Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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Blizzard Entertainment President and CEO Mike Morhaime
Mike Morhaime
41 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

60 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Not worth the hype

    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment part-time

    Pros

    Discounted games are ok if your standards are low

    Cons

    Not worth the hype, Low pay.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Rollar coaster career life

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The community of people there is amazing and very diverse, easy to make friends with your co-workers. Fun company events such as parties in Las Vegas, annual company picnics and champagne celebrations. Playing and talking about video games at work.

    Cons

    Lower salary compensation for the first several (1-5 years of employment. Senior status drastically increases wages. Profit sharing can be a large part of your annual compensation and this varies enough to be unreliable. Immature business practices create impossible deadlines resulting in months and months of crunch work (60-70+ hour work weeks). Treatment and career advancement of women in the workplace are poor at best. HR department is under developed and ineffective.

    Advice to Management

    Take project management certification and practices more seriously. Hold people accountable for deadlines and create realistic project schedules.


  3. Great company to work for if you can afford living in the Orange County area.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical QA Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Technical QA Analyst in Irvine, CA

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    These are the Pros from a QA Analyst perspective: - Great training program. - Onsite cafe with decent prices and quality ingredients. - The building has good A/C. - No dress code. - The people are nice and talented. - Profit sharing/holiday bonuses. - Rarely, we get to play Blizzard games for a couple of hours on the clock (about 4 times per year on my team). - Occasional company meetings that are hosted at a nearby movie theater, sometimes followed by watching a premier movie on the clock (2-3 times per year). - Company trips to Las Vegas (usually every other year). Free shuttle rides and nice hotel rooms on the strip for two days. - Opportunity to win free Blizzard gear, concert tickets, or sporting event tickets once per month (although you'll hardly ever win).

    Cons

    - Low pay. Most Blizzard QA analysts live with several roommates or their parents to afford the cost of living in Orange County. Orange County has very high residential costs and Blizzard pays their QA analyst about 50% of the national average. - I have seen many unfair promotions based on friendships/family as opposed to innovative hard working people. - Good chance of working lots of mandatory overtime (12 hour days for several weeks in a row, including Saturdays).

    Advice to Management

    Increase the base pay to reduce turnover. Technical QA Analysts are significantly underpaid for the industry average. You should take a closer look at your QA management. They are often promoting their friends and family members over talented hard working people. Don't group Technical QA with Game QA. Let the non-game dev teams hire Technical QA at reasonable wages and embed them with their dev teams. Don't force Technical QA testers to assist with mandatory overtime for the game teams.


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  5. Helpful (8)

    Females beware

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Well, you'll work for an awesome company and receive good benefits, but if you're a female you'll often feel ostracized.

    Cons

    Employees are cliquey and it's hard to break into the corporate environment. It is not female-friendly at all and attempts to reach out and make friends with some employees will end badly. A male coworker was hired at the same time as me and he was accepted without issue. Also, employees treat sensitivity training as a joke/laugh at people who feel excluded. Altogether this makes feeling happy at work very difficult. Managers often aren't in touch with what's going on in their teams. Lots of relocations, too.

    Advice to Management

    Work more on interpersonal development with employees and keep managers appraised of what's going on in their teams.


  6. Helpful (14)

    You have to love what you do.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compatibility Analyst III in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Compatibility Analyst III in Irvine, CA

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to work with some really talented people. Most of the people who work here do so because they love Blizzard games.

    Cons

    You do not get payed very well and you are expected to perform well above your job description. Management likes to throw around the phrase "If you don't like it here then quit, there are thousands of others that can replace you." which does not lead to a very good work environment.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acting like your employees are these replaceable pieces on a game board.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Game Master

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Master in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Game Master in Irvine, CA

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun, relaxed environment with mostly great people. Perks were great, as were bonuses. Company is very visible with it's data and mission. Mike Morhaime is a great guy who "gets" the employees, it just doesn't "trickle down". Great health benefits.

    Cons

    You get to do more work over time for the same pay, or a (very) small increase. It's not what you know, but who you know. They will bring in outsiders from another company en masse, and even create jobs for them, if they like the person (I experienced this with my own eyes.) If you are a GM aka "peon", you aren't worth the time or money to help you stay at the company when things get rough. Low end of the pay scale when it comes to the work. I get paid a lot more doing a lot less now.

    Advice to Management

    Think about the "little guy" more. I was done wrong, and it was a mix of responsible parties, but Blizzard was a part of it. I would have stayed, given the chance.


  8. Helpful (7)

    Exciting work, excellent perks, far from humble.

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    First and foremost, the product is fun and exciting. I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes sitting down at your desk when you are working on something you care about. Secondly I'd say is the perks. There are plenty of gamer perks, party perks, and money perks as long as business is going well.

    Cons

    Culture is the biggest struggle for me. It is a big company so this may vary by department. In my department people tended to be cold, stiff, and terse. I'll walk by and throw a friendly what's up as I walk down the hall and a surprising number of people will avert their gaze and not respond. It could be me, but I've worked for several companies and this is a new experience. I'm also new to the area and was hoping to make friends to socialize with outside of the workplace but the people here tend to be homebodies. To their credit they do try very hard to promote social networking. This may be a problem that is outside of their control. The other note that I would make is that pay scales are not competitive. They would argue that they pay close to nationwide average for a given title. But what they don't say is that holding a given title at Blizzard is much more demanding then holding the same title at other employers and the cost of living is a very large pill you will have to swallow. Lastly, the cafeteria food is bland school lunch grade stuff and there aren't any alternatives in walking distance. Coming from a down town location, this was a surprisingly big pain point.

