BioWare

  www.bioware.com
  www.bioware.com

BioWare Reviews

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

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Company deludes employees into thinking it's an "amazing" company with bells and whistles.

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

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    Working with the QA department was a great experience.
    My direct boss was very easy going and explained things very well.
    Loved my team and my tasks.
    Was my first gaming company I worked for, so I was able to get my foot in the door that opened up lots of possibilities.

    Cons

    I was led on that I would be brought on to the company full-time as opposed to being a contractor. I did an amazing job and worked my way up the QA ladder, but still got the boot once my contract was up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Instead of spending ridiculous amounts of money on breakfast every morning, use that money towards bringing dedicated and hard-working contractors on full-time.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Unique experience on a cool product

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

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Work with people very passionate about what they do.
    Great perks, excellent benefits
    Challenging work environment

    Cons

    Unstable future, your job is one failure away from being removed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more open to flexibility and listen to your employees as they give feedback. Sometimes ideas are just bad.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    A stimulating company that focuses on quality of life over speed of production.

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

    I worked at BioWare full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Food, comfort, and happy people. BioWare is a comfortable place to work and a happy environment. You must find a healthy place in the corporate structure where creativity is allowed to thrive and corporate needs are sheltered by strong leads. There are some really creative people at BioWare, and it is an absolutely amazing environment to wet one's feet or season one's skills.

    Cons

    The large corporate mogul of EA opens doors but closes independent thought. Only on the micro-level may creativity thrive, for revolutionary ideas that can be iterated on rapidly in a small company setting turn into months-long trudge of certification, documentation, and stagnation. Long "assembly-line" like production pipelines turn great ideas into watered-down results, quashing the desire for creativity into production, as the outcome of both becomes identical.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decrease employee turnover to perfect their skills instead of firing and re-hiring temporary workers. Eliminate work-flow pipeline issues by seasoning your people and unifying your technology. It should not take 6 months for a new designer to learn the ropes, and another 6 to master them. That's 4 and 8 months too long, where employees are gratuitously unproductive in comparison to seasoned veterans. On top of that, the forced turnover rate eliminates many of the seasoned workers before they can share their wealth of accumulated knowledge, leading to a downward spiral of production that can only end in one way.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    It is truly a learning experience

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    You can learn a lot about the game industry.

    Cons

    The game industry is based on people's extra income and as that shrinks, so does the studio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In order to be a designer you need to play the games you design.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun environment with interesting tech

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

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

    Pros

    * Lots of room for learning new teach and solving problems
    * Smart people
    * Crunch periods are not that long

    Cons

    * Management communication leaves lots to be desired
    * Lots of "Tech Managers". Basically strong tech people with crappy management skills
    * Downsized recently, more work spread to few individuals

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to communicate with employees better. Secrecy is a killer

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    My first experience in the game industry, and I could not have asked for a better company to work for!

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

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    -working on successful AAA titles
    -working along side talented people
    -quality of life and work balance

    Cons

    -big studio (if you like the more personal companies this isn't for you)
    -RPG focus if thats not your thing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to say no! Hahaha.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Management needs to get their act together + EA = Not Good

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

    I worked at BioWare full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere, got to work with some brilliant people

    Cons

    Really makes me sad to see what's happened to this company. Only worked there for a short time before the layoffs started, but long enough to see what the problems are. Marketing is driving the business into the ground, making initiatives that make no sense. It's as if they don't realize their audience is gamers, and that's a fail right there.

    Management simply doesn't listen to the brilliant folks there. I don't know how many times I walked from a meeting shaking my head in complete confusion as to why rational common sense ideas were thrown out in favor of what the marketing head thought was best.

    I don't believe all game companies are run like this, even BioWare's other branches. But when you have EA looming over your shoulder insisting to see immediate increases in subscriber numbers yet cutting funding in all departments, coupled with horrible management, all the while listening to the marketing department instead of your core audience... yeah. You can see where that's going.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the very vocal, and very talented, people who AREN'T management. Take their ideas to heart and realize that not only are they your workers, but they also are your audience. Realize marketing has its place, but its place is NOT in making decisions that shape the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    A complete waste of my time

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

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    The tiny perks - free breakfast, ice cream, lax work environment. lower level staff is great.

    Cons

    Relocated cross country for job only to be laid off after a few weeks, company completely disolved the QA from this studio(Austin). Higher ups have extreme attitude problem. Contractors treated like complete dirt. If you can get on and stay your whole contract you basically have to be buddy buddy to get hired on full time, being good at your job has no meaning here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't have 60%+ of your workforce be contractors, don't fire them right after you hire them, and how about trimming the fat where it is needed and not where you can save your buddy buddy's job.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Led on by false promises of a full-time position

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

    I worked at BioWare

    Pros

    Free breakfast catering and ice cream stocked weekly. Generally lax work environment. Decent pay. Hours aren't as overburdening as most other QA positions. Immediate supervisors were good people who respected the team.

    Cons

    Employs a ridiculous amount of contractors with almost no capability for advancement into full-time positions as the company is too stingy to pay for benefits. Regardless, employees are promised a chance of getting full-time if they work hard enough, which is a blatant lie: even my friend who was one of the most important tech staff in the studio, who often outpaced his full-time coworkers, was not brought on after the end of his contract.

    Most of the full-time staff looks down on the contractors and sometimes even takes credit for their work. Senior management almost never communicates or even acknowledges contract staff. Very cloak-and-dagger about unannounced information, to the point of management outright threatening employees that they would intentionally ruin their career in the gaming industry if they said leaked a word of new content.

    Horrible software and often dysfunctional hardware supported. Benefits are barely worth mentioning.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop cycling out contractors and leading them on, hire internally for full-time positions. Actually acknowledge your contract staff and realize how important more full-time staff are for long-term project quality.

    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 5 people found this helpful  

    You only move ahead if you have a friendship or past working relationship with the "choice makers".

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

    I worked at BioWare

    Pros

    A lot going on day to day. A lot of work but mostly because the servers keep getting screwed up.

    Cons

    - Lack of management
    - Poor communication from team leads
    - Constant changes in development plans without warning
    - Management placed in some groups do not have the required skills to make their teams successful
    - No interaction with management unless you initiate it.
    - You must have a previous connection with someone on the inside in order to solidify your position.
    - A lot of egos and attitude from the creative higher-ups like they're God's gift to the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Learn the strengths of your employees
    - Talk to them and discover what drives their productivity
    - Be a mentor and develop them instead of making them "factory" workers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

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