Jagex
2.5 of 5 53 reviews
www.Jagex.com Cambridge, United Kingdom 500 to 999 Employees

Jagex Reviews

Updated Jul 10, 2014
Jagex – “140 Cambridge Science Park (Photo thanks to…”

All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 53 reviews

                             

19% Approve of the CEO

Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard

Mark Gerhard

(21 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend
53 Employee Reviews
in

Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "The people are great, all interesting, capable and all care about the finished product"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Other benefits such as free fruit"
    in 6 reviews
Cons:
  • "In the past senior management was ignorant of the competition and thus lacked vision"
    in 8 reviews
  • "Generally very poor relations between upper management and development teams"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Wasted potential

    Services Team (Former Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsOutside of management, the people are what make the company
    Some of the benefits are a nice addition (free fruit, gym membership)

    ConsLike all other reviews on Glassdoor, management are what makes working for this company infuriating. Constantly changing direction with no explanation as to why, forcing overtime on employees (while not paying their employees for it) to hit unrealistic deadlines, employing "Yes" managers who take directions from above without questioning it or trying to improve processes by challenging ideas made by the SMT. This also includes completely ignoring feedback from employees not lucky enough to hold a job title that forces managers to listen. Oh and job titles are everything in this company; Vice President of the smallest department in the world but the VP sounds good in your email signature.

    Time is never given to housekeep code and tidy up after a rushed feature is implemented, leading to boulders of code balancing on a pin head. There is little investment in infrastructure, meaning employees are using inappropriate computers and customers are relying on reliability from old servers never intended to serve the amount of traffic seen by RuneScape.

    There is not attempt to retain staff. If an employee leaves, the recruitment team are just expected to ensure the revolving door shows more people in that it does showing them out. So much expertise, experience and passion is lost because no effort is put into listening to individual problems and trying to resolve them (even if that individual problem is felt by a large majority of the company).

    There is not attempt to kick the trend of low salaries due to being in the gaming industry. Even when record revenue and profits are recorded, none of this is reflected in annual salaries. There are bonuses to compensate hard work but these come with the small print that they can be cancelled at any point in time with no explanation.

    Little to no time is given to personal development due to the ever increasing demands from management to change direction and to implement ideas that are broken at the design stage.

    Advice to Senior ManagementReduce the levels of management, focus on what makes Jagex a successful company (i.e. everyone but the managers) and stop thinking you're a big player in the gaming industry. RuneScape has done well but it will eventually die and there is currently nothing backing the company up. Multiple failed projects (FunOrb, 8 Realms, Mechscape, Stellar Dawn, original Transformers Universe) just shows how much the company is struggling given its direction since RuneScape took off.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Aimless

    Technical Developer (Former Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsExcellent technical and design staff.
    Fruit basket
    Good canteen
    Spectacular (and probably very expensive) parties

    ConsUtterly appalling and aimless management. Comparing them to headless chickens would be unfair to headless chickens. They waste money on so many things, yet routinely fire talented and experienced staff for no apparent reason. They are resting on the laurels of Runescape, and are utterly unable to produce another quality game, despite the technical excellence of their staff. The lower managers, middle managers, senior managers and executives (and all the in-betweens with imaginative job titles) spend all their time passing bucks, while the little guys work their butts off for waaay below-average wages.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGive up. Buy a farm. Milk cows. Just don't ruin talented people's careers when they don't do things quite your way.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    4 people found this helpful  

    Terrible upper management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsSome nice people working for the company.
    Good location.

    ConsAtrocious management.
    Cancels company bonus due to lower than expected profits, spends money on a new tank and crushing cars with it.
    Fires employees then expects other members of staff in entirely different job roles to cover the members of staff that have been fired with no additional training or reduction in their current duties (some staff are now working in 3 different job areas, and expected to perform in all 3 of those as if it was their only job).
    Rigidly stuck in using systems that were out of date 5 years ago and created 10 years ago.
    No fore-sight in to potential issues with projects. No analysis of whether the technology planned to be used with a project will actually support that project.
    No oversight on vital areas of the business.
    Anonymous feedback provided to the company is not anonymous.
    CEO gets company employees to fix issues at his home on company time and money.
    CEO has departments order technology for his personal use at home.
    Seizes ideas 6-12 months too late, attempts to move in to market areas only once those areas have already proved popular and have been filled by other companies.
    Fails to innovate.
    Fails to recognise and hold on to talent.
    Makes major changes at the last minute to projects and still expects that project to be on schedule, if the project then falls behind the last minute changes are not at fault - the staff working unpaid overtime are at fault.

