DeNA
3.0 of 5 31 reviews
www.denajobs.com San Francisco, CA 150 to 499 Employees

DeNA Reviews

Updated Jul 7, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 31 reviews

                             

50% Approve of the CEO

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Shintaro Asako

(2 ratings)

50% of employees recommend this company to a friend
31 Employee Reviews
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    3 people found this helpful  

    Content?

    Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Close proximity to CalTrain/public transit
    - Beautiful views
    - Employees are well fed

    Cons- While some talented people remain, you get a sense that a number of pre-acquisition employees are around to just long enough to collect paycheck and watch their remaining options vest
    - High turnover
    - Influx of new talent is mediocre, at best

    Advice to Senior ManagementBe proactive. Reward your top performers and get rid of the bad ones.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of problems; no longer a good place to work

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsMost people are nice, and there are still smart people left. Casual work environment. All the snacks, free breakfasts/lunches, etc. that you would expect. Opportunities to change roles within the company.

    ConsMorale is extremely low in SF. Most of the really talented people have fled or been fired with no explanation. More and more game development is outsourced, or just recycles a game that didn't succeed the first time around. Platform was mismanaged for a very long time, then gutted. New CEO for DeNA West has no experience running a game company and no strategy except to follow the old CEO's strategy. Company's values sound good, but they're not widely practiced.

    Advice to Senior ManagementThe company needs a real plan for the future, and employees need work that doesn't feel futile. Stop investing in games that have failed in the market. Either invest in platform or kill it.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    7 people found this helpful  

    Typical Silicon Valley Gaming Company

    (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Good benefits and competitive pay due to being in Silicon Valley (SV). This is the result of labor salary pressure from money coming in from angels and VCs and all the other tech companies forming, but hey I'm not complaining.. you go right ahead and keep on funding companies that make [insert iOS/Android app that is a hybrid of Facebook/Spotify/Square/Uber/Angry Birds].. wait..I think I just got an idea for a start up..

    - Free food so we can gain 10lbs after the first month of work

    - Nice location/office in SOMA... but now all the start ups are moving up from the peninsula.. WHO TOLD THEM OUR SECRET LOCATION IN THE CITY?! Result: There are too many hipster engineers walking around. Edit: There are too many hipsters in general.

    - Culture is fun/casual.. we even have a beer keg in each area of the office, but after a while the novelty wears off.

    - Good stepping stone for gaming and/or mobile space

    - The people are nice, unless you screw up a lot. If you screw up a lot you deserve to get fired.

    - Branding: DeNA is one of the worldwide heavy weights for mobile gaming in the world. Not so much in the US (and we're working on that), but in Asia you better watch yo' self son! Our market cap is bigger than this other large US based social gaming company that rhymes with Jenga.

    - There's pocky in the kitchen pantry. FREE POCKY! Who doesn't like free Pocky?..well maybe if you were gluten intolerant, but if you are then it sucks to be you (as I type this while eating Strawberry Pocky..om nom nom).

    Cons- Creativity is lacking sometimes for their products. This goes for most large mobile gaming companies in SV (Kabam: You aren't off the hook either.. Kingdoms of Camelot v. 1,2,3,4,5 each under 5 different names).

    - There are two different cultures here based on the parent/sub relationship. Sometimes this can lead to roadblocks. We are owned by a Japanese Company so that means you must have a working knowledge of ALL Hello Kitty characters.

    - No clear structure to promotion, but hey if you wanted a fancy title of director.. you can join a 3 person start up down the street at half the salary.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWe have tons of people working here and we should not be afraid to move out of our comfort zone.

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    3 people found this helpful  

    On one hand, lots of smart people. On another, tons of nepotism.

    Marketing (Former Employee)

    ProsFun, friendly, young coworkers that make the place feel alive and hip. People like to work hard and play hard. Tons of snacks, beverages, and free lunch.

    ConsYou'll mostly work on or support boring clones of horrible Japanese virtual card games. It gets a bit repetitive and uninspiring to deal with. Feedback from customers is generally ignored and the customer support team loudly complains about everyone they help. Directors and senior managers who've been with the company for years are kept in place despite being inept at their jobs. HR refuses to address repeated serious concerns about coworkers.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart making real games again. We Rule, Topple, and Eliminate were game changing. Since being purchased by the Japanese company, you've lost your way and every new game is a race to see how quickly you can clone these horrible card trading games.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Two very different companies in one office

    Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsExcellent benefits
    Catered meals
    Nice snacks
    Generally, people are nice
    Pleasant office in a nice location SOMA
    Excellent core values (though not fully embraced)
    Many intelligent and well-spoken people
    There is a lot of potential

