Sony PlayStation Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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Sony PlayStation President & CEO Shawn Layden
Shawn Layden
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43 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Some great people slow moving to catch up

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

    I worked at Sony PlayStation full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Some groups are full of creative hardworking folks, but it varies from group to group. Overall being part of the video game industry is fun

    Cons

    SIlo'd groups, company is slow to change and share information. A lot of tenured people who are going through the motions, but new people as have a problem adjusting causing strife

    Advice to Management

    Share more information. The yearly company meeting feels like a lot of PR hoopla. Many groups don't know what their business goals are beyond "generate revenue"

  2. Great People, Horrible Management

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

    I worked at Sony PlayStation

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

    Pros

    Workers in non management roles are amazing and so talented!!

    Cons

    If your not "in" with management or HR your not going to advance anywhere. HR makes all the decisions even on product development.

    Advice to Management

    Your puppets to Japan. Good luck!

  3. Helpful (1)

    Not a place for ambitious people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Engineer in San Mateo, CA

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

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

    Pros

    * Amazing product (PlayStation!!!)
    * If lucky, you get to work on very visible parts of the products
    * Get to try pretty cool games or tech (Morpheus)
    * Nice campus

    Cons

    * Work/life balance can be poor - a few people do all the work - others do the minimum
    * Don't even think about being a contractor there: you will be treated like garbage
    * All key decisions are made in Japan, no involvement of US people in the decisions
    * Impossible to have a relevant role or any ambition - dead end for your career
    * Low compensation compared to the rest of Silicon Valley
    * Management aware of all these problems - not doing anything about it.

    Advice to Management

    * Stop ignoring all the problems - start acting to improve the situation
    * Detach the company from Japan as much as possible - they are the reason the mother company is doing bad (Japanese work culture)
    * Reward people who work hard - including contractors

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  5. Helpful (3)

    Do not work here unless you are a geek gamers.

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

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

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

    Pros

    -good discounts on first party products with the exception of hardware
    -decently large company so you're bound to meet someone you like
    -expectations are not too high for employee performance, if you are a decently smart person you can pretty much flat by forever and not worry about getting let go(if that is the type of career you want), leading the the number of incompetent employees who have been around for 5-10 years. however this does not take into account the random employee layoffs due to poor Sony (parent organization) performance

    Cons

    -In the marketing organization, hiring is essentially based on your knowledge of the gaming industry, hence I was surrounded by a lot of incompetent colleagues who just know the industry very well. It was ridiculous some of the things I had to teach people who had 5+ years experience.
    -Management operates in a black box - very little transparency of where the company is headed or what is going on
    -You are surrounded by a lot of gamer geeks who know little of anything but gaming. Very knowledgeable on the topic but have little knowledge on other topics
    -Very bureaucratic and slow organization. Lots of work is done just for the sake of doing the work and half the reports and analysis created is not utilized and is truly a waste of time
    -They try very hard to portray themselves as a fun tech/gaming company, but in reality the organization is structured like a old slow company, it's just that folks will sit and play games so they think it is start-up like
    -Very slow and hard to get promoted. Lots of the incompetent gamers who have worked very hard to get into this company never leave, hence it's very hard to move up as openings rarely present themselves. This company does nor necessarily promote based on performance.
    -People seem to get promoted based on amount time in company as opposed to performance. Even someone was performing way beyond expectations won't get a promotion because "it has only been 2 years since you joined"
    -Review process is really a joke - it's literally a check of the box, management is very weak in this department and does not do anything to develop employees
    -This company lends itself to brown nosing. Sycophants do very well in this company even if their performance is lacking.
    -Non one in the marketing organization does their own work. They ask certain support/analytics teams and external vendors to essentially do all the heavy lifting and just package everything and present it to management as their own.
    -Pay is okay at entry level - because you start as hourly - this makes your salary pretty competitive, but once promoted, your salary will take a hit because you are no longer hourly

    Advice to Management

    -hire based on better criteria
    -operate with more transparency
    -don't ask employees to do work that won't be used or be impactful
    -better review process
    -take into account employee feedback

  6. Helpful (1)

    Very disorganized and a terrible place to be a contractor

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

    I worked at Sony PlayStation as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Looks good on resume, ample opportunity to network (depending on your team)

    Cons

    - Pay is FAR below market (I have made 2-3x more at every other job in the industry)
    - Management was abysmal and highly disorganized
    - Lots of HR violations
    - High school levels of immaturity and favoritism, tons of invented drama encouraged by management
    - No real training for many roles
    - No cohesive relationships between divisions or teams
    - Lots of technology and organizational protocols are either completely absent or several years behind competitors
    - There is NO documentation of process for most teams
    - For every 1 hard worker, there seems to be dozens of coasters
    - Negative attitudes towards competitors is encouraged
    - They treat contractors extremely poorly; hire people for one thing and change your role without discussion, they promise a role is temp-to-perm when in reality they rarely convert temps to perm, contractors are expected to carry most of the weight on a team without reward or recognition, many contractors are forced to work over-time for zero pay (illegal) during crunch time, and there is a very poor attitude among f/t staff towards their contractor peers in general.

