Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated August 26, 2015
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Blizzard Entertainment President and CEO Mike Morhaime
Mike Morhaime
21 Ratings

Pros
  • Awesome work environment, great people (in 19 reviews)

  • Free games and free subscriptions (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Pay is lower for customer service unless you count bonuses which are not guaranteed (in 15 reviews)

  • Substandard Industry pay in a high cost of living area (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

31 Employee Reviews

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  1. Passion is not compensation

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work itself is fantastic. You will be surrounded by brilliant people who are bursting with passion. They will inspire and surprise you daily. Constant stream of creativity and challenge. You will learn more and grow faster here than anywhere else in the industry. The products are exciting and interesting. The problems are challenging and fulfilling. You will leave work some days totally fried and mentally exhausted, and other days feeling like you can conquer the world (or like you just have). If you like work that is rewarding and challenging you'll love this place.

    Cons

    You will not make a living wage. The same job title at nearly any other company or location would afford someone a stable and comfortable lifestyle. Not here. It's absurd that people in career positions can not afford to live nearby. Unless your senior or higher, you will need to have at least roommate simply to survive. Sure, the answer could be "Just work up to senior then." But advancement opportunities seem to be time based as opposed to skill based. My manager has literally said "You're doing fantastic work. Just keep doing good work for a few more years" in response to a promotion inquiry. They expect the best, but refuse to pay for it. We are constantly told that our pay is "competitive" which, while technically accurate, is clearly not factoring in the cost of living per location. Oh, but hey, we are also having great profits as an organization, just FYI. For every brilliant person you work with, there is an inept one around the corner. Many of these people seem to be relics or go unnoticed by management. This is often not management's fault directly, as giving a single manager a whole department worth of employees is unrealistic.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to be the best, that comes at a cost. You are resting on your laurels and your past. Share the wealth, it's concerning that half of your employees are worried about paying rent and the other half come to work in high end luxury cars. It's unfortunate that you are located in such an insanely expensive location, but that's the reality. You need to accept that and accommodate it. Your wages would be passable if you were based pretty much anywhere else. I know people in similar positions to my own at other companies who own homes. Here I have to share with roommates and even then I'm pinching pennies to make sure I stay afloat.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Not what it used to be

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    -Good amount of pleasant and talented people with common interests -Lot of diverse training available

    Cons

    -Atrocious work\life balance -Low compensation in an exceptionally high cost of living area and ever rising demands

    Advice to Management

    Raise compensation or lower demands


  3. Helpful (2)

    Associate Producer

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    work loading is very small

    Cons

    too many politics in the team


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  5. Helpful (6)

    Becoming Top-Heavy

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    You get to work for Blizzard. Tons of free games. Great environment. Impressive on a resume.

    Cons

    A lot of the executives do a whole lot of nothing but telling people what to do. The longer you've been there the more you're paid for the less you do. New people are expected to work 60 or more hours a week. Morale is slipping, there's lots of teenage drama and backstabbing. It really feels like everyone communicates solely through post-it notes. At least the post-it notes look cool.

    Advice to Management

    Go back to the early days where "Developers" were actually developing and not holding closed-door 8-hour meetings everyday to discuss how to give yourselves raises.


  6. Helpful (8)

    Production

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Production in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    1. Family Type environment, it feels like a small family. And that's what can get you to stay a long time. 2. Big events, perks are somewhat generous. 3. Better inter department career growth now. 4. Amazing company if you are a 20 something with no family and just want to spend 80 hours a week during crunch time at work.

    Cons

    1. Lack of career direction outside of a department. And if you do get movement, you will only get a 10% increase when someone can come from outside the company and make way more than you. And you are expected to love it since you owe them for promoting you. 2. Pay is generally crap at the lower end of things, and you get responses from Executives that bonuses are to offset getting paid low. But then reminded in the same breath they are not guaranteed at the same time. 3. No balance of work/home life at all. There were times I worked 120 hours in a week literally only sleeping at home.

    Advice to Management

    I do believe that Morhaime does care about the people and want's the best for them. But I never got that feeling from people like Frank Pearce or some of the other executives. There are a lot of good people here, and good management. Inter Department Managers are there for you and generally will fight to help you succeed.


  7. Helpful (7)

    Blizzard - Dev Team

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Looks good on your resume. Fun environment. Most people love being there and working there. Lots of great amenities and perks on campus.

