ArenaNet "work environment" Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

ArenaNet Employee Reviews about "work environment"

Updated 6 May 2018

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3.7
65%
Recommend to a Friend
68%
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
80 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance(in 17 reviews)

  • "Opportunity for full-time or fair pay is pretty much non-existent(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "work environment"

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "A wonderful culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

    Advice to Management

    A little more focus on transparency and communication. There is a lot being done by the higher ups to improve, but there is work to be done in middle-management and overall studio culture.

    ArenaNet2018-05-07
  2. "ArenaNet is a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    - Work environment (cool studio, kitchen with free snacks and drinks) - Work-life balance (even in crunch times) - Benefits (great insurance, provides medical, dental, vision, life) - Management trusts their employees to do a great job without micro-management (Trust but verify) - The game is at the core of the company's decision-making structure; everyone is dedicated to making the greatest game possible, all the way to the top of the org - Teams and individuals' opinions and input matter - Everyone loves what they do, and it shows - Flat organizational structure

    Show More

    Cons

    - Pay is somewhat low compared to industry and locale - Flat organizational structure (also listed as a pro), which can sometimes mean it's hard to move up and new responsibilities don't necessarily mean more pay

    Advice to Management

    Keep focus on making the greatest games possible (like you already are) and ArenaNet will continue to put out some of the highest quality titles in the industry.

    ArenaNet2017-01-23
  3. Helpful (18)

    "Good environment, great staff, poor leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    Very talented and energetic staff, good health benefits, fun work environment, great product. Good creative collaboration and professional willingness to go the extra mile.

    Cons

    Chronic understaffing, unreasonably ambitious schedules and product development cycles. Steady increase in number and scope of projects, and in quality expectations, but no increase in staff. Low end of salary range compared to industry standard, even with profit sharing. Poor communication between executive management, production, and work teams.

    Advice to Management

    You need more talented people overall to achieve the results you want. You can't attract or retain the necessary talent with salaries at their current level.

    ArenaNet2015-10-13
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Good Fun place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    Great work environment, everyone is very positive and encouraging. People willingly help each other on projects. The benefits package is decent. Upper management clearly presents its vision and goals. The projects we work on are very interesting.

    Cons

    Organization could be better. People sometimes have trouble adhering to deadlines. Some major projects could be better planned.

    ArenaNet2015-02-03
  5. "A Vibrant and Positive Family"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet for less than a year

    Pros

    ArenaNet is a welcoming studio with a focus on providing a great work/life balance. Filled with brilliant and passionate people who in turn inspire you be your best, this company puts a lot of effort and time to promote a positive and collaborative work environment.

    Cons

    Parking is troublesome, but all in all the pros far outweigh the cons.

    Advice to Management

    The management continues to keep one of the largest and most successful game franchises nimble and balanced enough to develop some of the best creative content in the games industry, this is not a small feat and is deserving of praise. My advice to the management is to keep up the effort and work closely with personnel from all areas of the studio so you can continue to steer the ship true.

    ArenaNet2014-11-19
  6. Helpful (2)

    "Excellent place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends

    I worked at ArenaNet

    Pros

    ArenaNet is a great place to work on a great game. The work environment is fun and casual, and your coworkers are not only skilled, but personable. One of the best jobs I have ever had.

    Cons

    Not much room for promotion, and somewhat low compensation. That said, the pros far outweigh the cons.

    ArenaNet2014-11-11
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good to the extent of Awesome"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Software Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet for less than a year

    Pros

    Nice Work Environment, and the services are good too

    Cons

    None at all, that i found in the company

    Advice to Management

    Awesome Job People, Terrific job you are doing there.

    ArenaNet2014-08-26
  8. Helpful (1)

    "An inspiring place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - 3D Character Artist in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet for more than a year

    Pros

    A great environment to work in. Beautiful common spaces and skilled and talented team members. Very good work hours, for the artists at least. Leads respect the ideas of their team, even the least experienced ones. Artists given a fairly good amount of autonomy. Work environment that encourages creativity.

    Cons

    Somewhat lower salaries than other similar-sized companies. Working space can be a little crowded. Not a lot of room for advancement in some departments. Too much dependence on outsourcing and temporary employees rather than hiring people full-time.

