Disney Interactive Studios

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Disney Interactive Studios Reviews

Updated Jul 17, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.8 89 reviews

67% Approve of the CEO

Disney Interactive Studios President, Disney Interactive James Pitaro

James Pitaro

(3 ratings)

44% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • People work hard but few stay late, a healthy work-life balance that is fully respected by management(in 5 reviews)

  • Great people, great benefits, great salary(in 7 reviews)


Cons
  • The culture was awesome and the company actively promoted and lived up to the promise of work life balance(in 4 reviews)

  • Upper management has no idea how to develop a product strategy(in 6 reviews)

89 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    The Review

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    Pros- Disney is large and it treats its members well. If you're contracted, that's a non-issue. If you're full-time-Disney, it's a great bonus.
    - Disney employment looks good on a resume.
    - Disney interactive, like many game studios, draws creative, intelligent, and kind people. Co-workers will likely be more pleasant than in other fields.
    - Compared to other game studios, Disney cares more about employee personal needs. There is overtime, but unlike other studios, the "voluntary" overtime is not necessary.
    - DI has some of the benefits that most major studios carry: free drinks, free food (pizza on Fridays), and free snacks.
    - For contract QA employees: DI offers more stability than other companies. There will ALWAYS be a mobile game to test. Unless the employee doesn't do their job, they'll likely finish their contract of 18 months.

    Cons- The business model of Disney games lends itself to heavy overturn. 700+ employees were laid off this last Fall. Not all games are profitable, even if all teams involved do their best.
    - Very few employees have a chance of advancement.
    - Contract employees will think they have a chance to advance because Disney Interactive is different from other employers. Most contractors will feel like they wasted time, even though they spent more time with a single employer.
    - The advancement of critical employees is hamstrung by Human Resources.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAlways focus on who helps the product and who cares about the product. The middle management is already competent. Senior management should focus more on team production than meetings. 99% of the team doesn't care about 99% of quarterly meetings. Even if your Power Point presentation is well thought out, nobody cares.

    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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    • Comp & Benefits
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Great while it lasted--- art intern

    Artist Intern (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    Prosthe work environment is good and the people are nice. the shift is from 8-6 respectively. Disney allowed access to many electronic expos and such, from which to network with smaller companies. they have good company cafeteria, coffee machine and bagels to eat each morning. sometimes the employees would bring in food to share and there is a 1hour lunch break. you will be writing ,drawing,photo bashing,Photoshop work on the computers provided or pitching to managers. the wage is decent and they prepare you well with critiques in the exit interview for your future. human resource handles workplace issues pretty well.

    Consit was a very large group which lead to some disorganization and clicks formed. politics and
    lack of oversight between management and interns and miscommunication lead to some canceled projects
    just be aware that Disney is not allowed to hire interns here but prepare you for other industry connections and anything you create in Disney even if its done on off hour while inside the building is Disney copyright. large company contracts are like that for entry level, take it of leave it.

    Advice to Senior Managementplease communicate intent and clarity of purpose when dealing with projects .

    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
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Typical QA contract hell

    QA Engineer (Former Employee) Palo Alto, CA

    ProsNice people, good free food.

    ConsContract work... little to no conversions to FT positions (1 in the two years i was there). Constant "carrot dangling"; "Oh yeah, we are trying hard to get more people converted to Full Time positions" and then nothing happens, or even worse, dozens of people are laid off.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPack it up and move the whole operation in Palo Alto to Glendale already. We know it's coming anyways.

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

  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
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    It's great if you're a big Disney fan.

    Producer (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    ProsYou get the access and the benefits of working for Disney. If you have kids this is a big plus.

    ConsThe annual layoffs. Every year regardless of your business units performance there will be significant layoffs.

    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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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Tough Culture

    Human Resources (Former Employee) Seattle, WA

    ProsDon't work here because you are a Disney fan. There is nothing happy or fun about the culture at this location.

    ConsPeople don't collaborate and are not there to work together.

    Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a more positive work environment, encourage fun and collaboration.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Approves of CEO

     

    Terrible QA mobile management

    QA Tester (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    ProsDisney interactive is a creative place
    The Ethic and culture that Disney tries to embody is contagious

    ConsQA mobile management has no strategy to lead QA
    The whole department is led by fear and internal politics
    Internal policies are constantly reversed which triggers anger/confusion from producers
    QA mobile management is more concerned about their own career advancement than the product
    Connections/Internal politics dictate every decision made internally
    People that work hard but are not part of the management clan do not have any opportunity to move up and will conveniently be blamed when management needs a scapegoat.
    QA mobile management is reactive to problems instead of being proactive and always reacts with negative decisions rather than constructive decisions

    Advice to Senior ManagementBullies will not always win... enjoy it while it lasts

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

     

    Missed opportunities galore.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    ProsReally enjoyed the people I worked with. Smart, care about what they're doing.

    ConsOrganization restructures much too often to allow employees to find their rhythm.

    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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    • Senior Management
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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Gained a lot of experience despite clueless management

    Manager (Former Employee) Glendale, CA

    ProsDue to the constant chaos and strategy changes I was able to get my hands on a lot of projects and learn a ton of experience during my time there. It has provided me an experience platform to be competitive in the market.

    Cons-Upper management has no idea how to develop a product strategy. They are truly only motivated to keep their own jobs. There is an inner circle of people who most likely are unable to get jobs at more competitive tech firms.
    -Product strategy constantly changes. Opportunities are ignored while energy is poured into lackluster revenue streams.
    -Projects will be assigned and days or weeks will be put into their completion only to have terrible management unable to capitalize on your work. Honestly, they are the worst business people I've worked with.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnjoy your time there while you can because nobody is going to hire you once DI is dissolved into the profitable Disney divisions.

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

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Say one thing and do another

    QA Tester (Current Employee) Glendale, CA

    ProsGreat working condiditons, They have free snacks as well as free pizza every other Friday. open office layout with some oppertunity to talk with devs. Leads know thier stuff and are for the most part experianced.

    ConsNo real path to move up. In certain ways make you feel like a second class citizen. I was told 18 mo contract and they let me go just after 4. Also lots of layoffs since I was let go as well with only a day notice. No feedback about how well you are doing. They keep saying there is possibility of becoming permanent but it rarely ever happens.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease give better feedback and give more of us a chance to become permanent so that the quality of your releases are better. Also give more realistic amounts of time for contracts, finding out 4 months in of a 18 month contract with one day notice that you are going to be let go just because feels a little dishonest.

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

    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Underpaid with no opportunity for growth

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe people who work for Disney are all very bright, intelligent, and friendly people. It's a nice environment. Additionally, the benefits and perks are fantastic - even more so if you're a Disney fan. It's a great IP to work with. There's something exciting about working for a company such as Disney with such a long-standing tradition of quality entertainment.

    ConsSadly Disney Interactive is struggling to make ends meet. There is very little opportunity for career growth and salaries to typically far below fair market value.

    Advice to Senior ManagementConsider your employees as people. Give them opportunities to grow. Pay them fair market value.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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