DeNA Reviews

Updated June 26, 2015
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3.0
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Shintaro Asako
17 Ratings

Pros
  • Work life balance depending on what team you are on (in 5 reviews)

  • They provide catered meals, have a fully stocked kitchen and tons of fun events (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • But that's more an issue with San Francisco as a whole (in 5 reviews)

  • Many of the best people are leaving at noticeable rate and, with slow hiring, technical workers get extra work (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

57 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company with solid core values

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Commitment to building a quality product. Core company values. Creative culture of fun and innovation.

    Cons

    Sometimes the cold-brew coffee runs out.

    Advice to Management

    With DeNA's core values and vision, the company is poised to grow and succeed.


  2. Great people, poor management

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

    I worked at DeNA

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

    Pros

    I truly loved most of the people at DeNA. They were engaged, quirky, fun. The culture began to do gown downhill in the last year, becoming a bit more corporate and Japanese. But I still enjoyed most of the folks I worked with.

    They do offer some great perks: Hot lunch, endless snacks, parties, gym reimbursement, though some of those may be falling away following the recent layoffs.

    Cons

    The company strategy always seemed to be changing, and we never arrived at those hits promised. The management is now largely Japanese, and they don't have a good understanding of Western tech culture or the Western market.

    Pay, especially for software engineers, is below market rate.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in a Western CEO with a proven record in the games industry. Try and understand (and care about!) how your decisions affect company culture.


  3. Good People, Confused Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at DeNA full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Interesting projects, decent benefits, lots of good people to work with.

    Cons

    Far too much staff churn. The headquarters in Tokyo doesn't seem to know what it wants to do the subsidiary in SF and direction changes frequently.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a plan and stick to it. Focus on retaining people.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Good place to work!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at DeNA full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Had a good experience working here. When hired, they offered 1 month temporary housing which I declined. I had a rough divorce 4 months into my employment, and asked if they could give me that temporary housing still. They gave it to me, which was awesome. Almost 1 year into my employment, they had a major layoff. The severance was average, with the exception of giving me a macbook pro. The macbook pro was awesome; thank you.

    Cons

    Company was not doing so well and had layoffs.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Hard to see how it will grow since it has lots of problems

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

    I have been working at DeNA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good culture, friendly and fun place, but they are losing this good culture.

    Cons

    Not good management, low efficiency.

    Advice to Management

    Make better decisions, hire people who cares


  7. Administrative

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

    I worked at DeNA

    Pros

    Casual Environment. Free Snacks. Close to Freeways and Muni if you are commuting.

    Cons

    High TurnOver. Management needs work.


  8. Helpful (1)

    As always, the problems start up at the top

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

    I have been working at DeNA full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    - There were some really smart team members that were passionate about their work.
    - Overall good benefits and office perks. Pretty competitive vs other game companies.
    - Company was very transparent with sharing all of their game's KPIs at all times.
    - Regular studio and company meetings to share future plans.
    - DeNA's values are a good idea on paper, but unfortunately weren't truly exercised by the company.
    - Got to work on some the very biggest brands & IP in the world.

    Cons

    - Very poor game results in the West.
    - Dominant mentality of squeezing players for money while offering little value.
    - Boring game portfolio consisting of low quality cloned games and poorly executed games.
    - Cultural clashes in communication, management style and decision making led to high turnover rate.
    - Cronyism exists at leadership level with "yes-men" getting in and any opposition getting squashed or getting the boot.

    Advice to Management

    Based on DeNA's core values...

    "Delight"
    DeNA West never delighted it's player base. The types of games that were made and the horrible monetization schemes that were implemented ended up making gamers world wide HATE the DeNA/Mobage brand as a money grabbing games company with sub par games. Game quality was never a priority. It was always how fast to produce a game and what kind of systems could be implemented to squeeze money out of players as much as possible. Learn to recognize that happy players spend more and stick around longer instead of focusing on how you can get them to spend as much money as possible in their first week playing. Preying on human psychology for gambling is the opposite of delight.

