NCsoft Reviews

Updated May 14, 2015
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NCsoft Chairman, President, and CEO Kim Tack Jin
Kim Tack Jin
15 Ratings

Pros
  • It also had excellent work-life balance (in 3 reviews)

  • It's a great start in the game industry, and if they happen to make a game you love, it could be worth it to work there (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Very corporate and tightly controlled by Korean HQ (in 5 reviews)

  • They did the same with the Seattle office, dismantled it piece by piece while pretending it wasn't closing (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

26 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Going down fast

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

    I have been working at NCsoft full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There really aren't very many pros. Easy work/life balance management

    Cons

    Everything about this place screams failure


  2. Helpful (2)

    If you're REALLY desperate for a job...

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

    I worked at NCsoft

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

    Pros

    Nice location, close to multitude of restaurants, shopping.

    Cons

    There is no direction. People get hired one day, only to be laid off a few months later. It's a joke. There hasn't been a studio head in eons, which is telling that nobody wants to lead this place. HR guy is interim studio head. In meetings there is talk about "the plan to make plans". Great strategy!
    The offices are dirty and disgusting. I don't know if the place was ever vacuumed the entire time I have been there. It's really gross.
    Managers are ridiculously self-centered and like to hear the sound of their own voice WAY too much. Guy I worked for always had to one-up everybody else, even so far as to when someone was talking about a loved one passing, and how badly she had to suffer, he had to top that by saying "Well I had a relative who had it even worse..." blablabla. That's pretty much what you're getting into. No wonder this place is going under.
    People in manager position in operations are dishonest, in OC as well as Austin. People do not know how to communicate. There are always tensions between Austin and OC. Written communications of team members are horrendous, making you question how they ever passed an English class.

    Advice to Management

    What management?


  3. Helpful (1)

    Run Away

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

    I worked at NCsoft full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There were really some awesome people working there both in the Austin and Seattle office.

    Cons

    The exec leadership has been changing every few years and thus the goals and priority changes and leaves the company constantly in a huge state of flux.

    Advice to Management

    Either invest or shut it down


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Terrible Company - Steer Clear!

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

    I worked at NCsoft (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good people and lots of snacks

    Cons

    Bad management and executive leadership sucks

    Advice to Management

    Have a passion for "something" and quit throwing people under the bus!


  6. Helpful (5)

    No respect for talent or diversity

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

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

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

    Pros

    Large portfolio of games, casual dress

    Cons

    No female leadership, unfriendly to lgbt, management doesn't respect staff, lots of lies and in fighting between teams, people want each other to fail, bait and switch tactics during hiring process

    Advice to Management

    Hire talented women leaders and support them.


  7. Helpful (8)

    Sad what's become of this company.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lately, the last few years - none. There was a time working here was like most game companies, fun and exciting and interesting, but the last few years has been a nightmare. Wish I'd have left sooner. I guess like everyone else I'll also say, "cheap snacks, good parking, good benefits."

    Cons

    I had a lot to write, but then I read all the other reviews prior to this. What else is there to say? Well I'll still try. The reviews for the last two years have been accurate and prophetic. NCSOFT is a terrible company in every regard. The Austin leadership is the worst you can imagine. What's happening in Austin is exactly what happened in the Seattle office. They take it apart slowly and keep telling you "everything is fine, everyone is safe." How low do you have to be to keep re-assuring people their jobs are safe while you blatantly dismantle operations? The last decent managers voluntarily left Austin a year ago. Whole teams up and quit being fed up with NCSOFT's horrible management and abuse. I guess we should have paid attention closer.

    I don't know what's worse, the way the Western executives have driven this company into the ground over the last few years (the worst being the current and last one), or how badly Westerners are treated by Koreans. There are constant rumors of threatened lawsuits for discrimination (sexual and racial), constant talk about out how Koreans don't want any westerners in the company. HR in this company is a joke, they are only here to tow the company line and tell you why you should put up with being treated like garbage. HR is supposed to protect the employees. HR at NCSOFT is just a propaganda arm for the Koreans to convince you you're wrong and being abused is okay. Honestly I don't know how they can live with themselves.

