ArenaNet

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50 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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2 people found this helpful  

Passionate team, welcoming work environment, great company

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

Pros* The company has a very friendly, welcoming, collaborative, passionate team-based work environment. It's a joy to work here, and you feel like you're working with genuinely good people.
* Company is always striving for excellence. You get the feeling that everyone is fully dedicated to making the best product possible and fully committed to excellence in their disciplines. This company is always trying to move forward and to improve.
* Because of the commitment to excellence, there's a feeling that feedback to improve the product or anything else is welcome from all levels, whether you're a new person or have been there for years. The vast majority of people at the upper levels of management are approachable and the open-door policy isn't something that's just on paper.
* Great work-life balance. The company is very accommodating for people who have lives outside of the office or who need to take care of family issues or other personal issues during the work day.
* People don't feel compelled to work long hours due to social pressure.
* The company culture is generally welcoming to women, despite the company being probably 75% men. Issues that arise are taken seriously by management and by team members, and people act in a professional manner. Overall, there seems to be a distinct lack of the oppressive, "boys' club" culture that holds a lot of other game studios back and plagues the game industry as a whole.
* The office itself is a comfortable place to work at and a wonderful physical space.

Cons* There's the feeling that the company is divided into "haves" and "have-nots," despite some attempts to make all staff feel equal, like everyone getting a holiday gift, which have included PS4s, iPads, etc. Not everyone gets paid time-off or healthcare paid for by the company, and these benefits contribute to the work-life balance issue. Work-life balance is great for full-time workers, but contractors do not get paid time-off, so if they need to take time off to deal with family emergencies or health problems, they don't get paid.
* The company loses a lot of talented and skilled individuals due to the system of temporary contract workers. After 12-month contracts expire, temporary contract staff need to take a 3-month break before coming back to work at the company. Most will not come back because they would rather find a job that will give them full-time employment. Most of the people affected by this system are QA people, but there are contractors in almost every department.
* A few key people in higher positions are, in contrast to the rest of the company, difficult to work with, don't take feedback well, don't compromise much, and are sometimes exempted from policies that everyone else in the company have to follow.
* Studio core culture and values are not communicated well to the company, and rapid growth over the past few years has contributed to this.
* Staff is homogeneous. Most of the people who work are ArenaNet are young white men. This company has a long way to go in terms of diversity. However, with women represented in almost every department (from programming to QA), it feels like they're at least trying.

Advice to Senior Management* Seriously re-examine the restrictive system of temporary contract workers. This is one of the biggest detriments to the company, and the game industry as a whole, and the loss to the company in terms of engaged, talented, and skilled workers who want to contribute to the success of the company is huge. This system might make sense in dollars and cents, but there's something to be said for the intangible benefits. like tribal knowledge and having a strong sense of culture. Having this system doesn't make everyone feel like they're equally valued and it makes for a less close-knit company.
* Make sure that all staff are required to adhere to the same policies by communicating those policies and making sure no one slips through the cracks due to position or tenure.
* Step up efforts to increase staff diversity.

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Only getting better

    Intern (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at ArenaNet as an intern for less than a year


    Pros: Transparency throughout the entire company. Strong core values. Forward thinking flexible workplace. Interns… Cons: Some growing pains from growing so large and restructuring so… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    It's not all fun and games...well actually, it is all fun and games.

    Manager (Current Employee) Bellevue, WA

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for less than a year


    Pros: Best place I've worked for. Smart people, inspiring leaders and a… Cons: Too many free snacks, cereal, candy, donuts, pizza and drinks...I've gained 5 lbs since I started and although we have a free healthclub on site… Advice to Senior Management: If your goal was to create a great place to… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company… More
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