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2 people found this helpful  

The Real McCoy

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Programmer  in  Bellevue, WA
Current Employee - Programmer in Bellevue, WA

I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

Pros

I didn't know jobs like this existed until I landed at ArenaNet! I've programmed here for nearly 7 years and it continues to be my dream job.

-No crunch
-Development is driven by passion not production milestones
-Incredibly creative, laid-back and friendly work environment
-Collaborative bottom-up development
-Challenging problems to tackle.
-Very flexible with work hours.
-Egos are left at the door
-Very clean and well organized code base with a strong code standard
-Great studio with lots of great amenities(gym, snacks, drinks, game room, etc.)
-Good benefits with profit sharing
-Did I say no crunch?

Cons

Compared to everything I'm grateful for at ArenaNet my complaints feel pretty insignificant.

-Very little documentation and heavy reliance on tribal knowledge
-High expectations and challenging tasks can lead to "sink or swim" work environment
-Requires passion and self-motivation to be successful
-Poor on-boarding process
-Compensation could be more competitive.
-Paid parking

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Focus on providing clear direction and expectations while creating better communication across the studio. Figure out how to get new employees up to speed and better integrated into our culture sooner.

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

53 Other Employee Reviews for ArenaNet (View Most Recent)

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  1.  

    Best company ever since over 12 years in CG industry.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Character Artist  in  Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Character Artist in Bellevue, WA

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

    Pros

    ArenaNet treats employee greatly, keeping balance work and life for us nicely.
    ArenaNet University(inside of the company) provide various education actively for all employee who want to lean more or new.

    Cons

    All the events and environment for employee are well organized, people are so nice to help as needs.
    Also, schedule wise, I've been scheduled fair amount of time to finish my tasks, which is my favorite part of it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Passionate team, welcoming work environment, great company

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

    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 ManagementAdvice

    * 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.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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