Volition Reviews

Updated May 11, 2014
Updated May 11, 2014
10 Reviews
2.9
10 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Dan Cermak
4 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Tester  in  Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - QA Tester in Champaign, IL

    I have been working at Volition full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Fantastic people with a great work ethic. An environment that is welcoming and inclusive.

    Cons

    Career paths can stagnate leading some people to have to leave the company for a while to get better job titles before coming back.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Full-time Dev QA isn't paid appropriately, relies on OT for a barely livable wage.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - QA Tester  in  Champaign, IL
    Current Employee - QA Tester in Champaign, IL

    I have been working at Volition full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great studio environment and fun atmosphere; good people. Opportunities to contribute to and improve a product. Becoming more stable with new ownership and laying off less people between projects.

    Cons

    Slow advancement for testers with lots of knowledge and experience, and poor pay chases good people out of the department and/or company. Ongoing exploitation of QA department, treating them like a cheap solution to throw at a problem- testers are not valued or fairly compensated.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Good first game job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Programmer  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - Programmer in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Good learning environment
    Strong sense of ownership of your work
    Easy access to upper management
    Area is inexpensive
    Flexible schedule, except during crunch.

    Cons

    Some departments are heavily political
    Area is boring--flat land, not much to do
    Has become a single-franchise studio
    Management team are more of a hindrance than a help
    Milestone goals are treated with relative indifference util it becomes a crisis

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take earlier milestones more seriously, teach management team to become leaders that pull with the team, rather than schedule-grubbing everyone.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Tester  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    Fun culture, very open to contributions from anyone and everyone.

    Cons

    Not a lot of upward mobility

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Volition is a great studio and has a lot of great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Volition full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    People, Culture, Innovative, Progressive, Beer

    Cons

    Champaign is a small city and not a lot to do for young people, great for families

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Volition was a good, rewarding and challenging work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Concept Artist  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Concept Artist in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Working with talented and professional people in the digital gaming industry. Working on fun and exciting IP's. Top notch programmers and artists. Working in Champaign is very relaxed and a great community.

    Cons

    I don't have any cons related to working at Volition. Everyday was rewarding and terrific people to work with and to become a great team.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    People in charge don't know how to make games

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition full-time

    Pros

    Some good, friendly people. Flex-time schedule. The combo of low cost of living and good salaries is a win.

    Cons

    There's bad, bad strategy of producers and often project directors being people with no relevant experience or solid credits to their names. Producers are managers that rise up through associate/assistant positions, frequently from QA, and aren't qualified to be making creative decisions. Imagine if the director of a movie had no creative experience. That's Volition in a nutshell.

    There's a huge hit or miss nature to the projects. The first Saints Row was a a buggy mess. SR3 was solid. Red Faction: Armageddon was an embarrassing fiasco that lost 50 million, killed the franchise, and was a key contributor to THQ's financial collapse, yet no one was fired, no one was disciplined, no one asked "Why were the fun and good parts of the previous game completely thrown out for the sequel?"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep the people who ship good games in key positions. Stop mixing up the teams all the time. Don't give producers so much creative control. Stop having so many projects going at once and then pillaging teams for months so they can ship on time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Overly managed, wholly owned subsidiary of a company that's going out of business.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - Design in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Not in a big city, professional work environment, most folks are nice.

    Cons

    Too high a manager/worker ratio, games going downhill, lost a lot of skilled workers, not a fun environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Cut 50% of managers, producers, project managers, flatten structure.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good potential company being driven into the ground by poor management and terrible publisher decisions.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Design  in  Champaign, IL
    Former Employee - Design in Champaign, IL

    I worked at Volition as a contractor for more than a year

    Pros

    - Extremely flexible work schedules. You can work whatever hours you want for the most part and a few core hours.
    - Good potential for excellence here, but currently being wasted.
    - Low cost of living in town.

    Cons

    - Game design decided by publisher and board of directors. Employees have little creative input and are more of production line workers trying to make a game that is dictated to us.
    - Employees leaving to join other companies by the day. When I started in 2010, there was 240 employees. Before leaving in 2012 (2 years later) the company was down to 140 employees, working on the SAME amount of projects. Most people left of their own free will due to the bad workplace.
    - Terrible hiring practices, and very poor training/preparation for new employees. ("Oh you start today? We don't have an office for you, nor a computer. Just watch them for now!")
    - Most asset creation done by outsourcers.
    - Lots of backwards company policies. Poor decision making by management.
    - Projects being canceled after tons of investment.
    - Management and Directors act like babysitters rather than leaders, while also receiving all the glory. (and the money) Very poor rewards for associate and mid level employees, as well as dreadfully slow (if any) promotion rates.
    - Studio is severely understaffed, especially after losing 100 people in two years. Expect to crunch full-time.
    - Have been personally lied to and used by management.
    - Dull "homely" town. Not much to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take the game making control back into your hands and away from THQ. Hire employees so you actually have respectable teams. For example, a three man audio team for two AAA titles is a joke. Stop spending extravagant amounts of money on food, parties, social events, and put that towards hiring the manpower you need to make AAA games. Reward your employees, and never ever lie to and mistreat the ones that you already have. Company is definitely on the way out the door. Not the place it used to be, and as the turnover numbers reveal, not a place anyone wants to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Painful and problematic

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

    I worked at Volition

    Pros

    Cost of living is low
    Okay salary
    Hours are very flexible

    Cons

    Undeveloped tools
    Communication between departments
    Training for new employee very poor.

    Doesn't Recommend

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