Hothead Games Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Glassdoor uses cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing, you agree to our use of cookies. OK | Learn More

Hothead Games Reviews

Updated 6 October 2017
28 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Ian Wilkinson
20 Ratings

28 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. "World class dynamic place to leave your mark"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Artist in Halifax, NS (Canada)
    Current Employee - Artist in Halifax, NS (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Competitive pay, too many benefits to list, willing to go the extra mile to get the best talent from around the world, aggressively persuing excellence across the board.

    Creative freedom, everyone has a voice, lots of upward mobility.

    Cons

    Milestones are short resulting in bugs and less development time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing, it’s refreshing


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Says one thing and does the other...or nothing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    Fair salary and benefits.

    Often prefers to hire full time.

    Fairly decent people to work with, excluding management.

    Full gym and tries to appear to care about employees.

    Cons

    Upper management really has no clue what they are doing half the time and tend to follow trends in other games instead of doing something new.

    Solely money and data driven as opposed to making sure their games are enjoyable, (lots of microtransactions and loops to get players to spend more).

    Artists are left with no leader and direction that can range from decent to useless. The higher ups end up calling most of the art shots.

    Sets up a lot of things that make them appear as a forward thinking company but tend to just be surface and nothing ends up changing.

    Tends to overhire and purge people when their plans don't turn out perfectly.

    Keeps people who have been around for a long time out of 'loyalty' or something even when they are not useful or out of touch with current trends.

    Advice to Management

    Take some risks and let some ideas that make your games fun stay.

    Get rid of dead weight in the company, there are some people who have been around forever who are useless or in positions they shouldn't be.

    Innovate rather than follow.

    Actually help your employees grow as opposed to talking about it but not doing anything.


  3. "Grows on you"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Designer
    Current Employee - Designer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I am deeply enjoying working at Hothead, it's a great environment for passionate people. It's also a company that is teetering ever so close to making amazing games.

    Unfortunately, Hothead is not perfect.

    While making admirable strides to improve itself, Hothead suffered a few growing pains in recent years. Recent successes had fractured some of that initial spark that had interested me the most when I first joined. Efforts of HR are greatly appreciated, as things are showing improvement with time.

    * Great work-life balance. Very little mandatory crunch if workload issues are raised early and to the right people. People are still free to come to work anytime, and some even work remotely.

    * Amazing projects that I can genuinely be proud of, and even shill to all my friends or play for my own enjoyment .

    * You get out what you put in. Loads of room for self development, with flexible job descriptions, and loose hierarchies of command.

    * Teams are relatively independent of each other, with little crossover, with the exception of generalized tools and the occasional loaner artists and programmer.

    Cons

    Not all teams are created equally with Veteran teams getting the most autonomy and resources. Micromanagement can start appearing if targets aren't met. Newer teams are not freely given full control, which is sometimes setup for unavoidable failure. Happiness within a team is very project leader dependent.

    * Lots of hotshots and egos, but most are open to contesting their ideas. Just pick your battles or you'll burn yourself out. Be prepared to defend your own ideas and opinions, preferably with rational arguments.

    * High-level decisions are often overly emotional or based on gut reactions rather than proven data. Dependent on project leader; feedback, solutions and creative decisions are not always taken into consideration.

    * Focus on results seems futile at times, as success of projects hardly seems up-to the individual teams. Support for teams seems arbitrary at times, as often resources are split unfairly between teams.

    * Culture is immature at times. The senior employees rarely make an effort to integrate new people. Company has developed cliques, which can be hard to break through for new employees. Whole experience is very intimidating.

    Hothead Games Response

    7 Jun 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for your review. I agree that the rapid growth we recently experienced has caused some growing pains. We’re committed to acknowledging our mistakes when they happen, and most importantly... More


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "One of the best video game companies in the world; certainly the best I've ever worked for."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Designer in Halifax, NS (Canada)
    Current Employee - Lead Designer in Halifax, NS (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Hothead is company that clearly wants to be among the best in the world, and I admire their passion for making great products that connect millions of players across the world.

    The main strengths that I've seen in my 2 years here are many, but to summarize:

    - Hothead is unafraid to take risks with projects and target emerging trends in the market. This has led to a suite of titles poised to release in 2017 that are at the cutting edge. The main example of this fearlessness is its long-term commitment to real-time multiplayer technology and PvP. This decision alone, I believe, will secure its place in the market for years to come.

    - Hothead believes that anyone can contribute in a meaningful way to the company's current and future direction. This is the first and only company I've worked for that genuinely takes the opinions of its employees seriously; and even better, it acknowledges and rewards those employees. I have seen this firsthand, many times, over my two years here.

    - Hothead believes in hard work, but it truly knows how to unwind and have fun. It's an awesome place to work with great perks.

