WMS Gaming

  www.wms.com
  www.wms.com

WMS Gaming Reviews

Updated 12 December 2014
Updated 12 December 2014
96 Reviews
2.6
96 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Gavin Isaacs
7 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great Benefits, Pay is comparable to industry standards (in 7 reviews)

  • Work-life balance was exceptionally tailored to the employee in most cases (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • A secretary (yes, administrative assistant) is VP of Game Development (in 5 reviews)

  • They don't care they will let you go at anytime as long as these greedy upper management make their millions (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Jackpot Party

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

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

    Pros

    An easy life but the business closed

    Cons

    Jackpot Party was closed down after the sale of WMS to SciGames so not much point in going through the negatives

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Never a dull moment in a technology-driven industry fueled by addiction.

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    PTO and benefits are good. Work-life balance is high. Perks like ping pong and a gym. Hours are great. No heavy crunch times if you're diligent and can self-manage.

    Cons

    Hard to trust upper management. Risk-averse. Afraid to fail. Metrics for everything. After 10 years salary has climbed to "above average." Decisions are made by a committee. Doesn't feel creative or fun even though this is a game company. Chasing our competitors and the market. Imitating. Building things we don't know how to build.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In creative companies content is king. Leverage it. Champion it. Take chances and set trends. Learn to fail. Figure out what your good at. Base growth off known strengths and move forward. Why do I feel pressure to make everyone besides me happy? I've worked at other creative jobs before. And why do I feel like I'm getting ripped off in the lunch line?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Nice place to work and learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Test Engineer in Pune (India)
    Current Employee - Associate Test Engineer in Pune (India)

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great work culture
    Work-Life Balance
    Pays well
    Good to learn

    Cons

    None as of now. Its great

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    WMS Gaming

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Easy Going Env't, Nice Break rooms,

    Cons

    Bad Leadership, Was fun at one point

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Terribly bad leadership

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are still some good people at WMS and not all groups are bad.
    Some groups know what they are doing but they sit at odds with much of the rest of the company.

    Cons

    When WMS was swallowed up by SciGames which was losing lots of money every quarter, WMS went from a profitable company that rewarded their employees to one that’s big in the RED.

    Benefits slashed
    Reduced: 401k matching, amounts people can get for promotions/raises, medical and other benefits.
    Reduced holidays/PTO
    New hires have very little opportunity for advancement now and missed out on the days when you could get a nice salary bump every year.

    Management slashed/dysfunctional
    So much of the management was gutted that the void was filled with people who have no idea what they are doing.
    Engineers write really bad code and it’s applauded as if it was gold.
    Managers push really bad ideas and nobody squashes them.
    Moving from a FREE revision control system that is heavily ingrained to a really expensive one nobody knows how to use? Great idea!
    Let’s spend countless hours in meetings discussing things that don’t matter to anyone.
    Let’s kick off projects, but walk away from them before they fail and take all the glory for the idea but none of the blame when it turns out to have caused the company to lose a lot of money.
    Let’s be the cause a huge disruption, then turn around and become the self-declared champion to fix it.

    Work ethic at an all-time low
    People are in constant fear of another synergy/layoff, which seems to happen about every 3 months.
    Game Development culture feels like a chicken running around with its head cut off: We don’t know what we want, but we want you to get it done yesterday. So that idea I can’t fully explain to you, just get it done!
    Frequent shifting of priorities with no clear path forward. The pattern is: Wreck a project, then kill it.
    Don’t expect any professional development process (Waterfall, SCRUM, etc). Development process is an amateurish Code and Fix.
    Want to bring order to chaos by rolling out some professional policies and procedures? People have tried but they end up fired. They lose to the argument that people are “too busy” for process. In fact, most people in charge never even worked somewhere to learn what a good process even is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to turn this company around, hire some people from outside who have real experience and give them the power to make some changes. Hopefully there are some managers at Bally who will figure out who knows what they are doing at WMS and those who don't.

  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Complete Trainwreck Since SG Acquisition

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    None of the paychecks have bounced yet!

    But seriously, WMS used to be a fantastic company to work for. Good benefits. Good co-workers. Good environment. This has since changed 180 degrees.

    Cons

    Since the SG acquisition, the company has COMPLETELY changed, and it is a total disaster now. Management does not communicate at ALL with the regular employees. When one of the many "interim" CEOs took over and was asked if he should send an email to all employees to introduce himself, his response was "why would I want to do that?"

