Jagex

www.jagex.com

Jagex Reviews

Updated January 8, 2015
Updated January 8, 2015
69 Reviews
2.2
69 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard
Mark Gerhard
33 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The people are great, all interesting, capable and all care about the finished product (in 9 reviews)

  • Oh and the benefits that we get, such as free fruit and gym membership (in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • In the past senior management was ignorant of the competition and thus lacked vision (in 9 reviews)

  • Generally very poor relations between upper management and development teams (in 6 reviews)

More Highlights

12 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Hopefully on the upswing

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

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    . the staff
    . work environment
    . company perks & benefits
    . location
    . great jollies!
    . overtime compensation
    . canteen
    . free fruit (obviously)

    Cons

    . limited knowledge of development cycles. New projects gets stressed out and legacy issues never gets addressed
    . sometimes having to perform tasks in a way that might contradict your basic principles as a talented professional
    . easy to get comfortable and stop caring about future opportunities
    . sometimes promoting incorrect people that doesn't suit the role (leads should possess strong leadership skills)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    . management is hopefully on the upswing. I won't comment the management during my time at Jagex since most of the operating senior management have all left and my advice would be irrelevant

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Could be much better. Overall disappointed.

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

    I worked at Jagex

    Pros

    Made some lifelong friends during my work experience. Excellent talented people are working at the company.

    Cons

    Ever-shifting deadlines are like walking on quicksand. Lots of focus on last minute changes, and exceptionally poor management.They never listen to the developers, the people who do all the hard work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better compensate for my living costs, great benefits and especially the on-site canteen and fruit, but I still need to pay rent everyday. Listen to the concerns of your employees. If only the management was reasonable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good company run by boys masquerading as business executives

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Manager in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Great perks - more vacation days, free gym membership, daily organic fruit, free bike repairs, childcare vouchers, monthly clothing, private health insurance.

    Beautiful surroundings - the Cambridge Science Park is a lovely place to work at, with lots of greenery and walkways. You can easily go for a walk to make sure you are not sitting all day.

    Competent people - very qualified for the job, passionate about the game they are working on.

    Bonuses and celebrations - employees get bonuses when profits are good, there is a monthly "Beer Friday" to celebrate, and great jollies (company outings) are arranged every year.

    Cons

    Lack of direction from top management - either they are not communicating the strategy to the teams properly, or they have absolutely no idea what they're doing.

    Boys club/Fraternity mentality - highly political, if you don't suck up to the right people, you can't expect a promotion.

    Lack of job security - management claims that layoffs are their last resort, but it seems like it's their first resort whenever they need to cut costs.

    High turnover rate of talented people - I've witnessed a lot of talented people leave the company in under 1 year, only to find them flourishing in a different company. Jagex has the skill and capacity to hire talent, but absolutely horrid at retaining them.

    Top management can't seem to keep it together - a number of departures at the C-levels have taken place, all in the span of 2 years. They've lost a VP, a COO, a CTO, and just recently, they're losing their CEO. Not a good sign.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    "Talented people choose to leave organizations for a simple reason: Talent has options. They do not stay because they have to; they stay because they want to."

    Let your managers do their jobs, that's what they are hired for. If they disagree with you, do not take it personally and listen. Remember that they're just there to do their jobs and be fulfilled with whatever they contribute.

    Lastly, please grow up. This is your community's and investor's money you are messing around with. Jagex cannot sustain itself if it is being run by a bunch of boys masquerading as business executives.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, but terrible management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked with some great people and generally enjoyed my time there. There were lots of jollies and parties, which were often quite impressive.

    Cons

    I saw a lot of wasted talent while management would promote their own friends regardless of talent or merit. When experienced people joined the company and challenged the way things were done, they were quickly forced out or marginalised to avoid them upsetting the power balance.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to manage the company by utilising and empowering the talent of the people below you, instead of trying to micromanage things you have no knowledge of.
    I often felt the company would be better off being honest to their employees when something bad had to be announced. Instead everything was twisted to make it sound positive, even when it was obviously not.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Too much focus on Jollies.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Artist in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Artist in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great people. I made life long friends there. Great building. Great facilities. Cambridge was great.

    Cons

    As MANY other have said, upper and lower management have zero idea how to run a creative company, interact with people outside of their comfort zone, e.g. EVERYBODY and no interest in communicating with you unless they are showing someone around the office and you happen to have something interesting on the screen.

    They also miss out on promoting the right people, rather choosing someone from their own circle other than someone who is fantastic at their job and has the respect of their peers. I saw some shocking acts of "old boys network".

    Too much emphasis on "jollies" and "pay day drinks". Yeah, great if you are living in a house share and are paying £300 a month in rent. Use that money and pay the staff a better rate so they can afford to live in the city.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want the company to survive and progress into the future, take a risk and stop promoting and listening to your "friends" and listen to the people that actually walk the floor and are elbows deep in development. Stop that ever revolving door by making people proud to work for you. Creative freedom should be free to grow and it can't when you are worrying that you will be broke after paying over half your salary in rent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Much promise, little delivery

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Marketing in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The people are great, the benefits strong and the office/culture are great. With such a large, young and passionate employee-base it makes for a fun culture.

