Harmonix Music Systems

www.harmonixmusic.com
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Harmonix Music Systems Reviews

Updated June 18, 2015
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Alex Rigopulos
9 Ratings

23 Employee Reviews

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  1. Wonderful Dream

    Former Employee - Senior Designer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Designer in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Motivated Team, Non-traditional developers. The entire environment is like one big band working together.

    Cons

    Non-traditional developers. There have been some entry-level development mistakes made across the board.


  2. Amazing staff and health benefits, lacking in employee development

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

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Some of the brightest minds in the biz reside at Harmonix. Pleasure to work with amazing people creating amazing things. Health benefits are incredible.

    Cons

    Messy organizational structure. There is no clear path for professional growth across disciplines. Training opportunities are also lacking. No formal HR process for new hires.

    Advice to Management

    Slow down on the number of projects tackled at once. Seek out additional opportunities for morale boosts.


  3. Evolving, Learning Business

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

    I have been working at Harmonix Music Systems

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Harmonix is an organization with fresh leadership working hard to correct and evolve the business. Studio leadership is strong (one slight con: all male senior management team). The studio is putting the keys to the future in the hands of its employees: pitches and green lights have the ability to turn into real, funded projects. Management structure has changed but is trying hard to shift focus to people and projects.

    Lots of cool new and creative things going on at the studio, with fresh talent willing to learn and grow; lots of growth opportunities for core development disciplines. Very safe environment where everyone feels safe providing feedback to managers, senior managers, and asking questions. Very clear escalation path.

    Steve Janiak, the new CEO, is empathetic and business-savvy, having run programs and businesses outside of games for years. The studio is small enough that many people would feel comfortable walking into the CEO's office to ask a question.

    Cons

    Dubious long-term financial upside. Haven't been real bonuses in years, and the company is waiting for its next big hit.


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  5. Best job i'll ever have

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

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company does everything possible to respect and reward its employees. Wages were increased during my employment by a large percent in order to equal industry standards. Health insurance was top notch - and FREE. No copays.

    Cons

    Layoffs are common as the success of the company prospers and fails.


  6. Nice work if you can get/keep it

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than a year)

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I found the people there to be creative, and the work exciting. There was definitely a feeling of camaraderie. They had reasonable policies for time off and working remotely on occasion.

    Cons

    Harmonix has it's fair share of expected overtime, and, being in a hits-based industry, their share of layoffs.


  7. You'll learn a lot, but safer to see it as a short term position

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Administrative in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Executive Administrative in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company really tries to make work fun. They have group and company outings, games, giveaways and more. They really do care about their employees and want them to enjoy coming to work.

    Cons

    The games industry is always in flux and it makes it difficult to maintain stability. There does seem to be a growing disconnect between senior management and the rest of the teams. It seems like perhaps all that spending on culture may have finally exceeded its viability, because they've done so many cuts recently. Sometimes it seems like the focus is more on the fun than long-term sustainability. For innovative developers, coders, etc. there seems to be good opportunity to grow, advance and learn. For anyone on the "corporate" side, there seems to be very little opportunity, though you will learn a LOT while there and make some very good connections.

    Advice to Management

    Any kind of "round table" or ways to submit suggestions or feedback would help the management team get a better understanding for the feeling of the employees. Allowing employees to submit an anonymous suggestion or thought, and then discuss in the open with a large group would allow employees to provide honest feedback (of which there is a lot!) without worry about retaliation of any sort.


  8. Great, creative, humane company that has stumbled but not yet lost its way entirely

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than 5 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Inclusive and diverse company culture. Management is very transparent. You are treated like a human being. Great technology and creativity. The people that work here are tremendous human beings.

    Cons

    Management has trouble finding the right combination of leadership and direction for its projects. There is no program for career advancement, only skills advancement. Promotions and the reasons for them are 100% opaque, leaving employees with no idea about how to advance their careers.

    Advice to Management

    Help your employees understand what is required to attain positions of leadership and guide them to it. The best leaders are not necessarily the most socially gregarious people.


  9. Great place

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

    I have been working at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great company to work for. I've never been treated better as an employee any where else in the industry.

    Cons

    Working on things that have never been done before can lead to challenges in scope and design.


  10. Great co-workers, but management is aloof to the evolving industry and is struggling to stay profitable.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sound Designer/Composer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Sound Designer/Composer in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great co-workers, culture, and benefits.

    Cons

    Management doesn't do enough to keep the company afloat. Layoffs occur twice a year now.

    Advice to Management

    Stop laying people off regularly. Clean house of all the riff-raff that continues to make poor decisions for the longevity of the business. You can't keep laying off the people doing the work, when they aren't the reason your business if failing. It's the ones in charge that need to step aside.


  11. Flashy benefits and parties hid the fact that it was a dead-end job

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

    I worked at Harmonix Music Systems

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    When I worked there, the benefits were top notch. I walked away with some of my best friends in the world. And I definitely had fun -- company parties, happy hours, catered meals, even some travel.

    Cons

    Harmonix attracts employees with the stuff mentioned above as a distractor from the fact that you'll probably never get a raise or a promotion. Even as my department got smaller and I took on more work, a promotion or raise was out of the question. The management team is definitely a (mostly boys') club. If the seniors like you, and in many cases, this seemed pretty independent of whether or not you could do a good job, they make a place at the table for you. Otherwise, you're considered replaceable, regardless of who you are.

    Advice to Management

    Create actual paths for growth and learning. Shut down the egos and place more emphasis on a job well done over who talks the loudest or whose band you like/d.



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