company outings) are arranged every year.

    Cons

    Lack of direction from top management - either they are not communicating the strategy to the teams properly, or they have absolutely no idea what they're doing.

    Boys club/Fraternity mentality - highly political, if you don't suck up to the right people, you can't expect a promotion.

    Lack of job security - management claims that layoffs are their last resort, but it seems like it's their first resort whenever they need to cut costs.

    High turnover rate of talented people - I've witnessed a lot of talented people leave the company in under 1 year, only to find them flourishing in a different company. Jagex has the skill and capacity to hire talent, but absolutely horrid at retaining them.

    Top management can't seem to keep it together - a number of departures at the C-levels have taken place, all in the span of 2 years. They've lost a VP, a COO, a CTO, and just recently, they're losing their CEO. Not a good sign.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "Talented people choose to leave organizations for a simple reason: Talent has options. They do not stay because they have to; they stay because they want to."

    Let your managers do their jobs, that's what they are hired for. If they disagree with you, do not take it personally and listen. Remember that they're just there to do their jobs and be fulfilled with whatever they contribute.

    Lastly, please grow up. This is your community's and investor's money you are messing around with. Jagex cannot sustain itself if it is being run by a bunch of boys masquerading as business executives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    stay for your friends, leave for the management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The people you work with is the only reason to stay

    Cons

    Worst inconsistent management ever. At least MG listened to his own rhetoric when he told the TFU team "if your heart's not in it, leave …" one week later he left, closely followed by a some of the senior staff, then the CFO and finally over two-thirds of the TFU team in a mass lay-off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dont manage. Leave that to the people who actually play and love games, those that are not there to make a project "commercially viable", those who respect the gaming community enough to tell the truth. And don't shift full responsibility to the team to save the game when it's been failing from the start.

    Oh, and have a plan from the start and don't keep adding layers of fluff to appease the board/hide the lack of a game from the players.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, but terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked with some great people and generally enjoyed my time there. There were lots of jollies and parties, which were often quite impressive.

    Cons

    I saw a lot of wasted talent while management would promote their own friends regardless of talent or merit. When experienced people joined the company and challenged the way things were done, they were quickly forced out or marginalised to avoid them upsetting the power balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to manage the company by utilising and empowering the talent of the people below you, instead of trying to micromanage things you have no knowledge of.
    I often felt the company would be better off being honest to their employees when something bad had to be announced. Instead everything was twisted to make it sound positive, even when it was obviously not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Too much focus on Jollies.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Artist in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Artist in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people. I made life long friends there. Great building. Great facilities. Cambridge was great.

    Cons

    As MANY other have said, upper and lower management have zero idea how to run a creative company, interact with people outside of their comfort zone, e.g. EVERYBODY and no interest in communicating with you unless they are showing someone around the office and you happen to have something interesting on the screen.

    They also miss out on promoting the right people, rather choosing someone from their own circle other than someone who is fantastic at their job and has the respect of their peers. I saw some shocking acts of "old boys network".

    Too much emphasis on "jollies" and "pay day drinks". Yeah, great if you are living in a house share and are paying £300 a month in rent. Use that money and pay the staff a better rate so they can afford to live in the city.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want the company to survive and progress into the future, take a risk and stop promoting and listening to your "friends" and listen to the people that actually walk the floor and are elbows deep in development. Stop that ever revolving door by making people proud to work for you. Creative freedom should be free to grow and it can't when you are worrying that you will be broke after paying over half your salary in rent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful  

    All talk, no walk

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - RuneScape Team in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - RuneScape Team in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The people working at Jagex are what make the company a pleasant environment. It really can be, and is, the kind of place you can make friends for life. In large part, staff have a lot of passion for what they do and a willingness to learn and succeed.

    Good benefits, including on-site canteen, gym membership and a healthy pot for quarterly team outings/jollies.

    Cons

    Echoing many of the other reviews, many of the pros listed above are tarnished by an inept, directionless and disconnected executive team. Executives are often known to veto ideas, or push through their own with little regard to their impact on the wider picture. Transformers Universe as a project has been a disaster, owing to multiple iterations of design and an inability of those "up top" to decide what the game is going to shape up to be. Delays are often used as an opportunity to force or rush out more broken features, leading to further delays, leading to more new features, rinse and repeat.

    Jagex is a company that can put on a show, in many ways - team outings (where budget permits), press events, recruitment, even the office is jazzed up to leave visitors in awe. However, this is about as far as it goes, quickly scratching beneath the surface shows that there is often no substance to the overworked company hype and propaganda machine.

    Jagex are willing to pour of millions into wasteful Facilities projects, fruitless advertising and into recruitment to maintain the perpetual influx of new staff to replace those leaving. Yet is seemingly unable to pay out bonuses or even contemplate the idea of market rate salaries. Do not ever expect more than a meagre increase in pay each year. Promotions rarely come with an associated payrise due to "budget reasons" and are instead delayed to annual salary reviews.

