ArenaNet Reviews

Updated 3 Jun 2020

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3.8
68%
Recommend to a Friend
71%
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
66 Ratings
  1. Helpful (7)

    "Not a Good place to grow as an artist."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Hardly any crunch hours, you can take breaks.

    Cons

    Overall the place is too laid back, because of this culture most of the studio is stagnant. If you're an artist this will eventually catch up with you and you have no option but to work on personal work because of the lack of motivation to work on an archaic game most studios do not care about artistically. Only a certain few who speak up get advancement but the ceiling is so low. Certain folks are promoted to lead positions that shouldn't be. This usually happens because the company likes to pick certain individuals that are docile and easy to control. Do not be surprised if you're being lead by someone who is much younger than you and barely been in the industry and for the most part being a mediocre artist. It's not a bad place to work but I would leave after a couple of years if you really care about your artistry and stock. Last thing the pay is low, if you don't negotiate you will get low balled.

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  2. Helpful (3)

    "Good Devs, Bad Leadership"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    good benefits, great developers, strong positive team dynamics, passionate people, great career development opportunities, good middle management (team leads)

    Cons

    mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance

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  3. Helpful (5)

    "Once Great"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A lot of the people working on the ground level are great, supportive people.

    Cons

    There are major problems currently in middle management, making it an exceptionally stressful and demoralizing place to work.

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Adequate place to start a career. Mediocre place to grow a more senior career."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    Top-notch technologies/products. Great work-life balance (little/no crunch time.)

    Cons

    Little/no opportunities for career advancement for those with more than a few years experience. Retention problems because of that. Things move at a snails pace with lots of overhead. Support of diversity is uneven across the company. Very good in some areas. Utter failure in others. Compensation is low-to-average.

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  5. Helpful (3)

    "A wonderful culture"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Character Artist in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Some amazing minds without "shoulder chips" to worry about, ArenaNet is a highly art-centric and creative work environment. There is a no-crunch focus and family friendly mentality that is hard to find elsewhere in the industry.

    Cons

    There are some communication problems within production and a general `go with the flow` attitude about planning that forces a lot of unnecessary re-scoping of even the smallest parts. Nothing unusual or extreme by industry standards but definitely something to consider. We can always be better.

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  6. "Good Entry Company"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Programmer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet for more than 3 years

    Pros

    People are exceedingly friendly and are willing to help you grow your skill set and careers. Very focused on their disciplines Good work life balance Everyone works hard and is very hungry Moves fast

    Cons

    Moves fast, breaks things, but does not necessarily go back to fix them. This leads to a lot of hard to decipher legacy products, code and design. Lack of communication between teams Their production style creates knowledge and specialty silos which does not promote cross discipline work. Like, artists not knowing what designers are doing, or server programmers not know what other client programmers are doing. Leadership does not always adopt new technology, and there is a lot of proprietary technology that requires maintenance, which can distract from overall creative goals. Usually low salary, even for games.

  7. "Overall a good employment experience"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    A lot of good talent, some downright great talent. Management is getting significantly better lately.

    Cons

    Management used to be a mixed bag. Some smart, experienced folks, some textbook wannabes.

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  8. "Exciting studio; kind and talented coworkers"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Narrative Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - A company that really means it with work-life balance - Great teams, kind people, leadership that is engaged, compassionate, accessible, and fun - Commitment to avoiding “crunch” and focusing on long term sustainability - Impressive talent, high ambitions - A great game under their belt - Company on exciting growth trajectory - Active efforts to improve what pain points do exist - Strong benefits

    Cons

    - Paying for parking - Somewhat limited lunch options nearby; studio location somewhat awkward in relation to major cities - Things in flux / mid-growth means some growing pains and uneven workloads

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  9. "Great people; mediocre pay + technical debt"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Really great bunch of people. Casual laid-back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Comp + benefits lagging behind competitors. Management is making changes, but slowly and changes are small and insignificant, and are often constrained by NCSoft (parent company). High technical debt often impedes productivity and studio often lacks resources to address it.

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  10. "3D Environment Artist"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 3D Environment Artist in Kirkland, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The culture here is amazing. Great work life balance. Able to take creative liberties. No Egos, people are kind and friendly but tend to keep to themselves. ArenaNet really takes care of there employees. Best Leads I have ever had.

    Cons

    Their software and parts of their workflow is outdated. Pay can be better.

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Found 99 reviews