Red 5 Studios Reviews

Updated March 21, 2015
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3.2
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James Macauley
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Employee Reviews

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  1. A turbulent ride, but an extremely good group of devs

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

    I have been working at Red 5 Studios

    Pros

    Amazing team filled with passionate, and highly-skilled developers.

    Cons

    Previous management teams caused a great deal of turbulence for the game and within the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. Smartest people I have ever known at work or in my day-life. I am not sure what to say.

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

    I have been working at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The technology is very bleeding edge. The game is extremely well-engineered. These are, by far, the most passionate people I have seen at a company in my lifetime.

    Cons

    I have actually not seen anything highly negative in more than one year of working here. I would like to see, however, a 401k match (100%), medical benefits 100% paid for), and substantial profit-sharing. The raises need to be greater as well. The company just completed its first formal reviews of employees which was requested by the employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Slow down on change for change's sake. Establish a beachhead and defend it. Increase the product line. Continue partnering worldwide and get ready to extend into additional products within the game industry and external to it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Great team, interesting project

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

    I have been working at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    A tough interview process leads to working with an incredibly talented group of people. There's a much higher percentage of "overachievers" than most other places I've worked, and they're also very willing to share knowledge. Working here has caused my own skills to improve considerably, both through osmosis and necessity.

    Compensation is a bit better than many game studios, and work/life balance seems to be a much higher priority. There's also a profit sharing plan in place, which is very unusual for a game studio but potentially very nice if the game becomes successful.

    Cross-functional teams and regular playtests give all employees a lot of influence on the final product if they want it. There is also a lot of freedom given to employees to assist other teams or pick up new skills.

    Cons

    Management style has historically been too "hands-off", with no dedicated project managers or producers. Individual teams were very transitory, and never had enough time to completely implement a feature before being reassigned. Recent changes may fix this, but that transition is still in progress and it's too soon to tell how much better the resulting structure will end up.

    The company size is very small for a product with this kind of ambition. It can feel like progress is slow, especially because it's often difficult to see the progress that other teams are making until they're done.

    The game is very much still in flux, and many parts have been redesigned multiple times, or outright removed - sometimes even before reaching a testable state. If you are the kind of person who can't handle seeing their work reworked or removed, you might want to look somewhere else.

    As a game studio, particularly one without a released and/or profitable product, the future is always uncertain. Funding seems stable for the near future, but ultimately the company is still a startup and carries all those risks with it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue working on communication, especially efficient distribution of information. Consider exercising a bit more managerial oversight to curb some of the feature creep/design bloat tendencies. If you want to use scrum, you need to make sure that all the employees are participating, even if they don't like it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. If you don't mind a little chaos, you'll be happy at Red 5

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Laguna Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Laguna Hills, CA

    I worked at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    I am immensely happy about the years I spent at Red 5, and the vast majority of my experiences were positive ones.

    Things were shaky for a bit, and there's a lot of mistakes in the company's past, but recent reorgs and new processes are making a significant difference! Firefall may not be a WoW-killer, but Red 5 is a wonderfully hospitable place to work. Company values are in the right place (when they follow them) and the people are great. If they can find a methodical CEO to replace Mark Kern and lead their company through incremental and directed choices, they've got a good chance of making Firefall into a profitable and really enjoyable game.

    The people at Red 5 are the best people to work with. The company culture is phenomenal, and the project is a whole lot of fun to work on. There's a lot of good perks, and the tools are reasonably progressive.

    If you're right out of school, or looking for a place to escape a corporate meatgrinder, Red 5's an amazing opportunity for you. Don't fret the negative reviews, take the job.

    Cons

    A history of poor direction and wasted time has put Red 5 behind the curve. New leadership will undoubtedly need time to orient, and working at any startup can be a little nerve racking as far as job security goes.

    If you aren't self-directed and need someone to coordinate your work, you'll feel a bit lost at Red 5. You'll be expected to experiment and do things nobody's done before without much advice from senior staff. If you can't handle that, you'll probably be happier somewhere else.

    There's opportunities here to lead and coalesce the vision of Firefall, but if you're looking to refine your craft at a studio that knows what it's doing, look for a safer bet at a more experienced studio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be less agile. Understand where you want to be in 3, 6 and 12 months. Make sure all employees understand where you're headed (that means a year from now, not 6 weeks from now). Finish everything you start. Make it clear to employees what "done" looks like, and if done isn't achieved, don't move key people to new teams.

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Same issues, different day.

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

    I have been working at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great talented people, well those that are not in management. Co-workers are friends for life. Recently promotions handed out to many.

    Cons

    The thought was by removing higher management, the dev team would flourish, the company get stronger and the game would get better. Last milestone was a disaster and developers are waiting for their promised bonus before moving on.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why share any advice? If it's not their idea or you are not a manager, they won't listen anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. Great place for programmers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphics Programmer in Laguna Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Graphics Programmer in Laguna Hills, CA

    I worked at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Red 5 is a really cool and friendly environment. Times changed in Red 5 and everything is better since Mark Kern was removed from being CEO, but even in times when people (designers for example), felt bad in company... being programmer was still great. I remember how we were surprised to hear and read peoples complains about the company. People i knew and worked with were quite happy. Programming team is about 25 very talented people and it is not really easy to get there. But once you become part of the team, im sure you will like it. You work on interesting things and closely with other parts of the team (artists, designers, world builders) ... It is flat structure, but seniors with knowledge are respected and works as managers a bit if needed. It works:)
    - Great people
    - You laugh a lot at work
    - Tools, you get really good hardware
    - free drinks and cofee
    - free booze
    - red 5 embraces gaming culture (people playing video games (another than firefall:))in work is standard)
    - Good location, close to beaches

    Cons

    - Sometimes its hard to decide what is most important thing to work on and there is nobody to help you decide... but this changes to be better
    - Location ... beaches are awesome, but on the other hand Orange County is not the best place if you are used to city or at least some life going on:). This problem mostly hits younger people and to be honest, people who are single.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Things are changing to be better. Little bit more organisation wouldn't hurt:)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. Great Game, Great People

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

    I worked at Red 5 Studios as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    This is a company full of passionate people with great ideas.

    Cons

    When I worked there, the biggest challenge was the lack of leadership and inconsistent support from the upper management, but with the recent restructuring (and departure of the former CEO), that problem is probably a thing of the past. The people who are still there were great to work with, so I believe things are much more stable and consistent now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get the game released!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. Management

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

    I worked at Red 5 Studios

    Pros

    Game is pretty. Co-workers are great!

    Cons

    Its pretty micro-management right now.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop micro managing people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. Very solid experience

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

    I have been working at Red 5 Studios as a contractor

    Pros

    Great people
    Room for growth
    Good facilities

    Cons

    Company has been going through big changes, but they are all good.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up communication! Keep everyone in the loop.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful

    Super unfortunate, missed opportunities.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Laguna Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Laguna Hills, CA

    I worked at Red 5 Studios full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Some of the most talented people you will ever work with in the industry.

    Cons

    Horizontal Structure does not allow for decision making. Getting things done is nearly impossible, as vision holders are not active in decision making process until after decisions are made.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of the way and let your talented people drive the game. Stop trying to mico manage everything. It isn't a horizontal structure if you countermand decisions after they are made.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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