Splash Damage Employee Reviews about "work for hire"

Updated Nov 29, 2020

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Found 8 of over 98 reviews

3.6
73%
Recommend to a Friend
89%
Approve of CEO
Splash Damage Co-Founder and CEO Richard Jolly (no image)
Richard Jolly
29 Ratings
Pros
  • "Good benefits and really nice people(in 10 reviews)

  • "Free pastries on friday morning, free beer on friday evening(in 9 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Favouritism from senior management to certain other members of staff(in 11 reviews)

  • "The studio is very dependent on work-for-hire projects, and has been like this for many years(in 7 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
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    Reviews about "work for hire"

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    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, less than 1 year

      Good company to work for

      Dec 19, 2016 - Senior Gameplay Programmer in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great team, lots of passion, company cares for employees. Slowly moving from work for hire to own ip. Couple projects to choose from.

      Cons

      Salaries could be higher (it's getting better). Other than that I can't think of more cons

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    2. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great Studio, but a bit out of touch

      Nov 29, 2020 - Senior Environment Artist in Bromley, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Splash is filled with talented, hardworking developers who know how to make the best of a project and push it as much as they can within the limits of their own knowledge. Always very helpful - if you need a hand, ask a member of staff and they will do all they can to help you or at least point you to the right discipline who can. Social atmosphere of Splash is very welcoming and inclusive - the studio takes great pride in looking after the mental health of its employees and ensuring they remain connected, even during WFH. When at the office, there's plenty of opportunities to relax and celebrate work if so inclined, such as release parties, holiday celebrations and gaming/tournament nights. Splash regularly pursues work for hire projects of the highest caliber possible for its devs, and although sometimes it misses the mark, there have been some good experiences with it in the studio. Other projects are also gaining momentum, so there's a variety of projects available if you work here. Gender diversity of the staff is also pretty good here, a large wealth of different people employed at Splash which is better than it used to be when I began. Great benefits such as gym memberships, BUPA and discounts. Can't praise it enough.

      Cons

      The studio is very dependent on work-for-hire projects, and has been like this for many years. Internal projects tend to follow the same design philosophy over and over again, which has worked to make Splash popular back in the heyday but now it's expanded it would be nice to see the studio branch out its projects and make something truly special to put it back on the world stage as a desirable developer. At the moment we've received a lot of praise and attention due to our work on Gears Tactics, which has helped, but I feel we need to make something truly unique that is our own and really push the talent on the team. Studio politics has been on the rise since I joined the studio, and sometimes it can be very divisive, to the point where people are a little afraid to discuss certain issues publicly over internal messaging apps. I don't think this is a particularly healthy environment and Splash should attempt to ensure people's voices are allowed to be heard, even if they're not necessarily in the right. Upper management (everyone between the CEO and the development teams) feel very loose and unrelatable - I like the CEO himself but the people below can be prickly at times. I've not directly had a bad experience with them thus far but they tend to make the decisions whilst not being easy to relate to/get to know from a ground floor dev perspective. In general HR department can come across as out-of-touch with the developers themselves, due in part to that particular department being annexed away from the dev floors as per the acquisition of the new building. A lot of those staff members are nice individually, don't get me wrong, but there's this feeling amongst the development teams that they're serving as nannies for the immature devs next door. Activities such as drawing, quizzes and coloring books come across as ridiculous for a team of seasoned developers, as well as handing out treats - please don't treat the primary earners of your workplace like they're unruly kids.

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      8 people found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Former Employee

      Improving situation

      Oct 21, 2020 - Artist 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The studio provides great opportunities to work on some high quality titles, with work for hire shifting from lots of co-dev in previous years to whole projects, which is a refreshing switch and is providing the teams with the challenges they've been asking for.

      Cons

      There's lots of hiring happening but also lots of turn over, so it feels that the studio growth is a challenge and might strain projects. Production can be difficult and prefer to work in agile methodologies and so art teams can struggle to receive the support they need to organise for the long term. It happens but requires the right type of producers to understand the art team needs. The growth is also ambitious - and we've struggled with running so many projects and making sure they have the right people at the right time in development.