    The company is becoming the laughing stock of the games industry, owing to an inability to release a second notable title in nearly 14 years after RuneScape.

    As a previous review states, a large majority of new staff consist mainly of young, enthusiastic graduates or RuneScape players with rose-tinted specs, lured by a cool looking office and salesman-like recruitment team, often too naive to notice that they are being taken advantage of - by having their barely-above-minimum-wage salary justified by the word "Junior" prefixed on.

    On a potentially contentious point - the company have gone through several iterations of "company values". Whilst I applaud the concept, it is often largely misused as a form of personality contract and a trump card played by managers and HR to get their own way. There have been numerous instances of long term staff (i.e. out of probation) demoted or dismissed on the spot due to not following said values.
    The result is Mark Gerhard living in a dreamworld, expecting employees to - without fail or question - love their work, love Jagex, and for everything they do, regardless of effort and time, to contribute to the greater good of the company. If you do not - you are either pushed out, or thrown out. Whilst this is in theory, a pleasant vision for employee culture, it smacks of a bizarre authoritarian, communist approach to working life.

    With the CEO leaving, I do hope that the board use this as an opportuity to refresh the executive lineup, otherwise the company is sure to fail, though perhaps not immediately.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign - you are the problem - not those working for you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Never!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Jagex full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Some of the colleagues

    Cons

    Far to much politics no understanding of how a normal game development should work

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to listen to those who already proven in their precious jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Finally getting rid of Mark G!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Jagex

    Pros

    Great people, unfortunately let down by the front that Jagex put on about being people orientated culture! Make the office look great and in the past have put on big fancy functions. Good facilities.

    Cons

    Poor management, need to watch your back - lots of people tend to just disappear!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of Mark Gerhard - I understand this has now happened so looks like things might be on the up! However, Transformers Universe is a massive fail so not sure how long people working on this will last!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Very good company to work for, benefits, promotions etc. Management structure, jollys, little buy in from most staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Community Coordinator in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Community Coordinator in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very good company to work for, benefits, promotions etc. Management structure, jollys, little buy in from most staff

    Cons

    Not everyone bought in, management can be a waste of space

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire better senior people

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Painful

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Level Designer in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Current Employee - Senior Level Designer in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Nice benefits, parties etc, over time was infrequent. They do promote internally though you'll most likely wonder how and why they picked their friends so successfully,

    Cons

    Despite being in the most expensive part of the country salaries are dreadful, management was poor and was pretty political. If you are friends wit the right people performance is optional, there is plenty of seat filler and mysterious levels of management. There is a pointless level of secrecy in management and a culture of hiding behind process, most decisions are oblique and seem poorly judged.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    flat management does not mean an excuse for an old boys club

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    If Jagex is ever to succeed, the CEO must go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    Decent staff benefits including a great canteen, bike maintenance, legendary parties, but this doesn't make up for low salary which can buy a lot of this.

    If you work at Jagex, you will meet some truly great and talented people.

    Cons

    Poor salary, unless you make it into the clique.
    Poor job security. Lay-offs and departures at all levels are common. Staff turnover is high.
    Poor job satisfaction as staff have to pander to last minute changes instead of using the time to excel at their profession.
    Proprietary systems which hamper rather than assist developers.

    Jagex has some very talented people, but the company relies on a steady flow of starstruck, talented youngsters, as it does not pay a decent salary and staff turnover is high, so a lot of effort goes into glossy recruitment.
    If more effort went into staff retention, they might strike a happier balance.
    The hours are long "as it's not an overtime culture", yet staff regularly have to do overtime - why?

    This is why. Gerhard has a knee-jerk, last minute change style of "management". He has an ego the size of a planet so it's a shame he has no planning or people skills. He prefers to grandstand in one of his APVs and court the press. He surrounds himself with yes men. If you can get into his clique, your job is a little more secure but not guaranteed.
    Anyone who disagrees with him, better have another job lined up.
    He rarely, if ever, walks the floor and talks to the people who work for him, he certainly never listens. Once a year he might give a long-winded, bizarre and repetitive speech at one of the company "jollies".

    Under his leadership, he tried to grow Jagex into a "games studio", but many games were built or licensed and failed and many people were laid off due to bad planning (or lack of planning) and bad decision making.
    A lot of hard work is wasted as decisions are made at the end rather than at the start of a project lifecycle. Listening to experienced staff at the start would help overcome this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Gerhard, move on and give Jagex a chance to recover from the damage you have done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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140 Cambridge Science Park (Photo thanks to Geograph user Keith Edkins, Some Rights Reserved)

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