BioWare Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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3.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Andrew Wilson
4 Ratings

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

  • Free breakfast catering and ice cream stocked weekly (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Old guard" preventing any new tech/ideas (in 2 reviews)

  • So much awesome with weird pockets of dysfunction (in 2 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

59 Employee Reviews

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  1. The company takes care of it's people

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    A very professional work environment made up of senior developers who have been around the rodeo a few times. Extraordinarily talented people with a wealth of ideas and aspirations. One of the best places for a work/life balance

    Cons

    There is often a lack of higher direction or, more actually, and difficulty locking down that direction. The management tries to include everyone, which is nice but can be detrimental when schedule pressure you to set a course and stick to it.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to establish direction sooner and make a commitment to that direction. They try with the best intentions and it is not an easy thing at all but that is the one area where I see frustration.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Interesting experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    There were a lot of very top notch engineers working there. The people were generally nice Great work / life balance compared to other game studios

    Cons

    The tiered title hierarchy made it hard to move up Lots of contractors coming and going Not afraid to lay people off and rehire replacements

    Advice to Management

    Focus on employee growth more


  3. Helpful (1)

    BioWare Austin

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

    I worked at BioWare

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great work environment, talented people.

    Cons

    Overscoping. Not the same following departure of Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.

    Advice to Management

    Drop MMO development and create single player RPGs in Austin.


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  5. Great people

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare

    Pros

    (Bioware tx) people here are great. cool, fun and friendly. They know how to enjoy life

    Cons

    Agree that EA tarnished Bioware. EA is focusing only on making business than actually making awesome games.

    Advice to Management

    Not much to say. People are great.


  6. Helpful (1)

    A great place to learn the mmo game and a much better run game studio than most.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented, passionate people all over the place. I particularly want to call out the embedded QA analysts (if you get a contract QA position I highly recommend pursuing any of these opportunities that open up) and our community/marketing teams which do a really great job of engaging the community and looking through data to make sure that we're using our finite resources to develop parts of the game that keep players happy. EA has great benefits - great medical/dental, 401k, employee stock purchase plan, charity donation matching, tuition reimbursement, active living benefit, free games, etc etc etc. EA has an 'evil empire' reputation, but they actually put a lot of effort in to taking care of their employees. You'll have coworkers all over the age/gender/sexual orientation/racial/religious/political/diet/brogrammerness/shoe size map. It's not an echo chamber. Not so much crunch time and boom-and-bust as other game studios. There aren't massive layoffs all the time and crunch time is kept pretty minimal compared to previous sudios I've been at. I'll second the reviews saying communication from studio management is abundant and informative. You always know what the studio's goals are and how your role plays in to it.

    Cons

    I agree with the reviews lamenting the contract vs full time split. There's a place for contract-to-hire, but when half your staff is temp segregating them is really demoralizing. Fortunately managment uses temp positions much more sanely now. The Heroblade middleware is pretty universally loathed. There are a lot of negative reviews for the contract QA jobs, and yeah those jobs suck but they just kind of suck everywhere. If you can land an embedded job you're going to have a highly respected role and challenging work that affords you a lot of autonomy.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up! Things run much more smoothly now than they used to. I really look forward to the next cool projects to come out of the studio.


  7. When it's good it's real good.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great atmosphere. You feel like you are part of a large family.

    Cons

    When layoffs come, the stress level goes way up!


  8. Helpful (5)

    Awful

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

    I worked at BioWare

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    This company used to be stellar. Made great software. Now it dumps quality everywhere it can in order to suit EA. The brand is tarnished, and I recommend everyone to stay away.

    Cons

    Working for a company that used to represent gamers, now it's just a shell. "Freemium" model is just a BS as it sounds. It consists of hooking gamers with something well programmed and free, and suckering them to pay for something expensive and buggy. Don't waste your time or money.

    Advice to Management

    EA is a vampire. Now that they've got hold of Bioware, there's nothing that can save it now.


  9. Helpful (1)

    Great company, but recent years suggest concern.

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

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great and supporting environment. The people mostly are excited about their projects. People try to be accommodating of real life. Bioware also creates great games consistently. Even the games that haven't sold as well are still respected. It's a great name to have on your resume. There are good opportunities to do cutting edge work.

    Cons

    Bioware has somewhat of a crunch atmosphere. Project schedules tend to run tight and there are year or longer crunches and sometimes perpetual ones with little breaks. Crunch has always been seen as necessary. In the past, there was a camaraderie that made this tolerable. It felt like the company had your back. By the time I left, there was a growing sense of uncertainty. It felt like layoffs could happen any time to anybody. Just one bad project and everyone would be out the door. Bio used to value people over projects, but now that seems reversed. It is possible that this trend will reverse again with shifts in leadership at EA, but be aware, I've heard of people move and then getting laid off within months. Also be aware that each Bio studio is different. Edmonton, Montreal, and Austin are all somewhat different.

    Advice to Management

    Be careful to focus on your people over your projects. Good people make good projects, but you can't always find good people to staff projects, even if the project idea is a good one. Laid off employees sometimes don't come back.


  10. Helpful (3)

    Best/smartest company I've worked for

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Withheld in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Withheld in Austin, TX

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Committed to product quality Committed to quality of life for employees Honest, committed management Company ran via analysis rather than emotion

    Cons

    Had challenges with integration with EA Loyalty to long term employees sometimes meant they were promoted beyond their capabilities

    Advice to Management

    Let Bioware be Bioware rather than EA!


  11. Helpful (3)

    Great place to work, would have given up some of the benefits to avoid layoffs.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Operations/Project Management in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Operations/Project Management in Austin, TX

    I worked at BioWare full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, dedicated co-workers. Internal processes good, could be be better. Fantastic benefits to the point of being extravagant, which may have contributed to all of the layoffs. This may no longer be the case, as I understand there have been major changes in this respect.

    Cons

    Lack of job security (like most game industry jobs).



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