WMS Gaming

  www.wms.com
  www.wms.com

WMS Gaming Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
96 Reviews
2.6
96 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Gavin Isaacs
7 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great Benefits, Pay is comparable to industry standards (in 7 reviews)

  • Work-life balance was exceptionally tailored to the employee in most cases (in 4 reviews)


Cons
  • A secretary (yes, administrative assistant) is VP of Game Development (in 5 reviews)

  • They don't care they will let you go at anytime as long as these greedy upper management make their millions (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 5 people found this helpful  

    Terribly bad leadership

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    There are still some good people at WMS and not all groups are bad.
    Some groups know what they are doing but they sit at odds with much of the rest of the company.

    Cons

    When WMS was swallowed up by SciGames which was losing lots of money every quarter, WMS went from a profitable company that rewarded their employees to one that’s big in the RED.

    Benefits slashed
    Reduced: 401k matching, amounts people can get for promotions/raises, medical and other benefits.
    Reduced holidays/PTO
    New hires have very little opportunity for advancement now and missed out on the days when you could get a nice salary bump every year.

    Management slashed/dysfunctional
    So much of the management was gutted that the void was filled with people who have no idea what they are doing.
    Engineers write really bad code and it’s applauded as if it was gold.
    Managers push really bad ideas and nobody squashes them.
    Moving from a FREE revision control system that is heavily ingrained to a really expensive one nobody knows how to use? Great idea!
    Let’s spend countless hours in meetings discussing things that don’t matter to anyone.
    Let’s kick off projects, but walk away from them before they fail and take all the glory for the idea but none of the blame when it turns out to have caused the company to lose a lot of money.
    Let’s be the cause a huge disruption, then turn around and become the self-declared champion to fix it.

    Work ethic at an all-time low
    People are in constant fear of another synergy/layoff, which seems to happen about every 3 months.
    Game Development culture feels like a chicken running around with its head cut off: We don’t know what we want, but we want you to get it done yesterday. So that idea I can’t fully explain to you, just get it done!
    Frequent shifting of priorities with no clear path forward. The pattern is: Wreck a project, then kill it.
    Don’t expect any professional development process (Waterfall, SCRUM, etc). Development process is an amateurish Code and Fix.
    Want to bring order to chaos by rolling out some professional policies and procedures? People have tried but they end up fired. They lose to the argument that people are “too busy” for process. In fact, most people in charge never even worked somewhere to learn what a good process even is.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If you want to turn this company around, hire some people from outside who have real experience and give them the power to make some changes. Hopefully there are some managers at Bally who will figure out who knows what they are doing at WMS and those who don't.

  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Complete Trainwreck Since SG Acquisition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    None of the paychecks have bounced yet!

    But seriously, WMS used to be a fantastic company to work for. Good benefits. Good co-workers. Good environment. This has since changed 180 degrees.

    Cons

    Since the SG acquisition, the company has COMPLETELY changed, and it is a total disaster now. Management does not communicate at ALL with the regular employees. When one of the many "interim" CEOs took over and was asked if he should send an email to all employees to introduce himself, his response was "why would I want to do that?"

    Prior to the acquisition announcement, WMS on its own was making EARNINGS to report to Wall St every quarter, despite a SECULAR DECLINE in the gaming industry. The numbers weren't blowing anyone out of the water, but they were stable and consistent.

    Now that Scientific Games has taken over in a leveraged buy-out, the added interest payments on the debt taken out to acquire WMS has turned it into an UNPROFITABLE entity. (Also utter and complete mis-management from the top has also been a large contributing factor.) The debt payments are an albatross that we will never be able to get out from under. Taking on EVEN MORE DEBT with the Bally Tech acquisition is probably going to fail. Everybody internally knows it. I think it will be funny when Wall St finally figures it out too. In the mean-time, party on Garth, and let the stock ride up while the top brass cash in on stock options and pull the rip-cords on golden parachutes.

