Activision Publishing

  www.activision.com
  www.activision.com

Activision Publishing Reviews

Updated October 1, 2014
Updated October 1, 2014
74 Reviews
3.4
74 Reviews
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Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg
Eric Hirshberg
18 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • We take breaks often which is needed when testing video games (in 6 reviews)

  • Good people, as you will be working alongside other gamers (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • No work life balance, long hours, no career development, no long term vision (in 10 reviews)

  • Furthermore, there is little consideration for work-life balance for employees of any status (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great Culture, Bad Management

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

    I have been working at Activision Publishing full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great culture, one of the most fun places I've ever worked.

    Cons

    Studio was held back by the same people that created the great culture. Not the most professional, and the overall quality / effectiveness of the studio suffered. The projects we got were not terribly interesting or creative, and I think this was due to the fact that on the whole, our work was average at best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As much as working with your close friends feels good, it is not a smart way to do business.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Art Services Internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Art Services Intern in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Art Services Intern in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    -Learned a lot and got a lot of hands-on experience
    -Discount on games
    -Great intern outings

    Cons

    Didn't live in the area so had to drive an hour and a half everyday. No gas reimbursement. Not really a big deal. Great experience nontheless.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Only work here if you're desperate

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free bagels on Monday, Free donuts on Friday, Free soda and Free premium coffee such as Coffee Bean or Dunkin Donut, games at a discounted price

    Cons

    Outside of free stuff, everything else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    No advice. Their current strategy has been working for over a decade. Keep it up.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Worked at Activision too long

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Producer in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Producer in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    There are GREAT people at Activision.
    The end of year bonus can be nice.
    There are occasional perks and sometimes they are good.

    Cons

    Very long hours, Activision will work you like crazy. This is mainly due to the fact they are understaffed.

    Upper management is very poor at making decisions. A lot of things are done last minute and the decision makes itself (usually at a cost of quality of life or the game). There is also a lot of committee decision making.

    No opinion of CEO
  6. 6 people found this helpful  

    Successful at serial products, in danger of talent drain

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Producer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Producer in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    Pros:
    - #1 publisher, recognizable on the resume
    - Enormous resources (if your project is deemed worthy)
    - Motivation comes from working with dedicated people (in production, not sure of other depts)

    Cons

    Cons:
    - milking the margins comes first. So, if you love games, be prepared to leave that love at the door
    - the project you're on matters a lot more than it should, even if you're doing as much or less than someone on a less prominent title. recognition and reward follows the revenue-generators only.
    - all other departments will get recognition before production (if production even gets recognized). it shows in the bonus/incentive structure. it shows in the promotion rate. it shows in all the company events that the executives speak in.
    - it always felt like the execs just want to be in hollywood. they make frequent, huge expenditures to play with hollywood instead of investing it back into the company (new IPs?) or its employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    you need to retain top talent through any 2 of the 3 (at least): compensation, growth opportunity, and security.

    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Ambitious and rushed don't make the best game possible.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    Working at Activision is great because we're the top publishing company of the game industry. The workplace is great, and the development team I'm in is very united. It's fun to make video games. The support and work perks are pretty good.

    Cons

    Its a little frustrating the poor work and life balance. I love making video games. I take pride in my work. I want to deliver a really good fun quality polished game, but certain conditions don't allow this. Rushing and crunching are bad. My heath suffers from it. Which makes me feel under-appreciated and disposable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want 100% you must give 700% back. 200% salary, 200% vacation, and 3 years development cycles. That would make me really happy.

    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Mediocre

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Tester in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Game Tester in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    They provided free food for the days in which we had 12 hours of testing

    Cons

    Terrible hours
    Not a stimulating working environment

    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great place to get initial experience in gaming / entertainment; not great for long term advancement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Brand Manager in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Brand Manager in Santa Monica, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    The people really make Activision. Everyone here at the mid-senior to senior management level and below is super smart, driven and quick. Given that launching a game title can mean a lot of long hours and a chase to meet deadlines, it's great working with people who are responsible, take ownership and work hard.

    Cons

    The annual review process and the promotion process are pretty unclear. While we do have annual reviews, oftentimes, the goals on which we are reviewed are not set until much later in the year and even then are vague enough that they don't necessarily mean a lot. It is also hard to get a sense of where you stand against your peers as it is not a very transparent organization in terms of what is expected of you. Even though goals are set, promotion is really difficult and it's often hard to understand why certain people are promoted versus others.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I wish leadership would get to know those managing the franchises on a day to day basis. Those of us who have our ears closer to the ground and do most of the work are not often welcome in some of the strategic meetings for which we actually put the materials together. I'm not sure why this is, given that many of those who are so called "junior" professionals actually have significant industry and work experience prior to coming to Activision to begin with. In general, a more open culture would go a long way. I would also recommend that management significantly adjust the compensation structure. In the past, the company has been able to attract high quality talent at below average compensation because the products are interesting. That said, the organization has changed a lot in the last couple of years and focused much less on innovation which is stifling to people and I think will be at the detriment to the company's ability to maintain the talent pool. While I really like the work here and find it interesting, the compensation is not necessarily commensurate with expectations, level of work and level of talent that the company often tries to recruit.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    It's an experience but not an interesting one.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    You can sometimes play some amazing games, and have contact with studios that can work miracles. There is also a lounge where workers can go on breaks to eat and play video games. The area is also one of the best, with multiple restaurants to choose from within walking distance.

    Cons

    Activsion has great games, but a lot of people in charge don't seem like they should be. Most of the managers don't understand their own jobs, and usually want you to take steps that are wholly unnecessary. Add in a constant nagging feeling that they'll never really want you to advance, and you will be in a frustrating and boring position. No matter how good your work ethic seems to be, from finding advanced bugs or taking on the jobs of QA leads. You won't be appreciated and constantly nagged over "small" things that seem odd during late game releases.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more attention to the workers that aren't already in a higher position. Watching a manager only walk down the hallway towards the restroom, or to speak with the Lead over "written" performance is discouraging. Take some time to get to know the workers, view them for yourself and see what they are doing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Money and benefits are great, but management sucks!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Activision Publishing

    Pros

    This is a very high profile company to work for.

    Cons

    The company is too focused on quantity, not quality. It is constantly trying to push sequels out the door every year without much thoughts to innovation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management at the developer side are out of touch and are poor at project management. There is total disregard for quality of life outside of the workplace. They believe the only way to get a project done is to work ridiculous long hours for months at a time. Management needs to take a step back and realize the problem starts at the top. The actual people who are making the games are talented. It is the mismanagement of the projects that are making the people unhappy with their jobs.

    No opinion of CEO

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