    "Be the Best You Can Be"
    This can only exist if there is a balanced playing field. When team members from head office retain their salary from there in addition to a new salary for working at DeNA West, it creates a horrible atmosphere in the office. It's not fair to expect your local team members to work crazy over time hours like the head office transplants when they're receiving two salaries to justify those hours. In addition to this, local employees never received bonuses (due to poor game performance) and were never given stock options to the parent company. If you want people to be vested and engaged then compensate them the same way that the head office transplants are.

    "Surface of Sphere"
    There needs to be accountability for poor product decisions. There seems to be a special shield that gets applied to leadership members from head office that they can't do any wrong. Time and time again these executives made horrible decisions on product even when they were advised against it by front line team members. Ultimately this lead to layoffs and a studio closure, yet the entire leadership team is still intact when they were ultimately responsible for making the call on sub-par products. Recognize that you do not fully understand the North American games market and game design and bring in a leadership team that has the experience and understands the market. The current leadership team has too much arrogance and hubris and know that they are untouchable.

    "Transparency and Honesty"
    While the leadership team did do a solid job of sharing financial information and portfolio planning, there remained an impregnable wall when it came to justifying and explaining the reason for bad decisions. Nobody wants to talk about failures, but if we ignore the failures and do not directly address them head on then how can we avoid making the same failures in the future? The leadership team simply did not want to address why a year long plan of quantity over quality failed and why they chose to clone unsuccessful games. It's not fair that these topics are taboo and if they are brought up respectfully by a team member then that team member is viewed as a troublemaker.

    "Speak Up"
    Probably the most exercised of DeNA's values on a day-to-day basis, Speak Up sounds great, but if a team member ultimately speaks up and questions the leadership in way that makes them feel awkward then that team member's issue is cast aside, ignored or just straight-up shut down. If you're going to promote an environment where you want team members to speak up with their concerns then you need to listen and fairly respond to tough questions. Just because you don't like the question because it's tough or it makes you look bad doesn't mean you should sweep it under the rug.

    Ultimately DeNA West will with tpainfully again).

    DeNA Response

    Jun 19, 2015CEO

    Thank you for taking time to share your perspective. Sorry to hear you had a negative experience. We strive to provide our employees with a work environment where they feel valued and empowered to ... More


  9. Sr. Technical PM

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Project Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at DeNA (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    The recent events have changed my outlook around the culture and values of DeNA. Before I would have said they promoted a family environment, caring about their employees as individuals, but the decision to lay off 25% of their workforce with no notice and horrible severance has changed my opinion.

    Cons

    You're expected to work around the clock. The free food, drinks, and snacks are great, but it doesn't make up for the time you miss with your family.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Mass layoffs won't help a sinking ship

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

    I worked at DeNA full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    -Free breakfast/lunch/snacks/alcohol in the kitchen
    -Trendy SoMA location in China Basin
    -Good benefits

    Cons

    -Poor salary, no 401k matching, no bonuses
    -Poor management/leadership
    -Red tape/bureaucracy from overseas (JP office holds all of the cash)
    -Uninspiring games -> many employees don't believe in the core products of the business
    -High employee turnover (even without the layoffs) because employees come in and quickly realize that the work is mundane and the games are boring
    -Constant talk of "core DeNA values" that are a sham. Constant talk of "DeNA family" from the exec team is downright laughable given the recent mass layoff
    -Hiring failures for key exec positions (VP level hires that left within months or let go for underperforming)

    Advice to Management

    How have dozens of employees from both Vancouver and SF have been let go, but studio leaders are still around (who have not produced one hit in two years). Start from the top, the problem was never the employees (many of whom were smart and driven). Poor leadership vision and decisions are and have always been the problem.


  11. Excellent company to grow

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at DeNA

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good company, excellent benefits.
    Excellent salaries
    Strong position in Japan allows the company to use strong ips for their titles.

    Cons

    It is hard to learn how the company works at the beginning.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the current strategy. It looks promising.



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