MZ Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

MZ Reviews

Updated 23 Jan 2020

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3.3
51%
Recommend to a Friend
65%
Approve of CEO
MZ CEO  Kristen Dumont (no image)
Kristen Dumont
28 Ratings
Pros
  • "MZ is a great place for folks who are motivated by their personal growth(in 29 reviews)

  • "Free food and drinks in the office(in 24 reviews)

Cons
  • "Even the work-life balance doesn’t seem that bad as others describe it(in 42 reviews)

  • "It's almost like MZ just didn't plan to hire bad people, so there are no plans in place to address them unless they actually break a harassment policy(in 31 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. "Intense and Rewarding, but Needs More Checks and Balances"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at MZ full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Amazing, hardworking people on every level. Benefits that can't be beat. Great food. Comfortable environment. Good support. HR is quick to respond to issues. Loyalty is valued among lower level leadership and rewards are piled on you for good performance. Workflows are clearly documented and undaunting to step into.

    Cons

    Anyone who IS terrible (like some people I was forced to work with and under) had no checks for their behavior. It's almost like MZ just didn't plan to hire bad people, so there are no plans in place to address them unless they actually break a harassment policy. I was outright bullied by my team and my manager's advice was to QUIT and accept that I was replaceable, even though I was a dedicated and passionate employee who had been receiving constant praise for my contributions up til that point. And there was no one above my manager to bring an issue to without immediately branding myself as a weak link or tattletale.

    Continue reading
    MZ2020-01-24
  2. "Cool company to work for with talented nice people and challenging exciting work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
     

    I worked at MZ

    Pros

    Very Generous benefit plans, talented people who believe in the mission and vision of the company. Unique culture, not the norm in a good way. Amazing perks!

    Cons

    The quick decision making by leadership can be intense and not for everyone. The company moves very fast.

    Continue reading
    MZ2020-01-19
  3. Helpful (5)

    "You really need to know what you're getting into"

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

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

    Pros

    Very competitive salary for engineers in games, similar to standard non-games tech companies in the area. Free meals and snacks on site with good selections. Competitive bonuses every year for some so far, and good perks for phone purchase, gameplay, and some life expenses. No-limit time off policy with manager approval and mostly flexible with working from home if needed.

    Cons

    Time off, even if approved, can be cancelled and forced into reapproval if the company is crunching for something, even unrelated teams, and a lot of pressure is sometimes applied to not take time off. "Core hours from 10am - 7pm" which means everyone stays later than they should. Not a lot of emphasis on fixing things that are breaking, just pushing out new things so there are constantly live issues causing some people to drop all their work with deadlines to handle what's breaking. Generally seems like there isn't a good sense of how to get out of bad months/quarters/years except to work the same people harder, which then leads to more mistakes.

    MZ2020-01-04
  4. "Facility Technician.. Challenging learn something new every day"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Facilities Technician in Bartow, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Life work balance , good management

    Cons

    Zero cons , can’t complain

    Continue reading
    MZ2019-11-12
  5. Helpful (2)

    "May the Moogle Be With You... Always."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    MZ faces the same challenge that every single game company faces... how to stay relevant. The games business has historically been the most forward-looking, risk-taking tech industry. And perhaps for that reason and many more, the most beloved. Every innovation hits games first. Every engineer wants to make a hit game. Games make us go wow! They blow our minds. They connect us to our instincts to learn, compete, make friends, get lucky, and win. They are dazzling and baffling. Coin-Op. Console. PC. Web. Social. Mobile. And Beyond. MMO. Card. Shooter. Puzzle. While the games business is vast, carving out a niche isn't easy. And carving out a niche while paying for Palo Alto real-estate is the most epic mongo baller of all wins. Video games were born in the Silicon Valley and Machine Zone is right in the middle of it. The buildings are brand new, clean, and beautiful on the former Facebook campus now in reconstruction. Early into the mobile games market, MZ owned top slots on the AppStores for months coasting on innovative SuperBowl advertising and then diversifying into Ad Tech, AI, Crypto, Real-Time... God Stuff. But the universe ebbs and flows. Where are we on the tech adoption curve... who knows? One thing remains true... customers expect a lot as they economize their entertainment dollars. So MZ has managed to win over a very loyal group of paying players. Every technology and community changes. Will people still program on PCs one day? Who knows. Will people still play the MZ games we operate today ten years from now? Who knows. Will we all upload? Man. Big questions. What's real is that MZ has been contracting over the last year and a half to focus on what it does best... developing and operating games. On the operations side we are embracing lots of new cloud technologies. On the development side, we have in limited release a beautiful new title that shows off our continued ability to innovate on the client, art, game design, and server. We have vast capital, intellectual assets, potential and good people. Contraction isn't pleasant, but it is often necessary. Some of what you see on Glassdoor is a reflection of that. What are you gonna do? That's life and our individual experiences will very. Ultimately our personal outcomes are a direct result of the individual choices we make in the stream of choices we have available to us. We recently re-branded as MZ... 1. Which i think is cool. As per U2 we are not the same, but we ARE 1. Culturally, I'd say we are aggressive for the games business. We lean toward core and blue. After all, we made Game of War. Teams naturally internalize their titles to some degree. But games also naturally attract fun-loving creatives. I feel that that is what we are at our core. And we are much more... Final Fantasy and brilliant technologists, artists, and game designers. To be continually relevant we must continue to make good decisions, place good bets, and make the connection with more loyal paying player fans. All game companies share this mission. MZ is a big game maker / operator by most standards. This is not just a few folks in a room. So we have teams and subcultures and thus your experience may vary. If you are into the games business and looking forward to a long-term career in it and you live in Silicon Valley or catch the Cal Train to California or carpool down 280 or live in Supertino from the SJC to the DMZ, I really think you should take a look at MZ. Perhaps you will be THE one young Jedi. Come say Hi. Take a look.

