Codemasters Reviews

Updated June 22, 2015
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41 Employee Reviews

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  1. A good learning experience

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

    I worked at Codemasters full-time

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

    Pros

    + Some smart engineers
    + Friendly staff

    Cons

    - A lot of deadweight.
    - Salaries heavily skewed in favour of management
    - Rare pay/performance reviews

    Advice to Management

    Treat hard working, talented developers better before it's too late.


  2. Great....back in the days

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

    I worked at Codemasters full-time

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

    Pros

    Good tech, passionate people, room for promotion. Some really strong programmers!

    Cons

    Terrible top level management (but most are now gone finally), narrow game protofolio.

    Advice to Management

    Get out, you clearly haven't helped in the last few years.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Rushed products, crushing deadlines, clueless senior management.

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing people, great location, quality products despite exec interference.

    Cons

    Senior management - CEO/COO need to give more time and autonomy to development teams, and stop killing devs with stupidly short deadlines.
    Lead by example and motivate those loyal enough to stay.

    Advice to Management

    Lead by example and motivate those loyal enough to stay. Don't treat staff like numbers on a spreadsheet.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A fun experience, but no incentive to stay too long

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Has a friendly atmosphere between coworkers.
    Overtime is paid.
    Lots of experience around, although that appears to be vanishing.

    Cons

    Poor retainment.
    Large period of overtime each year.
    Doesn't provide many opportunities for advancement.
    Doesn't want to take risks with projects outside their comfort zone, and handles attempts poorly.


  6. Group Lead

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

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

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

    Pros

    Had large diverse teams, different types of work and a well managed work to life attitude.
    feeling of honest group efforts to achieve high standards all areas within production.

    Cons

    Continued staff reduction, same deadlines required and top heavy managment withuot understanding of teamwork and core values required to create solid quality games.
    Only driving games, bad move.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest and leave if you know your input is redundant.


  7. Helpful (3)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

    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.


  8. Helpful (2)

    A massive waste of talent in an industry where a company's value is measured by its staff. Soon to close, no doubt!

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

    I worked at Codemasters

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

    Pros

    The company once boasted some of the best talent in the industry. Their back catalogue is unmatched in the racing genre.

    Cons

    The CEO has overseen the demise of the company, going from industry leading to verging on closure. He has left now (in the week before this review), but in his wake he has left a host of clueless senior managers. The art team in particular has NO leads left in Southam. Some truly talented and inspirational individuals have left and any prospect of originality has been replaced by demands to blindly re-use old content (as if the punters won't notice). The art team is now run by a bunch of cronies...bully managers (not a single artist amongst them) without a clue about creativity or art production (despite job titles to the contrary).

    Money has visibly dried up in the company, with sewage often overflowing, toilet paper running out, aircon being broken for months and doors hanging off hinges. This also has a real impact on development with an almost complete lack of next gen dev kits and no money to pay licenses.

    It would be unfair to say there is no talent left at the company, but the vast majority have been made redundant (because senior management think they know best and feel threatened by people who call their bluff) or have left before the company folds. When they think about the years of graft that made Codemasters so dominant for so many years, the current crop of managers should be so ashamed that they have mortally wounded the company (no doubt they will blame market conditions).

    Just don't work here. They won't be around for long.

    Advice to Management

    You need to start again from the top down. Remove the senior managers en masse and listen to your staff.

    Ditch the mass market dumbing-down of your games and look at what made the company great...challenging, authentic racing based on the real sport. When you're done grovelling for licenses from the car companies and racing series execs, try grovelling back to the staff that you just dumped because they were the ones you needed. (for the record, I left of my own accord).

    Understand that quality is the most important aspect of your games. Ditch the attempts to make games for free. Recycling old content is filler. It needs to sit alongside genuine, new content.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Stay away unless you want to ruin your life

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

    I worked at Codemasters

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

    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 Management

    close the place


  10. Helpful (2)

    Starting to struggle

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    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)

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

    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 Management

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


  11. Helpful (3)

    Great colleagues, poor company

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

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

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

    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 Management

    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.



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