DeNA

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DeNA Reviews

Updated Jul 28, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 33 reviews

50% Approve of the CEO

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Shintaro Asako

(4 ratings)

53% of employees recommend this company to a friend
33 Employee Reviews
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good people

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsLots of good people work here

    ConsStuck in Free-to-Play model, mostly unoriginal products.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A good place to get experience, but think twice before staying long

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Tokyo (Japan)

    Pros・ Good name on your CV, still well respected in the Japanese tech scene
    ・ Pretty good work life balance, depending on your department
    ・ Decent comp and benefits, great office location
    ・ You will learn a good amount, depending on the role you are placed into
    ・ Smart colleagues and some genuinely entrepreneurial people will be good for your network
    ・ Not a typical Japanese company, free to express opinions without unnecessary politeness

    Cons・ DeNA is proud of being a company that has pivoted from service to service, but the downside is that the company lacks real vision and has failed to create any sustainable competitive advantage in any one area. Being the "world`s no. 1 mobile internet company" is both vague and unachievable. No. 1 at what?
    ・ Very smart people does not equal creative or entrepreneurial thinking. The company is strong at data analysis and optimisation but this works best when supporting 3rd parties as a platform - which the company no longer has. For instance, the current gaming strategy is based around the idea that if on average X% of games produced become hit titles, if we produce Y titles we end up with Y x X% hit games - not necessarily true, especially when DeNA is not very good at producing games itself
    ・ Doesn`t seem willing to take any truly bold risks to take leadership in the market, overly focused on tweaking previously successful business models and services
    ・ Salaries are decent for the industry but if you want to make some serious dollar think twice before staying long. Now that the company is in decline, opportunities for promotion and bonuses will be scarce for the forseeable future

    Advice to Senior Management・ Focus on problems and find solutions for them, don`t look at existing solutions and try to find matching problems
    ・ The US office needs a strategy guy, not a numbers guy (ex CFO)
    ・ Hit game strategy will not work, find another one

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    10 years in the gaming industry and this is the worst job I've ever had.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros• Free food and impressive snack wall.

    Cons• Awful on-boarding process. My boss didn't even know I started my first day.
    • Poor communication with senior managers.
    • There is a core blame game that likes to get passed around if things don't go right.
    • Passive-aggressive and normal aggressive co-workers.
    • Working from home is a not a real option.
    • Language barriers

    Advice to Senior ManagementGenerally speaking, there is a lot of blame and little accountability with senior management. If something doesn't go according to plan, they'll pick employees they don't like, put them on a project that isn't going well and set them up to fail.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    DeNA Response

    Jul 11, 2014VP Operations, DeNA West

    Thank you for your feedback. As part of our on-boarding process we make sure all employees are set up for success and feel welcomed from day one; therefore I am sorry to hear you feel you did not ... More

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Great people, great vision, great (upcoming) games.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsThe people are awesome and the culture is awesome! There are people from all walks of life that have come from mobile, console and many other places to work here.

    If you want to get promoted, you will. Speak up and work hard and you'll be rewarded. Too many people are obsessed with immediate satisfaction and don't stay with the company long enough to really see the upside. Work hard, have fun and you'll have a job you will enjoy for years to come.

    Work/Life balance is awesome. I enjoy working within my own hours and not required hours that are set arbitrarily .

    The food is pretty amazing too...

    ConsThe pay isn't the best. The office is a little meh...not your typical gaming company office space. No real hit titles yet, but they're coming! The desk pods are a bit annoying and not really conducive to communication. No real centralized area to play and engage with your coworkers (a MUST for a gaming company). Needs a proper centralized gaming area (not just tucked away in the corner of the office).

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Political garbage can with horrible execs

    Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Food, drinks, alcohol.
    - A culture team that somehow manages to throw decent events.
    - After working here for a while the job opportunities outside of the company increase
    - Highly overqualified and under utilized employees
    - If you play politics over work, you can go far here.

    Cons- Not a meritocracy
    - Inexperienced executives. They keep promoting themselves without having delivered anything. Executives are the reason this company is failing as they create a political work environment. Some don't realize how obvious it is to everyone they have no clue what they are doing,
    - Low salary, no real stock options, no bonuses
    - Politically infested and hostile work environment

    Advice to Senior ManagementStep down. Fire the whole executive team before they run the company into the ground.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    A great place to get your career started

    Director (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsDuring most of my time at DeNA one of the core values was ownership. You'll have the opportunity to own a part of the business, and if you're capable and innovative, you'll earn the recognition you deserve.

    ConsThe business strategy continually pivoted. While not innately negative, past learnings were often ignored which led to costly errors and time lost.

    Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    So far a good experience

    Software Engineer (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Good work/life balance.
    - Accessible place with many transportation options.
    - Breakfast, lunch, free snacks/drinks (including energy drinks and beer).
    - Reimbursement for gym, phone and Japanese lessons (our HQ is in Japan).
    - Good compensation and benefits.
    - Up-to-date workstations.
    - A game room and nerf weapons available for nerf retaliation.
    - Occasional sightings of a hilarious water vehicle that passes under the adjacent bridge.

    ConsSome people seem unhappy, and you can see some of those opinions here. My message to them is:

    - Making a hit game is hard. If certain game did not become a hit and that makes you unhappy, you will be unhappy at any other company. This is the reality of the industry. Just keep persevering.

    - It is true that notable people have left the company, but it is a fallacy to think that the talent is gone. I've met many of the new hires, seen their work, and they are doing well. I've also seen our job postings and I am sure that the company has established reasonably high standards for prospect employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEach time I've any feedback, I've discussed it with them openly, and the reception has been positive. I do not need to do it anonymously on this site.

