Rockstar San Diego

  www.rockstarsandiego.com
  www.rockstarsandiego.com

Rockstar San Diego Reviews

9 Reviews
1.4
9 Reviews
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Terry Donovan
2 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not for the half-hearted devs. Your family and social life will suffer.

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

    I have been working at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You will get to work with incredibly talented individuals who really do love their job and also you will get to work on some of the greatest games in the industry. The culture is a positive for most and I feel like they do treat those who are talented well and try to keep them satisfied. Over the years change has been frustratingly slow sometimes but I feel like leadership is taking the company as a whole (together with all R* studios) in the right direction regarding employment, hire/fire and technology. Despite the work conditions I do feel like management is very understanding and relatively open, but of course there are politics.

    Cons

    AAA game development culture in general favors overtime, crunch and stressful environments and R* San Diego is probably the worst. There will be a lot of mandatory overtime and not a lot of time for home or social life. I've seen several divorces, relationships fall apart and socially inclined employees get burned out. Some people just flat out resign due to the missed time at home. There also seems to be some resistance to change not only with work ethic but also technology.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Better planning, better visibility and more transparency to employees will go a long way with morale, reduce rework and help with family life. Crunch is expected but nobody likes indefinite crunch or constant arbitrary deadlines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not worth it, even for a resume boost

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

    I have been working at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Work for a big name studio
    - Great resume boost working on AAA titles
    - 401K matches 3% if you put in 6%

    Cons

    - 50 hour standard work weeks. 60+ hour crunch, including Saturdays which run between 4-6 weeks in a row. Meanwhile, Leads+ will be working standard hours, even leaving early.
    - Management will pull rank in creative debates. You work FOR them not with them.
    - Company is not stable. Layoffs will happen after each launch. Even when they promise you that is not the case.
    - 15 days PTO which you can never use. You will never earn more, even if you have been there 5+ years.
    - HR is a nightmare, especially if you have a legitimate issue. They spend more time avoiding/ignoring than dealing with actionable incidents.
    - Internet is blocked. For a 'creative' environment it is very restrictive. There are 2 computers in the hallway where you can have regular access. (Game review sites, gmail, facebook).
    - You are expendable to the Studio.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Unfortunately, nothing much has changed over the years. It is very tense environment. It is astonishing the quality of games that come out of this place, mainly because 4+ years development time will do that. Management needs to stop thinking about how they appear and start truly listening to needs of the employee. Throwing out talent because you can simply find cheaper is not ethical it is sad to see passionate designers go.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Worst studio ever.

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

    I have been working at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    It's in Carlsbad so the weather is amazing and if you like the beach, it's minutes away. The building is nice.

    Cons

    Massive OT, zero work life balance, unreasonable demands on employees, and horrible upper management that will fire you with no warning. Basically, if there's any indication that you aren't a yes man, they'll get rid of you.

    I've been in the industry for over 10 years and I can safely say that this studio is by far and away, the worst one I've ever had the misfortune of working at. Upper management treats everyone like cattle and there's no concern over the well being or happiness of the employees. Unfortunately, there's not much else in this area so you're trapped unless you're willing to move.

    I had high hopes when I first started. All that is now gone.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please learn to accept criticism and treat your employees with respect. Don't work with the assumption that the New York headquarters will fire everyone just because you stand up for the team. Grow a backbone, and say "no" once in awhile.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Run away when you have a chance and save yourself.

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

    I worked at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Location- near beach- it was the best thing that i can remember.
    AAA game title
    there is decent compensation when game ships.
    small but on-site company gym
    paid OT( differs with people some people gets share of profit of the game later)
    top tier of company managements seems decent and not a conceited people.

    Cons

    From day one you will hear people questioning why you come here and how much OT they have done for past a few years and stories about how people got treated and got laid off after that crunch also about all the politics going on inside the studio. -Never seen that much hatred toward to middle, upper managements in other working environments.-
    I wished that I ran off when I heard that early on.
    At the end you will only realized that it is all very true, can be even worse than you can imagine.

    People lose their health, lose their hair, get fat and depressed.
    Even HR admit that they have bad reputation and difficult time hiring people.
    There is no appreciation about hard work and any decent respect or positive encouragement to employees.

    No work ethic to be found between colleges, very low morals, there are some really nice people there but the managements manipulate employees to go against each other and managements doesn’t care about employee’s well-being.

    There is no sound direction, endless changes and endless crunches.The directions comes from everywhere and there is no way to filter it.

    Another downside is there is no way you can get your work unless you capture from game when it's released.
    There is no ownership. Same work will be cycled over a group of people so people learn to trash other’s work to make themselves shine. It is encouraged and it uses as the way to get advanced.

    Probably highest security ever seen. Can’t send any personal e.mail or communication to outside (strictly prohibited)

    HR exists not to protect employees but to protect who has power.

    Please save yourself and run away. You will have NO life.
    Even 10+ years veteran will tell you that it is the worst crunch they have ever experienced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pipeline and management need major re-construction, it will save time, money and talents. The production pipeline is a gigantic sinkhole for time wasting. Please find a way to manage to be more productive and efficient so crunch doesn’t become a life style. -Someone needs to say no to certain things.- If making your employees happy is in your agenda of business by any chance, find a way to boost team moral and sound, professional work ethic and environment and please pick a leader who cares about team, not the person who is power hungered/ego-driven and use their team to make themself to anchor to the higher position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Welcome to Hell!!

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

    I worked at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Add some big hits to your resume, if they decide to leave your name in the credits.

    Cons

    Horrible bully management. Sweatshop work conditions. Endless overtime. Unkept promises. Low pay for the stature of the studio. Menial tasks that feel more like busy work than actual sense of accomplishment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit. Your ruining what was once a sacred name in the industry. The studio shouldn't be run like a college fraternity. Hire people who know what they are doing, not your friends. Stop paying yrself an enormous salary(buying 5k sq ft homes) and pay the employees who actually do all the work for you. You can only stand on the shoulders of talented artists for only so long until they all leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Worst Place to Work in all of gaming

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Nothing good to say about this place

    Cons

    This place is a Sweat Shot

  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    great games. great coworkers, terrible management

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

    I worked at Rockstar San Diego full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work with some of the best people, on some of the best games, at a great location

    Cons

    Managers thrive on wasting your time

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Organize, prioritize, realize that you can't have everything be an emergency

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best Game, but laid you off once they are done

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Rockstar San Diego

    Pros

    The chance to work on the biggest and possible game of the year. the location is in San Diego so you get all the weather and all that.

    Cons

    Long working hours 1 year plus in order to ship the game. And they might just laid you off once the game is shipped even though they promised no one gets laid off....

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Only if they could actually keep the hard working people around and manage the resource better, I think the company might just be the best one ever!

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Poor management

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

    I have been working at Rockstar San Diego

    Pros

    Work on AAA Titles
    Competitive compensation

    Cons

    Extreme crunch time
    Poor management who bully employees
    Poor communication on direction of projects and company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn how to run a business efficiently and value your talent

    Doesn't Recommend

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