ArenaNet Employee Reviews about "work life balance"

Updated 3 Jun 2020

To filter reviews, or .
3.8
69%
Recommend to a Friend
72%
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
80 Ratings
Pros
  • "Company provides great medical benefits and a great work life balance(in 31 reviews)

  • "Work environment (cool studio, kitchen with free snacks and drinks)(in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance(in 17 reviews)

  • "If you are a very experienced tester or just very familiar with Guild Wars 2 you may feel unchallenged by the work(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "work life balance"

Return to all Reviews
  1. "Great benefits!!!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environment Artist in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Company provides great medical benefits and a great work life balance.

    Cons

    A challenging time for many as the company is growing and is finding a new solid direction.

    Continue reading
  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great People, Quality Employment"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great benefits, great work-life balance, great supportive people across the board, both in terms of personality, and talent.

    Cons

    The compensation packages are not as competitive as they might be elsewhere. The studio has also struggled to release anything outside of Guild Wars 2 content (which they do a damn good job with) for a long time, so it can be very frustrating to be working on one of the studio's other initiatives.

    Continue reading

  3. "Game Development without the Sacrifice"

    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

    - This company is one of the most diverse, accepting places I have ever worked. Tons of women and minorities in prominent leadership positions. - Extremely friendly team. Everyone is here to help if you just ask. - A legitimately anti-crunch studio. Work life balance is a clear priority. - Great product with passionate fan base.

    Cons

    - Pay isn't great. - Company at the whim of NCSoft (parent company) at times.

  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.

    Continue reading
  5. "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.

  6. "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

    Continue reading
  7. "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.

    Continue reading
  8. "ArenaNet is a great place to work"

    4.0
    • 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 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

    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

    Continue reading
  9. Helpful (2)

    "Keep on Keeping"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet

    Pros

    Fantastic culture, opportunities to learn, teach and be involved with other teams. Gorgeous studio with free snacks available. Lunch can be delivered by ordering in the morning taking out the hassle of eating midday. Building has a gym and cafe in it. Decent healthcare benefits. Profit sharing benefit. Flat company hierarchy. Founder and VP are approachable, and invested, a lot of management mirror this leadership style. They strive for a good work/life balance and take care of you if you choose to go above and beyond when needed. Monthly free salad bars started recently. Transparency into things happening at the studio. HR/IT teams really go out of their way to ensure you are comfortable while you are working.

    Cons

    Paid parking (currently ~$60), 401k match is low, doesn't have some of the perks of other places such as paid company-wide travel trips or masseuses. The sick pto is tied to standard pto. Not all holidays are observed which is hard on parents, but great during winter holiday break. As a company based on iteration, there is a lot of change to help do better which can be hard on some that get set in their ways. Multiple teams on major projects can result in communication breakdowns across teams or individuals.

    Continue reading
  10. Helpful (15)

    "So Damn Close to a Dream Job."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is the big winner at ANet. I have plenty of time to spend with friends, family, hobbies, or other ventures without any need to use PTO to fit these into my life. My schedule is my own and I'm trusted to get my work done - no micro-managing of hours has ever taken place for myself nor anyone that I work closely with. All hands are required to work 'core hours' from 10a to 4p and can allocate the rest of their hours as they see fit (start early - leave early or start late - leave late). This is immensely helpful when dealing with Seattle's horrendous traffic. Other pluses are pretty standard for the industry. Relaxed workplace and culture leads to allowing people be who they are. You can work in jeans, shorts, or a suit. It's up to you. Pants are required; blue hair is optional. Kids are often seen in the company game room; along with the guys practicing for a Street Fighter tourney or a great round of MTG following each new release. Benefits are top notch with two buy in levels available to match your needs (I've seen very few packages this good). Teams within ArenaNet are generally very close-knit and are very quick to protect and guide other members of their team.

    Cons

    Pay at ANet is one of the biggest challenges. Seattle/Bellevue are quickly becoming one of the most expensive places to buy and rent. A 3 bed single-family home within the county averages $2400 month and most require 3x monthly salary for approval. Rents drop to a more reasonable $1500 to $1900 in Pierce county; but carries with it 3 hours of commuting round-trip. You should very carefully plan your budget before accepting a position with ANet as the salaries are considered low for the industry; and in my experience very low for the area. Considering the increased cost of living for the Greater Seattle area and ArenaNet paying similar salaries as those found in lesser developed regions; some have found themselves taking a financial loss when accepting a position. Applicants that are single with no pets find living arrangements much easier as room-for-rent listings are abundant in the area. These rooms range wildly from $600 to $1600 per month. Another challenge facing employees is a lack of growth potential coupled with a marked absence of performance improvement; performance reviews; and opportunity to practice higher-management skills. Entry level managers generally stay entry-level; and so goes the same for all levels. I've talked to many people after they've given notice to term employment (dozens) who have all cited pay and lack of growth potential as reasons for leaving. Many of those same people also cite poor management - both in company direction (i.e. strategy, use of funds, goals) and in team and people management.

    Continue reading
Found 31 reviews