    - Hothead can own up to its past mistakes and use those moments as an opportunity to reflect and learn. That level of humility is critical to growth and success. Most leaderships teams that I've worked with suffer from a kind of institutional arrogance. It is simply not the case with Hothead - they could really have a big head about their past successes in the mobile market, but the leadership of this company is remarkably clear-eyed and grounded.

    - Hothead is unafraid of making tough decisions for the betterment of the company. They do not make these decisions lightly, and they can sometimes be painful, but they always do so for the right reasons. These decisions can range from shutting down a project to letting employees go that are not up to their standards. These are never easy decisions to make, but to Hothead's credit they go about these difficult moves in a classy and professional way.

    Ultimately, working at Hothead is like working for a professional sports team that is hungry for a championship title. If you share that passion and hunger, and can back it up with results, you will LOVE it here. And you will be rewarded for your efforts.

    Cons

    No company is perfect, and Hothead has a few things to focus on improving:

    - I think most teams would admit that the pace of work can feel overwhelming at times. Hothead is an ambitious company that wants to succeed, and it demands a lot from its teams. Simply put, if you don't have an internal drive to succeed and make great games, you may feel like the pace is too much at times.

    Having said that, I believe that the company is aware of this, and they're actively seeking to course-correct here.

    - I don't know if this is a "con", per se, but Hothead has a lot of strong personalities at every level, from leadership right down to each game team's junior programmers. This is a natural consequence of creating a "fighting spirit" in the corporate culture that wants to win. I've seen it rub certain people the wrong way, and that can admittedly be uncomfortable for some types of people.

    Is it a true "con"? I don't know. I think it depends on your perspective. I personally love it. It's a refreshing kind of change for me. But be warned: if you don't like confrontation or having your ideas challenged, you may not feel comfortable working here.

    - There are, admittedly, certain key areas in the company that are not quite world-class yet. It's an ongoing challenge to determine how we can improve them, and sometimes it runs against the dev teams' work. Having said that, the company is aware of where it must improve and is CONSTANTLY trying to improve them.

    Advice to Management

    This company is by far the best I've worked for. It genuinely wants to achieve global success, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I don't know that I have any advice to impart to the leadership team that they're not already aware of, honestly.

    Instead, I'll just say that focus is going to be the key for this company moving forward. We need to find ways of eliminating the distractions that can surround our dev teams, and enable them to identify and hone in on the work that truly matters. I believe that the team I work on currently has enjoyed most of its success through eliminating distraction, finding a clear focus, and executing against it at a high level. I truly believe that if this company can incorporate an almost-Apple-like focus into its products, it will be met with worldwide success. And it's up to us as Hothead's employees to speak up and point out where and how we might direct this focus.

    There's a lot of great, talented people working here - it's a really amazing group of skilled game devs. We have all the pieces in play that we need; focus will help us to make the right moves.

    I felt obliged to write this review as a defense against some of the negative reviews I've read on here. No one asked me to write this review. I just think that some of these reviews are grossly misrepresentative of the company, and that bothers me a lot. This is a truly great company.

    Hothead Games Response

    7 Jun 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for your review! Hothead strives to be world-class and we recognize that we may not be perfect, but we're committed to making the necessary changes and improvements to be the best in the... More


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A solid company that is getting better."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Environment Artist in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Lead Environment Artist in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good co-workers
    A nice office
    Thursday lunches
    A sense of ownership in projects
    Talented employees
    Transparency with management

    I'm writing this review in response to a lot of other reviews for Hothead. In my 8 years working here I've never experienced any bulling or had a sense of toxic culture, so I was very surprised to read about it on Glassdoor. I've come out as transgender at work and felt nothing but acceptance and encouragement.
    This is a really good company that expects a lot from its employees.

    Cons

    Projects are over managed
    Games are all shooter based
    Overtime is normal
    Socializing between teams is rare
    Lower than average pay

    Projects that don't meet expectations tend to be shifted and re-worked on almost a monthly basis, which can be really hard on the devs. Some times the projects can feel either aimless, or have too much micromanagement from the top down.

    Hothead has gotten better every year I've been here, but it still has a lot of room to grow.

    Advice to Management

    I know mitigating loss is important, but it shouldn't be the driving factor behind the choices we make as a company. It feels like we're playing it too safe some times and that our games end up designed by committee, rather than letting the talents of your individual employees shine through.
    I want to restate that I think this company is better now than it ever has been, and I do see it getting better, slowly but surely.

