Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated July 10, 2015
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  1. 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.


  2. Learned Lots of new technologies and testing methodologies.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester
    Former Employee - QA Tester

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Learned a lot of new technologies as well as testing methodologies. Experienced a fast past work environment and developed quick response testing abilities.

    Cons

    Overworked and long hours for very little recognition. Feedback and input was never acknowledged or recognized by senior management nor ever acted upon.

    Advice to Management

    listen to your employees and remove the layers and layers of upper management give a clear and concise picture of the companies goals and objectives don't leave everyone in the dark


  3. Helpful (3)

    Good foot in the door for the gaming industry, but it may not be all that you've dreamed it'd be.

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

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

    Pros

    If you want to get into the gaming industry, this is a good place to do it. There are many development positions that can open up and be filled by the lower entry-level ranks.

    Cons

    Promotions are completely driven on who you know and haven't pissed off. The industry is very volatile, and landing a temporary position seldom leads to becoming a permanent employee. Management will go to any lengths to get employees they dislike fired or moved to another team. The people in the trenches are often reminded that they are replacable. Pay doesn't really compare to similar jobs elsewhere in the software industry.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to hire competent people for decent wages instead of hiring many incompetent people at low wages. There are enough people wanting to get into the industry that it is very possible to be picky about who is brought in. Promote only those who deserve to be promoted, not who is a best friend or yes-man at the time.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    The good and the bad

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

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

    Pros

    The projects are neat, and the benefits and pay are both pretty darned good. Job security is pretty much guaranteed which is a perk and a downside at the same time. Royalties for projects completed.

    Cons

    Extreme nepotism/favoritism which is fantastic if you are part of the cool crowd, but look out for stifled career advancement opportunities if not. Royalty payments are also split on no specific (or at least ever communicated) criteria, so I suspect this is another area where you can either excel or be left behind depending on how well you are liked.

    Advice to Management

    Take an honest look at whether the right people are in the right roles.


  6. Helpful (3)

    The creative people are stars, the executives however have been there way too long and are not open to new ideas.

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

    Incredible talent pool, especially among the animators and designers. There is also a sense of camraderie among lower to mid level employees that makes working on a project together fun.

    Cons

    I'ts run like a family business with people at the top who would not qualify at any other company in the respective positions (with one exception). They need some fresh blood in senior management to survive in the long run.

    Advice to Management

    Review all your company policies and make changes. Let those who lead teams do their job and not meddle in their daily tasks.


  7. Helpful (2)

    SOE on a downhill spiral despite their great pool of talents

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

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

    Pros

    Have 2 to 3 great titles in the market place that speaks for the great people that worked on them. Communication between same level departments above average. Great artists, designers, programmers.

    Cons

    The executive team. It turns out they are not qualified to turn things around. The same people in place since day one (with 1 or 2 exceptions). A change in leadership is required, otherwise SOE will be no more soon.

    Advice to Management

    Mid to high level management - pretty much as good as to be expected. To top management: It's too late for cosmetic changes like laying off people, a general overhaul is necessary, starting with you


  8. Helpful (1)

    Work quality overshadowed by who you know.

    • 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

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The 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.

    Cons

    Nepotism 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 Management

    All 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.


  9. Helpful (2)

    Stressful and annoying

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    If 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.

    Cons

    There 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 Management

    Stop 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.


  10. Helpful (2)

    Wildly fun, but frighteningly unpredictable.

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment

    Disapproves of CEO
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Casual 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)

    Cons

    Nepotism (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 Management

    Treat 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.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Fun job, frustrating management.

    • 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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    As 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.

    Cons

    Rotating 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.



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