    This company has no good product except Guild Wars and ArenaNet basically runs itself. The NCSOFT managed products in the West are terrible. Wildstar is a failure and a joke in the industry. Nine years to bring a product to market and its just about dead in 6 months. Carbine's management should be considered criminal.

    What else is there for NCWEST? Nothing.

    No idea what NCSOFT will do with their west coast studio but Austin is done for sure. If you're one of the remaining workers in Austin and you are surprised when its finally shut down, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you're one of the remaining leaders in Austin, you should be ashamed of yourself for being a part of the lie and abuse.

    Advice to Management

    I guess this has to go to the Korean management since they own the company. First, finish cleaning house with the Western executives that have driven this company to ruin. Good start in Carbine. One more to go in Austin. Second, give it up in the West as a publisher. Go back to Korea, make Asian games which you're really good at, and then let someone else publish them in the West as niche games, which is all they will ever be. You don't know the Western market or how to pick Western leaders - and you never will.


  8. Helpful (11)

    Run while you can

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

    I worked at NCsoft full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    For those in Austin there is still time to hop off of the ship, jump on your own terms. Even if the most recent entry into the market was a success Austin's future appeared to be in doubt. What did NC do to the Paragon office? What did NC do in Seattle? Take the reigns and plan your departure on your own terms.

    Cons

    No leadership, no direction, no support, 100% CYA. The Austin office is void of any Sr management talent, it's hands down the most incompetent executive/leadership team I have ever been around. Apparently this is what happens when you drop a customer service manager into a senior executive position.

    There will be no career advancement in Austin, it was consistently suggested in passing that I consider moving out to California even though "Austin is safe" and executives promised to "routinely visit the office". As the office and career development opportunities continue to shrink, don't blame NCSoft, you need to look in the mirror and figure out if this is the best position to put you and your family.

    Check the NC careers page, does it look like they are replacing any of the Austin employees that have departed? Why do you think that's the case?


  9. Helpful (10)

    There is no way this location will survive much longer

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

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

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

    Pros

    $0.25 snacks

    Early access to mediocre, over-budget games in a dinosaur business model.

    "Never-ending Change."

    Cons

    In abusive relationships, the abused often begins to side with the abuser. It’s a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome and a little bit of co-dependency. Being psychologically abused is no fun -- and at NCSOFT, you can look forward to being physically abused as well! Physical, in the sense that you are expected to work 60, 80, or more hours per week without compensation. Anxiety and stress hormones will disrupt your work day, your home life, and your health in general. Studies show that ever-present stressors, especially financial or job security related, are dramatically directly linked to increased heart disease, chronic pain and yes even mortality rates.

    Don’t let this dissuade you from joining NCSOFT. Let their motto dissuade you. “Never-ending Change.” This is the company slogan and it should come with the disclaimer: "Warning: You will be asked in harsh, accusatory and threatening tones to perform inane, illogical technological miracles. You will be told to move the company from one platform (be it a support ticketing system or a backend billing system) to another within two weeks’ time, starting two weeks ago. When you accomplish this miracle, it will be thrown out since the "leadership" changed their minds a dozen times in the last week. You will be given access to the database after months of requests, and when you see it, you will realize that the slop software pumped out of Korean HQ is no better than the slop management decisions pumped out of Austin."

    Join NCSOFT and you will bask in the glory of being promoted to a Supervisor or Lead, or if you have no real job skills then its Producer or Senior Manager for you! You will ring in each new year with successively more depressing holiday parties, where fewer and fewer people bother to show up. You will marvel at decisions made by the Austin executive and you will realize only in the game industry can you get promoted from customer support rep to executive with no experience or education related to operating a multimillion dollar company.

    The new slogan should be, “NCSOFT! Come for the ability to say you work in the game industry. Stay because you hate yourself.”

    If all that fails to convince you, no worries. Even if you get employed by NCSOFT in Austin, you will be out of work within a year. There is no way this location will survive much longer. Don’t let this be you. Run, do not walk, away from this company.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest with employees so they can start looking for jobs now.


