11 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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great people full of passion on making great AAA games

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Software Engineer  in  Redwood City, CA
Current Employee - Software Engineer in Redwood City, CA

I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time for more than a year

Pros

a lot of talented people.
super nice and willing to help.
passion on making great games.

Cons

salary is a bit low

Recommends
Positive Outlook
Approves of CEO

Other Reviews for Crystal Dynamics

  1.  

    Fantastic, family-friendly environment. Great Games!

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

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Highly collaborative environment.
    Amazing tools, level editor is best I've ever used.
    I get tons of creative flexibility and decision making power in the moment to moment gameplay. Management could be better, but I've never felt like I couldn't go talk to them about any issues, they are very approachable, especially considering how busy they are.
    Feels like a family, everyone in the company (from dev to HR to facilities to IT, etc...) is committed to making the best games we can.
    Yearly performance reviews can sometimes be a little late, but they will happen and merit increases have always been pro-rated to where you should have gotten them.
    Mandatory crunch doesn't happen often and isn't for long, you've got your tasks for the week and if you don't finish them in the normal 40 hours, then it is on you to work more hours to complete your tasks.
    Employee is part of the scheduling discussion each week to figure out how long each task should take, so if weekly crunch happens, the employee is as much to blame.
    Little to no office politics, either that or I'm just really good at staying out of crap like that.
    Great benefits structure, especially if you have children.
    I've often been told by upper-management that family comes first, not just lip-service either, they've been great at working with me during family crisis to ease my mind of work matters so I can focus on my family.
    Big support of outside sports activities, company sponsors multiple athletic teams for leagues at the complex's gym.

    Cons

    Lots of the original Tomb Raider team has indeed left, including some very key to the success of that game.
    Crystal likes to higher very junior employees and give them 3 months of contract to see if they'll work out or not. I'm fine with this practice as 3 months should be enough time for everyone to know if it'll work out or not, I just would like it if the employee would be made more aware of that fact. They'll hire 4 jr. designers this way even though there are only 2 permanent roles available, makes it feel very gladiatorial.
    Bonus scheme isn't very good.
    Heavily controlled brand messaging. Employees aren't allowed to breath a word about announced projects without getting approval from the Brand team first. I understand why this is, still kind of annoying though.
    Not sure if my experience with Promotions is shared by others, but this is what I'm dealing with now. At last year's performance review, I received a promotion. Yay! Wasn't sure what my new title would be because they were about to start an initiative to change all job titles to a new scheme (so instead of Associate Designer, we would have Designer I). That's fine, except a year later and with performance reviews in full swing, I still don't know what my official title is.
    Just moved into a new office a month ago. It has 1 men's bathroom that only has 1 urinal and 2 toilets. There are over 100 men in this office. It is a serious problem and one that we voiced loudly from the moment we heard the company was looking to move (our old office only had 2 urinals and 2 toilets, we thought that was bad). They failed to listen to us in that regard and effectively downgraded our bathroom situation.
    On the new office topic, we are on the top floor and have high ceilings, large windows surround the upper level. This lets in a ton of natural light, some people think its great (non-artists) some people hate it (artists). The big problem is at certain times of day, the sun shines directly in the windows and makes it so some people can't see their screens. This affects a large number of people actually

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Be prepared to work hard for this 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 Crystal Dynamics full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great co-workers that are passionate
    Nice office, open layout, above cafe on 1st floor
    I have family and the benefits are good. I got 1 week paid PTO when my son was born. That goes for both women and men. 1 week paid. They comp more jury duty.
    Perks - Bagel Friday's, jamba juice and cupcakes on occasion. Snacks are stocked - Pop tarts, cereal,
    chips. Coffee robot and free soda.
    Tools and tech are good
    IT and facilities does a good job
    When we are not crunching, I can leave by 6 to pick up the kids from daycare
    Free shuttle to and from train
    Beer Friday - after 4pm

    Cons

    Long hours are required with 50 hours standard except for crunch time which is closer to 70 hours a week. No over time for those of us that are salary. Crunch time happens every 3-4 months for 2 months due to understaffing. The company tends to hire seniors or people right out of college which leaves gaps. Most of us are young with little office experience. They bring in lunch and dinner during crunch time to encourage employees to feel good about working longer hours. Food is decent but not worth the overtime. Management says they like feedback and transparency but they often ignore feedback and don't share when or why people leave. Did they get fired or quit? who knows. High burnout rate. Most people have been at the company for less than 1 year. I get the feeling that if my coworkers didn't have such high amounts of college debt that they would move on. Pay is okay, but bonuses are less than 10%, and you can forget about raises higher than 3%. They promote with title, not money. The last bonus I got was based on the amount of overtime and profit of the last game. Recruitment seems to hire to fill positions, not because the fit is right. Managers give feedback that starts as a positive but often slips in a bunch of negative to fear you into working harder and longer. The bathrooms suck. Stupid to mention but when you share a bathroom with so many guys, it becomes a big issue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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