BioWare

  www.bioware.com
  www.bioware.com

BioWare Reviews

56 Reviews
3.5
56 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Andrew Wilson
2 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent work environment, very open line of communication with superiors (in 7 reviews)

  • There are a great deal of developers here with their own families, so the work/life balance is admirable (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • Unfortunately the gaming industry sees a lot of change from time to time, due to natural restructuring post lauch (in 8 reviews)

  • This creates a very distinct caste system between the "have's" (the full time employees) and the "have not's" (the contract workers) (in 4 reviews)

More Highlights

10 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company, but recent years suggest concern.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Great and supporting environment. The people mostly are excited about their projects. People try to be accommodating of real life. Bioware also creates great games consistently. Even the games that haven't sold as well are still respected. It's a great name to have on your resume. There are good opportunities to do cutting edge work.

    Cons

    Bioware has somewhat of a crunch atmosphere. Project schedules tend to run tight and there are year or longer crunches and sometimes perpetual ones with little breaks. Crunch has always been seen as necessary. In the past, there was a camaraderie that made this tolerable. It felt like the company had your back. By the time I left, there was a growing sense of uncertainty. It felt like layoffs could happen any time to anybody. Just one bad project and everyone would be out the door. Bio used to value people over projects, but now that seems reversed. It is possible that this trend will reverse again with shifts in leadership at EA, but be aware, I've heard of people move and then getting laid off within months. Also be aware that each Bio studio is different. Edmonton, Montreal, and Austin are all somewhat different.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be careful to focus on your people over your projects. Good people make good projects, but you can't always find good people to staff projects, even if the project idea is a good one. Laid off employees sometimes don't come back.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people hampered by odd decisions

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Met some great, talented people. Many days were lots of fun.

    Cons

    QA is run in a way that discourages being a team player. Too much emphasis on contract and overseas QA. Much of QA, except those few who are 'embedded' with the developers, seem to be kept at arms length.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop the industry-wide use of contract workers. QA personnel are an important part of the development process, not a group to be thrown away.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company deludes employees into thinking it's an "amazing" company with bells and whistles.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working with the QA department was a great experience.
    My direct boss was very easy going and explained things very well.
    Loved my team and my tasks.
    Was my first gaming company I worked for, so I was able to get my foot in the door that opened up lots of possibilities.

    Cons

    I was led on that I would be brought on to the company full-time as opposed to being a contractor. I did an amazing job and worked my way up the QA ladder, but still got the boot once my contract was up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on breakfast every morning, use that money towards bringing dedicated and hard-working contractors on full-time.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was fun to work at Bioware label, not so much for EA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Dublin, Dublin (Ireland)

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Given chance to build own team
    - Worked with some of the industry best

    Cons

    - Lots of people promoted as 'industry experts' but without the skill
    - Hired from bad companies in Europe
    - No career improvement, even when working at a higher level
    - All approvals had to go through the US, so there was often no '24x7' until someone in US came in.
    - Rely to heavily on 'well it worked for us before' than designing or investigating new solutions
    - Like much of the game industry, expected to work until you break down. Many people working 90+ hour weeks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower the good people who want to do great things

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Ups and Downs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Technical Animator
    Current Employee - Technical Animator

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    friendly co-workers here, some people that have remained for a long time which shows loyalty. They supply a fun games room and regularly stock ice cream treats in the kitchen. An active living rebate and a games console rebate are nice additions as well

    Cons

    EA has taken over and everything is about the finances now unfortunately. Seems like much of the soul of the company as a whole has left

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    think back to how things were before EA

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Working at BioWare Edmonton is like being in the dance band on the Titanic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Designer in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very family oriented. Several husband and wife teams.
    Good salaries and ESPP.
    A lot of talented designers and writers.
    Really good benefits.
    Breakfast every morning.
    Free milk and juice to drink.
    EA has great marketing.
    Edmonton has hardly any traffic.

    Cons

    Nepotism is rampant.
    Huge team sizes.
    Seemingly closed to new ideas.
    Not much room to grow. Many employees are expected to specialize in a particular aspect of their discipline, and there are few opportunities for leadership.
    Art and Programming departments get their way more than they should because BioWare has trouble hiring programmers and artists.
    Many producers are completely clueless at how to manage a large team.
    The Dragon Age management team is misguided and they seem to be group-thinking their franchise off a cliff.
    Some managers tend to take undue credit for the hard work and brilliant ideas of their team members.
    Most people at Bioware Edmonton have never worked for other game companies, and many of them probably wouldn't cut it outside BioWare.
    High cost of living in Edmonton, despite the fact that hardly anyone really wants to live there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Rather than rewarding loyalty by promoting long-timers to positions where they become inept, bring in some fresh talent from outside BioWare to modernize how you develop games. The way BioWare Edmonton does business is very expensive and it is not changing to match the pace of the industry. Development costs for Triple-A games are increasing, but BioWare's profits are not keeping pace, and SWTOR was very disappointing in terms of sales. If things don't change soon, EA is likely to trim a lot of the fat from BioWare Edmonton to make the studio more sustainable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not amazing, but pretty good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Level Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Level Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Working at Bioware I have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic projects with some really amazing and passionate people. Most days I look forward to going into the office and sometimes I get so involved in my work that I end up staying late. There is a real sense that everyone want's to do the best they can to produce the best games possible.

    The feeling of shipping AAA games can be quite rewarding.

    Edmonton is actually a nice city with close proximity to Jasper National Park.

    Fairly good studio culture.

    Cons

    Mediocre pay / Poor employee evaluation program.

    People tend to get pigeon holed into doing one thing which really limits personal opportunities for growth.

    Studio is becoming increasingly political and corporate.

    The studio is in a really poor location of the city.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Advice tends to come from the top down.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    great place to work before 08

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Ray and Greg are best executive staff that I have worked for. Amazingly creative, intelligent, passionate individuals doing fabulous things.

    Cons

    Mass Effect 23 - the Madden Edition, EA is killing creativity with it's incessant sequelology. Ray and Greg have become too diluted to remain effective forever; with too many studios, divisions and products to focus on. The ever encroaching centralized EA bureaucracy.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    hurting -- SWOTR fail has hurt us badly in EA

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    decent pay and good benefits. Interesting products and exposure to a weird subculture. Management seems to leave us alone if we demonstrate minimal competence

    Cons

    uncertain future, likely to get ground up by EA and spit out. "Studio" culture is nice but parent company EA is like so many other big companies

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    get some!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bioware = Good, EA = Bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at BioWare

    Pros

    Good company before EA buyout

    Cons

    Ea is destroying what was once a good company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the old Bioware culture.

    Approves of CEO

Work at BioWare? Share Your Experiences

BioWare

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.