Insomniac Games Reviews

Updated July 31, 2015
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4.3
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Recommend to a friend
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Ted Price
12 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    QA Tester

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Durham, NC
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Durham, NC

    I worked at Insomniac Games

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

    Pros

    For starters you will most likely have the opportunity to work on Ratchet and Clank which is fun in and of itself. The company cares about it's employees. Despite the fact that I could have been ignored as a "cog in the wheel" so to speak all the employees are kind and very supportive of helping someone who does not have as much experience as they do. Even the CEO, Ted Price, takes the time to welcome everyone who works at Insomniac to the team. The team at Durham is fairly small so it had an indie feel with AAA level support. I would definitely recommend it.

    Cons

    Cannot really think of any.


  2. Lifetimer

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

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time

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

    Pros

    Management has done a great job taking responsibility from mistakes and pushing toward new goals and a new future that encourages risk. Great strides have been made to make work / life balance better.

    Cons

    Sometimes the hours can be long, during those hours people are on edge and can create a negative work environment, but those are usually mitigated.

    Advice to Management

    Some things have been a little too process driven, which can lead to lack of passion. See what can be done to encourage communication, collaboration and ownership of ideas, because at times this can feel restricted.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Overall great place to work

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

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Collaborative environment, excellent benefits, fun projects, wonderful people, and a CEO who actually gets to know you and treats you like a fellow human being

    Cons

    Work life balance can be tough during extended crunches. Insomniac isn't the worst place out there when it comes to crunching, but this can be a challenge.

    Advice to Management

    I do not feel our schedules accurately reflect the time it takes to complete the work we are assigned. Unrealistic scheduling results in sloppy work and/or poor work life balance to compensate. These problems are solvable, but we need to improve communication with our managers.


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  5. Great place to work with amazing people and fun games

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Programmer in Burbank, CA
    Former Employee - Programmer in Burbank, CA

    I worked at Insomniac Games full-time

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

    Pros

    Top management is exceptional. They are open and willing to talk to and listen to everyone. The company has a commitment to finding new ways to make employees happy and they aren't content with making mediocre games. You are always encouraged to figure out how to make the games better regardless of your position.

    Cons

    Long hours can be common especially approaching deadlines. While top management is willing to listen that doesn't mean that your ideas will always get taken seriously by middle management.


  6. A friendly group of capable people

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Insomniac Games in Burbank, CA
    Current Employee - Insomniac Games in Burbank, CA

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time

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

    Pros

    Insomniac Games still has a lot of the collaborative, collegial feel that game development had in the early 00s. The games are good, the ownership clearly cares about the workers' well being, there's no corporate bureaucracy, and for the most part HR practices like PTO and and medical care are relatively humane. There's a much shallower hierarchy than you'd see at EA (for example). In general the different disciplines of game development -- art, design, programming -- work closely together on specific game features, rather than lobbing things back and forth over a divisional wall.

    Cons

    Like any independent game studio, Insomniac's security is dependent on publisher milestones and game royalties. There's some crunch, although less so than most AAA developers. The studio's choice of creative directors is questionable: there's a lot of arbitrary decisionmaking, with little sense of where their design decisions come from other than their own feelings. Some managers habitually make unilateral design changes that mean a lot of late nights and weekend work for other people.

    Advice to Management

    The days when a AAA game can be designed by individuals' vision and personal feelings are over. Modern games are too big, too risky. Art and creative direction needs to better trust the judgement of the creatives who work on and live with a feature every day. Consistent playtesting needs to be done in a way that provides a rational basis for validating design at each stage and making subsequent choices.


  7. Second to None

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Artist in Burbank, CA
    Current Employee - Lead Artist in Burbank, CA

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    You get to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. You get to work with the owners of the company who are vested in the company and want everyone to succeed. One of the best places I have ever worked at and I've worked at quite a few studios unrelated to games. Benefits are great and management is super flexible when it comes to family matters.

    Cons

    Management can at times lack focus on the big picture. Its a big company, so I can't fault them much on this.

    Advice to Management

    Would like management to listen more to the workers on ideas to push the company further and to take more risks on smaller big idea games.


