Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated May 26, 2015
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80 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good, but limited

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Global Brand Manager in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Global Brand Manager in San Diego, CA

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Not a lot of opportunity for advancement
    Marketing is underdeveloped and underfunded
    Limited resources
    Internal relationship politics

    Advice to Management

    Actively 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.


  2. Helpful (1)

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

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Talented 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.

    Cons

    Lower 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 Management

    John 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.


  3. Helpful (3)

    Surprisingly archaic Software Development

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Work environment is pretty laid back, though lots of the perks are gone
    - It's in San Diego, which has nice weather. Management would have you believe it is because of them

    Cons

    - Old boys club. SOE is full of management that has not matured with the online game industry. Products are uninspired, tinkered with by the CEO endlessly based on the games his kids decide to play that day, and late to market, not because they are spending time getting things right. They waste time making basic software development mistakes that you can read about in books from 30 years ago.
    - Nepotism all around. Growth and success in the company is more dependent on relationship with the right folks than performance. Learn to say "Yes we can!"

    Advice to Management

    Get some fresh talent in at the top that has success in the "Online" marketplace in the last decade. The industry has matured and bringing back EQ folks may not be the best way to get with the times.


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  5. Relatively good place to work.

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

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

    Cons

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


  6. Small company means that you have ability to gain vast amount of knowledge on various depts

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits and generous PTO plan
    Great place to work if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
    Casual work environment - jeans and flip flops every day

    Cons

    Pay raises are not fair . It is dependent on who you can suck up to.
    No advancement or advancement only attainable if you work 24/7.

    Advice to Management

    Have more work/life balance by cross training employees. Numerous employees are maxed out on their PTO. What does that tell you about the work environment.


  7. Helpful (2)

    Missteps and fading competence.

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    It's interesting, it's cool, it's fun. The company is flexible and creative most of the time. John Smedley cares about his people.

    Cons

    SOE has been bleeding talent. Too many of the people leaving have been the best, and they are not being replaced, or being replaced at the same level.

    Advice to Management

    Beware yes-men. It's the opposite of core competency. Capable people need to be empowered and listened to. Reward what works over what you want to hear.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Need to get rid of dead weight.

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Benefits are great
    Raises have been non-existent for 2 years.
    Bonuses are based on how much you are liked
    Flexible work schedule
    Very little micro-management

    Cons

    Middle management is LOADED with individuals who by all accounts, do little to no work.
    The "boys club" is obvious. If you belong, you are golden.
    Senior management has been in their roles entirely too long.
    The company has become bloated and in desperate need of streamlining and cost reductions. Most of senior management is out of touch with reality. When game producers fail to create a good game or launch a game on time, you reward them by giving them a new assignment and continue to pay out bonuses.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce middle management by 50%.
    Cut game producers that fail to accomplish their objectives.
    Run SOE like a corporate and not a good ole' boys club.


  9. Eh... could be worse

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There's a decent benefits package plus the non-usual perks (game account, cd, etc.), working in the game industry, and being in studio / mmo environment (there's no "the game's done, now off to find another job").

    Cons

    Sometimes it's too big and teams don't communicate as they should. The squeaky wheel seems to always get promoted around here not people with the talent and skills to do the job.

    Advice to Management

    Quit having people in different departments doing the exact same work and emphasize more communication between the different teams (platform, db services, game teams, etc.)


  10. Helpful (1)

    Sony may have created the definition of management Hierarchy.

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great pay; Layed back environment; Great environment if you are into the 'gaming scene' as you get the opportunity to play video games while testing your code.

    Cons

    Not much technical growth potential. Way too many levels of management. I know some people that were managing only one other person.

    Advice to Management

    Reduce levels of management hierarchy.


  11. Helpful (2)

    A good starting place, but don't count on a real future there.

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    No opinion of CEO
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    A good stepping stone job for beginning game biz professionals. San Diego is a great place to live.

    Cons

    Middle management, for the most part, lacks management skills. When they say "my door is always open", take it with a grain of salt. Employees must go through political hoops to get a fair hearing for creative ideas and constructive criticism. A lot of egos without the necessary creative spark to compete with the likes of Blizzard and Worlds of Warcraft.

    Advice to Management

    Open your door and listen to everyone.



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