Disney Interactive Studios

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  disney.go.com

Disney Interactive Studios Reviews

Updated November 20, 2014
Updated November 20, 2014
105 Reviews
3.0
105 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Disney Interactive Studios President, Disney Interactive James Pitaro
James Pitaro
13 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great people, great benefits, great salary (in 9 reviews)

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


Cons
  • Upper management seems to play musical chairs every 6 months, constantly realigning goals (in 11 reviews)

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

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing Talent in a Typical Corporate Environment

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

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    Incredible pool of talent. Strong art culture. Good benefits. Flexible schedules. Current projects have been very successful.

    Opportunity to work on high-profile properties that look great on a resume.

    Cons

    At first the culture seems collaborative and egalitarian, but the more time you spend there the more you see that management is very top-down. Dissent is discouraged and deference to authority is emphasized, but in a Dolores Umbrage kind of a way. No real ownership of the work -- a small group of leadership signs off on all work. Not much opportunity for career advancement. No interest in community involvement. Outside of the games industry few people are even aware there is a Disney Games studio in Salt Lake City.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better relationship with the games and art community in Salt Lake City would help with the challenge of recruiting.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    I loved working at Disney!

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

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I thought that Disney provided a great work environment for their employees This included a spacious office with great views, free snacks, access to a beautiful commissary and gift shop. There were great perks to working here as well including amazing benefits, discounts, and not to mention free Disneyland admission. I also loved that the company promoted professional development and growth.

    Cons

    I was not happy with work life balance at Disney. I found that I was answering an excessive amount of emails and phone calls outside of working hours and on weekends. While this is understandable if you are a salaried employee, as an hourly employee I did not feel like I was compensated well for my time outside of work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'd like to see improvement in work life balance.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A slap in the face.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Quality Assurance Tester in Glendale, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    There is a StarBucks on site.

    Cons

    Where do I start. The company forces all QA into 1.5yr contracts that prevent anyone from getting a raise. They claim they pay based on Experience but I got nearly the lowest pay while I have 10 years of QA Management experience, and their 2 shifts are 5am-2pm or 2pm-11pm which if you are getting paid the bare minimum is not enough for one to pay rent and own a vehicle. It's incredibly inconvenient for those who don't have cars since public transportation in the area starts after 6 and stops at 11. Also after your contract they would rather hire new people instead of promoting from within. I had seen so many great devs leave because they don't want to give a little more pay and benefits.

    I'm better off now, but seriously this needs to stop in the industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change your hours to 9am-5pm. Have QA collaborate so nothing gets lost in transition. It isn't asking for to much. Also reconsider keeping people on staff. Towards the end I most of the staff is more focused on finding another job then getting the work done.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Clueless middle management and incompetent executives ruin a fun and interesting job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Mobile Game Tester in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - QA Mobile Game Tester in Glendale, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

    I love testing games and had a great time testing games for this company in the mid-2000s. Laid back atmosphere and casual clothes a big plus. Location is a big plus. If you love video games its a fun job.

    Cons

    After my contract was up here, I left to test games at another company. I returned in 2012 to work as mobile tester and was really looking forward to coming back and working at a familiar place with people I know. However, after being hired back, I was told I was being laid off only 4 days later along with a few other people. The only reason, the told me, was because "We don't have enough room for you in the new building." I was one of the experienced testers that they really wanted on the team, so this didn't make sense to me. Also, when I asked middle management about it candidly, they told me "We honestly don't know why we're letting you guys go. It's coming from above and that's what they told us to tell you." So, I went home, and ridiculously, two days later, was asked if I wanted to come back. I told them "No". Why would I want to work at a place that doesn't know what the hell they're doing and where employees are treated like a number. Also, the pay is very low here pretty much across the board.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the upper management. They obviously don't know what's going on on-location at their offices.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great - while it lasted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - UI Designer in Eugene, OR
    Former Employee - UI Designer in Eugene, OR

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company, bonuses given for performance as well as profit sharing. Company values the cast members and guests like family. Would relocate to continue with the company.

    Cons

    Red tape made it difficult to make good games, or even get one started. Upper management made some bad divisions early on that led to massive layoffs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Gives as much creative freedom over products as licensed studios. Trust the teamed making the products. Remove red tape to greenlight and start games. Teams that work on games they are proud of and are exited about are successfully. Don't force game ideas on studios.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great company but things get lost in all the changes

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Game Services Analyst in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Game Services Analyst in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Surrounded by intelligent and creative people and the Disney enthusiasm is a strong presence. Great benefits and ability to make a lot of connections within Disney.

    Cons

    Due to bad decisions from higher up, lack of knowledge between departments and products, people and opportunities for promotions/recognition are often severely delayed or lost in the shuffle completely. The strict structure for promotion unless you are in the higher ranks already is detrimental to morale.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Offer recognition when due, even if it means creating new positions or promoting more than one level at a time. Get to know the actual work an individual does, not what you believe they do or what their job title supposedly means.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Great People but Lack of Direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Lots of passionate people, lots of great IP, lots of food, your team makes or breaks your experience.

    Cons

    Currently DI is being completely overhauled from the highest level. If you are looking for job security, you should look elsewhere. Disney hasn't quite figured out the gaming industry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun, great atmosphere, talented people who know how to enjoy their work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Lead Artist in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, and fun perks, free food, theoretical access to work on exciting IPs. Career growth wasn't too difficult for myself, but I could see that changing depending on the individuals situation.

    Cons

    Upper management seems to play musical chairs every 6 months, constantly realigning goals. Division seems to be in a do or die situation right now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Layoffs may be a quick and easy way to get out of profit loss, but you lose so many talented and devoted individuals along the way.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Fun and fulfilling job, had the potential to be great but there are heartbreaking, fundamental flaws

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

    I worked at Disney Interactive Studios

    Pros

    Excellent people come to work here. The brand is larger than life and attracts people who have options. You may be hard-pressed to find a more excellent group of people than you will find at Disney Interactive or any Disney division.

    Cons

    The digital division has had its share of challenges over the years, to find a model that works in a vast corporate enterprise that has been around for decades, and in identifying execs who can handle the task of figuring out how to structure it AND be politically correct - a must-do at Disney. In recent years the culture has suffered enormously as inexperienced "band of brother" types who have a history together have been given the keys to this kingdom and clearly have no idea what to do with them. People run rampant, raping the place of its resources for personal gain and wasting incredible volumes of cash, not to mention goodwill and time. To many, executive management is an uncommunicative, entitled, haphazard clique of what may be referred to by some as "cronies." In recent mass layoffs, all execs were spared, some even promoted, despite their failures. There is a feeling in the ranks that executives feel the "little people" can be replaced easily, so why bother with communication, much less a retention program.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This is a business. Be objective, remove the blinders, and communicate open and honestly with the professional people working with and for you, and who deserve your respect. Pay attention to the details and stop staffing management via the typecasting method.

    Instill values in younger staffers, who sometimes treat older staff members - including executives behind their backs - with utter disrespect. Train. Develop. Grow people. They love the company and want to do good work. People here truly do "quit their bosses," not their jobs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disney Magic

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

    I have been working at Disney Interactive Studios full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Creating innovative products and projects that challenge and excite while working in professionally with truly the best of the best is what happens here. The magic happens when expertise, meticulous planning and great people intersect to super serve and provide a world-class Disney experience.

    Cons

    Since technology is constantly changing, our business continues to evolve and change with it. It's just the way things grow not a "con."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to your employees who deal with the day to day, project to project scenarios and continue to listen. That's one of the many things that makes Disney Interactive a great place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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