CCP Reviews

Updated February 16, 2015
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  1. 1 person found this helpful

    More politics, intrigue, drama and backstabbing than EVE

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in Reykjavík (Iceland)
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in Reykjavík (Iceland)

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

    Pros

    Non-management people are typically very nice, talented and interesting. The company is very multicultural and living in Iceland is just amazing. Even though Reykjavik is small, there are plenty of things to do. There office is relatively spacious and easy to reach, you can probably find an apartment in walking distance. They serve excellent food in the office and there are supermarkets nearby if you feel you need anything else. Salary is OK-ish, not super great considering you need to spend a lot of money on plane tickets if you want to get off Iceland to visit family etc, but not bad either.

    EVE continues to be the best sci-fi MMO in the world and despite the bad, being able to work on it is very amazing. Fan events are really massive and over the top and it is nice to be able to interact with the player community.

    Cons

    Many people play political games, especially when it comes to game design. The senior management is extremely top-down and wants to dictate everything, but lacks the creativity, insight and talent to really come up with features that work well with the existing game. After a few months they figure out that their giant masterplan doesn't work, abandon it, shift the blame to random people and come up with another ridiculous idea that has to be developed in the leftover time. Meanwhile game design has to tie up all the loose ends and work out all the details of their plan, but the management doesn't care about these nitty-gritty things and doesn't give feedback when you ask them, only to criticize it later after it is already halfway through development.

    Since development time is limited and allocated only through lots of red-tape, there is a lot of scheming and backstabbing to get your idea to the top. This results in a toxic atmosphere where colleges are treated as competitors and a lot of grudges are left to fester. Pet projects of senior management get disproportionate amounts of devtime, while good ideas from the design team, programming team and player community are completely disregarded and left to rot in the ever-growing backlog.

    Any attempts to discuss these problems will earn you a bounty on your head, as CCP managers immediately become defensive or even openly hostile to anyone that shows the slightest sign of criticism. Only yes-men have any chance for promotion and this leads to political animals rising to the top. Anyone that speaks out against senior management is disposed of in one way or another. First they will move you to penance projects, where you lack any influence and will get dull and useless tasks, hoping you'll resign by yourself. Once you got senior management to hate you for whatever reason, they'll do a thorough job getting rid of you. I was asked to resign, or else I was promised CCP would 'ruin my career, and ensure I would never get another job in the games industry'.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find a therapist to get that sociopathy treated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful

    Exciting to join, quick to leave

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

    I worked at CCP full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    I left from another western developer in Shanghai to join CCP Shanghai with great excitement because of this their solid reputation and the chance to work with some talented devs. Also they have a cool office (compared to other Devs in Shanghai) and provide a lot of free meals--despite the food being catered mostly to local tastes, I (being an Expat) still enjoyed it, and found it to be both convenient and healthier than having to venture on my own.

    The talent at the Shanghai office is also generally more senior and more experienced than other studios in the area. They have more expats and, unlike most of the other Western studios here, are owning the development of their product (rather than functioning as an Outsourcer or Localizer)

    Cons

    As soon as I joined I found the atmosphere disorganized with no clear objectives or direction. I started with either very little to do, or doing things outside my core skill-set. Soon, I began to wonder why they even hired me. I felt very under allocated and that they weren't really using me to the best of my ability. This made me feel uneasy.

    The job security was awfully poor. In the 8 months I was there I saw 4 layoffs globally--2 at Shanghai. Also, I saw several expats get laid off, which can be quite inconveniencing (because your visa will be cancelled). The layoffs seemed to be an indicator of general company health, but they were always met with a positive uptick and promises that there would be no more subsequent layoffs (but there were). .I can understand the strategy, but the result is more of a "cry wolf" scenario where people don't believe anything you say.

    Overall, the way things were run seemed wasteful and inefficient. Developers were subjected to a lot of overhead. Heavy emphasis was placed on reaching milestones where the work was publicly demonstrated and evaluated (and often criticized). People were so scared of failure that they always played it safe. If you looked at the burndown charts or task history, it looked like the progress was good, but if you actually took a step back and looked at the quality of what was being done, it was quite poor. In the few times I saw an "above and beyond" approach, it was always looked at more as a glass half empty than a glass half full--in other words, attacked for risks or delays, rather than praised for innovations and gains.

