DeNA Reviews

Updated July 31, 2015
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2.7
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Shintaro Asako
20 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

61 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Suffers from poor vision and execution in the west

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

    I worked at DeNA full-time

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

    Pros

    Typical benefits for the area ie catered lunches etc.

    Cons

    No carer path or growth for employees. Lowest level employes are blamed when top down decisions fail. There is a heavy culture of finding scape goats rather than addressing key issues. Many projects are bloated while others woefully understaffed. High turn over rate makes it hard to find experienced expertise.


  3. NOBODY wants to work here or be here

    • 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

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

    Pros

    - China Basin office location next to the ballpark is good - Usual SF office perks in terms of snacks and meals - At least SF will get to claim they're "successful" once they help promote Nintendo games in the West

    Cons

    - Senior leadership team that is all Japanese and has failed on so many levels since DENA acquired ngmoco. - Retention has been awful. It's been a revolving door of people coming and going once they realize the abysmal situation. - Leadership has blacklisted people who "speak-up" or have basically driven them out of the studio. - Horrible product decisions from crappy rushed games to spending millions on user acquisition campaigns with extremely poor returns on investment. - Transferred some employees from the failed Vancouver studio who are clearly not happy to be here and are apparently just going along with it because they got fat raises or they're work/immigration paperwork is controlled by DENA. - CEO's knowledge of games and the industry is laughable. Just a hollow figurehead being controlled by Japanese HQ because he can speak fluent English and Japanese. - Quality and execution on the tech side is a joke. - It honestly feels that if you're not Japanese or one of their few puppets left, there is no chance for advancement or having impact in this studio.

    Advice to Management

    This advice is directed to CEO in Japan. If you're serious about the West then rebuild DENA offices here and get rid of the current leadership group. Their failures in so many areas has killed this office and has created a horrible reptuation in the city. Nobody in this industry wants to work at DENA.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Depressing place to be

    • 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 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Great people! I made a great network while I was there. The people rotate really fast. You would be promoted quickly if you could hang on to a position.

    Cons

    Executives sucks. I don't know if they have any ideas how to run a company. The place currently looks really depressing.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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.


  9. 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


  10. 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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    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, 2015 – CEO

    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



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