ArenaNet – Why Work For Us?

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GAME INNOVATION. 
INDUSTRY LEADING 
ART AND TECHNOLOGY.

We’re ArenaNet— and we’ve created a studio that makes online worlds infused with innovation, hand- 
crafted excellence, and creative passion.

We’re not the only ones who share this passion; gamers have purchased over 3 million copies of Guild Wars 2 since launch, and the press has repeatedly called it the best MMO of 2012.

undefinedBE A PART OF A STUDIO 
FOUNDED ON INNOVATION.

COMMUNITY

ArenaNet employees have a vast diversity of skills and backgrounds,
but we’re all united by a common goal. We work together and play together, which is why we have large communal areas for lunch and get-togethers, a well-stocked kitchen loaded with complimentary drinks and silos full of snacks, a complete gym, and our game room full of ping pong tables, gaming consoles, board games, and more.

We work together and play together


TEAM DRIVEN

We have a project-oriented work culture, where multidisciplinary teams form to work on cool stuff together. Programmers and designers work side-by-side with artists and writers on a project, and when they reach their goals they move on to the next interesting challenge.


PERSONAL GROWTH

undefinedWe’re just as serious about building the potential of our employees as we are about building the potential of online games. Our employees hone their skills, develop new ideas, and collaborate with other disciplines in the Base Camp program. ArenaNet University hosts guest speakers, workshops, and classes right at the studio.

Programmers and  designers work  side-by-side with  artists and writers

ENVIRONMENT

We’re located in Bellevue, Washington, in the vibrant greater Seattle area. Surrounded by water, evergreen forests, and mountain ranges, our area is blessed with endless recreational opportunities, a diverse mélange of cultures, and a legendary music and food scene.

INNOVATION

Our studio was built on a foundation of innovation, community, and hand-crafted excellence. We’re unlocking the true  potential of online roleplaying with game-changing titles like the revolutionary  Guild Wars 2. The status quo isn’t good enough for the dedicated worldwide community of GW2 players, which is why we question industry conventions and demand more from ourselves as developers.

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BENEFITS

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life
  • Disability
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Profit Sharing
  • 401K

PTO

  • Paid Holidays
  • Accrued hours per paycheck 

FULLY STOCKED KITCHEN

  • Chips, popcorn, candy, and other snacks
  • Fruit available daily
  • Sodas, juices, energy drinks, coffee, and more
  • Orderable lunch delivered daily

MORALE EVENTS

  • Seasonal Holiday Parties
  • Company Movie Outings
  • Sporting Event Outings
  • Office Celebrations

ArenaNet Reviews

53 Reviews
4.0
53 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
39 Ratings
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Like a family, Arenanet is sometimes dysfunctional, but overall a great place to put down roots in the industry.

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The talented people who work at Arenanet, and the camaraderie that results from such clustering of "great minds" is one of the single greatest perks of working at Arenanet. There's no shortage of great ideas within these walls, and plenty of opportunities to have your voice heard, and there's passion from everyone to put out great content, and to make Arenanet the standard bearer, not just in our genre, but in our industry. Tremendous degree of creative expression for team members, even those who are new hires. Arenanet does reward its people generously, if you have patience, in terms of compensation and personal career development, but that may require years of finding one's niche at the studio and investing in your career here so if you're looking for a quick boost, this is probably not the company for you. Arenanet is an open and welcoming studio, in terms of accepting diversity and displaying flexibility in one's lifestyle. Overall, work/life balance for most employees is outstanding compared with other companies in the industry, and studio management has always been dedicated to putting family first. Salary wise, Arenanet seems to pay somewhat below industry "standard" at a base level, but the profit sharing plan and other benefits more than make up for any discrepancy. For full timers, and especially those with a family, you cannot beat the health insurance coverage which the company pays for (full for employee/partial for family members). Virtually unlimited soda and snacks in a large "cafeteria" style space, and ability to order lunch "in" from neighboring restaurants is great and convenient, as are the frequent food trucks.

    Cons

    Studio leadership can suffer from not having their pulse on what's happening in the trenches, and have been known to swoop in at the eleventh hour to change direction on the development teams, which not only slows production but damages morale. One of the more prominent and ongoing long-term issues is the "flat" structure of the studio. While it serves some benefits (less management overhead), in the big picture view, it comes at the serious cost of not providing employees with clear career advancement. There's opportunities, but it's very much left to the employee to "chart their own course", and HR and department leads have not always done a fantastic job of helping the process. Certain departments/teams have been ridden particularly hard over the past couple of years (Living World), and been given sometimes contradictory goals and directives (make this more epic, but do less), resulting in overtime as the teams struggle to deliver both quantity and quality. There are tools and process issues for a number of departments, which the studio is seemingly reluctant to put our full weight in resources and capital behind solving. Parking issues (either you pay heavy fees for parking, or park in a neighboring facility and risk being towed) are annoying. The company sometimes spends money unwisely or prioritizes the wrong things (treats for the employees when teams are told they can't have another software license because of budgeting).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Really the best advice I could give to upper management is to read the "Cons" sections of the reviews on here with an open mind and a willingness to take that criticism at face value. While it's true that some of the comments are exaggerated and hyperbolic, there's also truth here, and we can only get better as a company if we read those comments and come up with a plan to address some of them. If there's one thing I've learned in my long tenure at Arenanet, it's that everyone who works here is filled with a passion not just to make great games, but to make Arenanet a great place to work. Many of the cons you will read in my review, and that of my colleagues are things that lots of studios struggle with, so this is not about "bashing Arenanet". But I think we have room to aspire to rise above some of the common handicaps that have plagued the industry and to do that, it can't hurt to work on addressing the most common complaints of our personnel.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

ArenaNet Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

75%
12%
12%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

50%
50%

Interview Difficulty

3.4
Average

Interview Difficulty

Hard

Average

Easy
  1.  

    Software Engineer Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Bellevue, WA
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at ArenaNet.

    Interview Details

    The hiring process at ArenaNet was pretty smooth, even though it occurred during a transition period in their hiring practices. Although there was an initial delay in hearing back about my application, it was shortly after GW2 launch, so it was not unexpected.

    Interview Questions
    • Graphics-related questions, bit-operations, simple data structures, etc. There is an extensive code test and a series of in-person interviews.   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

ArenaNet Awards & Accolades

Something missing? Add an award
Best MMO of the Year, Game Informer, 2012
Best Role-Playing Game of the Year, GameSpot, 2012
Best RPG of the Year, Destructoid, 2012
MMO of the Year, Massively, 2012
Best MMO of the Year, Ten Ton Hammer, 2012
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Additional Info

Website www.arena.net
Headquarters Bellevue, WA
Size 16 to 50 Employees
Founded 2000
Type Subsidiary or Business Segment
Industry Information Technology
Revenue $5 to $10 million (USD) per year

Since the 2000 inception, our growing team has developed quality product through Guild Wars and its world renown sequel Guild Wars 2. Constantly striving to challenge genre conventions in the MMO market, the Guild Wars franchise has continued to stay buy-to-play in a market fueled by pay-to-play strategies.

Leading up to the release of Guild Wars 2 in August 2012, the game accumulated an impressive 1 million pre-orders. Continuing to break the mold, our dedicated team has pushed monthly releases and even went on a two week release schedule to support our living...
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