Obsidian Entertainment
3.7 of 5 7 reviews
www.obsidianent.com Irvine, CA 50 to 149 Employees

Obsidian Entertainment Reviews

Updated Mar 19, 2014

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3.7 7 reviews

                             

100% Approve of the CEO

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Feargus Urquhart

(1 ratings)

83% of employees recommend this company to a friend
7 Employee Reviews
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I look forward to coming to work each day.

Senior Hiring Manager (Current Employee)
Irvine, CA

I have been working at Obsidian Entertainment full-time for more than 5 years

ProsI have worked for many companies over the years and working at Obsidian Entertainment has become the career I always never knew I wanted. I look forward to going to work everyday, even on the stressful ones. I get to work with true talent.

The Owners have always been good to me.

ConsBeing a small developer has its moments where you are waiting for the next project and in all the time I have been at Obsidian that is my one and only con.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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All heart, no teeth

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment full-time for more than 3 years

ProsHigh Creative energy.
Interesting projects and pitches
Studio attempts to make development team happy

ConsNo strong gameplay emphasis
Poor production scheduling.
Overly Top heavy management.
Layoffs are frequent as well as mismanagement of talent.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great people, poor future thinking

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment

ProsThe people are amazing, they work on some great projects and a great location at the Irvine Spectrum.

ConsLayoffs occur after almost every project, no bonuses and small, insignificant celebrations for project completion. Story focused studio, not enough emphasis on gameplay.

Advice to Senior ManagementWork on keeping your best employees and giving them a reason to stay, don't just rely on company loyalty to keep people.

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  • Culture & Values
         
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Great RPG studio that I fear has grown to big for its britches

Designer (Former Employee)
Irvine, CA

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment full-time

ProsMost talented and versatile designers in the industry
Chris Avellone is just awesome to work with

ConsPigeon-holed as an RPG developer
Very reliant on publishers
No original IP

Advice to Senior ManagementAs far as designing traditional RPG's, nobody knows better than Obsidian's upper management. However, management could really benefit from being more open to fresh ideas and new business models and opportunities. Obsidian's reliance on publisher funding dampens the potential of all their talented employees, and makes it feels like they are one cancelled project away from utter collapse.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Obsidian - where RPGs and storytelling live

Senior Producer (Former Employee)
Irvine, CA

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment full-time for more than 3 years

ProsGreat creative design and storytelling; solid art and animation; good work environment; good location; decent benefits

ConsHomegrown technology trailed top competitors (internal tech was not where it should have been - given the reliance certain projects had on its predictable delivery); pay was decent, but larger companies could offer larger base salaries and almost always had stronger bonus plans. My work-life balance was not very good. Part of that was my fault - I took on a lot of work and had a hard time stepping away from company mail or our intranet at night and on the weekends.

Advice to Senior ManagementIt would be good if Obsidian could take on a deep-pocketed strategic partner. When paired with the right project, they can do amazing work for the money. Their D&D, Star Wars, and Fallout work was top notch.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Worth every moment (but not a moment more)

Gameplay Programmer (Former Employee)
Irvine, CA

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment

Pros* One of very few RPG companies in America with such a rich a history in the industry
* Some tremendously talented people across tech/design/art
* Excellent workplace facilities
* An impressive amount of transparency from management regarding any issue
* Worthwhile, high-profile projects
* A tangible sense of comraderie among most of the company

Cons* Typical-of-the-industry project mismanagement issues create significant, avoidable overtime
* Excessive redefinition of project goals and revisitation of pre-production tasks during production
* Design occasionally given too much latitude without equivalent accountability
* Salaries are more competitive elsewhere
* Many of the best qualified shy away from leadership positions while ambitious but under qualified are granted or thrust into leadership positions

Advice to Senior ManagementIteration is to be expected, but drastic or frequent changes do more harm than good by compromising the team's confidence in leadership's competence and decision-making ability. No one wants to create anything less than the best, but take the time to quantify the shortcomings of a pre-production decision before attempting to shoehorn revisions into a production schedule that is already bursting at the seams. As the old adage goes, you can't stuff 10 pounds of $h!+ into a 5 pound bag.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A good place to work, with a few caveats.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
Santa Ana, CA

I worked at Obsidian Entertainment

ProsThe owners have a lot of hands-on development experience (having previously worked at Interplay), and are generally "with it" as far as dealing with the development process goes. They also have solid publisher contacts and are one of a small number of RPG developers in North America, which means that publishers looking to develop a title in that genre come knocking fairly frequently. The employees, at least during my tenure, were generally cool and good to work with, and morale is generally good.

ConsProject expectations and mid-level management vary widely by project -- scheduling, project direction, and milestone expectations can be shaky.

Advice to Senior ManagementTighten up the project management -- iron out the development process and fix problems sooner rather than later.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Obsidian Entertainment reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart. All 7 reviews posted anonymously by Obsidian Entertainment employees.