    Hothead Games Response

    28 Mar 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for writing us a review! We certainly agree with you that we have an amazing bunch of talented professionals at Hothead - they are the backbone of our company and we recognize that by offering... More


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Could be great someday but going through a ton of growing pains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist
    Former Employee - Artist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Some extremely talented people
    -Free lunch every Thursday
    -Great gym
    -On site massages
    -Management seems to have good intentions

    Cons

    -Training budget is minimal
    -Some people are incredibly incompetent and lazy
    -Member of HR is known to bully employees she dislikes, hearing the way she talked to some people on the floor was appalling
    -Strategy seems to change fairly often
    -Not a lot of growth opportunities
    -Overtime is very common

    Advice to Management

    Eventually things will smooth out but it definitely was a stressful place to work in 2016. Talk to employees, there's definitely a ton of people who feel the same way but are tied down financially to the job and are afraid to speak out.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "A Growing, Fast-Moving Game Studio"

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

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    The office is high energy, the technologies we get to work with are bleeding edge and super interesting, and I am surrounded by many creative, talented people. Management is transparent with information so I always feel like I know where the company stands and how I fit in.

    Tons of great perks: on-site gym, showers, secure bike parking, free meals, drinks and snacks, Beer Fridays, sports tickets, etc. Oh yeah, and a ping pong table if you're into that sort of thing.

    I meet with my manager regularly and feel empowered to say whatever is on my mind.

    Cons

    The rapid growth of the last two years has caused some chaos. The company seems serious about following disciplined development processes and fully embracing games-as-a-service in the mobile space. But realistically there have been some growing pains. This manifests as high pressure deadlines, production mistakes, inefficient liveops processes and the nagging sense that we can’t ever get to technical refactoring of key systems.

    Management is leading by example by being metrics-driven and serious about process. So now that growth has slowed to a manageable pace I am optimistic these issues will improve over time.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up with the transparency and disclosure of information about how the business is doing and where we are headed. Treat your people like adults and give us the straight goods.

    Hothead Games Response

    28 Mar 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for your review! We value the people who make us who we are possible – our employees are what makes us and we wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them! We work really hard in finding ways... More


  9. Helpful (2)

    "A Place to Make Great Games Alongside the Best People!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    Hothead Games is a progressive and industry leading company that have grown from 100 to 200 employees in the past year. Although we've doubled in size, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to have my voice heard and be taken seriously. Our senior management is always available and welcome any type of conversation whether it be personal related matters, constructive feedback and/or other concerns. Transparency within management is extremely strong. We are informed of all company-related information and no question is ever left unanswered.

    What I truly love most about Hothead is that they geniunely care about their people. HR and senior management is always looking for ways to improve in all aspects of company dealings from onboarding, perks and benefits, workplace environment, work processes or policies and the list goes on. By no means is Hothead perfect - there are many things that requires improvement, but Hothead is doing a fantastic job at coming close to it.

    Another big bonus at Hothead is that you get to work with amazing and talented people. Things like an on-site gym with regular and complimentary fitness and yoga classes, ping pong table, ice hockey and running club, roof-top BBQ, Beer Friday, weekly lunch & learns, fully-stocked fridge and snacks are just some of the cool things that come along with being employed at Hothead.

    Cons

    There are definitely growing pains that go hand in hand with doubling in size over the past year. Existing processes may no longer be efficient, outgrowing our space, and not being able to remember everyone's name are real issues we have dealt and are dealing with. However, management is keen on and committed to finding solutions to all problems we may face, which is relieving. It's a priority at Hothead to give the right tools to its employees to do their job.

    Advice to Management

    Continue being open-minded and listen to what your employees have to say. Hothead can only get better and better from here!

    Hothead Games Response

    28 Mar 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for writing us a review! We have an amazing group of professionals who work at Hothead and there is no doubt that we appreciate every one of them. We make it a point to celebrate and... More


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Poor Executive Team - Known to do fake reviews here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good perks for staff. Coffee, paid lunches, etc. Most low level staff are very friendly. Its the executive team that is the issue.

    Cons

    Exec team encourages workers post fake reviews here on a regular basis to bury bad reviews.
    Executive infighting led to lots of work being done multiple times or poor design decisions are made because of one executive just wanting to get their way.
    There's a glass ceiling. Executives are all waiting for a sale or a payout so promotions are not going to happen.
    Very bro-culture and not female friendly. Only a handful of females working there.

    Advice to Management

    Happy workers and therefore good reviews come from the top down. You lose lots of top talent because you force people to "fit in or get out" rather than create an inclusive company culture that promotes including a diverse group of people. This results in in a myopic view of products that you deem viable, which leaves dollars on the table.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Fantastic place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoy working at Hothead Games because management is very approachable at all levels, including the CEO. They're always open to hearing your opinion on a topic and seem to honestly want to hear what you have to say. Makes you feel like you're really part of the solution.

    Cons

    Only 5 sicks days is very low, which leads to lots of sick employees coming to work which then gets others sick as well. An increased amount of sick days, or even unlimited days, but anything more than 2 days would require a doctor's note would be a wonderful change.

    Advice to Management

    See the Cons section.

    Hothead Games Response

    28 Mar 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thanks for writing us a review! At Hothead, we encourage an open and frank atmosphere where fair and honest treatment to everyone is expected - we value what our employees have to say and believe in... More


Showing 28 of 29 reviews
Reset Filters