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

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Not great, just ok

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    Pros- People are generally nice
    - Catered meals
    - Great location
    - The current games are doing pretty well in the charts

    Cons- Lack of strategy and transparency! Ever since the new CEO has taken over, there has only been 1 all-hands. Management is essentially hoping that the new games are successful, but not explaining the steps we need to take to reach success.
    - Terrible morale because a lot of the veteran employees are leaving
    - Limited growth opportunities... but because of the high employee turnover, you will be promoted to a senior position eventually
    - A lot of technical debt in games and platform
    - HR needs to post fake reviews to attract new hires
    - Despite what they say, culture is not flat. New ideas often go nowhere.
    - Occasionally, you will run into politics/ego problems with people who won't compromise or aren't willing to listen to another point of view. Too bad that a few bad apples can spoil the bunch.
    - No clear direction on the future of the company

    - In general, this company is not great due to poor leadership and vision, but it's not a terrible work environment either if you want to just get by or get your foot in the industry.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMotivate your employees by explaining to us the long-range plan. Another re-org might be necessary. Who's in charge??? You need to talk to us!

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    8 people found this helpful  

    #1 Mobile Company!?? No way this place will keep top performers!

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA

    ProsFriendly people, Fully stocked snacks, Good Health Plan, Free food

    ConsLow salaries, chaotic teams, inexperienced leadership, bad infrastructure, HR

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen, this is going to be a long one. I hate to say this since I'm still here, and I know some of the things I'm suggesting will sting the people who really need the job, and to that I would say come work here if you are just looking for a paycheck but if you want to make a real impact and work with superstars stay far, far away!! Those days are over!!!

    Someone said the older employees are here to vest stock options, in my case they might be right and it's also because of the friends I've made over the years who still work here. We still have some good gems and I will say the people is what makes coming here tolerable but that doesn't make me want to brag about crap, rushed, products, that we spend a great deal of man hours putting out fires on. Why? Because it's mediocre unstable garbage.
    All we seem to care about is how quickly we rush a product to market and we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. So while some of the people are one of the best parts of this company it only makes me comfortable enough until I'm completely over the way this place is run like everyone else is! Wake up, S.F!
    I have to be completely honest, and let prospective employees know this is not a stable environment if that is what you are looking for, if you are looking for a GAME company this is not it, games and players take the back seat to the pursuit of revenue.

    A few people came back from Holiday to turn in their two weeks notice, there's been some pretty quiet layoffs here and there too over the last couple months. We've got people who were with the company since pre-acquisition taking "time away" and never coming back.
    Every week people are leaving.

    The interview process is a joke at best. We're given the idea that we as a team interview top candidates and if one of us says no they won't be working here, I don't know when that policy changed, (policies change on a whim here) because more and more people are joining our game teams that we never met or knew anything about but have to work with.
    Now we have a lot of new hires who are very inexperienced and haven't the foggiest what they're doing and we're also absorbing people from other teams and putting them in jobs they never did before (this isn't a startup!)
    We're already stretched so thin developing new features and pumping out weekly content, and then have to find time to train up people with absolutely no experience that we never had a say in bringing on board. It's taking a huge toll and frankly looks like the hiring managers just don't care and are desperate.

    I don't even know why or how the San Francisco Studio still exists, it's expensive to run and we don't make hit games, or know how to make anything that isn't a direct copy of some Japanese counterpart it seems.
    We have games like Marvel which is a Western I.P made by a Japanese studio in the top grossing for months,even they outclassed us on every level.
    Do we really need a San Francisco based studio to basically clone Japanese hits since we can't make hits on our own? And to add fuel to the fire the clones we make aren't even hits either!!
    Japan can make the games faster and more efficiently than the U.S studios at a fraction of the cost, and they're more likely to be gamers themselves, we have a lot of red tape here and a different work ethic! What were they thinking?? How is this strategy?

    My advice, is first what H.Q really needs to do is pull out of S.F, and return their focus to the Japanese market because there is still opportunity there for growth, they've long lost their footing in Japan they're being outdone by newcomers no one ever heard about, they can't hope to conquer the West if they can't even dominate their own home turf anymore.

    Second, start over with small agile teams. Stop dragging around a big studio that is hemorrhaging employees and money every single quarter, it's dead weight!!
    We have a ton of producers and managers with SF who "always wanted to make a cool game" but they don't know how to make games! They're completely inexperienced, experimentation is o.k when you're talking about a few thousand dollars but not when a studio is taking millions to maintain! It's no wonder partners are pulling out and wondering why they should even work with us. The shareholders must be completely naive or infinitely optimistic!
    Studios in Chile and Canada are cheaper to run, keep Chile especially around they have games there still making a good revenue contribution mostly transferred from other studios and if possible transfer S.F employees who are top contributors to Japan and Chile, shut down the S.F studio or keep it only for administration. We already outsource everything, so again, why do we need this studio to be building games??

    I think the new Dena West CEO as a finance guy who knows nothing about games is an even worse sign, if they really cared about being pro hit games they would have brought in someone who knew about them. It's more than seedy that we didn't even have an interim CEO when the last one decided to leave for a direct competitor, obviously even he was fed up, he was one of the last remnants of the original studio, we all know one of the major reasons he was appointed in the first place was to stop pre-acquisition employees from dropping off like flies. I wish this place would just stop the politics and be up front and transparent like they claim we should be, don't talk about being a company of entrepreneurs but patronize us like we're clueless children.

    If there's anything SF studio in particular is renowned for it's not knowing when to put a product out of it's misery.
    The SF studio has an unproven track record since acquisition, it's a failed "experiment", it's bleeding and it's time to put it down!

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

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