    Advice to Senior ManagementGrow up, learn from your mistakes, stop repeating them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    If it ain't broken, break it.

    Community Coordinator (Former Employee)

    ProsIt's in Cambridge, very local and comfortable. Jagex HQ is quite a nice building. Heavily focused on YouTube videos and informing the community of all upcoming changes. Great music team. Mod Vodka B.

    ConsEver since Andrew Gower left we've had the new CEO come in to fire up the content shredder.

    'You know what we're gonna do team? We're going to take these quests here... and change them. Yeah. There's nothing wrong with them at all, but we have to update them after almost a DECADE because they're just too enjoyable.'

    ^This is just one of the though processes that occur on a weekly basis in the money-corrupted mind of Jagex.

    On top of this is a plethora of terrible 'quality of life' changes such as the perfectly fine user interface being turned into a tacky Chrome cake tray. Striking a deal with Google at the expense of the game.

    Most infuriatingly was the arrogant decision to change the looks of every Armour set in game. It's beyond me why they did this. Before, neat and sweet. After, clunky and ugly.

    Don't even get me started on the DEVOLUTION of Combat. We touted this as the best update to ever happen to the game, yet for some reason we've lost a portion of our player base... I wonder why. I mean, who wouldn't want to play a combat mechanic which copies World of Warcraft and the bajillion other tab-target ability bar MMO's?

    RuneScape is NOT the right format for these sort of changes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMake Old School RuneScape a 'rebirth'. Right now it's pay to play, but soon you should make it open to free players, history repeating itself with how RuneScape started out.
    Stop pandering to the newer players who just want the return of gambling. Focus on fixing bots and weaseling the content back in - the game is DYING yet it's your last hope.

    I think I should point this out:
    'We will never implement a lottery.'
    Not only did you not keep to your word, but you have the audacity to deny that the Wheel of Fortune is a gambling mechanism wherein you can pay real life money to attain in-game rewards.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Horrible, absolutely appaling

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsYou get a pay that's higher than minimum wage? That's pretty much it. Oh and the benefits that we get, such as free fruit and gym membership.

    ConsExtremely low paying job, less than a elementary school teacher.
    Long work hours.
    High pressure and stress.
    Atrocious senior management.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLISTEN. TO. YOUR. EMPLOYEES. LISTEN. TO. YOUR. PLAYERS.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    7 people found this helpful  

    Down the drain since VCs took over, maliciously incompetent management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsExcellent technical talent, potential friends, and mentors at the ground level
    Fresh fruit daily and good canteen
    Some nice team building / outdoor / party type activities
    Jagex has a very nice location and office within Cambridge at the Science park

    ConsAll the Pros like fun company events, company location, passion for tech etc. are basically a remnant of when someone who actually did something i.e. Gower, a technician himself, created and ran the company. Since the sale to Insight Venture Partners (part of the same ex-Goldman Sachs execs filled cartel that is seemingly buying out half the world nowadays), the company has tanked bad the same way other games they bought like MapleStory have.

    They haven't made a single game since Gower left. You read that right, 500+ people working for 3+ years straight (with plenty of overtime I might add, for games that have been "around the corner" for all 3 of those years) haven't made so much as a flash clone of space invaders. RuneScape was built solo by Gower and renovated before IVP came in, same with FunOrb. War of Legends was leased from a chinese company, and Ace of Spades was also purchased from outside and mangled.

    Any work you put in this company, regardless of quality, will be completely useless and thrown away at a whim. Don't ever expect to ever actually come out with a finished product that uses your work. Since the takeover, games like MechScape / Stellar Dawn have been worked on for years then suddenly have the plug pulled on them, throwing all work away on a complete whim. Same with Transformers, after years of work and almost being finished, the incompetent management decides to switch genres on a whim and do the entire game over. Would've been nice if they thought of that before starting, or at least before practically finishing? Deadlines are meaningless and only exist to pressure for overtime.

    The existing game of RuneScape (Run!Escape, before your kids get addicted to gambling!) has been mangled beyond belief to ruin player experience but churn out as much profit for IVP as possible before the inevitable collapse. It wouldn't be so bad doing pointless work if you got paid well for it, or at least advanced career wise. The pay scale is terrible though and regardless of performance your raises will barely keep up with inflation. Promotions and higher positions are reserved for generic incompetent MBAs and their sycophantic friends that run things without ever having any experience in tech, software or gaming whatsoever. None of these guys have ever written a line of code in anything other than power point in their lives, and none of them will be working the overtime they expect from you, so don't expect any empathy or actual direction. They exist for the sole purpose of self-preservation.