    ArenaNet2014-05-04
  9. Helpful (7)

    "Unforgettable experience, incredible coworkers, and overall disappointment in management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - QA - Embed in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet for less than a year

    Pros

    -Incredibly talented and dedicated developers -Strong and sustainable product with the Guild Wars franchise -Mostly independent of publisher interference due to fiscal success with products -Very relaxed and comfortable work environment, nice office space, no cubicles, overall pleasing aesthetic -Nice location in the Greater Seattle area -Aggressive release schedule, resulting in stable and consistent work -Company always has a long term plan and release schedule, which is communicated to the employees -Management shares stats and monetary successes or failures of the product to the employees -Community teams are amazing at communicating with the players and overall fan base -Management is not afraid to green light fun, unique, and interesting content that the player base usually enjoys immensely -Overall strong and consistent sense of direction with the current product, which is clearly communicated to the employees and player base -Clear vision and understanding of MMO business models, particularly with monetization strategies

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    Cons

    -Conflicting management teams that don’t always communicate effectively horizontally or vertically -Overall attempts to practice agile development, but consistently missing the mark -Frequent mismanagement of resources, especially with programmers -Compensation for all disciplines is not competitive, especially considering the region -Lack of communication between development teams, results in unexpected crunch time, unnecessary work, and down time -Production does not consistently plan for downtime in their estimates and schedules -Code/Content approval can be severely slowed down due to a somewhat chaotic and inconsistent review process -Too many "single points of failure" in staffing for specific disciplines. (i.e. a single network engineer for a very large project) -New teams/projects sometimes fail to take lessons from past post mortems or projects and repeat the same mistakes (i.e. repeating similar build process/work flows that were proved to be inefficient in past development) -Feature team sprint planning retrospectives appear to be ignored or very slow in being acknowledged -Management frequently allows for feature creep to become a problem -Extensive use of “contracted” employees when there is more than enough workload to justify more FTE positions, particularly in QA -Recent removal of the QA department to a third party agency poses a severe threat to studio culture and the pre-existing dynamic of hiring/mentoring from within (Good portion of design and production started as QA)

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    Advice to Management

    There are two key points that need to be addressed. With so many moving parts within the studio, communication and better standards of development need to be established. This is particularly the case as teams are usually working on code/content that effect one another, but they are rarely aware until the last possible minute which usually results in overtime, and unnecessarily risky development. Lastly, the recent move to offload the entire QA department to a third party agency is undeniably an unhealthy move in regards to the studio culture and the pre-existing dynamic of mentoring/hiring young developers and producers from within. This is often referred to as “cutting off the hand that feeds” in this scenario. There will be a trickledown effect that will likely become visible six months to a year after making this move. There will most likely be an extremely high churn/turnover rate due to a lack of competitive wages and exposure to the studio environment. This will increase development costs due to new QA constantly being trained which will slow down the product workflow. The company will also likely be forced to hire more developers from external sources over time, which will also drive up costs, as they will likely require better wages, and will naturally have a training or product/tool familiarization downtime period. On paper this might look good, but in time the company will start incurring heavier recruitment costs, and QA training/retention costs. This will particularly be the case if the company wishes to keep the aggressive development pace that has been the standard. -Best of luck

    Show More
    ArenaNet2014-02-09
  10. Helpful (2)

    "The Real McCoy"

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

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

    Pros

    I didn't know jobs like this existed until I landed at ArenaNet! I've programmed here for nearly 7 years and it continues to be my dream job. -No crunch -Development is driven by passion not production milestones -Incredibly creative, laid-back and friendly work environment -Collaborative bottom-up development -Challenging problems to tackle. -Very flexible with work hours. -Egos are left at the door -Very clean and well organized code base with a strong code standard -Great studio with lots of great amenities(gym, snacks, drinks, game room, etc.) -Good benefits with profit sharing -Did I say no crunch?

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    Cons

    Compared to everything I'm grateful for at ArenaNet my complaints feel pretty insignificant. -Very little documentation and heavy reliance on tribal knowledge -High expectations and challenging tasks can lead to "sink or swim" work environment -Requires passion and self-motivation to be successful -Poor on-boarding process -Compensation could be more competitive. -Paid parking

    Advice to Management

    Focus on providing clear direction and expectations while creating better communication across the studio. Figure out how to get new employees up to speed and better integrated into our culture sooner.

    ArenaNet2013-12-20
Found 12 reviews