    Cons

    Not a lot of room to grow in your career; many people stuck in their role for many years without many chances to change or grow. Substandard pay, especially for the hours you work, and the high cost of living in Irvine. Very much a corporation.


  8. Helpful (11)

    A company that used to care about gamers.

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

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The best thing about Blizzard were that people that actually created. I spent most of my time interacting with different game development teams and QA. For the most part the low and mid level personnel were extremely passionate and dedicated to making a quality product. Allowed QA to set a very high standard (at least when related to bugs and crashes).

    Cons

    I saw the downhill slide occur first hand during development of Starcraft II. People in a leadership role on that project and battle.net slowly eroded all of the good will Blizzard had built up over 15 years of previous battle.net functionality. Removing LAN plan, removing chat rooms, facebook integration - these are all things that no game anywhere wanted. The pushback internal on this was monstrous, yet it was wholly ignored. The results speak for themselves. Battle.net is an afterthought and SC2 is just another game that some people occasionally play. This behavior of making decisions contrary to the best interests of the gamer/customer for short term profits also bled into the Development of Diablo 3. The auction house was lauded internally as a complete disaster, yet higher ups pushed ahead and the disastrous results are all too clear. Some change has been made (2 years later) to close it down, but the damage done is obvious. In the late 90's and early 2000's the only games I played were Blizzard games. Warcraft 2, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3. I haven't played a Blizzard game regularly since 2010. The Blizzard that most of us knew, admired, and wanted to be a part of is long gone. If you work for the company now, you will work long hours with great people for substandard pay on products that you won't play. Work at your own risk.

    Advice to Management

    Overtime is a way of life is archaic and backwards. Games can be made in a more efficient manner. The huge ego's that spout "design is king" and "that's how we've always done it" are routes to insolvency. The most important thing that needs to change for Blizzard to turn things around is to make the customers needs/wants the highest priority. Adding features/changes that improve the gamer's experience could set them on the right path. In my opinion the entire company needs to be gutted and reformed. All of the extraneous middle management and bloated overpaid senior staff need to go.


  9. Helpful (16)

    Buddy system overload

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Working for Blizzard in Austin has very little perks. The staff is underpaid telling you the benifits and the managers lack most qualifications, but if you are best friends with a manager you are for sure going to move up fast.

    Cons

    Job harassment is constant, some managers lack any skill, buddy system is in full effect there, company is lost (they sent out a how much you really get paid document one year stating peoples benifits were $20k more than what they actually filed for taxes due to free games, in game items, and the holiday party. So people stopped going to the holiday party, stopped claiming the mounts and the company never gave another dime. Also the buddy system is super bad one day everyone is watching youtube while working the next 3 people are fired for watching youtube while working after 5 years there. Nothing is fair, no one is listens in HR and if you raise a concern they fire you for not being in line. I watched some super bad things and sat in some super bad meetings any other company would be sued for.

    Advice to Management

    Take a long hard look at Austin. There is some super shady stuff going on there. Managers sleeping with employes, best friends working for best friends, and very little actual work being done except for the IGS and ATS staff.


  10. Helpful (11)

    Great products, terrible politics

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Programmer
    Former Employee - Lead Programmer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Products are not released unless they are of high quality and are complete. Developers are treated as first class citizens. Looks very good on a resume.

    Cons

    Poor project management. Roughly half of all projects are canceled. Incapable of managing third parties. Back-stabbing politics. Design and creative leads have tremendous egos. Teams are expected to iterate on the same franchise ad infinitum. Technical challenges are dated, making it hard to learn current skills. QA and admin are treated as second-class citizens.


  11. Helpful (10)

    Once upon a time it was happy, now it's just ever after

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people themselves are great, the location (so long as you're on a dev team) is pretty good with semi-custom spaces, gym, food, etc.

    Cons

    Complete lack of accountability the higher one goes; there's exceptions and they end up carrying the entire organization across the board. Support teams are still an after thought; even QA (which is one of the better in the gaming industry) is more like a step child, Customer Support may be closer to a foster child that no one really wants around.

    Advice to Management

    Start sharing the money a bit more and make sure that even low level employees can have lives. Constant "over time" just becomes a new schedule that's not sustainable and is a large part of what drives productivity down, not just in QA and Support but the dev teams, too.



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