    Really at this point this is a spoilt-banker owned tech sweat shop, waste time here at your own risk.

    Advice to Senior ManagementNothing, because they're not about to fire themselves are they? From their perspectives everything is great as long as they get to leech money off the RuneScape cash cow until it's inevitable death, then move on to the next victim. All with a deeper "management" resume to boot.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    8 people found this helpful  

    Like working on Duke Nukem Forever, forever

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsGood perks - AXA healthcare, canteen, fruit baskets, gym membership. You can be promoted when you don't deserve it by keeping your head down, and taking credit for as much as possible.

    ConsThanks to the RuneScape cash cow and the introduced gambling mechanics, Jagex can keep blundering on for another couple of years.

    Off the top of my head: falsifies reviews on glassdoor, HR slaves to senior management/directors, unethical practices - falsifies/manipulates information internally and externally, no career progression, uneven pay scales - under/over pays staff, salary can remain static for years, too many managers fighting fires, managers promoted for failure, lessons never learnt, blame culture, elitism, staff intimidated into overtime, declining player-base much lower than indicated, directors design the game, glass bubble development - every day practice is nuts and very costly, high-turnover of staff - particularly the best, topdown decision-making, and regular changes in direction are followed with justifications that you know aren't true or the real reasons.

    Terrible record with planning, developing games and communication. Hasn't actually developed and released any games over it's 10+ year existence apart from 8Realms which took too long, made huge losses and was shutdown:

    - RuneScape - Created and released by the Gowers before Jagex was formed.
    - RuneScape 2 and 3 - Is actually just a content update/refactor.
    - Mechscape - Was canned making huge losses.
    - Stellar Dawn - Was Mechscape and was then canned a few years later making huge losses.
    - Transformers 3 - Is neither Mechscape or Stellar Dawn but has gone wildly over-budget and late due to incompetence at the managerial level. Unlikely to ever be released. Like the former games. Has been made a few times over already.
    - Ace of Spades - Was bought from the creator and players have voted Jagex's alterations have made the game worse.
    - War of Legends - Was bought from a chinese company.
    - FunOrb - Was a nice idea, but was basically a poorly executed team of bedroom developers who made mini-games. Incidentally the company still charges a subscription for FunOrb players despite not supporting any of the existing games or new development for years. This was never communicated to the players.

    Don't join Jagex to make computer games. Actually just don't join.

    Advice to Senior ManagementListen to the advice.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Worked close to 3 years.

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsFun work environment, Many new ideas, some peers are nice, free food.

    ConsNever stick to one idea, Constantly changing the things that don't need to be changed, Upper management didn't care about the underdogs, lack of customer appreciation and this company really doesn't know how to learn from it's mistakes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLearn from your mistakes and listen to your employees.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    9 people found this helpful  

    Good Co-Workers Terrible Management

    Content Developer (Current Employee)
    Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)

    ProsThe people here are friendly.
    Work-place Activities 2-4 times a year.
    Finally started listening to players.

    ConsPeople fired without notice, makes me worried of my job
    Frustrations while working with playerbase, we want to help but are limited
    Senior Management isn't competent for the job.
    Mark needs to stop being a two-face to the public eye

    Advice to Senior ManagementPromote people who actually know what they are talking about to manage
    Stop focusing on trying to make new games, it hasn't and won't work.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    9 people found this helpful  

    Weak leadership, weak future

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Pros- Most of the employees are extremely bright and have alot of potential.
    - Cambridge is beautiful
    - It's the game industry!

    Cons- Senior leadership is some of the most personality driven in the gaming industry...which is saying alot if you know much about the game industry. This leads to an extraordinary amount of pettiness and factionalism, making at nightmare to get anything done. This leadership is replicated throughout the organization.
    - They add talent directly from school for this reason. If you're an experienced professional, you don't join Jagex, you leave it.
    - One game shop. Jagex has only shipped one profitable game in its history, but it boasts an impressive amount of failures.

    Advice to Senior ManagementMy advice would be to the Board, and that would be to seriously consider replacing the senior leadership with better experienced and professional people. Somebody who knows what they're doing could potentially do great things.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Jagex reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard. All 53 reviews posted anonymously by Jagex employees.