BioWare

  www.bioware.com
  www.bioware.com

BioWare Reviews in Canada

Updated December 10, 2014
Updated December 10, 2014
56 Reviews
3.5
56 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Andrew Wilson
2 Ratings

Review Highlights

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

  • There are a great deal of developers here with their own families, so the work/life balance is admirable (in 4 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)

More Highlights

20 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Good Experience, long hours

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

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fun people, the only big game company in Edmonton, good perks

    Cons

    long hours, crunch times. downhill since being bought by EA

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  2.  

    A caring, highly motivated place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

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

    Pros

    This studio has some of the best talent I've ever had the pleasure of working with. A huge majority of the staff is sharp, passionate, but still family-friendly. There are a great deal of developers here with their own families, so the work/life balance is admirable. Very good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    I can still see some people, or even whole teams, that work a lot of hours during milestones. In some cases I think this is more due to lackluster anticipation of the actual needs to finish the product.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make sure everyone is giving absolute, honest estimates about work required. Projects are so huge these days, and the utmost care needs to be taken to make sure that all departments stay on the same page.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A surprising amount of dysfunction for an otherwise awesome company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Reasonable 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.

    Cons

    So 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 ManagementAdvice

    It'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.

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Character Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Character Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    They 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    More politics than you would think.

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

    I worked at BioWare

    Pros

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

    Cons

    If 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 ManagementAdvice

    Become leaders and take action quickly when it is called for.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Awesome place to Work!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Great 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.

    Cons

    Sometimes 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 ManagementAdvice

    Keep 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 6 people found this helpful  

    Schizophrenic and arrogant, working here left scars

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Portions 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 ManagementAdvice

    You profess humility. Perhaps learn what it means.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Overall a great company to work for

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    not enough career opportunities to move up

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Provide more career opportunities of growth internally of the company

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    A great company in a mediocre city

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

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

    Pros

    Good 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.

    Cons

    Edmonton 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 ManagementAdvice

    Be 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Comfy, Casual, Underwhelming

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Artist in Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Stable work environment
    Good pay and benefits
    Friendly Management

    Cons

    Short 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 ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within and get some junior level new blood in.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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