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Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated 2 April 2015
99 reviews filtered by
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2.9
99 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley
John Smedley
73 Ratings

Pros
  • It's game development, so that's always a little more fun and laid back than other companies (in 7 reviews)

  • At least it's a fairly stable job that allows you to enjoy living in San Diego (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management is too far removed from the actual development process to understand its huge flaws (in 12 reviews)

  • Senior management had no idea who you work (workflow) or some of the abuse you put up with dealing with customers (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. Helpful (1)

    It was fun until it wasn't.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Coworkers are awesome. Creative fun people trying to make good games.
    Relaxed dress code
    "Fun" atmosphere.
    It's game development, which has a certain aura about it

    Cons

    Company just changed owners. The future is murky.
    Compensation is below industry average.
    Projects are often over-promised and under-delivered.
    Mandatory crunch fairly often, "voluntary" crunch even more so.
    The company seems to have been rudderless for a while, drifting in various directions while trying to look good to perspective buyers.
    There is no comprehensive company plan. Large projects constantly shift direction, rendering existing work irrelevant.
    Having just been purchased by Columbus Nova, benefits are up for review. There is every indication they will be lower quality than before.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your most important asset. The rank and file make that company run. Treat them with respect. Keep them informed of changes, especially under the new ownership. Also, better facilities and coffee.

  2. Helpful (2)

    Layoffs were always looming over our heads.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great coworkers, location was really close to local breweries and there were a ton of fun projects to work on.

    Cons

    Leadership was questionable. I felt like they were more there to babysit us and were delegating projects and going to meetings than giving us decent project direction. Layoffs were ALWAYS something we knew were inevitable. You can tell by the business structure that the company is run by a small group in Marketing who are completely out of touch with the demographic SOE's games catered to.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the nepotism. Actually look at a manager or department leads contributions or skills.
    Also, when you're doing a layoff actually LOOK at the people you're laying off because they've had to hire back essential staff a day or two later simply because their layoff gated an entire team!

  3. Great Work Environment All Around

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Senior Environment Artist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Intern - Senior Environment Artist in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Worked with really talented people, who were genuinely friendly.

    Cons

    Make sure all departments are using up to date technology (hardware and software)

    Advice to Management

    Advice to management is a bit irrelevant now that the studio has changed its ownership!

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Would stay clear

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Contractor - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as a contractor (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people and great product (most of the time).

    Cons

    The 'contingent' works are treated like full time staff and employees with NON of the benefits. SOE is going to get itself in trouble with the CA labor board at some point and it WILL be very bad for the company. They have massive lay offs on a semi regular bases.

    Advice to Management

    Close the Austin studio and move all dev work to San Diego. They are to far away to be watched carefully and spend way to much of the companies resources for games that are always late and over budget.

  6. Not a bad place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The working conditions were good. Management made a clear effort to avoid crunch and overtime. When the company went through layoffs the people getting cut were treated fairly with decent severance packages and a lot of support from the HR department.

    Cons

    With the company being sold off and no longer a part of Sony it's unclear what the future holds. Upper management can sometimes seem out of touch. Especially in the Austin studio where things can often feel very far removed from what's happening at the San Diego main office.

    Advice to Management

    Keep treating your employees well. Make sure to keep everyone in the loop about what's going on. Make sure that everyone get a feel for what the change in ownership will mean, both for the company and for them personally.

  7. I found that working there was amazing.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Contracting Artist in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Contractor - Contracting Artist in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as a contractor (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoyed the atmosphere and the employees, they all felt like family.

    Cons

    The quiteness is killer, if your talking your not working.

    Advice to Management

    Remember that development are people to

  8. Helpful (1)

    I wanted to make a career here, but...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as a contractor (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I loved my manager, my co-workers, and my work. My direct supervisors were always very encouraging and did what they could to help me get apprenticeships or cross-training to try to move up in the company.

    Cons

    There is very little, if any, opportunity for advancement. Apprenticeships were frequent when I started, but by the time the recent layoffs hit, I don't believe there had been an actual posted apprenticeship for at least a year. The ones I did manage to get were only there because I had specific skillsets that the people who knew me wanted to take advantage of to help me make contacts on the development teams. If you start as a temp, there is almost 0 chance that you will ever be anything else. This also means no pay raises on top of a below-standard hourly rate, except in depressingly rare cases. If by some miracle as a temp you do get a raise, you get the sense that this automatically paints a target on your back when layoffs come around. There also appears to be a massive disconnect between support and development. Oftentimes, the tools needed to resolve issues weren't even created until support could prove that it was needed to carry out seemingly basic tasks to help the players. This contributed to the malaise generally to be found in the support teams, whether technical, in-game, or QA.

    Advice to Management

    Pay the support teams industry standard, with performance-based raises, and ensure there are opportunities to actually move up into permanent jobs. Many I met during my time at the company were truly dedicated to making an impact on the game, but when you know you're going to be stuck in the same place forever unless you manage to befriend the right people, the enthusiasm goes down the drain and everything suffers because of it.

  9. Artist Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Internship in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Intern - Internship in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as an intern (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I had great colleagues, wonderful sense of community amongst junior + senior level artists, pretty nice physical environment.

    Cons

    The upper level management gets political and managers seem to sit around at times. There seems to be a lack of mobility (from my point of view), always had work assigned like trying to keep us busy, even though at times the work seems trivial. .

    Advice to Management

    Inform employees more about what's going on in the company and not just treat artists as a separate entity from management and the corporate world.

  10. Helpful (1)

    SOE gave me a shot with no experience and promoted me through six positions in five years!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    There was great Upward Mobility, the Benefits were the best in the business, upper management is very Friendly.

    Cons

    Compensation is fairly low for the industry but not the worst esp in Austin.
    Company just changed hands so there are some uncharted roads ahead.

  11. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA (US)

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Management really cares about the employees. Lots of talented developers. You can get exposure to many different areas of the business if you put some time into it. Strong history of promoting from within.

    Cons

    Company often over-reaches on the number of projects in development at a time, or under-values the specialized knowledge and skills required to succeed in new areas. Doesn't leverage the inherent strengths of their tech and platform to make easier wins.

Sony Online Entertainment Photos

View of the Sony Online Entertainment headquarter office located in San Diego, CA (Photo by Coolcaesar - available under CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 & GFDL, v1.180)
SOE Lobby

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