    Finally, I had a heck of a lot of hr/admin issues--as a non icelandic expat I fell through the cracks here--it likely wasn't deliberate, but it left me feeling alone and helpless. As an expat, you sort of rely on the company to take care of you in a foreign country. To be told that you can't have health coverage for your spouse because you weren't married before you joined the company and nothing was budgeted for it, but that maybe they can help in the next year, after they figure out the budget--i mean, seriously? Ridiculous Fail

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Perhaps the best advice would be to go back to being a smaller company because you are having serious issues being a multi studio, cross country organization, but given the recent downsizing in Atlanta and Shanghai, it seems you are going this way anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Great company with friendly people

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

    I have been working at CCP full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The culture are quite open and treat employees quite nice

    Cons

    No successful game in the past several years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 4 people found this helpful

    Fun but definite growing pains

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reykjavík (Iceland)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reykjavík (Iceland)

    I worked at CCP full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The head office is ideally located in downtown Reykjavik, close to the old Harbour area which is undergoing major redevelopment. There is a bus stop 30 seconds from the office although note that Reykjavik hasn't the most optimal bus service.

    Excellent free canteen, serving breakfasts and lunches on a daily basis. Free dinners are served every Tuesday and Thursday and families are welcomed.

    Frequent 'CCP fun division' activities i.e. organised trips, cinema, oktoberfest, camping etc. There are also staff run activities such as basketball and indoor soccer.

    Friendly and informal atmosphere within office, quite easy to approach and discuss at all management levels.

    CCP has some extremely talented and dedicated personnel who are passionate about EVE, the community and it's future.

    I found the work / life balance very favourable compared to other companies

    Recent re-org changes have resulted in being more focused on delivering quality supported by metrics. This is a welcome step-change from the previous gung-ho approach.

    Reykjavik is a small but beautiful city but it has a lot going for it, local amenities are to a high standard and not as extortionately priced as initially thought (e.g. electricity is dirt cheap). The local geothermal swimming pools are a modern marvel and very child friendly.

    If you are a nature lover / outdoors person then it doesn't get any spectacular than Iceland. Reykjavik is close to some of the best nature you'll see anywhere in the world, I'll miss seeing the northern lights from my lounge window for sure!

    Cons

    Recent layoffs and project cancellation has shaken staff confidence in senior management and overall morale.

    Some clear commercial metrics are ignored and all too often there would be 'pet projects' assigned from senior management which would consume internal resources with minimal affect on the bottom line.

    The change in structure and development process has met with some resistance internally.

    There is definitely a 'clique' within CCP, this is not necessarily defined by Icelanders / non-Icelanders but by team hierarchy. This can be a challenge when approaching externally.

    Iceland is a remote country, it can be a challenge to break in a social circle when you're in a town where 'everyone knows each other'.

    Reykjavik public transport isn't the best, you really need a car to get around to avoid being stuck in the downtown area.

    Weather in Iceland is notoriously unpredictable and it's dark in winter, very dark! Sunrise in December is about 11am and it's dark again by 4pm so be prepared for that. On the flipside it's practically 24 hour daylight from mid-May to end of July

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut down on the pet projects and plan a strategy driven around commercial business objectives, not just those being requested by the vocal minority within the community or 'fun' licensing opportunities. Revenue targets are fine but also an understanding and appreciation of 'how we are going to get there together' is of equal importance, share these with the teams and invite feedback and ideas.

    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Fun and challenging

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

    I worked at CCP full-time

    Pros

    I loved my time there. Brilliant coworkers, good office and adequate equipment, good food and many thing done well for the employees. Unlike many others I found it rather easy to advance my career. Very humane attitude towards family people.

    Cons

    Maybe I loved my time there because I decided not to participate in the office politics. In retrospect CCP is a very top-heavy organization with commands coming from above to us lowly workers on the floor. Very few ideas from non-upper management, larger than peas, were actually implemented.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Being lean and agile is good, but being able to commit and spend time on doing things well is also important. Stop expecting something else than what you sow.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful

    Delusional

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

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

    Pros

    Free food at the cafeteria. Most days it's pretty good. Relaxed working environment. A lot of great talent (management excluded).