    ConsTechnical work in first party game development always requires crunch time (long hours, week-ends)
    Platform has significant technical debt
    Some of the engineers are over-confident and difficult to work with
    Many of the best people are leaving at noticeable rate and, with slow hiring, technical workers get extra work
    The work is challenging in the wrong ways: tight schedules, poor code quality, constant emergencies due to poor/no planning.
    The most technically challenging thing you will do is the interview
    Working with counter-parts in Tokyo is difficult due to language barrier and time difference
    People can be discharged at any moment, equally true for middle management or line workers
    The success of technical work is, at best, mixed
    Platform/Core technology is too engineering-lead and out of touch with product needs
    First party development is too product-lead and has trouble delivering quality technology
    There is a lot of pressure to conform to the local culture which includes drinking, playing games during work, nerf darts - it can be tough to fit in, if you just want to enjoy your work
    Not much ethnic/gender diversity in the technical staff

    Advice to Senior ManagementStop the blame/fire cycle, it will destroy transparency and honesty.
    In first party, you'll get more done if you slow down and move forward with a deliberate plan
    The core values in the company hand-book are great, however speaking-up isn't useful when few will listen. Also, call out people who fail to own problems and blame is never useful; seriously, stop the blaming.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Great Possibilities, Great Challenge, Lots of Variables

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsDeNA is trying to replicate the success of their business in Japan in the rest of the world. The challenge is immense and the paths to get there provide enough variety to keep anyone entertained. Overall team spirit is encouraging and you get a sense of being in something in the rise and unknown potential.

    ConsThere are large disparities between the management structures between Japan and the Western studios, particularly DeNA San Francisco. The duality of leadership sometimes creates problems, and poor leadership skills in positions of large influence are at times, quite evident.

    Advice to Senior ManagementJustify your positions by adding value instead of being a nuisance to the production teams. Also, in-depth knowledge of the business and products you lead is the minimum you could do to have intelligent conversations about them.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Inexperienced Leadership and Poor Decision Making

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    Pros- Employees are young and multicultural so there's lots of energy around the studio
    - Nice office perks like free lunches, well stocked kitchen and ping-pong table
    - Nice benefits for full-timers like company paid coverage of home internet and mobile phone bills
    - Some game ideas and art themes came directly from regular employees

    Cons- No successful titles to come out of this studio yet since it started over 2 years ago
    - Lots of bureaucracy and red-tape tied to the San Francisco office
    - Sr leadership team lacks North American games and business experience
    - Career advancement is managed poorly
    - Salaries are below industry average and make it difficult to live on in an expensive city

    Advice to Senior ManagementImprove the process of selecting games that we develop. Cloning games that are not successful in North America and re-skinning several of them in parallel doesn't make any business sense at all. You're burning out people by having them work overtime on titles with little to no chance of financial success.

    The studio is stretched too thin by the amount of titles that are being developed. Focus on quality and not quantity if you want to be successful. And stop trying to follow trends from the Asian market. Cloning game designs from Asia leads to products that won't succeed in North America.

    Consider bringing in experienced Sr leadership for this studio. The studio head is almost invisible due to the language barrier and other members of the Sr leadership team lack the experience and ability to lead a studio to success.

    Improve the HR process for job titles and compensation. Everything is disorganized and poorly handled when it comes to job titles and pay. Lots of non-technical jobs are underpaid and there's been no adjustments to fix this problem. More people will leave because of this inbalance.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Completely dysfunctional and all the problems start at the top..

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
    Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    Pros- Vancouver, BC is a good city
    - nice office location, lots of windows, good kitchen, lots of food choices in the area, nice patio
    - Pretty good workstations

    Cons- Cultural Bias is very prevalent
    - Inequity in Salaries department to department
    - lack of transparency
    - horrible communication from upper management
    - HR non-existent
    - lack of direction and focus in the studio
    - the game designs are based on imitating other products

    Advice to Senior Management- DeNA Qualities:

    Delight - Always understand our customers' expectations and exceed them.

    Ownership - We always act with a sense of ownership as we each are responsible for the company's success.

    Be the best we can be - We have high personal standards and at all times we work to achieve them by trying our best.

    Transparency&Honesty - The honest, timely truth gives us the tools to make the best decisions.

    Speak Up - We fearlessly & respectfully communicate.

    Rather than just paying a boat load of lip-service, why not actively run the studio with these tenements in mind...

    Really explore where all the morale issues and distrust comes from. Listen to your employees and don't take things at face value, read between the lines. Employees are not happy and are worried about job security and the lack of trust stems from a lack of honesty and transparency from upper management.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Theres a high quitting ratio for a reason

    Sales Executive (Current Employee)
    Tokyo (Japan)

    ProsBig growing company that is breaking sales records every month

    ConsA lot of employees are very full of themselves and look down on other people as well as companies

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn to treat employees as global beings, and dont try to make everyone follow the same style of thinking

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    Internship

    Social Game Development (Current Employee)

    Pros1) Good Stipend
    2.) Free Transportation + Free Accommodation
    3.) People are very helping and caring
    4.) Work is not that hard, It's interesting
    5.) Free Lunch

    ConsVery few people can understand and speak English
    The cafe doesn't offer good vegetarian food. It mainly have non-vegetarian food.

    Advice to Senior ManagementArrange classes for employees to learn English

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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We are mobile Please call us ‘D-N-A’: we make games, a social games platform, e-commerce products and other services for mobile devices. We believe mobile is the future of human communications and entertainment: we… Full Overview

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