    Prior to the acquisition announcement, WMS on its own was making EARNINGS to report to Wall St every quarter, despite a SECULAR DECLINE in the gaming industry. The numbers weren't blowing anyone out of the water, but they were stable and consistent.

    Now that Scientific Games has taken over in a leveraged buy-out, the added interest payments on the debt taken out to acquire WMS has turned it into an UNPROFITABLE entity. (Also utter and complete mis-management from the top has also been a large contributing factor.) The debt payments are an albatross that we will never be able to get out from under. Taking on EVEN MORE DEBT with the Bally Tech acquisition is probably going to fail. Everybody internally knows it. I think it will be funny when Wall St finally figures it out too. In the mean-time, party on Garth, and let the stock ride up while the top brass cash in on stock options and pull the rip-cords on golden parachutes.

    All the employees see the writing on the wall, and work ethic has seriously suffered. I honestly miss the days when I would come into work, contribute to developing great products, hear encouragement from management, and help the company earn money. Those days are long gone, and are never coming back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy it while it lasts! Hahah.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Changing for the Worse

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

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

    Pros

    The Chicago office is a beautiful, pleasant environment to work in. Although "thank you days" were taken away in 2014, the company still has a generous time off and holiday policy and ample free parking makes up for it's Avondale location.

    Cons

    Unfortunately none of the Pros are directed towards the day-to-day work and management. The two mergers in the last year have destroyed morale and the new management leaves little hope for restoring the morale in the future. The company went from from an employer of choice who viewed its employee's as the most important asset to a company that penny pinches and only cares about the bottom line. Management is directionless, creating an extremely difficult work environment for its employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not forget about your employee's. Employees took what was provided by past senior management and boosted WMS's reputation to one of the best places to work in Chicago. Take those perks away? That reputation has and will change for the worse.

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

    Two-time employee...probably won't be three....

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

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

    Pros

    Fun environment to be in...if you're used to normal, boring IT/engineering work, being somewhere with art, music, games, etc., is a welcome change of pace. Company embraced its long history as Williams Corp., who made the pinball machines and video arcade games for generations of youth.

    Cons

    Chicago location can be difficult to get to (no easy access from Metra or CTA trains). Company is going through two consecutive buyouts/mergers, and the corporate environment is changing DRAMATICALLY. NO clear picture as to upper management vision, and the old Brian Gamache ways of treating each individual like a valuable commodity are fading away, day by day. When I was laid off, my immediate boss did not know, and I went from my director saying "hey, can I talk to you for a minute?" to being escorted out in less than 10 minutes, with no opportunity to retrieve personal effects or say goodbye to people I'd spent years working with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember who Williams/WMS used to be. Treat people like family, not like budget items.

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Interesting, but odd culture

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at WMS Gaming

    Pros

    Was given plenty of room to explore new ideas

    Cons

    Fear seems to be imposed from the top down resulting in work being done for the sake of it

  11. 8 people found this helpful  

    Sad End to An Awesome Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at WMS Gaming

    Pros

    Facilities: Gorgeous new Chicago campus - digital displays in every conference room, TV-worthy basketball/volleyball court, 2 gyms, yoga, EFT sports training, an above-average cafeteria, free soda, pool tables.

    Product: One of the most fun products to work on. It's great to be able to see the work you've done in the hands of the player.

    People: Some of the best you'll ever work with. Will go to heII and back to produce an awesome piece of SW with focus on player experience.

    Parking: Ample, free parking. Beware of angry, dive-bombing birds in the Spring.

    Cons

    Structure: Obscenely top-heavy. 1:2 ratio of VP/Directors to developers.

    Culture: Once great - rivaling Google - culture has turned into an "every man/department for himself" fiasco. Finger pointing, non/miscommunication is rampant, and morale is at an all-time low.

    Management: Runs on the "Good Ol' Boy" system. A secretary (yes, administrative assistant) is VP of Game Development... Enough said.

    Benefits: After the aquisition by Scientific Games, benefits have been slashed. Medical and dental, along with 401k matching, are on par with Walmart.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Dear Scientific Games Execs,

    You know nothing about casino gaming, and you're killing the golden goose. Good luck.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

Work at WMS Gaming? Share Your Experiences

WMS Gaming

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.