    Cons

    Management doesn't have a clue. With 5-6 layoffs now in the past 3 years, and one disastrous decision after another, you can't believe a word they say. There's zero job security and moral is at an all time worst.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Resign, sell the company, and use the money to start a new venture you might actually be capable of managing, like a Taco stand.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful

    Going through growing pains

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

    I worked at CCP full-time

    Pros

    Once the most innovative company in the industry. Some very talented people. Lunch provided along with dinner twice a week. Genuinely tries to do the right thing by its employees. Ethical, moral, and if a company could be said to be idealistic, CCP is just that. In a cynical industry, it is a place where people dream of doing great, impossible things and that is both rare and wonderful. Parts of the upper management team are trying to do great things and bring about positive, but probably painful change. If CCP can get through its growing pains it can once again be an inspiring place to work

    Cons

    Idealism needs to be tempered with realism and discipline. Immature processes and failure to measure twice, cut once has led to millions of wasted dollars, countless wasted hours and many layoffs that could be avoided. Too many smart people without discipline and process creates an over empowered peanut gallery. Everyone thinks they are an expert in everything and feels entitled to offer their opinion, even when they have insufficient experience, incomplete information, and are not stakeholders. Many of the old guard employees are complacent and overly comfortable, taking a nearly academic approach and more interested in their vacations, perks, and selves.

    Too many offices world wide. Nearly 24 hour schedules of meetings and heavy travel requirements for some employees. There is a perception that Icelandic employees are treated better and protected even when they make mistakes. The company often functions like a congress. Smart individuals discussing ideas at a theoretical level rather than like a team all pulling together.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management has a strong desire to be good people and to be liked. But the company is at a place where it needs leaders and not friends. Like good parents, stay ethical, stay fair, and lead by example and bring discipline to the organization by being decisive and forcing the company to grow up. Set and communicate a vision for what the company will change into, and try to bring everyone on board. Identify the old guard that is resisting change, and let them know they can come along or leave. Make the hard choices early, cut deep and cut once so healing and growth can begin.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 5 people found this helpful

    Incompetent, lying, unaccountable management causing exodus of talent

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Reykjavík (Iceland)
    Former Employee - Senior Programmer in Reykjavík (Iceland)

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

    Pros

    Free breakfast and lunch, used to have an incredible sense of community. Used to be a pretty good place until mid-2013.

    Cons

    American management from EA has been brought in to gut the studio. In less than a year this went from a stellar place to work, to absolutely terrible. Three layoffs in six months, including founders and architects, tells employees "you are expendable and we are not accountable." There are numerous instances of C-level executives lying directly to your face. Incompetent management from top to bottom, and there is no potential to change things. The people who care have left or been forced out. There are a handful of great developers there, but fewer every month.

    They also pay pretty poorly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just sell the company and be done with it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful

    Wonderful company, terrible managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Support in Reykjavík (Iceland)
    Former Employee - Customer Support in Reykjavík (Iceland)

    I worked at CCP full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The culture and feeling of family among the ground developers is fantastic. There is a really laid back atmosphere most of the time between the development teams and a good after hours culture within the people that work for and breath life into CCP. A great number of the developers are truly passionate about the game they are working on.

    Cons

    This passion however is slowly being extinguished. There is a culture of fear currently present within the CCP offices, and unless your job level is "Manager" or above you live in constant fear of being deemed "unnecessary". Some of the brightest flames at CCP, some of the most dedicated and passionate people have been fired. Gutting developers and support staff whilst leaving the lackluster management team largely unscathed is a horrendous business decision, the failing money situation should land SQUARELY on the shoulders of the CEO and his management team and they should take the proper steps and resign instead of continuing to gut and destroy the wonderful EVE team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do the right thing before you finish the current financial nosedive with a crash into Reykjavik harbor.

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

    A company going down the drain fast

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reykjavík (Iceland)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Reykjavík (Iceland)

    I have been working at CCP full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Excellent people down on the ground level, smart people with passion, creativity, drive, and intelligence. Lunches every day that range from good to excellent, dinner twice a week. The company understands the balance between personal and company time and does not try to force people into draining crunches.

    Cons

    The executive level is ridiculously out of touch. Salaries are below industry average and promotions are arbitrary and meager. There is a lot of friction between different departments that is rarely resolved, merely left to simmer and cause further resentment. Grandiose, expensive ideas with little return are given precedence over smart, creative plans which would have large impacts without causing such large media splashes.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace the executive decision makers entirely. Actually keep promises as it relates to the job security of the company. Allow the young, smart people internally to run things.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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