Machine Zone

www.machinezone.com

Machine Zone Reviews in Palo Alto, CA

Updated October 31, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014
23 Reviews
4.4
23 Reviews
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Machine Zone CEO Gabriel Leydon
Gabriel Leydon
14 Ratings

11 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Awesome Company

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

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Machine Zone is a really exciting company to work for. The mobile industry is still really young and constantly changing, and as a result the workplace and assigned tasks tend to be very dynamic and exhibit a lot of variety. You receive all the typical perks you expect from an up-and-coming tech startup, and their new office is extremely spacious. And let's not forget they make video games, so that's pretty cool too.

    If you've ever wanted to work in mobile, now's a great time and Machine Zone's a great place to do so.

    Cons

    It's really busy. There's always something to do and oftentimes you won't be able to complete everything you actually want to do. That's sort of what tech startups are about, though.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maintain course. Everything is solid at the moment and i would love to see the company continue to grow while retaining its flat, startup culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very ambitious, and the company has the talent and resources to make it. Fast paced work environment. If you are willing to put in the effort and are proactive, there are opportunities for professional growth and you will be recognized for it.
    The people that I work with are intelligent and friendly. The problems are interesting and challenging. It's a great work environment to learn.
    The leadership team are approachable and they listen to feedback. They've always open to looking for ways to improve the work flow and processes.

    Cons

    Not necessarily a con, but I can see how the perceived work/life balance won't suit everyone's tastes. The pace that the company moves at is very quick and many on the team are highly committed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    Good company for people who want to grow and learn new tech

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    One of the best mobile game companies in the world, and still growing really fast.
    If you work hard, you get your chance (promotion, in charge of important project)
    pretty flat management system
    time-off policies are flexible
    benefits are good

    Cons

    the office space is small because of so many new hires. (but The company will relocate soon)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the management flat, the company is doing games!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 5 people found this helpful  

    Great place to grow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are a lot of advancement opportunities at Machine Zone as the company is growing. The work is fast paced so you will need to be passionate to keep up and push the boundaries. If you are then you will go a long way.

    Machine Zone treats the employees well with compensation, events, social outings, and listening to what you want.

    Cons

    The only people I have seen leave the company were looking for a relaxed place where you can sit back and code for a few hours and go home. This place demands passion for the work and what we do. But on the plus side, everyone that is working here are talented, passionate, awesome people now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company grows, try not to let it become like a big company "Feel".

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 11 people found this helpful  

    Machine Zone has a lot of ambition but requires complete commitment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Backend Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Former Employee - Backend Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I worked at Machine Zone full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The game and tech are ambitious and challenging. The people I worked with were knowledgable and competent. The compensation and benefits were excellent. They actually paid the bonuses they promised during the interview. They did at least try to work with me on the work/home balance issues.

    Cons

    The company is centered around people who are completely committed to the success of the company over anything else. Since so many of them spend so much time at work, the company makes efforts to provide small social opportunities daily and large ones reasonably frequently. This is a great environment, if you want to make friends at work and combine your social and professional lives. If you have a preexisting social or family life that is important to you or you just aren't very social, then the environment can feel isolating instead of inviting, like being a stranger in a large family's home.

    They will try to work with you on the work/home balance issues, but the culture is still centered around presence. Management tends to rely on people they can walk up to and have a conversation with; they haven't really embraced chat or teleconferencing. If you cannot be in the office every day when the important decisions are happening, you lose effectiveness very quickly.

    Also, operational and development responsibilities tend to fall in the same role for a component. Pretty much every engineer is effectively on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start to split operational and development responsibilities and rotate people through them so that the same people are not expected to be available 100% of the time.

    Allow space in the culture for people who want a separate social and professional life. Opting out of a social event should not automatically cause "Why aren't you doing...?" questions from everyone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    There Is Only One Speed And It's Go

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Very well funded and understands free to play and how to obtain user's transactions. They compensate workers very well and are located in a very cool palo alto area. If you live in the San Jose area, the commute isn't bad at all.

    Cons

    Very depressing work environment. Crunch time hasn't ended in over a year and working normal hours is like wearing a scarlet letter on your back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people who work for you are not machines. We work to live. Respect them and they will work just as hard for you without any force or employment threats.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    The company has potential

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

    I worked at Machine Zone

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere and some awesome people work there . The company is located in Palo Alto and for some people the commute is a deal breaker, but overall i'd say it is worth the trip.

    Cons

    Even though the company is engineer oriented they should definitely get an art director . Otherwise lack of clear artistic vision will drive them to being neglected on the market even with the best engineering tricks.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful  

    This Company Cares!

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

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Machine Zone is by far the best place I've worked for, in my career! I have been in the gaming industry for 8 years and have seen a lot of mismanagement, poor decisions and even lies. Machine Zone has always put their best foot forward in taking care of their employees. I've seen career growth for myself and others and the work is meaningful. From what I've experienced they care about their employees as much as the games they develop. Executive Team/Management is visible, approachable and hard working. Very collaborative environment.

    Cons

    Smaller company, which is not for everyone.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Dream Job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT & Facilities Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - IT & Facilities Manager in Palo Alto, CA

    I have been working at Machine Zone full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Surrounded by talented individuals who are rock stars of their field. It really is the cream of the crop around here.

    Cons

    Its definitely a fast paced environment, and not for the weak willed. The only con would be if you are not a dedicated individual who like to work hard and reap the benefits of that work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the amazing work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 14 people found this helpful  

    Great vision, no idea how to get there

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

    I worked at Machine Zone full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    They know how to make money, good location in Palo Alto, offices are new and they are open to suggestions in building products and doing business. Despite their faults, the people as individuals are very intelligent. Financially, Machine Zone is making attempts to do the right things to avoid going down the failed game start up path that so many fall into.

    Cons

    Working at Machine Zone is what I imagine a sweat shop to be like. If you have any thoughts on an outside life I would abandon it before accepting a position there. Working hours are from 11am to 10pm and some weekends. Career development is non-existent as everyone is pegged into roles for the "now" rather than the future. The CTO is very intelligent but has a hard time making decisions as he's also in the dark with company direction. He plans his organizational goals around building games that are dead in the mind of the CEO. Needless to say, conflicts between founders affects the entire organization.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to be a great game company then create original IP. Producing re-skins of other company's games and adding chat to it doesn't make a player more immersed if the game play and graphics are horrible. CEO lacks professionalism and his predictable rants are merely an uninspiring blame game. For all the intelligence and potential with the company, it's leadership is far from being unified and causes the company to react towards problems rather than work together to understand and solve them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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