Sony Online Entertainment

  www.sonyonline.com
Work in HR? Unlock Free Profile

Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated Jun 19, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

2.5 78 reviews

30% Approve of the CEO

Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley

John Smedley

(60 ratings)

33% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

78 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
in
    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    3 people found this helpful  

    Job Titles

    Changed Constantly (Former Employee) Bellevue, WA

    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

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

    3 people found this helpful  

    Avoid avoid avoid!

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    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

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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Wildly fun, but frighteningly unpredictable.

    QA Tester (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    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.

  1. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Stressful and annoying

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

    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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good, but limited

    Senior Global Brand Manager (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsA lot of talented people
    Great, friendly, casual atmosphere
    Fun games
    Down to earth Executive team
    Lots of access to top

    ConsNot a lot of opportunity for advancement
    Marketing is underdeveloped and underfunded
    Limited resources
    Internal relationship politics

    Advice to Senior ManagementActively retain talent. Instead of waiting for them to threaten to leave, you should actively attempt to retain top employees. Invest in market research and test concepts before drudging ahead with projects.

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Excellent place to get started as a designer, but don't bother staying there.

    Game Designer (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsTalented and motivated Quality Assurance and Customer Service members are often given opportunities to apprentice for other positions including design and art. Benefits are very generous. Corporate perks include a nice discount at the SonyStyle store.

    ConsLower salaries when compared to other development studios. Knee-jerk decisions regularly made by top-level management. Lay-offs seem to occur every couple of year. Major round of lay-offs in 2011.

    Advice to Senior ManagementJohn Smedley, you are penny-wise and pound foolish. Nickel and diming customers at every opportunity and continually looking for ways to monetize parts of SOE's games is not a way to earn customer loyalty and goodwill. Instead it earns the ire of your customers and drives them to Trion and Blizzard who offer more "free" ancillary services. This, in turn, keeps their customers paying for subscriptions and micro-transactions month after month and lays the foundation for an utterly fanatical loyalty and sterling reputation. Also, by not paying designers and artists a competitive salary you reinforce the cycle of taking in raw talent, training them into professional positions, and then ultimately losing to better paying companies.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Management is an antiquated old-boys club out of touch with current game development

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee) Austin, TX

    ProsThe pay was great, licenses were fun and line-level employees were senior and skilled

    ConsExecutive management is the same crusty old team that has been there since Sony bought the company. They are out of touch with current development techniques and business models. They purposefully mislead their teams about ship dates and demand crunch for, literally, years at a time to ship product. It is not a financially healthy part of Sony and suffers from the fear and reactionary behavior that come from that fact.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDo a better job of embracing console development and current MMO business models (Free-to-play). Be honest with your teams about crunch and ship dates. Update executive management with someone who has some exposure to modern game development.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

    1 person found this helpful  

    Work quality overshadowed by who you know.

    Game Designer (Former Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsThe pay is average for an entry-level position in the video game industry.
    Benefits decent for full-time employees.
    free coffee.
    Great for getting your foot in the door of the video game industry.
    Apprenticeship program allows contract employees to get hands-on experience in design, code, or art departments.
    Employee camaraderie can (at times) be amazing, and it's easy to make friends in the workplace.
    Producers of individual titles are easily approachable, friendly, professional, and very open to new ideas.

    ConsNepotism at its worst. Promotions and long-term careers only available to people who are personal friends to middle management. This affects all departments: Design, QA, CS, Tech, etc.
    Sr Management, like so many other companies, is full of older people who refuse to evolve their business models.
    Annual mass-layoffs are expected at the beginning of the first business quarter.
    The only real chance for the contract employees to gain full-time work is to survive the layoffs for about 3 years. Then they might have a shot at getting full-time employment (if they're friends with the right people).
    Middle management/supervisors are not in touch with their employees. Problems that come up are ignored.
    Like so many other game companies, SOE does not embrace new ideas/designs brought by their non-management employees.
    Creativity is stifled.
    Very "clique-ish" atmosphere, both for full-time and contract employees.

    Advice to Senior ManagementAll video game companies are somewhat stagnant and refuse to allow creativity to flow. Be the innovators, SOE, and start listening to the new blood coming in the doors. There are some brilliant ideas out there, even among the contract employees. Open your door and give these kids a shot, the way you were given a shot.

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

    2 people found this helpful  

    Do not work for Sony Online Entertainment

    Associate Programmer (Former Employee) Tucson, AZ

    ProsDecent benefits package.
    Casual dress code, shorts and tee shirts are allowed.
    The lower level workers are some of the best in the industry.

    ConsNot only do they never let people take vacations, they will often make them work holidays and weekends as well.
    12 hour work days are the norm.
    Management simply does not know how to manage people other then through threats and intimidation.
    Pay is very low for the industry, especially for such a large company.
    Project managers are not trained for, or allowed to, manage projects.

    Advice to Senior ManagementQuit. I did not meet one person in management above the level of project manager who was competent at their job. The only hope for this company is for everyone from the studio heads to the CEO himself to leave and make room for people who have a chance to turn the company around.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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

     

    Relatively good place to work.

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Diego, CA

    ProsHealth benefits are very good. Lot's of talented staff.

    ConsThere have been some poor decisions from the CEO and upper management on games in development.

Worked for Sony Online Entertainment? Contribute to the Community!

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.