NaturalMotion Reviews

Updated March 3, 2015
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3.1
15 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
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Torsten Reil
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. Valued skills

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    I actually feel like my opinions are listened to, and they've had a real visible impact on some of the work. This is the first job I've had where I've been given time and opportunity to use the skills I spent years learning, even skills that I didn't think would be directly useful for my role. And it's nice to feel like you CAN just chat to the other people you happen to meet in the kitchen (even the CEO), there's very little awkwardness.

    Cons

    Like all growing companies, there are little niggles and things that are hard to get right for everyone. But in my view these are either dealt with or at least acknowledged and investigated.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2. Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Oxford, England (UK)

    I have been working at NaturalMotion (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Really Innovative Technology
    - Very talented people
    - Lots of really good ideas
    - Office in the Centre of Oxford
    - Highly collaborative environment
    - Commitment to change and Improve

    I have been at NM for between five and six years and very much enjoy working here. This is without doubt the best job I have had. The technology is great and the people that I work with are very talented, helpful and work in a collaborative way. Having worked in a few places the thing that stand out is that the company seeks to improve and does so proactively - it is a part of the culture. It comes from the top. Most places that I have worked in do not, or have done for a bit and then stagnate.

    Cons

    The company has grown quite quickly, when I joined there were 70 now there are more than 200 - sometimes the evolution of the company has to catch up with the growth. This is not a "biggie" - a growing company is a really good thing.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. Great company, with exciting times ahead!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good work-life balance compared to previous jobs, working at the forefront of mobile gaming and pushing the limits. Great managment and the chance to work with some of the best industry talent.

    Cons

    The company has grown rapidly in recent times which has caused some teething problems, but management listen and these problems are being addressed.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. Great company, great people, great technology

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    On the technology (Morpheme & Euphoria) side of the company, the team has got a lot of very talented people, but no big egos, which is great. People are focussed on steadily making the product better, working together and helping each other out. The working environment is far more sensible in the technology side of NaturalMotion than in the games industry as a whole, yet it remains ambitious. The management (on the tech side) feels like it's there to help get work done (on the whole!).

    Cons

    The main Oxford office is split into two - technology and games. The two sides feel very different and rather disconnected. The focus is normally on the games side, which can be a little disheartening at times. Then we get back to the tech and all is good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    As the company has grown and shifted focus, it has gained many more managers (in proportion to people who actually make stuff), layers of management, HR people etc. As a result it has cultivated a corporate sense (especially since the Zynga takeover), and much more of a feeling that people are working for their "masters" rather than each other. It would be good to get some of that back.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. Great Company, Awesome People, Fantastic Products - HUGE POTENTIAL

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion

    Pros

    Great Company with an abundance of talented people across development, tech and support.
    Good working environments in London, Oxford and Brighton.
    Awesome innovative products.
    Passionate CEO who actually cares and is active in projects and the wider business.

    Cons

    Grown very quickly, leadership and support are adapting to the growth but have teething problems. Nothing that can-not or isn't already being addressed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have belief in your teams to deliver, listen and implement the good ideas and do not fixate on numbers.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful

    Great company. Good management compared to AAA companies. Some inexperienced people.

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion

    Pros

    Great management, management actually listens to your feedback. (as long as you put the effort in to make them listen to you)
    Very ambitious projects with amazing one of a kind tech.
    Nice atmosphere and friendly people.
    Very approachable CEO.

    Cons

    Some inexperienced people. The gap between AAA studios in overall experience is very noticeable however it is closing at a rapid rate.
    Experience is not always recognized.
    Big differences between the different studio's.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get more high quality experienced people and pay for it!!

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

    Love it!!

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    Really enjoy working here. benefits are up to par, can't complain. life and work balance is fair, never feel overworked. Yes, even with deadlines.

    It feels like they are still feeling their way through as a startup. All an all they are headed in the right direction.

    Cons

    I hate to be honest and say there is no real cons, at least for me.

    Only thing that comes to mind is.. training is lacking but nothing serious. you can read-up on most things and people are always willing to help.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. Great for breaking in industry, terrible for advancement and development.

