Sony Online Entertainment
2.4 of 5 74 reviews
www.sonyonline.com San Diego, CA 500 to 999 Employees

Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated Apr 4, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.4 74 reviews

                             

28% Approve of the CEO

Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley

John Smedley

(57 ratings)

32% of employees recommend this company to a friend
74 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "It's game development, so that's always a little more fun and laid back than other companies"
    in 7 reviews
  • "At least it's a fairly stable job that allows you to enjoy living in San Diego"
    in 7 reviews
Cons:
  • "Upper management is too far removed from the actual development process to understand its huge flaws"
    in 11 reviews
  • "Senior management had no idea who you work (workflow) or some of the abuse you put up with dealing with customers"
    in 5 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

  • Culture & Values
         
  • Work/Life Balance
         
  • Senior Management
         
  • Comp & Benefits
         
  • Career Opportunities
         
  • Disapproves of CEO

5 people found this helpful  

Terrible products, Terrible company

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

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

ProsSome of the people are nice. Not too much overtime. Decent bonuses.

ConsNo career advancement or salary raises unless you are part of the in-crowd. Very cliquey, high school environment. Stale, irrelevant products. Low salaries. Absolutely no future to move up or work on anything different/more challenging.

Advice to Senior ManagementWhy do you think so many employees are jumping ship?? get it together, people. Management is constantly changing and company policies seem to change depending on who is in charge that week.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Fun job, frustrating management.

Game Designer (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time for more than 5 years

ProsAs a gamer, working on an MMO is a ton of fun. Almost everyone on the team was super passionate, and worked to do as much as possible despite the limited team size.

ConsRotating cycle of bad management--except at the very top, Smedley never rotated. Teams are consistently under pressure to change things and produce content based upon pre-existing ideals/buzzwords from higher up that have no impact upon the success of a game--and usually hurt it quite a bit. Also, launch dates set years in advance are wholly immovable--company would much rather ship a below average unfinished product than take the time to finish it.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Sony treats its employees really well, but something seems to hold back the company from making big hits.

Senior Environment Artist (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

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

ProsSalary and benefits are all really good at Sony. The work environments are relaxed and they generally treat their artists with a lot of respect. They send the whole company to movies every once in a while and have random fun employee events. They supply good food when there are mandatory crunch hours.

ConsThere are mandatory late/weekend hours sometimes, but that's the case with pretty much any game company. They typically reward well for this though, with nice bonuses & supplying dinner or random treats. There's a bit of a bureaucracy and hierarchy there where sometimes respecting hierarchy and order is more important than pointing out problems and solving them - especially if they are big and outside your specific department. So there's a lot of "yes man" mentality where you're just better off if you have problems - mostly keeping them to yourself unless it's something you can actually make a difference with yourself, directly.

Advice to Senior ManagementThere's something about the structure there that makes lower level employees not want to give honest opinions about the current state of the game. So people will sometimes chatter to themselves about big problems that need to be solved and addressed, but for some reason they don't want to be the ones to point them out. It's a big studio where the fat is trimmed from time to time - and no one wants to be the fat. So no one wants to point out the problems because they don't want to offend anyone that might have a say in whether or not they are "trimmed." I don't mean to be too harsh though - that's just probably a big part of why the recent games havent been as big of hits as they could have been. Aside from that, management treats the employees very well and a lot of people have worked a long time there as a result.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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The EQ2 team is great to work with

EverQuest II Game QA (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

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

ProsFun atmosphere
Great people
Quality games
The contract company they use offers great benefits

ConsBetter planning could lead to less OT
Some money issues causing cuts in some of the QOL things like breakfast and OT dinners

Advice to Senior ManagementBetter planning and time gained from pushing back deadlines should be used for polish rather than cramming in more features.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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A great place to be for those looking for work/life balance

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Diego, CA

I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time for more than a year

Pros- Executives who are passionate about gaming
- Humanistic work environment
- Great location

Cons- Red tape, as with any large corporation
- Slow to innovate

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

A Good Ol Boys type of atmosphere

Web Developer - Front-End (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Sony Online Entertainment as a contractor for less than a year

Pros- Really talented (artists and technical) colleagues.
- Laid back atmosphere.
- Good equipment and tools to work with.

ConsI was there is a temp and aspiring to get on fulltime. While I did enjoy the laid back atomosphere there were some employees that were not dependable. We're working on a deadline, long hours and stressful and some folks in my group spent the evenings playing with kit airplanes in the employee parking lot. Was a real Good Ol Boys atmosphere. In the end, was offered a position at another company with a huge sign-on bonus, great benefits and salary.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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3 people found this helpful  

Job Titles

Changed Constantly (Former Employee)
Bellevue, WA

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

ProsI just cant remember any. They do have a better work/life balance than Amazon.

ConsSOE has been a leader in an increasing problem we see in digital industries. The willingness on the part of the company to ignore the title and job position you were hired for. You may negotiate for a salary based on a job position, such as Character Animator, only to find yourself being asked to do the job of a Flash UI Designer.

Advice to Senior ManagementWake up and fire yourselves.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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3 people found this helpful  

Avoid avoid avoid!

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

ProsYou can bring your dog to work

Cons- Company is cliquish, its hard for new employees to assimilate and gain acceptance
- Managers micro manage everything
- The departments don't work well together, there are very limited resources and instead of using creatively the departments fight over what should be done

Advice to Senior ManagementWork on creating and fostering a culture that focuses on doing what's right for the business and seeing it succeed vs. the status of quo each department looking out just for themselves. The company needs some major shaking up to be relevant, and the current way of how things get done isn't working

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Wildly fun, but frighteningly unpredictable.

QA Tester (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

ProsCasual dress code
Free coffee
Enjoyable if you take pride in creating a quality product
Decent wages for an entry-level position
Professional-sounding email address
Lots of overtime hours (if you're a workaholic)

ConsNepotism (hiring/promotions based on family/romantic relationships)
Yearly massive layoffs (coupled with large yearly bonuses for upper management)
Very clique-ish workplace
Work performance is unappreciated.
Lack of communication between different departments.
Extremely slim chance for advancement
Apprenticeship programs do not adequately teach viable game-industry skills.

Advice to Senior ManagementTreat your employees as valuable investments instead of disposable assets. Promote from within. Do not lay off tons of employees within a week of handing out massive bonuses to upper management.

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2 people found this helpful  

Stressful and annoying

Billing and Account Representative (Former Employee)
San Diego, CA

I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

ProsIf you can deal with the angry customers, you're in the clear. The people next to you are fairly nice, so you can usually ask them for help.

ConsThere are a LOT of angry customers due to poor game design, inconsistent site information, and simply... Stupid people. Opens at 7, and last thing you want to hear is a screaming customer.

Advice to Senior ManagementStop standing around chatting with each other and keep an eye out on the chat... The longer a customer has to be on the phone, the angrier they get, and we have to deal with them, not you.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Sony Online Entertainment reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley. All 74 reviews posted anonymously by Sony Online Entertainment employees.