There are newer employer reviews for ArenaNet

4 people found this helpful  

Work with some of the best people in the industry; work for a leadership team that rewards politics not talent.

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

I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

Pros

Without a doubt, these are some of the best people in the industry. The employee culture is amazing. Everyone is passionate, driven, and yet humble enough to help others reach their goals. Morale is fairly high with a focus on maintaining employee morale through events and catering.

Cons

Leadership has faltered in recent years with the introduction of key high level execs. The director level meetings held the moniker of the "Star Chamber". Compensation for most non-programming roles is severely lacking. Several leaders didn't get effective leadership training, with a prime example being how reviews were handled; a struggling employee rarely received coaching until year end, where presented a low-rated review without explanation, long after there was an opportunity to address concerns - and usually done that way to avoid conflict.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Double down on what got the company where it is: all of the people, not just the programmers.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

53 Other Employee Reviews for ArenaNet (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    An inspiring place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - 3D Character Artist  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - 3D Character Artist in Seattle, WA

    I worked at ArenaNet as an intern for more than a year

    Pros

    A great environment to work in. Beautiful common spaces and skilled and talented team members. Very good work hours, for the artists at least. Leads respect the ideas of their team, even the least experienced ones. Artists given a fairly good amount of autonomy. Work environment that encourages creativity.

    Cons

    Somewhat lower salaries than other similar-sized companies. Working space can be a little crowded. Not a lot of room for advancement in some departments. Too much dependence on outsourcing and temporary employees rather than hiring people full-time.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great company, but does not invest in employees.

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

    I worked at ArenaNet as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    -Incredibly awesome culture
    -Great place to cut your teeth as a video game employee
    -Tons of free food, employee events, and drinks
    -Everyone knows they have a job to do and that they must do it
    -Employees are (generally) easy to talk to
    -Amazing way to learn the ins-and-outs of a big game company
    -Fantastic introduction to the fast-paced life of the game industry
    -Unbelievably talented artists and designers
    -Unforgettably awesome experience being able to work with big names in the industry

    Cons

    -Huge, unfortunate gap between the vision of upper management and the needs of the teams they oversee
    -HR does not handle employee disagreements well; usually end up failing to hide anonymity which causes backlash
    -Directors often do not show for content reviews, causing final review day to be filled with confusion and often this leads to last-minute revisions
    -Some directors can get away with excessive rudeness/discrimination
    -Upper management prospective internal hires "We don't have the budget to hire you", then spends tens of thousands of dollars on wine/PS4s/new flatscreens/renovations
    -Several employees become aggressive and condescending when pushback is necessary
    -Production does not have a firm handle on the company's workflow
    -Agile/Rally implementation was poor
    -QA was outsourced in my final months there under a new QA director
    -Low compensation for contractors ($11-$12/hr) when contracts were still available
    -$55/month on-site parking fee OR park illegally at nearby Park & Ride
    -Recent surge of employee departures due to new company mentality

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your employees. Treat them like people, make sure they're taken care of. Ensure your teams are being seen and that their content is being reviewed properly. More times than I care to count I watched a team struggle before release because the directors did not come to the majority of their reviews and suddenly wanted changes days before release. You must also try and respect deadlines. Code and Content Complete does not mean "add new code and content 2 weeks later and completely disrupt the process." Outsourcing QA was not a good decision because it took away that developer-tester medium and eliminated any chance of growth for any contract employee (and a great deal of ArenaNet's designers are former contract QA). HR needs to keep a tighter leash on those with power in the company, because they get away with a great deal of attitude and negative bravado.

    Stop paying your employees under the industry standard while simultaneously spending huge amounts of money on perks/Christmas gifts/wine and chocolate fondue/etc. I had to sell the PS4 the company gave me for Christmas because my hourly wage wasn't paying for my modest living expenses. Stop treating lower-tier employees like children. Don't overlook valid HR conflicts.

    Invest in your employees. Treat them like people. Don't treat them like gears in a machine. They are your most important asset, not your product. That fact feels like it's been forgotten.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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