2K Games

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2K Games Reviews

Updated Jul 14, 2014
2K Games – Novato – “2K Games”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 14 reviews

33% Approve of the CEO

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Christoph Hartmann

(6 ratings)

29% of employees recommend this company to a friend
14 Employee Reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Long hours and little reward or recognition for work provided.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Novato, CA

    ProsThe surroundings are nice and the weather is good. You are close to wine country, surfing, and easy access to the Golden Gate bridge and all that SF has to offer. Living and working in Novato is cheaper than living in SF, tho the SF Bay area in general is still pretty pricey.

    Working on new hardware for each new console cycle was fun. Working on a high-profile AAA title was cool.

    ConsThe company is very cliquey, and advancement in the company really depends more on who you know and less on what you do. I don't think there are huge opportunities for advancement.

    Visual Concepts / 2K Games really only does work on a few products at the Novato location, their NBA game and their WWE game (they also oversaw NBAMMO for China, and MLBMMO for Korea). If sports games are not your thing, you probably won't enjoy your time with the company.

    I worked at Visual Concepts/2K for many years. My early time there was when the company was much smaller, and I felt that the management did a better job of rewarding the employees for the work they produced.

    I didn't feel that the company paid a competitive wage for the experience the employee had or workload that was expected. Remember, these games come out on a yearly cycle, which means that there was a heavy crunch mode every year. If you had worked on more than one of their sports titles, you'd find yourself rolling from one crunch mode into the next without any break. They don't seem to value life outside work, and the turnover rate is high. The burnout rate is also very high. Maybe spending 6-7 days a week doing work would be OK if I was just a typical geek starting out, but as I grew older I began to hate the work/life imbalance. The salary did not make up for this since employees were salaried and generally didn't get overtime. You were expected to put time in on weekends (free) because you loved the product.

    The benefits seemed OK (I never had to use the healthcare benefits that much, so I can't say how comprehensive they were in comparison to other companies).

    The time-off policies are not adhered to, especially when there were milestones that needed to be reached. I was told to write down that I took time off when I hadn't, and then use "comp" time after the deadlines. This was said with a nudge-wink. We did not have Comp time.

    Advice to Senior ManagementManagement had a habit of using and abusing employees, burning them out, and then letting them leave after they had gotten the work out of them. I rarely saw any effort from management to retain key talent.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great in theory, just a bug writing factory in actuality.

    Quality Assurance Tester (Former Employee) Northridge, CA

    ProsTest and have early access to new games before they are out.
    Work with people who are all video game geeks like you.

    ConsRequired overtime.
    No overtime advanced notice.
    Low pay.
    Training and advancement opportunities are almost non-existent.
    Low pay.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork with current employees to help train and promote from within to encourage retention.
    Be more transparent with expected overtime hours and increase pay to be more in line with the amount and length of work being performed.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Overall, I was challenging and rewarding

    Middle Management (Former Employee) Novato, CA

    ProsFinancially rewarding; gained long-life friendships, invaluable exposures and experiences. I was provided opportunities to grow and allotted career enhancing education.

    ConsIntense work schedule and there were many unreasonable requests. A lot of behind the scenes politics (more so than other employers). Not very compassionate (business oriented) at inappropriate times.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHR upper management shouldn't be allowed to be cliques; it shows and deters morale thru-out.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities

     

    Happy to leave

    QA Tester (Former Employee) Northridge, CA

    ProsFoot in the door in the video game industry

    ConsLong Hours, Dead end job, no investment in workforce

    Advice to Senior Managementbug quotas do not lead to better products

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

     

    Abysmal work environment @ Northridge

    Quality Assurance Tester (Former Employee) Northridge, CA

    ProsBeer Fridays once every few months

    Cons-Abysmal management, abysmal facility
    -Point based bug scoring system
    -Writeups for anything and everything, preventing fulltime employment

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Senior level "Creatives" are out of touch

    Senior Manager (Current Employee) Novato, CA

    ProsIt's a job. There are good games in the lineup but those are all externally developed.

    ConsHealth care is expensive and not comprehensive. Internal development is run by managers out of touch with actually doing work and with a lack of understanding of the creative process.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to your experienced developers when it comes to art, design and story. They know their jobs and should be assets not obstacles for you. Placate your superiors with innovative and creative content and not by being "yes men".

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    One of the worst run QA departments in the game

    Quality Assurance Tester (Former Employee) Los Angeles, CA

    ProsEasy to get hired since there are minimal requirements. Full time work every week. Play video games all day.

    ConsI have worked several large publishers and unfortunately, 2K was the worst. They have a "bug quota" which encourages testers to submit bogus bugs so they don't lose their jobs. They encourage you to write as many bug reports as possible, and are not concerned about the quality of bugs. Its as if management wants to say "Our department wrote so many bugs, this failure of a game cannot be blamed on us!"

    They frequently abuse overtime scheduling. The week is set up Sat, Sun, M-F. This means that they will frequently ask you to work the weekend (after working M-F) but you won't get overtime pay. This happens because they will then give you Mon and Tues off to compensate for working Sat and Sun, thus nullifying any overtime pay.

    When I worked there, the office hours started at 7am. Only a select few people could unlock the door, so you could frequently find yourself standing in the cold for 5-10 minutes every morning waiting for the door to open. No one wants to come early because you can't clock in even a few minutes early.

    There was an elitist attitude given by any special functions team. If you were not on their team, you were basically not allowed to talk to them or be in their general work area. That's right, you could not approach them (entry level employees) to ask for clarifications on things. They would rather have a loss in productivity as opposed to a "regular employee" dare speak to them.

    Management was very out of touch with their employees. I remember when I applied for (and got) a promotion. They were completely unaware that I had 10-12 years prior experience in the field. That pretty much blew my mind. They also seemed to choose who to lay off at random. As a team lead, they never asked me for input on my team when cuts had to be made. How can you choose who to fire when you don't even know anyone? And when you don't know what tasks they were assigned to, and weather they failed or greatly succeeded.

    Advice to Senior ManagementI hate to say it, but the effort by management was actually the problem. It boils down to them not being hands-on enough. They underestimate their employees (because they are out of touch) and then devise unorthodox ways to compensate for a perceived lack of skill / production / etc.

    Drop the bug quota. Stop using kids as team leads. Get to know who the good employees are and put them in charge.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Disorganized and cliquey

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsPay is good, people in your department can be nice.

    ConsDisorganized, chaotic, if you aren't friends with the right people you can't get anything done. Communication from take-two and from senior management is almost non-existent.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet it together! Work like one company, not like five different companies under the same roof.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Politics, cliques, chaos and confrontation

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Novato, CA

    ProsGreat games. 2K really cares about quality.
    Some brilliant and high performing people.
    Compensation's fine.
    Learn a lot if you are on the right team.

    ConsExtremely cliquey.
    Viciously political.
    No career opportunities unless you get into the core cliques. That takes tons of late nights, drunk lunches, and awkward parties, but only after you figure out how to get invited to those things.
    Negative, aggressive, confrontational work environment.
    Political and process landmines with no training on where those landmines are. Stepping on a landmine is never forgotten and is career-limiting.

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

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

     

    Quality Assurance Tester

    Quality Assurance Tester (Former Employee) Northridge, CA

    Pros- Good pay rate.
    - There is always work to do, every moment of the day. If nothing is high priority, kick back and adhoc test on a cool title.
    - I had an awesome manager who kept great communication with the team. He kept everyone informed on what was coming up, what to expect as far as overtime.
    - Great discounts for game purchases.

    Cons- Tight rules to abide by.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNone. Good luck, I wish yo guys the best.

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

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