    Cons

    The company is rudderless, with poor senior management and crippled by a failure to launch a second successful product after RuneScape.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Clear out the executive team and start afresh with people who know and understand games and what makes them successful. A little trust in their employees would go a long way.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Fun while it lasted, had a good team let down by systemic failures in operations and senior management

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Made some good mates and there are some very bright, creative people in the studio, unfortunately they're rarely the ones who get promoted.

    Perks - free fruit, table tennis, gym membership.

    Cons

    CEO is a megalomaniac, surrounded by a sycophantic, dysfunctional leadership team few if any at all even have a games dev background. Jagex has never developed and released a game in 10 years since Runescape (the cash cow). Transformers MMO is almost 2 years behind and over budget, I'm amazed Hasbro has not pulled the plug already.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to trust, be authentic and show some humility. You're making games... what's more fun than that!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 9 people found this helpful  

    Great people lead by senior managers they can't bring themselves to trust

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    The people are great, all interesting, capable and all care about the finished product. Lots of them participate in extra-curricular activities and actively seek fresh blood and offer advice to interested parties.

    Nice benefits : gym membership, pension arrangements, healthcare, subsidized canteen, good office building,

    You're working for a company that makes games!

    Despite all the cons below I do believe there are far worse places to work. Colleagues are very supportive when other teams are under unpleasant pressure and go out of their way to help when they can.

    Cons

    Unpaid overtime is expected, this is apparently industry standard but not exactly nice.Recently (last few weeks) shifted to mandatory overtime for several teams. This makes the unpaid aspect to the overtime downright unpleasant.

    Limited promotion prospects; management and exec roles are mostly external hires.

    History of unsuccessful attempts to branch out from the core game, each repeating some trends that could have been addressed, e.g. shifting direction frequently on key mechanics and ignoring early warning signs, such as testers and developers on the project admitting "This game isn't fun" and multiple changes in creative leads for the same product.

    Communication between teams is often lacking, resulting in unnecessary, premature or wasted work.
    Middle Management get panicky near milestones, resulting in sudden micromanagement and slightly raised tempers, but often appear disinterested (late for meetings discussing the project, slow to respond to questions) in the intervening periods.

    No granularity on importance of decisions, every request is "critical" and "top priority" which has to be done "ASAP". Decisions may be later overruled subject to another manager or executive's whim.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Review projects regularly, especially before putting significant investment into them, and be prepared to cut projects that don't look worth it any more.

    Pick some individuals you trust to have a complete and detailed vision for a given product. Back their decisions and make sure they have as much visibility as possible of what is going on in their given product.

    The image you give to your workers is important, they currently seem to think you haven't a clue. Better-informed workers are better able to trust you, know what parts of their work are important and make decisions when unexpected problems arise which fulfil the spirit of the instructions they've been given .

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Great company, poor senior management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The staff are friendly.
    The perks are pretty good.
    Quarterly fund for department 'Jollies' like a dinner or bowling and a big party at least once a year for the whole company.

    Cons

    Lack of a stable direction from senior managers.
    Loss of the Jagex identity with both staff and players (and just getting worse despite the senior management seeing all the signs).
    Below average wages (despite being in an area where the cost of living is the same as London).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Once a plan is developed stick with it. Stop changing your minds so often. This causes uncertainty within the company as well as costing the loyalty of what used to be one of the greatest communties within the gaming industry. Look at the structure of the company; management is becoming top heavy and so many new processes introduced just so that those same managers can have pretty reports and numbers that don't make the slightest difference. Remember, Jagex got to it's biggest peak without 'industry standards' thanks to great content and word of mouth spread by the community.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great colleagues, lack of experience, no direction

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

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

    Pros

    Fantastic colleagues and atmosphere
    Fair working hours
    Good benefits
    Slowly getting more experienced developers on-board.
    QA and Player Support teams are relatively well-paid.

    Cons

    Managers and directors largely lack the necessary experience. Projects and teams are largely disconnected and reactionary. A lot of work gets redone.

    Communication is a huge problem for many departments, results in wasted time and effort. Visibility for cross-departments and cross-teams is dire. Many developers run around chasing decisions others have made.

    Pay is highly variable and rarely based on experience or contribution and effort. Largely underpaid. The company often cites the line that pay is lower as our jobs are safer. Not true, with several projects having been shut down in 2012, people have been made redundant, along with various "dissapearings" which makes us all question our positions.

    Although the company is getting more experienced developers, its slowly eroding the work-life balance that once made Jagex a fantastic place to work. Company days out are now limited to just one or two days a year and team events are extremely rare. Starting to become permanent crunch on some teams and we are losing our benefits in the process.

    Almost no room to grow or develop your skills. No on-site training offered and internal promotions are extremely rare. Senior positions limited by headcount. Tech is not similar to the rest of the industry so skills are not always transferable to other companies. Pay rises are difficult to achieve. Even just to match inflation.

    Positions are often sold with generous financial bonuses. Not as generous for most employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring in more experience - at all levels - but don't erode the values that make it a great place to work.
    Work to integrate teams and make decisions and communications clearer.
    Increased pay doesn't always make happier employees, but it certainly makes employees feel valued when they're asked to give up more than before with no reward.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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140 Cambridge Science Park (Photo thanks to Geograph user Keith Edkins, Some Rights Reserved)

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