Sony Online Entertainment

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Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated Apr 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 78 reviews

30% Approve of the CEO

Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley

John Smedley

(60 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • It's game development, so that's always a little more fun and laid back than other companies(in 7 reviews)

  • At least it's a fairly stable job that allows you to enjoy living in San Diego(in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • Upper management is too far removed from the actual development process to understand its huge flaws(in 11 reviews)

  • Senior management had no idea who you work (workflow) or some of the abuse you put up with dealing with customers(in 5 reviews)

28 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    worked on the web design team

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosreally great benefits, medical etc. that also included things such as free life drawing classes for artists. Really fun projects and titles to work with. Got to work with other talented artists and devs. The web design management team at the time was supportive and not political at all. I'm not sure that I can say that about other departments.

    Consthe design team needed more power to run their department and sometimes marketing would be allowed to run design projects badly. On my way out though it looked like this was less and less the case.

    They were a little slow to embrace changing web technology and we would still get hampered by having to do things like make sure all projects worked in IE6 and this was in 2008.

    They definitely need to trim their losing titles and get some better products out.

    Definitely bureaucratic at times.

    Advice to Senior Managementdon't let bad management stay too long. All in all though great people, great work, great resources and a talented team. I did see some promising titles just sink after a lot of hard work.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Okay start, but don't stick around

    Game Designer (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsIt's pretty easy to get an entry level job
    You have a decent chance of getting an apprenticeship for code/design/art/sound
    It's pretty laid back

    ConsManagement has absolutely no clue who's good and who's bad
    Takes forever to get promoted, if you do
    Nepotism rules all, so playing politics is better than being good at your job
    Be ready to be micromanaged to the teeth

    Advice to Senior ManagementFind some way to figure out how to judge your employees properly. Nobody likes to see someone with less experience and less talent get promoted while they are stuck stagnant because someone doesn't like them for whatever reason.

    Remove the nepotism and judge based on performance.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • No Opinion of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Good start, but probably nowhere you'd want to stay.

    QA Tester (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsSOE is a good start to the gaming industry through their internship programs. They also seem to keep their contract workers and hire them on full-time. They provide decent project completion bonuses for the big ones, and direct management cares about their workers.

    ConsCertain pet projects of upper management wind up having fairly significant changes demanded left and right - even on a friday afternoon the weekend before a beta launch. There seems to be a consensus among some employees that upper management makes very questionable decisions, particularly in regards to priorities. Too often, there would be a demand for a feature that imposed significant code change which would put the project months off schedule, and yet we'd be expected to somehow keep the schedule regardless.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake the marketing department talk to developers and qa before they announce upcoming features and release dates. Some features they think aren't much require significant code change and provide a long stressful hassle for the development and qa teams that could be avoided, or at least improved, by better communication.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Culture & Values
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    3 people found this helpful  

    SOE opened up many doors but

    Billing and Technical Customer Support (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsSwag, Perks, E3 and Fan Faire

    ConsLaunch Days, Upper Management and lack of a decent break room.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFor starters it helps to know your employee’s by first name or last instead of referring to them by the project they worked on Smed. Also it seems a lot of people at SOE made promise they never intended to keep from games credits to future job openings.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Overall, a great experience.

    Artist (Current Employee)

    ProsThe bottom line for upper management is to make good games, retain people over the long haul and provide them with a good way to make a living. They try to make it a fun place to work, and encourage life balance. Yes, making money is important to them, but money is a means to an end. They are loyal to employees as much as practicality will allow. They don't lay people off unless they have to.

    ConsThe company has been struggling over the last few years. The games are often too confusing and complex for the general public. The last couple of games were very expensive and did not do as well as expected. They haven't found a way to make a good profit under the new free-to-play business model. Company morale is currently low.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Awesome culture, but at a cost

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsVery laid back. Dress-code, environment, work hours, etc.

    ConsStruggling company, light on salaries, bonuses, raises, company events, etc.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Nobody will appreciate your work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    Prosfree coffee; free bagels and donuts on Fridays; every once in a while a free movie theater visit; you can bring your friendly dog

    Consthey hire people only as temps/contractor, unless you are a genius with special skills; they won't ever make you a permanent SOE employee, just so that they won't have to pay for your benefits; you won't make much money, barely enough to be able to make a living; they don't care about quality, more about quantity; everybody there has lost motivation and only wants to leave; regular layoffs make sure that the company is shrinking

    Advice to Senior Managementcare more about your people and you will have employees that will want to do great work to produce successful games; don't beat down everyone's motivation and learn how to appreciate someone

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    A creative and exciting place to work without being micro managed.

    Security (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsCreativity, opionions, and just being yourself is encouraged. Feel like writing an idea on one of the white walls or the white boards all over the building feel free to. Its a very laid back and stress free environment.

    ConsThey like to do what I call, "Test drive before they buy" so they like to contract you out first before deciding if they want to bring you on full-time or not.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI am very happy with management and the communication they have with their employee's.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Working hard to ship award winning games and satisfy our dedicated fans

    Senior Artist (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsGreat compensation and benefits, great co-workers, great games, and great fans.

    ConsSome times crunch is excessive.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep an eye on the work life balance and long term goals.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Avoid, Avoid, Avoid

    Developer (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsTypically the hours don't crunch very much and the day-to-day work/life balance is even.

    ConsThis company is riddled with people who have simply given up, or newbs being trained by beaten down has-been's. It's like a retirement home for developers who once cared about making great games. It is truly uninspiring to work in this atmosphere and it most definitely shows in the games that SOE produces (Even though upper management and Smed say that they're so amazing..yea (cough) sure). You will probably move up in the company if you "play ball" (aka: kiss ass, keep your mouth shut, and don't rock the boat), and in doing so you're basically selling out to a corporate/political force that is very much present. The management is the most incompetent I've ever seen, they allow employees to get away with unacceptably low standards of quality and effort and never take action on anyone or anything even though it's obvious that they should. Most people who work here have families so they are simply not willing to open their mouths, send that email, or ask that question that NEEDS TO BE ASKED/DONE. Everyone has given up and it is NOT the place to be if you are interested in making great games. I didn't feel lucky to work at SOE in any sense and quite frankly felt as though I took many steps backwards in my career.

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire yourselves.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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