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      2 people found this review helpful
    4. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      All talk, no action

      Dec 18, 2019 - Anonymous Employee in Bromley, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Pastries on a friday & coffee machines in the break out rooms - Some of the nicest and talented developers I've worked with were at Splash Damage. All of which I really miss working with. - Slick marketing and presentation skills in the studio (unfortunately no games to use them on)

      Cons

      Unfortunately there are many - They can't make games, they are a work-for-hire studio (call it co-dev if management are around). They bank of on big I.P. and especially riding the coat tails of other studio's successes. Every project where they take ownership of becomes a raging fire. The studio will point to Gears 4 & 5 as if they made the whole game themselves. The upcoming Gears: Tactics had a very troubled development. - Career progression. Low performers who have strong soft skills and who play office politics go far in this company. Especially those who are close to management, they will be protected. If you aren't one of those then be aware the company values don't apply to you. You will be made lots of promises by management but they do not deliver. - Salary, its very low. Management will claim they are competitive but if they took just 5 minutes to look around the job market they would see the salary is shocking. Expect to perform a role at a level of seniority above your current for the salary below it for a couple years before everything just shifts up a notch. - Seniority means little. Low level of maturity, lots of young developers with big voices with little to no experience trying to call shots. This is largely because the studio has a very high turnover of senior staff leaving. - Ultimately management. Detached from the realities of the current landscape in the market both from a product & talent perspective. They promise everything but deliver nothing. They are more likely to throw a member of a team under a bus that solve a problem. Exec management are too distracted by potentially lucrative opportunities for themselves outside of the company to focus on the fundamentals within the company.

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      14 people found this review helpful

      Splash Damage Response

      Head of Recruitment

      We appreciate you taking the time to leave your detailed and honest feedback. It’s important to us that our teams are able to approach us with any issues they may be experiencing or suggestions that would improve the studio. Giving and receiving feedback ties into a number of our company values, so we’re happy to hear it – even if you’re no longer with us! As a studio we are proud of our work with numerous partners – the most notable of which we’re unapologetically happy to say is Microsoft. It’s given us the opportunity to create experiences within rich, established IP’s and franchises, allowed our teams to work at the cutting edge of game technology and push the boundaries on visual fidelity for an incredibly passionate global fan base. The ongoing relationship has given us the chance to take the helm on one of their biggest exclusive properties in Gears of War, bringing it to an entirely new genre and audience in our latest AAA title: Gears Tactics. Not many studios are given these kinds of opportunities and we’re humbled to now be part of the Gears legacy. With the numerous exciting and as yet unannounced titles in development here, including a recently revealed Stadia exclusive with Google, we are confident that our array of partners and projects provide the challenges and opportunities that our passionate and talented game developers love. We regularly promote staff who have shown the qualities required to move into more senior positions, and our employee growth program with monthly manager check-ins and structured development plans is a critical part of this. We work extremely hard to ensure that our salaries are competitive from location and industry perspectives. We review these regularly and adjust as quickly as possible where necessary. As with any company, we do experience attrition and sometimes members of staff will choose to pursue their careers elsewhere. Obviously, we would love for everyone to stay, but it’s a reality of any business that there will be staff turnover. We’re committed to nurturing talent, and that does mean that we do hire into the studio at entry-level. Our longstanding relationships with educational faculties all over the world have given many new developers their first taste of the industry. We are always striving to grow as an organization – which is why feedback is so important to us – and we recognize that there are always going to be areas of our business that need improvement or investment. We’ve made significant positive changes to our production practices, brought a number of incredibly experienced new senior team members onboard and made it even easier for our staff to give us feedback. We really appreciate that you took the time to talk about your experience with us, and we do hope that there were some positive experiences that you took from your time here.

