Codemasters Reviews

Updated March 17, 2015
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2.4
36 Reviews
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Rod Cousens
20 Ratings

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  1. 2 people found this helpful

    It's been a huge part of my life but I have a horrible sinking feeling.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Development in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Development in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Great location. There seems to be a lot of "Middle of nowhere" comments, but it's actually 10 minutes from Leamington Spa which was recently voted the 3rd best place to live in the UK. It might not be the best if you are looking for city life, but it's a great location for most people.
    They run a free shuttle bus to and from Leamington Spa every day, which is great if you decide to live there (most staff do, though there are a number of places nearby which can be cheaper)
    The commute is a dream for most people.
    Great community & atmosphere among most of the teams
    Good Parking
    The friendliest canteen staff you could wish for and good quality food, though see cons for more on the canteen
    I have worked with some genuine talent, including actual heroes of mine such as Mike Montgommery and Adam Hare
    In spite of the long list of cons I am about to write, I have had the greatest time of my life working at Codies. I don't think I will ever feel this way about another employer which is why it's heartbreaking to see how things are turning sour.

    Cons

    Morale is at an all-time low and I have never seen this many people leave in such quick succession.
    Recently subjected to the second big round of redundancies in a little over 2 years
    Publicly available accounts do not look great thanks to as string of poorly performing games, particularly externally developed titles which essentially ended our ability to function as a publisher and forced us into being just a developer.
    Only develops racing games thanks to the last point.
    Dev cycles have been spiralling in the wrong direction for years now, with less and less time available.
    The canteen food and staff might be great, but given the remote location of the office and the fact that you have very little other choice it seems to be quite expensive.
    Poor communication between teams, and a lot of in-house politics between Birmingham and Southam offices.
    Terrible communication from upper management.
    The only communication we get is self-promotion about current releases and how well we are doing. Given that we only make a few products and we can all see what is going on around us, everyone is aware that this is propaganda which raises more questions than answers and just makes morale even worse.
    Entrenched middle and senior managers - Too many of the staff have been at the company for a very long time. and they seem happy to trundle along and take their wage until everything collapses. Given that many of these people have overseen countless years of financial losses, it feels like they are being rewarded for their failures.
    No longer a British company. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but the majority of the decisions are influenced by Reliance, the Indian company who owns a huge stake and bankrolls everything.
    There are too many layers in the hierarchy to enable effective communication.
    It feels as though nobody but the top brass in the UK knows what Reliance really want from us, and the same management are too scared to tell them what is really happening on the ground.
    Wage disparity is insane. Some people are fantastically overpaid for their roles and experience.
    Perks have been gradually eroded over the last 5 years.
    I have seen so many poor decisions in my time here I couldn't list them all. If I din't care so much about the place, they would be laughable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think the whole company structure needs to be reconsidered.
    Having empty office space in Southam and paying for space in Birmingham feels like a bizarre form of vanity.
    Instead of making people redundant, moving the Birmingham office to Southam would have probably been cheaper in the long term.
    Force the internal teams to work together for the greater good.
    Subsidise the canteen
    Pay valued members of staff what they deserve (I know of people in QA who have 6-8 years experience who aren't paid a living wage)
    Don't reward failure, if somebody has no successful titles to their name (never mind those with a string of abject failures), paying them huge salaries is absolutely obscene.
    Be more honest with your staff. We know the difference between news and propaganda.
    Focus test your games or at the very least, put some trust in your test teams and their opinions.
    Employ some metrics. Analyse performance with something other than gut feeling and you might be able to pull out of this.
    Stop thinking short term, or it will just delay the demise.
    Be honest with Reliance and with your staff. They might just surprise you with their loyalty and if not, it was never going to work out anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. Stay away unless you want to ruin your life

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

    I worked at Codemasters

    Pros

    Free parking (as they are in the middle of nowhere there is plenty of space)

    Cons

    - low pay
    - poor senior management
    - no career opportunities
    - no bonuses
    - work is dull and repetitive
    - check their finance status before applying... they are almost bust

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    close the place

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. Starting to struggle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Developer in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Developer in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Good experience and great if you want to work on racing games. Some great developers there to learn a lot from - pity they're heavily underappreciated.