  10. Helpful (6)

    There is no future for this location.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    NCSOFT Austin had some pros, mainly the people (the workers, not the executives) and of course the $.25 snacks/drinks. While working there I built some good professional and personal relationships among the real workers. When I say "real workers" I mean the people that did the day-to-day work, not the senior management and executives. The people that actually did the day-to-day work made NCSOFT bearable. Unfortunately most of these people have smartened up and left.

    Cons

    The C-Level executives and the senior management (with only a couple exceptions over the years) are useless and have ruined NCSOFT. Every few years Korea would bring in a new set of executives. They would come in with big ideas to get Korea on board, stay for a couple of years, destroy half the company, and leave with fat packages. Korea finally got fooled enough times and brought in their own executives over the last couple years. Yes, it's their company and they can run it how they wish, but they know jack about the West and their only remaining Western executive is running the company into the ground.

    NCSOFT low balls every candidate the hire. If you're not a Director or higher, or are not part of the bi-annual executive change up, or are not a friend of an executive, you are given the bare minimum. It was very demoralizing to see friends of executives come "work" for NCOSFT, get completely fake and useless jobs, collect large salaries/bonuses for doing nothing, and then move on to the next place with their executive buddies.

    In Korea it is common practice for employees to put in 14/18 hour days. This work ethic is expected to carry over into the West. Korea seems to forget that in Asia working for NCSOFT is well respected. In the West when you mention NCSOFT rarely anyone knows the name and if they do, they don't think much of it. Employees work long hours for their bosses, not for the company. It's sad when employees could care less about the company, but would do anything to help out their manager or co-workers. I would do anything for my team and my boss, but when they left I followed, there's no loyalty to NCSOFT or to its "executive."

    Advice to Management

    NCSOFT is a publisher, they should start acting like it and stop letting the studios and fake executives run everything into the ground. You can't just hire a CS guy to run a multi-million dollar company.


  11. Helpful (7)

    Horrible culture, terrible hours, incompetent management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Service in Austin, TX

    I have been working at NCsoft full-time (More than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The health benefits are good, and there are $0.25 sodas and snacks. Covered parking is available in Austin, which is nice to keep your car out of the Texas heat.

    Cons

    NCSOFT is a hostile environment with constant chaos and confusion which they call "reorganization." One of the core values is "never ending change," which translates to "never commit to any direction and abuse your employees by constantly changing their reporting structure, job duties, and priorities." They've repeated the same mistakes every couple of years since I've been here and refuse to accept that gaming in the West is different than in Korea and our customers aren't the same. They want to do everything the same as they do in Korea, which doesn't work here, but they are too stubborn and prideful to admit it.

    Austin is about as bad as it can be now. Our last decent manager recently quit with almost no notice, and another senior manager left at the end of May. They are not replacing one at all, and replacing the other in California. It's obvious the Austin office will close and the new office in California will support everything. The real leadership in Austin, the ones that actually got work done, started jumping ship last Fall and they are all long since gone. NCSOFT didn't replace any of them and it's been a desperate struggle by Korea to keep things running ever since. Austin lost all its developers, the entire team quit in the last 6-8 months (all left voluntarily), because of horrible mistreatment by the executives and refusal by management to choose a single, clear direction. The only good news is that it looks like they're finally getting rid of the last of the incompetent Western executives (the only one remaining is obviously just a figure head).

    In customer service, we're just waiting for our severance packages, and several of us have already lined up jobs for when they finally admit this office is done. Everywhere else that I can see it is already over. The developers are all gone. The few technical people left who I know are miserable and searching elsewhere. Two BI team members left at the end of May. BI and QA are working ridiculous hours due to very bad, recent technology decisions. Recruiters are actively headhunting even lower-level employees - the word is out. This place is done, and even if it weren't, it's a miserable environment without room for advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Stop throwing money away trying to rebuild your name here, hire a third-party publisher for Korean games in the West, and call it a day.



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