21 Employee Reviews (View Most Recent)

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9 people found this helpful  

* Work for RockStar to feel like a looser.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - None of Your Business  in  New York, NY
Former Employee - None of Your Business in New York, NY

I worked at Rockstar Games

Pros

* If you like "challenging" and don't have a life- this place is for you.

* Projects are great and most of the time there is so much pressure you can get away with adding your input.

Cons

* This place is a real drag on your health, confidence and personal life.

* You can like it for being a real challenge but be prepared to hate what you love doing.

* Half of the people don't know what they are doing, which makes it difficult to work and express yourself as a real professional.

* Your chat logs are being scanned and read by live personnel and your managers in real time. Security cameras are all over and management is known to abuse such resources.

* Full-time employees get run down and pressured to work 50-80 hours on the weekly basis. People start to smoke, get fat and start loosing hair 2 months into the job. The place is really stressful.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

* Increase professionalism by hiring better / more skilled employees.

* Replace half the management with new personnel to create better communication and healthy competition amongst the team members.

* Hire more to take the stress off work.

* Encourage a healthy life style.

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Other Reviews for Rockstar Games

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Amazing games, awful management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer  in  Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Current Employee - Programmer in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

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

    Pros

    You get to work on amazing games, surrounded by extremely dedicated, talented people who share a common desire for making something special. The people are awesome, the projects thrilling, and it makes for an inspiring place to be at times.

    Bonuses can be good at times.

    Cons

    Constant unrelenting pressure and excessive overtime demands... it all really takes its toll on every part of your life, particularly mental health. The company destroys your health, your self-esteem, your relationships, and then asks for more.

    Salaries rarely increase much for the rank and file staff who actually make the games - whatever you negotiated when you started is roughly what you'll be stuck on forever, no matter how hard you work or how much you contribute. There are no career development opportunities, no investment in staff.

    Also, the company is embarrassingly bad at planning.

    Most of the company's cultural and organisational problems stem from weak middle management - no matter how decent the higher up guys are, if you're stuck with a psychopathic loudmouth bully middle-manager boss, you'll have a rough time of it. The company puts far too much faith in weak yes-men, and has allowed some truly horrible, ineffective individuals to rise to positions of authority.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting psychopathic bullies to positions of authority.
    Create a better work / life balance.
    Create a nicer working environment.
    Foster a more respectful, inclusive company culture.
    Provide support for employees suffering from work-related stress.
    Make it a priority to help staff improve, and support career development.
    Improve communications across the company, stop relying on statistics and email.
    Get better at planning and scheduling, stop making the same blunders again and again.
    Take an interest in how teams are managed - when you see several key personnel, highly experienced and talented members of a team all trying to exit the company, start asking questions.
    Eliminate problematic middle managers, or move them somewhere they do less damage.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 8 people found this helpful  

    Zero career advancement, shocking contract extension procedures, abysmal treatment, removed from credits. Avoid.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Tester  in  Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK)

    I worked at Rockstar Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    More free swag than you can shake a stick at. Need t-shirts? Come work at Rockstar, you'll have an over-full wardrobe in a few months. Also free water. That's about the lot.

    Cons

    Where to start. Let's start with the obvious, you are not valued working at Rockstar. Unless you've been there for several years, and have kissed all the places needing kissed, you are a number without a face. This is the general feeling you're given even when you have excelled. I joined as a relative old hand in the industry, and yet still felt as though I was of no value to the company. Upon working there for I'd say nearing a year, the contracts expired. For about 3 days we all continued to work, essentially unpaid (albeit the new contracts did include those days). Legality aside, what followed made me and many others consider leaving the industry.

    After these few days with no contracts or feedback, our section manager received a call, approached a staff member, and asked them to go to HR. The guy left, we all looked around confused, he came back. Those were his shipping orders. He was then told to pack up, and leave the building. What happened next was the exact same thing, culling about half the department. Each time, the manager was given a call, and wandered over past everyone to get to the next person. I can say with some certainty that I only plan to meet the grim reaper once in my lifetime, but this was essentially a trial run for us all. I and a few others were thankfully secure, mainly due to our prior experience. But several others, this was their first job, and to be cut in that manner was so absymally unprofessional.

    After passing that trial, I knew I had to get out of dodge as soon as possible. There was literally a second QA department made up of people they dragged off the street, and they were given MORE remit to test than the actual professional department. Worse still, we had to babysit their issues, fix their mistakes and generally do their job for them fairly often. And oh, there's the times when we had to do a playtest with one of the head producers! That was a treat. A man who would sit in a playtest and blurt out half baked, often invective riddled ideas as he played, and the poor designer had to sit by and basically promise to try them out. Solid ideas like "No friendly fire, but allow friendly melee attacks", essentially allowing any trolls to kill their entire team in the spawn area. And "If you get hit by a bullet add a few miliseconds of input delay". Great idea, if you're hit once, you're now LESS able to defend yourself! Of course, none of these ideas made it into the game, because they were clearly ridiculous. But it didn't stop each and every one getting implemented on the whim of but one man.

    Put simply, I'm staggered that the company churns out top quality games with the processes it employs. It speaks more to the quality of tools and support than to the actual higher development itself. The designers are all hamstrung by the higher ups to change design on a nonsense whim, the lower downs are hamstrung to just kiss whatever they're told to in order to proceed. I was very thankful to find a way out of the company about a month after the big cull. But the kicker was this, the manager of the department attempted to chastise me for leaving after the cull, because "someone else would have had my spot". Like that was MY fault!? Stunning.

    And as a final kicker, on my exit interview, I was both promised that I would be credited on the project I'd worked nearly a year on, as well as given a free copy (which I didn't expect). But, as all you readers can likely guess by now, neither promise came to fruition. Even if I left of my own volition and was removed from the credits for that (which is a shockingly unprofessional approach anyway) all of the people who were culled were also removed from the credits... their first ever game worked on, mind you. It's such a low and pointless move by the company, but they do, and will continue to do so. I can say with happiness that I'll never return to another Rockstar studio as long as my career continues, and every person I've worked with who is an ex-Rockstar has said the same. Just avoid the whole brand, folks.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ignore the free t-shirts and start focussing on employee value. Treating staff like numbers will get you results, but you won't see many people return, especially with such awful culling events as the one described above. And removing credits from people working a good portion of time is unconscionable. There is no value to that behaviour, and speaks very ill of your opinion of your staff.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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