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2 people found this helpful

Positive memories

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

I worked at Jagex as a contractor

Pros

I found Jagex to be a friendly company where you're encouraged to be creative and put your ideas forward. Sure, every business has its bad points and communication can always be improved but if you're preapred to put in the hours and share your ideas then its a rewarding place to be. Nice to have an on-site canteen which encourages everyone to be socialable and get to know each other.

Cons

Traffic around the Science Park can be a nightmare...

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  1. 4 people found this helpful

    Nothing interesting happened.

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The day to day work was great, very creative and technically challenging. Some of the people working there were totally terrific; very creative and technically able. Some of the benefits offfered by the company were really great and they certainly paid pretty well for a period while I was there.

    Also, working on very popular game titles meant you were getting really great feedback from the fans through the community sites; this was a really great aspect to the job and often helped to give a great sense of job satisfaction.

    Cons

    Although the company had a flat tier structure when I worked there, it was incredibly political. There seemed to be no agreed long term strategy from top management. A decision made one week would be overturned the next and then flipped a fortnight later under the title of 'Agile Development'.

    A great many siesmic shifts occured during my time at Jagex and there seemed little consideration for the average working person and how it would affect their morale. Every level of management seemed to focus on the monetization aspect of the games we were making and little consideration was given to job satisfaction.

    Some of the more technically able members of the team had very poor communication skills and often upset other members of the team. Because these team members has such great technical skills, their social shortcomings were never addressed.

    There was very little room for technical improvement due to being locked into using an in-house scripting language; it often felt like I was reinventing the wheel when creating new projects; having to re-write the same code many times for each project due to a lack of shared libraries.

    Many industry veterans came to work at Jagex; rather then listen and trust these leaders with years of experience, they simply made life incredibly difficult for them until they decided to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Make longer term plans and see them through.

    * Make sure the challenges you set are based on the longer term plans you have carefully thought through.

    * Trust your creative and technical teams to solve the problems you set before them.

    * Allow development teams some time to work on own projects that will improve the game without a focus on monetization. (Making the game better will ensure that more players will remain subscribed.)

    * Spend money intended for Team Jollies on Computer maintenance and network improvements so that every day work is considerably less frustrating.

    Doesn't Recommend
  2. 5 people found this helpful

    Great people on shaky ground

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Tester in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - QA Tester in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    I have been working at Jagex full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Pay is very good for UK/Cambridge games industry.
    - Great benefits package incl. private healthcare, life assurance, pension plan, subsidised canteen, free bike repairs, local discounts etc.
    - Lots of brilliant people among the general staff.
    - Parts of the company are still reluctant to move to the crunch culture that permeates the games business.

    Cons

    - Upper management decisions frequently seem knee-jerk, irrational and aimless, explanations sometimes feel dishonest or outright delusional.
    - Dire communication - news often reaches staff from external sources before internal information is given out
    - Bad scheduling. Project priorities frequently change with little to no notice for no obvious reason.
    - Career progression is limited, movement seems to happen mainly horizontally.
    - Procedures are sometimes hugely outdated combined with a reluctance to change how things are done.

    While the company previously discouraged crunch, particularly recently-formed teams and new projects have been increasingly reliant on large amounts of unpaid overtime preceding milestones.

    Some of lower/middle management are trying hard to turn the general slope around, but I have doubts about how successful they can be - there has historically been a tendency of boat rockers being ignored or removed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't get too absorbed in your own small world and listen to people with experience from outside.

    Communication needs to be improved hugely, both internally and externally. Alienating press and audience with excessive bold claims is bad, as is staff finding out about big news from the press.

    Moving away from a low-crunch/overtime culture loses you something great and truly unique among games companies. Be proud of and actively foster a better work/life balance than the rest of the industry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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