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 (1)

    "Good place to work at."

    4.0
     in Seattle, WA
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    The company overall is solid. There's plenty of smart intelligent people to mingle with. The art teams are some of the best in the industry.

    Cons

    The pay is fair, in order to rise to the top you have to stand out from everyone else on your team. Most of the snacks are unhealthy, Not enough sick days, Most of the artist are lazy when it comes to personal work.

  2. Helpful (14)

    "A fading star"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing high quality tech and people. You generally leave every day smarter than when you came in. Compensation isnt the top or bottom of the scale - its fair.

    Cons

    Management is making an escalating series of bad decisions which is straining the morale of the company and compromising prospects for the future.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to experience gaming"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    The company has a cool vibe and energy. It has a great environment. Friendly and committed people. Lots of support from the HR team. Love the onboarding experience, New Hire Friday coffee, mentorship, daily opportunity to play the game, etc. So far so good.

    Cons

    LOTS going on every week. Sometimes it hard to know what is going on. Office layout can be a little confusing when trying to find a colleague. Still too new to evaluate adequately.

  4. Helpful (2)

    "Everyone Matters"

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

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

    Pros

    - Open Floor-plan done right - Active HR team - Company Progress is shared openly - Dev or QA, you have an equal voice - Little to no red tape - Helpful Management - Daily mingling during lunch - Delivered Lunches

    Cons

    - Desks will move. Often. - Inter-Department information (Game Updates) keeps drying up

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "The most incredible people"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    The environment is very open and transparent which is something you don't get at many companies. The CEO is insanely smart, humble and has solid goals and plans for the business. Everyone is very warm and welcoming. It is seriously the nicest group of people I've had the pleasure of working with in my fairly long career in games.

    Cons

    Have to pay for parking. :(

  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    I've only been here a few months but I couldn't ask for a better job. They have flexible hours (core hours from 10 to 4) to help with the traffic. The environment is great, it feels open and collaborative and everyone has been really friendly. I feel that I have the opportunity to not only succeed at my own job but to learn and move to other opportunities within the company.

    Cons

    The building charges for parking, which is a huge bummer.

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  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Programmer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    Challenging Technology build by great people. Excellent healthcare and other benefits. Diversity friendly with a higher than average percentage of women and LGBT people. Cool office space. General work-life balance (the office empties out around 6:30). A lot of people have been here a long time...a sign that people are happy here. Stable (no layoffs) which is rare in the industry.

    Cons

    Paid parking. The commute can be bad if you're in Seattle. The product has accrued some technical debt due to it's zero downtime goal. The office is a bit cramped given the number of people.

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  8. "Great company, fun atmosphere"

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

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

    Pros

    Everyone is really engaged in trying to make the best game possible. Feedback from everyone is accepted and acknowledged. The culture is inviting.

    Cons

    The only con I can think of is the 401k match is a lot lower than other places, both inside and outside the gaming industry.

  9. Helpful (13)

    "Great people, bad management"

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

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

    Pros

    ArenaNet is FULL of wonderful, creative, smart individuals who want to do great things. Lots of opportunity for training for future career growth. They have a great internship program, which includes training as well, and a tight, well-organized, and well-managed production team - one of the best in the biz.

    Cons

    With very few exceptions, ArenaNet's directors seem to be the blocker for getting anything done. No decision can be made without going through the CEO (Mike O'Brien), which creates an insurmountable amount of churn, wasted work, and sometimes complete confusion. Even the project that appears to be moving forward smoothly can be derailed at the last minute because the CEO changed his mind. Many of the ArenaNet old-timers (5 years+) refuse to change their ways, which makes progress and real change nearly impossible. There is little-to-no career growth opportunities at ArenaNet and women do not seem to be able to break through the glass ceiling. Even those women who are in director roles are not invited to the exclusive director's lunches that take place every week. The HR team has changed the way review processes work several times in the last few years, leading to confusion as to how you even get a pay raise.

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  10. Helpful (11)

    "A once great place to work"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    While a lot of people have moved on there are still some great people and a product with real potential.

    Cons

    Anet had great potential at one time back when all three founders were running the show. Unfortunately two of the founders left to do other things, the lead designer was marginalized and the remaining founder seemed to have no interest in, or understanding of how the studio was run. Instead he brought in a series of executives to do it for him. The ones that weren’t simply “yes men” left pretty quickly. The rest did, and continue to do, a great deal of damage to an already dysfunctional environment. Artists are actively discouraged from collaborating with designers; designers are hugely under-paid and under-valued; teams are put in charge of delivering on huge amounts of content without the manpower they need; the current “agile” studio structure is a disaster being driven by people that have never actually produced game content. The China release was a huge failure in spite of some erroneous sales numbers that are floating around. Again, it was once a great place to work and could be again but it would take NCSoft coming in and cleaning house. Unfortunately they are too disconnected to know how to do it effectively.

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Found 99 reviews