    Advice to Management

    Cater, or bring in a better in house food service, or competing services. Maybe party a bit less so that you can pay a bit more competitively?


  9. Helpful (6)

    Work here if you love the games, not the company.

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

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Blizzard makes great games and takes the process of that very seriously. Employees are very loyal to the company. Activision has limited influence into the decisions Blizzard makes. Players will worship you. You'll get to work with very smart people.

    Cons

    Blizzard doesn't work hard to be a great place to work. Essentially, it's a privilege to work at Blizzard and you will be reminded of that constantly. Management isn't a high priority. A lot of management in engineering, art and game design is farmed out to professional managers who aren't actual members of that discipline. I was told at one point to stop focusing so much on my direct reports and just make more good features. Blizzard has a rock star culture. This can be fun when you see your colleagues on stage at Blizzcon. It's not a great place if you believe in humility. Blizzard employees can experience Stockholm Syndrome. They are made to feel guilty if they choose to leave the company.

    Advice to Management

    Convince your people that you really value them. Ask not what they can do for Blizzard, but what Blizzard can do for them.


  10. Helpful (7)

    Vile Middle Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Irvine, CA

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The wonderful ambiance of the main campus is almost magical- it's a wonderful setting to work in with great decorations and perks (gym, gourmet cafeteria at great prices, etc). Also the prestige simply working at Blizzard is immense, you pretty much have rock star status while you work there. Free games & swag galore. Working on your favorite games since childhood is a fantasy come true. Great executives and upper management for the most part- they were gamechangers for this entire industry. The junior employees who do all of the actual work there all have a great attitude, are the pick of the barrel, and are truly an asset to the company.

    Cons

    The ranks of middle management is filled with absolutely the lowest forms of life imaginable- basically all guys who were simply lucky enough to be in the right place and the right time following Blizzard's post-WoW expansion explosion- or they were the buddies of Sr. Management. Most of the have zero management training, no college education, and no leadership qualities whatsoever. Many of them are petty and they crack down on innovation & success from the guys at the bottom of the totem pole to make sure they stay there and don't threaten either themselves or their middle management buddies. To be honest, the multiple grossly incompetent managers in the middle ranks is why I voluntarily left this company. Upper management is actually brilliant and the best in the business... but those guys kind of walk around campus with their heads in the cloud just waiting to cash in on their golden parachutes, and they act like part of some secret society old boy's club, full of inside jokes and stories that nobody else can ever relate to. When these guys moved up to Sr. Management, they all did a completely terrible job at picking out their replacements to take over middle management who are the ones who really drive stuff day to day. There is incredibly slow turnover there because most people love their jobs, and very little room for career growth at Blizzard. Most people actually have to leave the company for a few years just to get Lead/Management experience and then re-apply back to Blizzard Lead positions. Pay is slightly substandard for the industry, Blizzard considers all the free games & perks as part of your salary. I'd rather have a industry standard wage though, to help my rent in the very expensive Irvine, California region.

    Advice to Management

    To be eligible for middle management, that person should have to have some actual bonafide social skills and leadership qualities, not simply having seniority/been in the right place at the right time/was your buddy at work. You guys have picked out the next crop of leaders poorly.


  11. Helpful (4)

    Cinematics

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment (More than a year)

    Positive Outlook
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    The work is amazing. The amount of talent here is staggering. They bring in the best artists around the world and every one of them is impossibly nice. There are very few bad eggs and they are routed out quickly. The campus is great, right by a trail for walks. They have a cafe for quick easy food if you're not that picky. There are classes for artists that are very rewarding. The life drawing and sculpture classes are fantastic. They are great with employees who need help or develop issues with hands, etc., providing standing desks and ergonomic help. They have a decent healthcare plan and now provide a basic plan to contractors. Many teams have fun team building events and lunches. Playing games in encouraged if not required, even on teams not working directly with the games. Blizzcon is a ton of fun and one of the highlights of anyone's career. It beats any film premiere. The team is everything. Each team is like working at a different studio. My negative review below ONLY concerns the cinematics department. Other teams seem to have their pipelines working better than ours and even other parts of cinematics seem better than others. Try to find someone working on the team you are interested and ask them what it's like.

    Cons

    Make no mistake. This is a corporation. That means that no matter how much you love the games, no matter your talent, you are going to work under about 30 leads who have been here since the beginning of time. You will have no say in what you work on or what it looks like. There is little growth career wise and you might not want it. Most senior artists don't make OT which means it might make financial sense to be a regular artist if you are putting in long hours. If you are a real artist and want to make something of your own you might want to look at going to a smaller studio where you can have a bit more say in your art. There are many producers and they believe their job is to crack the whip rather than protect the artist. EA at least had DDs that keep the OT reasonable and the deadlines manageable. If you need any new software it will take months IF you get it. If you want to switch teams here you have to formally apply. You will even have to do a test and you are treated the same as an external person applying. If you leave Blizzard and want to come back you are given no favoritism. They are just as likely to hire someone who's never worked there even if you give them a decade.

    Advice to Management

    Your artists are not computers. We have so little control about how we are treated. We have no union and there is no one to speak for us. All your little decisions that seem small to you make the difference between people getting to pick up their kids from school or sleeping at work for 3 months. If you don't do your job well, communicate deadlines, and plan the workload, people under you suffer. OT is bad planning. Period. Blizzard doesn't work for a client; you set your own deadlines. There are teams in cinematics that constantly have to work late ALL THE TIME. It's not because they are bad at their jobs. It's because you are bad at yours.



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