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

    I worked at NaturalMotion full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -Discounted gym membership.
    -Free fruit.
    -Cool company events. (Summer/Xmas parties, halloween, charity dos, etc)
    -Some talented people that have worked with some legendary titles and studios.

    Cons

    -QA is VERY underpaid, especially as the company is in oxford, the most expensive city in the UK.
    -Place can be VERY cliquey.
    -Wont advance in your career unless leads, manager is friends with you.
    -Favoritism is RIFE! Be prepared to feel like you aren't useful if you don't have a certain "gamer" "nerd" appearance.
    -You get chastised and warned against learning and asking for advice from other experienced devs.
    -Hard to move out of QA department.
    -Career QA people seem to think they are the most important people in the company and look down upon you for wanting to do more.
    -More HR and producers, then there are actual developers and people who make stuff. Do we really need to hire yet another recruiter?
    -Games are not innovative anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look within the company for talent, stop needlessly hiring HR. Give a chance to other people and mentor people more.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful

    Figuring out their role in the mobile market

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

    I worked at NaturalMotion full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    *great people; the hiring process is VERY tough- very high standards in the talent they bring on
    *use of proprietary technology to use in mobile games
    *innovation is encouraged

    Cons

    *disorganized
    *no sense of company culture in the SF studio
    *seem to have a lack of directive in the company's overall mission when it comes to their mobile games in preproduction
    *breakdown in communication between Oxford headquarters and SF studio
    *very small (game) studio here stateside; projects are not given the manpower or resources they need, and the hiring process/ HR is very understaffed as they are split between UK and US needs.
    *minimal benefits (studio is so small, health and dental/vision options are very limited)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wish upper management had given the SF studio the resources and manpower it deserved and needed to properly make the games we had been assigned to make. Wish they had 1. had better organization and a solid plan moving forward with their games, and 2. had truly given the SF studio a fighting chance to succeed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 6 people found this helpful

    Lack of company culture will hurt

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Lead Developer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lead Developer in Oxford, England (UK)

    I worked at NaturalMotion full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Central location of the office, good work mates, games across a variety of genres.

    Cons

    One of the big issues at NaturalMotion (and it seems they are completely blind to this) is that _all_ of the projects there go on forever. There's a project there that the CEO described as "bread and butter" project in terms of how simple it is and that project has now gone on for about 3 years and just got restarted again (so back to preproduction). The original people left on this 30 something team is about 15%.

    This issue stems from the fact that the management is really, really keen on getting involved in all aspects of the development and in the end, you basically become a cog in the wheel who just does what management says. Since the feedback loop is so long, they spend a massive amount of time and effort into putting these things into motion, then realize it doesn't work and then there's a lot of back and forth meetings and whatnot. This ultimately results in couple of things:
    1) The team who actually works on the projects comes out of them drained, demotivated and feeling they haven't really learned anything - thus, they leave the company
    2) The game probably will be a success, but at the cost of basically losing a lot of people and "restarting" a portion of your company

    This whole shuffle has massive repercussions for the whole company - the retention is sky high, there is no HR policy and the retention in the HR team is massive as well. There is no management training even though it has been asked for for two years. There is no transparency, they don't do company surveys and present what's good and what's bad or any action points related to that.

    After the Zynga buyout, a lot of the projects have been Zynga-ified even though promises were made that this wouldn't happen. Zynga's people are a constant presence and even though some of them are nice people, there's some interesting character traits amongst them - one of the producers came over to help on a project, was booked into a nice Oxford hotel about 10 minutes from the centre, but refused to live there since she had to take the bus every morning...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you don't give the power to the teams, to allow them to fail and succeed on their own terms and fully own the project, you will never go anywhere as a company and the company culture consists of mostly negative things.

    Your management model is completely outdated in the current world - instead of embracing your weaknesses, bringing them to the light and talking about them, you shy away, afraid that people will leave the company if you honestly tell them what is going wrong. The reason people leave your company is that they have no ownership, they don't have a chance of learning anything and that the management doesn't trust anyone.

    This is all massively sad, since NaturalMotion could have been something.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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