BioWare

  www.bioware.com
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BioWare Reviews in Canada

Updated Jul 19, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.8 18 reviews

0% Approve of the CEO

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Andrew Wilson

(1 ratings)

81% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Excellent work environment, very open line of communication with superiors(in 7 reviews)

  • Company values focused on people and a really good work/life balance(in 3 reviews)


Cons
  • Unfortunately the gaming industry sees a lot of change from time to time, due to natural restructuring post lauch(in 8 reviews)

  • This creates a very distinct caste system between the "have's" (the full time employees) and the "have not's" (the contract workers)(in 4 reviews)

18 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    A surprising amount of dysfunction for an otherwise awesome company

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsReasonable pay, top notch benefits, free breakfast, unique perks (fitness allowance/transit pass program). Lots of fun, well intentioned staff events and food rewards. Plenty of genuinely good and friendly people.

    ConsSo much awesome with weird pockets of dysfunction. Some groups almost feel external in how disconnected they are from the company culture and values. A lot of your usual politics, favouritism, and underlying tension from group to group. The vets will regale you with stories of BioWare past, but there are remaining signs of such a tight-knit group of like minded folks working on industry leading games. EA assimilation is well underway, and you're trained to dread it and resist it.

    Advice to Senior ManagementIt's probably time to let go of that empty promise of maintaining the integrity of the old BioWare ways and identity.. long time employees know what's what, and new employees just get a confused view of the big picture. Upper management needs to look beyond their direct reports and open their eyes to the massive disconnects that exist, and then care enough to address it.

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    Great Company

    Character Artist (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsGreat project. Great people. It is a very thoughtful workplace and they care about what you want for your career. It felt like working in a big family where your concern is shared by all the others.

    ConsThe salary is not as good as other US company. The location for the main office is bad. I was there for years and I feel like I missed out so much in life because of the remoteness of the place.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThey should pay their artist a bit more and move the whole studio to Vancouver. I would definitely go back to Bioware if they ever did that.

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

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    More politics than you would think.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGreat benefits and very talented people. Many debs truly love the games they make.

    ConsIf you are not part of the old guard you will have trouble fitting in. They do very little to innovate, either in terms of the products they release or in their work methodologies. They have become exactly like EA in how they treat their employees and dishonesty abounds.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBecome leaders and take action quickly when it is called for.

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

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    Awesome place to Work!!!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Montreal, QC (Canada)

    ProsGreat projects and great teams!! There are so many passionate people that continue to push boundaries each and everyday. The studio has a deep desire to put the staff and fans first, which creates an awesome cultural work space.

    ConsSometimes there are a few bad eggs that seem determined to derail the project or team goals or just simply have a hard time getting on board or fitting in. I don't think this is unique to BioWare, just something that becomes tiring.

    Advice to Senior ManagementKeep up the great work lining up amazing projects and continue to focus on staff and fans first. Senior management definitely takes to heart quality in the workplace and quality in the products.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Schizophrenic and arrogant, working here left scars

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsPortions of the development teams do incredibly exciting things. Small portions of what made this company great still remain. If you get attached to one of these parts of the organization you will have an amazing experience.

    A reasonable amount of free beer.

    About the only option if you want to work somewhere exciting and live in Edmonton.

    Cons...the rest of the company is a bloated ineffective organization plagued by immature behaviors and a lack of big picture thinking. Personal agendas run wild, with the kind of backstabbing you'd expect from an all girls high school. People who try to assess/address/improve the situation are singled out and persecuted, and their turnover is high - almost all of them moving on to better companies. My departure from the company was one of the most unprofessional and inhuman experiences I've had. I am shocked to see the gap between what they profess as values and how they conduct themselves in person.

    Advice to Senior ManagementYou profess humility. Perhaps learn what it means.

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

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    Overall a great company to work for

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsCompany values focused on people and a really good work/life balance

    Consnot enough career opportunities to move up

    Advice to Senior ManagementProvide more career opportunities of growth internally of the company

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    A great company in a mediocre city

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsGood work-life balance. A lot of employees are older, with kids; as a result, the focus is on sustainable work practices rather than a bunch of twenty-somethings competing to see who can work the most hours in a week. Although crunch does occur now and then, the company makes an effort to minimize it. Lots of friendly, intelligent coworkers. Generous time off allowance at Christmas. Free breakfast. Plenty of opportunities to work on high-profile, AAA projects. Good job security; although there have been selected layoffs, BioWare has largely been unaffected by sweeping cuts. The studio general manager, Aaryn Flynn is a genuinely nice guy who cares about his employees. Alberta has the lowest tax rate in all of Canada.

    ConsEdmonton is an ugly, boring city. The winters are cold, dark and long -- and as a result, BioWare has a tough time recruiting new talent. There is no significant "tech" presence in the city; if you get laid off, your only other option is to go work for the oilfield. Cost of living in Edmonton is high (although not as high as say, Vancouver.) Salaries are lower than what you could be making elsewhere.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe daring & confident -- blaze your own trail rather than constantly trying to follow in the footsteps of other successful games. Be accountable -- recognize and correct failures of leadership. Continue to hire aggressively from around the industry. Raise salaries to attract and retain top talent.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Comfy, Casual, Underwhelming

    Artist (Former Employee) Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    ProsStable work environment
    Good pay and benefits
    Friendly Management

    ConsShort sighted decision making
    "Old guard" preventing any new tech/ideas
    Antiquated quality goals, need to match industry bests
    No room to move up from within. Need to leave the studio and come back to get promoted.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote from within and get some junior level new blood in.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    Great learning experience working with top talent on top titles.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Montreal, QC (Canada)

    ProsVery talented and very friendly colleagues. Project direction is very strong, and I think many companies could learn from BioWare's professionalism. The company is spending a lot of resources on teaching and growing employees skills. Challenging, but very rewarding. Company culture is open and fun with lots of social events, friendships and beer!

    ConsBioware is a big company, and while they mainly run things their own way, the are also part of en even bigger corporation, EA. The higher levels of management can feel very corporate and not transparent. The strong project direction has a downside too - you have to deal with very strong egos and some arrogance.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHold on to a more family-like company culture, try and be more open and transparent on the managing side.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Ups and Downs

    Technical Animator (Current Employee)

    Prosfriendly co-workers here, some people that have remained for a long time which shows loyalty. They supply a fun games room and regularly stock ice cream treats in the kitchen. An active living rebate and a games console rebate are nice additions as well

    ConsEA has taken over and everything is about the finances now unfortunately. Seems like much of the soul of the company as a whole has left

    Advice to Senior Managementthink back to how things were before EA

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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