    Overall, it is not worth the hassle and low pay unless you are offered a permanent f/t role and get a very reassuring picture of how your prospective team functions.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people something comparable to what they could make at any game developer/publisher in the US, if you want top level talent. Do not lie in interview/recruiting processes to lure people into a role on false promises. Treat contractors with respect. Police the immaturity and inappropriate drama that seems to be encouraged.

  7. Upper management is lacking

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

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

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

    Pros

    Fun and exciting environment.
    Producing products with end user recognition and appreciation.
    Hard working and passionate colleagues.

    Cons

    Poor and uncommunicative upper management (director level and above).
    Slow career progression.
    Still disconnects and silos between groups in SCEA and with other Sony divisions.

    Advice to Management

    This may sound like sour grapes but bear with me. I believe that upper management at PlayStation is severely lacking, both in communication and grooming their teams for future progression. My career at Sony I had always had meeting or exceeding goals in my reviews until my final year where I had only partially meeting goals / expectations overall and was put on a performance improvement plan with no earlier, formal verbal or written warning beyond the annual review itself. I had been told that there were concerns going back for years but none of my previous directors or even the department VP conveyed any of this to me. From my weekly and bi-weekly 1-on-1s and my performance reviews, everything seemed fine. This past year, I and my team had a lot of challenges, attempting to produce software and services for use not only by PlayStation but other products as well. We only met some of my goals but my director was not helpful in any meaningful regards. While he had "engineering" in his title, the only tools he used were project management related. I feel that I kept asking for support throughout the year but received nothing other than pressure to deliver and no honest feedback until it all seemed too late. I left disappointed in a company I had committed most of my career to. I learned later that my position was eliminated and the funds split to support another member of the group and an incoming new upper manager from Tokyo which makes it all seem odd.

    My suggestions: Upper management should have domain expertise to the groups under them so that they can intervene and make intelligent decisions when necessary. If they don't, the positioning of a group needs to be re-evaluated to someone more capable, not just someone who has free direct reports or maybe a matching personality. Furthermore, while there is never ending lip service of communication being paramount and techniques like Crucial Conversations, FUEL and other buzzwords tossed about, I never saw any of these in practice by their advocates. If you want your managers to be successful, don't just advocate studying a book or taking a class once a year but actively work with the manager hands on in developing these important management skills.

  8. Fun Place to work, lack of professionalism from upper management

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

    I worked at Sony PlayStation full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great industry to work for. Company is good, good benefits, and some passionate co-workers.

    Cons

    Lack of process and some managers they have difficulties in delegating and sharing work.

    Advice to Management

    Choosing better the management team in order to have a better place for the ones that work under these managers.

  9. Helpful (4)

    Great Brand, Poor Culture

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

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

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

    Pros

    1. For a year or so, you will love working for a great brand like PlayStation with lots of other really smart and dedicated people.

    Cons

    1. Much of the management embarassingly lacks basic business and management skills and follows an HR-imposed and outdated Japanese style of people managing that encourages a strong disconnection between everyone.
    2. The work culture experience varies from person to person, but there is little of it that extends beyond the walls of the building. You might or might not enjoy dealing with your co-workers, but at the end of the day, few are truly friends in real life. That's sad.
    3. There is little loyalty among co-workers and certainly none from the company to its staff.
    4. The company pays below market rate, so be sure you want to work there for the name to put on the resume, but don't feel obliged to stay more than a year or two.
    5. It will chew you up and spit you out.

    Advice to Management

    If you do not have a proper business background or an appropriate degree supporting your job description's minimum responsibilities, please fire yourself. This is problematic up to at least Sr Director levels, and is an underlying problem causing many greater issues. It is not epidemic, but more common than it should be.
    HR—get a clue, not just in this, but in every aspect of your line of work.

  10. Helpful (2)

    For perms, 20% of staff, awesome. for the rest. discarded as easily as gained.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Game Test Analyst in San Diego, CA
    Former Contractor - Game Test Analyst in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Sony PlayStation as a contractor (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    New big titles free, like Uncharted 3, fun atmosphere most of the time. Cheap soda machine and free K-cup coffee.

    Cons

    1 perm tester for every 15+ temps. Harsh hiring transition process that often translates more into who you know and likes you as opposed to how well you work. Often, but not always, have supervisors who show up late and clearly were never good at even your job. Work is fluctuating highly, often only 6 months of the year of high work load, rest of the year maybe half the available temps are used.

    Advice to Management

    Better review overtime listings for permanents on weekends, as often there were as many or more perms then temps and they often had 2-3 hour of work a day between them. Only 1 would put in a half days work, others would just be there to collect OT. In San Diego well below desired income, most employees lived with parents or a large number of room mates.

  11. Helpful (2)

    Every man for himself

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

    I have been working at Sony PlayStation full-time (More than 10 years)

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

    Pros

    Work on games enjoyed by millions of people. Flexible hours and attire (like holy Australian Nightmare you wouldn't believe the way we dress for work). Excellent facilities with numerous amenities (gym, pool, aerobics, etc.)

    Cons

    Our culture is heavily siloed and relies on ad-hoc individual contributions. There is a very need-to-know culture of secrecy around almost everything. I don't think anyone has spent any time developing and promoting wholesome institutional habits. So, everything falls on the shoulders of individuals and when they leave that bit of institutional knowledge inevitably goes with them.

    Advice to Management

    Promote teamwork. Communicate openly (not like Layden's 2014 company meeting).

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