    Cons

    Very traditional in terms of hierarchy and the communication lines along these. Slow to react to changes in the industry. Still not paid bonuses and overtime owed from over two years ago. Structure is too top heavy and they have an issue with honesty both internally and externally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Open up to change or you'll be stuck in your ways till the bitter end

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Great colleagues, poor company

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

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

    Pros

    The friends you make are friends for life. Good working atmosphere when you overlook or forget about the other problems. The best canteen food and canteen ladies.

    Cons

    Poor management at the highest level. This used to be a great company until it was sold, poor choices made from the directors in regards to expenses and game choices. Continual question of job security and threats of company closure due to poor quality games full of cuts and rushed projects. The ditching of external games (which could have been good if chosen better) means continual years of the same old rubbish making the same game just with different titles. Promotion is based on who you know, not what you know.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put some pride into the company like it once had rather than making poor choices based on the pound signs in your eyes. You are pushing away your employees with these decisions and dragging down the company. Try coming out of the office and see whats happening in the company. People once had pride for this company that is travelling down a steep slippery slope.

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

    They signed a vendor's contract with me, failing to pay any of the issued invoices afterwards and ignoring messages.

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

    I worked at Codemasters as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    None. Once respected company heading straight to bankruptcy.
    Mediocre games no one cares about anymore, poor management and their clearly failing Indian investor appear to be the main culprits.

    Cons

    They are non-payers. Do not work or even talk to them if you don't want to be deceived.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They better change industry and their names.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    It's ok

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    The people who work here are great, I made friends for life at Codies

    Cons

    Management structure is a bit old school and quite inflexible. Not a whole lot to do if you don't like racing games

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Could be great!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Southam, West Midlands, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Great facilities, good colleagues, some great games being produced. Fantastic salary (almost too good!) and wonderful flexi time system. Has great values at it's core, they just need to be brought forth again.

    Cons

    Poor management, lack of strong leadership, too much stripping resource out of teams and not hiring in the right places.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sort it out please! Get back to grass roots and listen to our customers. Listen to your staff and support them fully.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Shambolic company, lacking direction, focus, leadership, finances and commintment

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

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

    Pros

    Reasonable pay, healthcare, pension, some very talented devs working there

    Cons

    At the time I left (2010) the leadership was in a terrible state with many high level departures with little or no communication to regular staff about what was going on, how things would be ok, etc. There are a lot of VERY talented developers who work/have worked there, but unfortunately the management was truly awful, with unrealistic expectations regarding crunch and a rather laissez-faire attitude to quality. Without the budgets necessary to compete in AAA game development, I have difficulty seeing how they have a stable future.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I hope things have changed since my time there. Strong leadership with frequent company wide Q&A's, a more open attitude to game dev and a more focused agenda would help.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. Great place to work most of the time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in Royal Leamington Spa, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in Royal Leamington Spa, England (UK)

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

    Pros

    Great team
    Regular titles to work on
    New studio culture allows everyone to have input into the games we make.
    A lot of the 'old guard' have gone
    Old studio structure is being phased out....thankfully
    Company seems to be focusing on it roots again, instead of chasing the competiton who have much bigger budgets.

    Cons

    Out in the country
    Job doesn't always feel secure in the current economical climate
    Recent games haven't as good as hoped... hopefully this is starting to change
    Company doesn't seem to be profitable, instead, just breaking even or even operating at a loss. Again, hoping this changes soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're currently doing. The new studio culture seems to be gaining momentum. Remember to listen to you 'talented staff' (as you like to call us all the time). Listen to us BECAUSE we are talented....and we're very passionate about what we do. We're not just developers who knock out games. Treat your staff well and they'll be happy. It's hard in these times, but pay reviews would be very welcome.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Great work colleagues, let down by senior management and lack of ambition

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

    I worked at Codemasters

    Pros

    Great work colleagues
    Nice offices
    Good social scene if you live locally
    Friendly atmosphere
    Lovely office location

    Cons

    Bonus scheme (non-existent in my role)
    below average salaries
    Poor senior management
    Lack of vision
    Game budgets not high enough to realise creative vision
    Hard to see where the next big hit is coming from
    Short dev cycles

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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