  8. One of the most creative and independent companies in the industry.

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

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Insomniac is a great place to work at and the most fun I had in my career. * Creative and productive environment * Cool and diverse projects * Great HR * Good compensation (salary + vacation + perks + insurance) * California weather

    Cons

    * Overtime during crunch * No career planning / development

    Advice to Management

    Build leadership instead of just filling positions when they are needed. Also bring back a summer party or activity for the team.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Went from Great to good... has potential to be great again.

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

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time

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

    Pros

    A lot of time off, movie days, Christmas party, lots of vacation days very family oriented. Work/life balance is amazing! Fully stocked kitchen, and Friday lunches (which some time include families) are a huge plus, with nightly dinners during crunch. Coworkers are usually very positive and willing to help. Most of the team wants to make the best game out so are willing to do what they can to make that happen. We are our worst critics and that is a great thing, constantly seeing what is bad and ready to make a change for the better. Most of the team takes feedback well, but this can definitely improve especially from management.

    Cons

    Promotions from within are slow and usually just given by seniority, needs to be about contribution to the games and work ethic. Many of talented folks have been promoted but I see a lot of people still waiting, being told they will be promoted time and time again. Not a lot of trust in some departments over others. The studio is always ready for change and encourages change (pro) but the problem is we sometimes loose sight of what we are making which leads to many iterations on things that don't really matter and loss of time in the areas of the game that do matter. The studio definitely needs to learn to start broad and get more focused on the little things at the end instead of starting on all the little things first and get lost and then run out of time to focus on the bigger more important areas.

    Advice to Management

    Give your teams more trust, let creativity flow from all employees. Listen to feedback given and grow from it. Be looking to promote people the deserve promotion, don't wait for them to come to you.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Used to be great, Oh how the mighty have fallen

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

    I worked at Insomniac Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Insomniac seems to crunch less than other game companies, they are more about work-life balance. They have good benefits and lots of time off, movie days and they used to take us on trips every 5 years for their Anniversary. One time they flew everyone to the Bahamas for a cruise! If you do your work and stay around long enough they won't lay you off without some months of warnings most of the time. Actually a few Department heads instead of being fired have been quietly demoted and another person promoted to their position. That tells you how much the CEO hates to lay people off. Career factory: If you check off all the boxes on your reviews they will promote you given enough time. A bunch of people that work here are "lifers" that probably want to work for this place until they retire. The CEO would sell everything he has before he would shut this place down, he's that committed.

    Cons

    Games are just not that fun, mediocre games that play it safe and don't take too much "work" to make. They'd rather take an axe to everything unique in a game than risk working one weekend. (Maybe thats a "Pro" again depending on weather you just want to skate through life) Pay is okay- to slightly low and the bonuses are almost nothing but they make a big deal about them. Many employees left the Burbank studio to go work at the North Carolina studio because of drama associated at the Burbank location. "Old Boy" system is right- if you have been there a few years, you are "safe" except a number people have been ousted quickly over a couple months for not being friends with their department heads and higher-ups. I think a few people were forced to resign unfairly, without going into details one person was accused of something petty and another was forced to resign or be fired just because he told his lead he MIGHT be looking to move to another city for family reasons. Company culture: there seems to be a lot of finger pointing and negativity, when a game doesn't sell well they blame it on whatever they can but not themselves, CEO is quick to anger and outbursts, a lot of middle managers and producers deciding what you should do, not a lot of trust. Just a place where you are always looking over your shoulder even though you did nothing wrong.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more for better talent, don't hire Artists and Designers from QA, Give your teams more trust that they know what they are doing, and listen to their feedback. The department heads seem to loose touch. Get down in the trenches and work with the tools and engine and art so you know what your people are doing.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Everyone's input is valued

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

    I have been working at Insomniac Games full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Management is very transparent and honest, always seeking and acting on feedback, and getting everyone involved in bringing creative ideas and constructive criticism to our game projects. Co-workers are smart, friendly, and talented. There's a positive cooperative attitude around the office. Team size is just right for getting to know everyone and understanding what they are good at and what they are currently working on. Benefits are generous, including great kitchen and weekly team lunch. Royalties are clearly explained. Being independent gives us opportunities to make really new and interesting things.

    Cons

    Communication/cooperation across studios could still be improved. Sometimes we are too ambitious for the available resources.

    Advice to Management

    Doing great. Just keep improving scope control.



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