NaturalMotion

  www.naturalmotion.com
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NaturalMotion Reviews

Updated August 19, 2014
Updated August 19, 2014
8 Reviews

2.3
8 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Torsten Reil
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person 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

    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
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Love it!!

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

    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
  3. 4 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

    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
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  5.  

    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)

    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
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Beware. successful company - bad habits.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - 3D Artist  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA

    Pros

    good tech and mid ware development back at the Headquarters in England. Seems like the studio over there is put together very well. Very success oriented.

    I was able from home.

    Cons

    did contract work for the San Francisco branch. management was pretty neglectful.

    I was able to work from home but this had an adverse effect when it came time to communicate.

    Delays on feedback. poor feedback and communication. VERY slow to pay, taking over a month to finally deliver their half of the bargain.
    long periods of downtime within a contract leading to depreciation in value of the agreed on rates.

    Unprofessional and too much of an inconvenience to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take your jobs seriously. take a page out of the UK branch.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Issues with planning and direction.

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

    Pros

    -Generally some top talent there.
    -On the face of things it seems like and open and transparent company.
    -A leader in the FTP arena.
    -Clearly pushes for quality as a business model which is admirable.
    -A broad range of game styles, and some innovative ideas.
    -Some great tech in the animation area.
    -Approachable CEO.

    Cons

    -I have never worked somewhere that has such a confusing feedback loop.
    -They really seem to have no idea about their end goal and how to get there, so projects can cycle on forever, and then the blame game starts.
    -Too much scope, not less is more.
    -Far too many chefs in the kitchen.
    -Constant moving of goal post, no clear plan, leading to endless redos of work.
    -No trust of staff. Your decisions are often scuppered before you can ever really apply them.
    -Unfortunately favoritism and cronyism is occurring. Very disheartening to see and work amongst .
    -You are told your opinion and creative input is welcome, but often that does not seem like the case.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Trust your staff. They are often very good at what they do and could create amazing things.
    -Combat the oppressive atmosphere, accept others opinions and let them execute their visions.
    -Really create a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how you will get there.
    -Only have a few key decision makers in the mix, and make sure they are trusted and know what they are talking about.
    -Have a clear plan of what you want to make and execute the plan! Stop completely changing direction and redoing work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Could be great but isn't.

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

    Pros

    - Okay for a first job
    - People are nice
    - Great staff - really talented people
    - Ambitious
    - Open to ideas and changes, but mainly because they don't know what they want to begin with
    - Work/life balance normally isn't too bad
    - HR was supportive
    - Approachable CEO
    - Company parties/treats

    Cons

    - Management is patronising, unstructured and highly egotistical
    - Strong sense of hierarchy - it's not 'safe' to make suggestions
    - Office politics
    - Dodgy business ethics
    - Highly indecisive (constant loop of re-iterations/starting from scratch/canning projects)
    - No compensation for overtime, except take-out for dinner (their logic being that you're doing it by choice, not because the project had poor time/resource management)
    - Felt more like a soulless office than a creative studio and it functioned this way
    - Poor feedback/neglectful
    - Pay, benefits and raise opportunities are rubbish compared to other companies.
    - Blatant favouritism
    - Company morale is extremely low

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Get experienced people in management and have a clear vision of what you want and make it, instead of deciding mid-late production and blaming your staff if things don't work out.
    - Trust your staff to do their job instead of insisting you can do it better (if only you had the time!)
    - Work on time management/assessing achievability more accurately.
    - You get what you pay for

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    One of the worst companies to work for

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

    Pros

    It´s ok if it´s your first job

    Cons

    You have to repeat the same and the same thing during years because of the incompetence of the people. Too many useless managers producers, etc.... They treat you and pay you really bad. You have to teach leads how to do things. I would not recommend this company to anybody.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

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