    5. 2.0
      Current Contractor

      Great people, awful salary, producers and scheduling

      Oct 11, 2019 - Anonymous Contractor 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Incredibly talented developers Good location Genuine interest in diversity/good working conditions

      Cons

      Salary is terrible. They've not only failed to improve salaries, they can't even be honest about how low our salaries are. They insist that they pay within the bracket for the "Greater London Area" but I know a lot of people in the company who struggle financially and deal with poor living conditions to make ends meet. Too many good people have left because of this and more will keep leaving because management doesn't care. I've had the pleasure of working with some really fantastic producers at Splash Damage. I've also seen most of them leave and had to deal with the remaining producers. There's a total lack of accountability within production at all levels. Bad leads are mentoring bad associates and they'd rather force idiotic requests onto the rest of the team than deal with their own failures. Work for hire projects are eventually saved by partners forcing us to improve, but own IP projects become cliquey money sinks with no direction or purpose.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    6. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Friendly workplace with interesting projects

      Mar 26, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The partners that we get to work with are huge names and the projects are interesting (343 Industries, The Coalition).

      Cons

      Too many work for hire projects. Needs larger focus on own IP projects.

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      3 people found this review helpful

      Splash Damage Response

      HR Manager

      Thank you for taking the time to leave this response and for your advice - we are working on it so watch this space!

    7. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Wasted Potential

      Mar 28, 2019 - Anonymous Employee in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Interesting work-for-hire IPs; Job security; Hiring graduates;

      Cons

      Lack of ambition/vision; Majority of work is work-for-hire; Your input isn't valued; No transparency; Driven people will leave, the ones that remain are the ones who don't care or have families; Salary is bad if you consider cost of living (rent);

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      10 people found this review helpful

      Splash Damage Response

      HR Manager

      Many thanks for your feedback. It’s great to hear that you enjoy the co-development projects we have here at the studio. We’ve been able to bring our expertise to some of gaming’s best-known IPs over the years, and this has always been a cornerstone of our business. We’re sorry to hear that you feel that some aspects of your life here at Splash aren’t meeting your expectations. As an existing employee, we would urge you to utilise our feedback system and speak with your manager, HR or the senior team about your concerns. We always welcome and value constructive feedback from our employees to enable us to improve your experience here at the studio.

    8. 1.0
      Former Employee

      A ship in distress

      Jun 19, 2019 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      People are friendly and try their best. There is a potential for junior developers to learn a lot.

      Cons

      Senior leadership is willfully blind and deaf to the realities on the floor. The company has spent years desperately chasing the next work for hire contract and constantly shuffling people between projects. As a result teams never have a chance to develop a working rhythm and familiarity. Senior Production skills are in short supply, projects are wildly over-promised and underfunded on pitch, then people without the experience are expected to manage projects that lack the time, money and manpower, leading to extreme stress for the teams tasked with following through. More projects are cancelled then are finished. Resources are always scarce and scapegoating is common. Most of the finance and HR teams have left, along with the founding CEO and scores of experienced staff across the company. And then there is the matter of salaries. Staff are considerably underpaid, and management is unwilling to have honest conversations with staff. Annual raises rarely amount to more that cost of living increases. The profit sharing program is all but pointless in a company that doesn't finish games.

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      9 people found this review helpful

      Splash Damage Response

      Senior Recruitment Manager

      We appreciate you taking the time to leave us your detailed feedback. As a studio, we are very selective about the partners that we work with. This has meant we%E2%80%99ve had the privilege of working on some of gaming%E2%80%99s most beloved franchises over the years, including seminal games such as Gears of War and Halo. Crafting titles of this magnitude requires us to be flexible to meet the needs of the projects, and this does mean that we need to reallocate staff from time to time. We are very careful to work with those developers affected to ensure that they are happy with any internal moves and support them when joining new development teams. We see our internal mobility as a strength rather than a weakness: allowing developers the freedom and opportunity to work across numerous AAA titles in their careers with us. We have taken onboard internal feedback in regards to production staffing, and have actively engaged in a major hiring programme to bolster our options in this area. As such, we have hired numerous highly experienced production professionals in the last six months, who are now working with the teams towards our common goal of making amazing games for our legions of fans. In regards to our salaries, we review these on a regular basis, with numerous external sources and market research taken into account to ensure that we are competitive across the board. We%E2%80%99re sorry that your experience with Splash didn%E2%80%99t resonate with you as you had hoped, and we do wish you the very best in your future career.

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