Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated August 3, 2015
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2.7
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Approve of CEO
Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley
John Smedley
59 Ratings

Pros
  • Its a very laid back and stress free environment (in 7 reviews)

  • Experienced a fast past work environment and developed quick response testing abilities (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Launch Days, Upper Management and lack of a decent break room (in 12 reviews)

  • Overworked and long hours for very little recognition (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

83 Employee Reviews

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  1. SOE

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great place to get started In the games industry. You can get a lot of experience quickly here.

    Cons

    Doesn't offer competitive salaries. It's best to move on after a couple years after you have some experience.


  2. Comfortable environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great climate, low stress, good people

    Cons

    No sense of accountability, too slow.


  3. Helpful (1)

    Head in the Clouds, Feet on a Hoverboard

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You are surrounded by great people The studio has a relaxed atmosphere Salaried employees receive a solid benefits package

    Cons

    Senior management likes to "play designer" and will frequently counter design decisions. Luckily this is usually reserved for the most recent title in development. Working on hardware that is consistently out of date Development tools (software) is atrocious and infrequently updated. Typically more productive to work directly out of the design database. Contract employees receive meager pay on the promise of Soon(tm) being hired on full time. Soon is supposed to be ~3 months, but was closer to 3 years for me.

    Advice to Management

    You pay creative people good money to be creative. Let them.


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  5. Formerly SOE, now Daybreak Game Company

    Former Employee - Producer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Producer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Super flexible and a fun atmosphere.

    Cons

    Senior management spends money like it grows on trees.


  6. Helpful (3)

    It was fun until it wasn't.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers are awesome. Creative fun people trying to make good games. Relaxed dress code "Fun" atmosphere. It's game development, which has a certain aura about it

    Cons

    Company just changed owners. The future is murky. Compensation is below industry average. Projects are often over-promised and under-delivered. Mandatory crunch fairly often, "voluntary" crunch even more so. The company seems to have been rudderless for a while, drifting in various directions while trying to look good to perspective buyers. There is no comprehensive company plan. Large projects constantly shift direction, rendering existing work irrelevant. Having just been purchased by Columbus Nova, benefits are up for review. There is every indication they will be lower quality than before.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your most important asset. The rank and file make that company run. Treat them with respect. Keep them informed of changes, especially under the new ownership. Also, better facilities and coffee.


  7. Helpful (4)

    Layoffs were always looming over our heads.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, location was really close to local breweries and there were a ton of fun projects to work on.

    Cons

    Leadership was questionable. I felt like they were more there to babysit us and were delegating projects and going to meetings than giving us decent project direction. Layoffs were ALWAYS something we knew were inevitable. You can tell by the business structure that the company is run by a small group in Marketing who are completely out of touch with the demographic SOE's games catered to.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the nepotism. Actually look at a manager or department leads contributions or skills. Also, when you're doing a layoff actually LOOK at the people you're laying off because they've had to hire back essential staff a day or two later simply because their layoff gated an entire team!


  8. Not a bad place to work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The working conditions were good. Management made a clear effort to avoid crunch and overtime. When the company went through layoffs the people getting cut were treated fairly with decent severance packages and a lot of support from the HR department.

    Cons

    With the company being sold off and no longer a part of Sony it's unclear what the future holds. Upper management can sometimes seem out of touch. Especially in the Austin studio where things can often feel very far removed from what's happening at the San Diego main office.

    Advice to Management

    Keep treating your employees well. Make sure to keep everyone in the loop about what's going on. Make sure that everyone get a feel for what the change in ownership will mean, both for the company and for them personally.


  9. Helpful (1)

    SOE gave me a shot with no experience and promoted me through six positions in five years!

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    There was great Upward Mobility, the Benefits were the best in the business, upper management is very Friendly.

    Cons

    Compensation is fairly low for the industry but not the worst esp in Austin. Company just changed hands so there are some uncharted roads ahead.


  10. Great place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Management really cares about the employees. Lots of talented developers. You can get exposure to many different areas of the business if you put some time into it. Strong history of promoting from within.

    Cons

    Company often over-reaches on the number of projects in development at a time, or under-values the specialized knowledge and skills required to succeed in new areas. Doesn't leverage the inherent strengths of their tech and platform to make easier wins.


  11. Helpful (7)

    Good people, poor management, terrible decisions

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    There some pros to this company Most employees are very nice You don't have to dress up to work It's a game company

    Cons

    While there are a few pros there are quite some cons Expect to be overworked Most people (while nice) have no idea what they are doing Upper management and the CEO are all part of the same "boys club" and they will protect themselves above anything else Lack of focus in production phase: teams will change priorities week in and week out, causing unfinished and broken features

    Advice to Management

    To Columbus Nova. Even though I just been laid off this is not s review made to be vengeful. This is my honest opinion. While I agree with some of the layoffs decisions if you looked hard enough you will see that Smedley and all his little buddies are the one that survived while adding no value to the company.



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