    Cons

    Lots of change and people re-identifying with a new mission and vision that is more focused than the broad vision of "become a tech giant".

    MZ2019-11-07
  6. "Very Competitive Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - LiveOp Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This is a job that can help you grow your hard skills. This is my first month, and I feel like learning a lot of stuffs. I mean hard skills like SQL, python, which really help you increase your value in the market. If you are young and passionate about game industry, this is the right place for you. I would love more people join LiveOp team. This is best team for you to grow in MZ. Plus you have awesome teammates and super nice boss :)

    Cons

    You have to get used to game industry culture.

    MZ2019-10-10
  7. Helpful (2)

    "It was a good ride"

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

    I worked at MZ full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The company rewards great contributions with great pay

    Cons

    Previous CEO failed We're not factory workers

    MZ2019-10-20
  8. Helpful (2)

    "Positive creative atmosphere"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    3D Artist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at MZ

    Pros

    The art team is full of talent but more importantly teamwork, even across multiple projects. Art directors I've worked with have a lot of experience in the games medium here, and are able to set clear goals, they aren't "idea guys" with vague requests. Additionally for LGBTQ+ and allies, the environment here is very friendly. Im a trans woman, and I never am misgendered by coworkers. Additionally, even with racy characters in some games, the art team is very sensitive to treating their female coworkers well and not devolving into a "boys club". Teams here also have very wide ethnic and national diversity, definite plus. If you are a foodie, the food here is very very very fancy, but if you like more regular stuff like me, there are those options too.

    Cons

    I wish there were more women in the art department, but the company does too and definitely wants to recruit more. Also...the commute in and out of Palo Alto can be absolutely brutal.

    Continue reading
    MZ2019-10-04
  9. Helpful (23)

    "Horrible company to work with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Analyst in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cannot think of any pros!

    Cons

    Toxic culture, intensive politics, chaos management, sinking business, high attrition rate, the list goes on and on. The company is also obsessed about hours everyone works instead of the results. They enforce weird 10-7 working hours which is believed to be a way to drive away candidates with families. If you have a family, especially if you have kids. NEVER EVER, NOT EVER, CONSIDER MZ!!! If you don't have a family, also NEVER EVER, NOT EVER, CONSIDER MZ!!! Everyone around me are interviewing and leaving.

    MZ2019-08-30
  10. Helpful (6)

    "Well funded, hard working, future hazy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineering Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Machine Zone has taken fantastic care of me financially, offering excellent opportunities for advancement, rewarding hard work and proposals. It's enabled experimenting with management techniques. It's well funded for future ventures and the board works to create a healthier road for the future. The CEO visibly works to make sure that rewards for company success can be shared well with staff. It's got 3 meals a day by a reasonable cafeteria crew that take good care of the group. It takes care of a lot of out of pocket costs for benefits.

    Cons

    We don't know what builds success, but have succeeded a lot, leading to very painful patterns (Projects without staff or roadmap or pitch). Decisions on major company timelines can shift quickly and multiple times a year. Building a 6 or 12 month plan is an exercise in futility for the most part. A lot of teams are understaffed from a constant drive toward shared service models. Promotions often lack filling the gap promoted out of, leaving folks responsible for wider and wider spaces. Accountability is so distributed as to basically have no accountability for almost all of our game products. We brutalize our customers with buggy and poorly considered content, leaving them with the impression we don't care. Off hours incidents are multiple times a month. Some teams crunch excessively.

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    MZ2019-07-31

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