Sony Online Entertainment

www.sonyonline.com
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Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated 22 February 2015
Updated 22 February 2015
92 Reviews
2.6
92 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley
John Smedley
70 Ratings

Review Highlights

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 Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    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)

    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 ManagementAdvice

    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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    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)

    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.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    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)

    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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Good People, Long Hours, Decent Work

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people who are very passionate, close-knit groups, and generally willing to share information within the company if asked.

    Cons

    Long hours, upper management can seem out of touch, scheduling can be a mess.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to avoid last-minute scheduling that results in calling people in only to find they can't do their job because they're waiting on other teams that aren't coming in that day.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Good people, poor management, terrible decisions

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

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

    Pros

    There some pros to this company
    Most employees are very nice
    You don't have to dress up to work
    It's a game company

    Cons

    While there are a few pros there are quite some cons

    Expect to be overworked
    Most people (while nice) have no idea what they are doing
    Upper management and the CEO are all part of the same "boys club" and they will protect themselves above anything else
    Lack of focus in production phase: teams will change priorities week in and week out, causing unfinished and broken features

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To Columbus Nova. Even though I just been laid off this is not s review made to be vengeful. This is my honest opinion. While I agree with some of the layoffs decisions if you looked hard enough you will see that Smedley and all his little buddies are the one that survived while adding no value to the company.

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

    SOE-now Daybreak Games

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment as a contractor (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    San Diego is a great city. Many times there was very little work so we just browsed the web or did whatever. The work is usually pretty easy and the environment was pretty relaxed. They did have great people working for them and I was lucky to learn from them.

    Cons

    Most employees are temps, even after years of working there. Salaries are way below industry standards. There is no job security. I was laid off twice in 3 years. Management is really bad and mostly apathetic. You are encouraged to "stay in your place." There is almost no chance for advancement. The game ideas and general direction of the company were decided by incompetent fools, at best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They need management to be people who actually know and care about video games. All of marketing is terrible. They have absolutely no idea what they are doing. They don't know the products and their target market. Most of their marketing stunts are total failures and quite embarrassing to the rest of the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great work environment; no room for advancement

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work environment is incredibly friendly

    Cons

    No room for growth within the company
    Pay is very poor
    Very top heavy

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hearing that I'll never get a pay increase in my first week is very rough to hear.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Nice People Who Are Too Accepting Of Mediocrity And Nepotism

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The expectations are very low and you'll often be play testing games. Most people are very nice.

    Cons

    Game team leadership has an abundance of arrogance and elitism.
    Game teams hire their friends and ignore talent from other departments.
    Compensation is well below market.
    No stock options or grants.
    No opportunity for advancement (no one is let go for poor performance).
    It's easy to pick up bad habits as management resists change.
    With little to no coding standards, the game code is a mess.
    The company is continuing to downsize as players leave EQ and EQII.
    Significant use of contractors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Eliminate under performers and promote those who excel.
    Develop a company wide coding standard and enforce it.
    Bring back the internship program, particularly for designers and developers.
    Stop over promising to customers.
    Substantially raise hiring standards and compensation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    unstable

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    Pros

    huge profits flowing in from the robust online gaming community. enthusiastic teams that enjoyed both developing as well as playing the games with the community.

    Cons

    there is an insider's club of the original founders and development team that receive funding and support for their projects even past the viability of the game.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    consider spending more on organizational development and team building between the development teams and the headquarter support functions

    Disapproves of CEO

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)
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