    All the employees see the writing on the wall, and work ethic has seriously suffered. I honestly miss the days when I would come into work, contribute to developing great products, hear encouragement from management, and help the company earn money. Those days are long gone, and are never coming back.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enjoy it while it lasts! Hahah.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful  

    Once the best, now falling like a stone.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Developer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Developer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - State of the art facilities
    - Excellent cafeteria
    - Talented coworkers

    Cons

    - Location is difficult to get to; no easily accessible public transportation.
    - Morale is at near zero. There has been intense pressure to hit quarterly numbers, with veiled threats about the looming next round of layoffs. The general mood seems to be that nothing we do will matter in the end anyway.
    - Significant feeling of betrayal: SG's acquisition of Bally only a few months after WMS has appeared particularly suspect given the new CEO's close ties to that company, and the curiously high price per share paid to acquire it.
    - Benefits and perks slashed: "Thank You Days", extra holidays, we're eliminated. Bonuses were changed to put more emphasis on overall company performance than individual performance. Cafeteria costs rose as the company subsidy was cut (or eliminated, don't know for sure). Benefits were cut *significantly*.
    - Totally rudderless management: roadmaps change monthly, miscommunication runs rampant. Priorities seem to be shifted weekly.
    - Zero training budget: And I mean ZERO. Transitioning to an extremely complex new tool? Hope you can figure it out on your own. New hires don't even get a tour of the facilities any more.
    - Poor processes: Company pretends to do Agile development when in fact it is utterly ad-hoc chaos disguised with some Agile buzzwords. Documentation for software frameworks and tools is totally nonexistent, or worse, outdated and incorrect. Culture of diffusion of responsibility means that nobody ends up being responsible for anything, resulting in a horrific mismatch of pet design patterns, scripting languages, and API conventions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I'm not sure this company can be saved at this point. You are essentially gutting everything that made me want to work here in the first place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Once a great company until corporate greed set foot in the door!!!!

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

    I worked at WMS Gaming full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Nice new building. Some employees are good to work with.

    Cons

    Ever since the two mergers so far, the company is nothing more but a downfall. The company is turning into a corporate greed company. Now it's all about money money money $$$. Almost all my friends were laid off so far and more is it's way so the company saves money. Upper and Top Management don't know anything about games. Most have high school degrees!!!! and make millions of dollars a year watching the real hard workers such as, Programmers, designers, artist do all the hard labor. The Upper managements gets all the money while the middle workers get nothing more but peanut shell scraps. We all know why they got their positions. Just look at their last names (ethnic religious). They don't care they will let you go at anytime as long as these greedy upper management make their millions. You work for them as servants and they make all the money doing basically nothing , and you end up working the hardest.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Most are highly uneducated with high school degrees and make millions of dollars a year watching others do all the dirty work for them. They know nothing about games or the history of games. The only reasons why they were hired in the first place is because of their last names (ethnic religious) connection. As for the greedy Ron Perelman who owns about 40% of the company. The reason why he helped buy the company is because he wasn't making enough billions of dollars a year. Greedy, greedy, greedy rich snob. I think all the Top Management should be fired!!! They are wasting money and they don't know anything about games. They hire hard workers to do all the work for them while they sit in their luxuriant offices and get paid millions of dollars with their high school degrees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 4 people found this helpful  

    Once a great place to work at

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time

    Pros

    This company had a great culture but it is being sucked away slowly by Scientific Games, the company that bought them out.

    Cons

    Management is totally disconnected. Lack of communication. Most of the people on the SG side are uninspiring. They love having meetings but there's really no improvement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let the professionals make decisions instead of stagnating everything by having a meeting about it. Stop taking away benefits, it's why WMS was successful and profitable.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 5 people found this helpful  

    Pretty company with terrible management and qualification issues!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Gaming Designer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Gaming Designer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Beautiful facility! WMS went all high tech and efficient cosmetic to build the newest 'green' building, featuring windows with solar system installation. Indoors, great screens with video games and derivatives available; playing area with pool-tables and a cybernetic basketball space, gym and free soda. Awesome parking lot amenities, and a beautiful terrace on the fifth floor overlooking the city. Fun and dedicated middle-men looking to make history whenever their managers die.

    Cons

    Well, it may really be the nice facility the only thing that have employees satisfied nowadays, since free soda is considered unhealthy for a green company and people can get in trouble for smoking. Since the merge with Scientific Games, WMS' benefits went down the drain. The company's culture that was once smart and effective decayed to the point of amateurs in control, products of micro-management. Schmucks without even a college degree (minimum) hold high hierarchy in Game Development and Engineering and lead without any other experience in the industry other than being artists at WMS for 20 years. Once in a while they even put their flip-flops to rest and wear suits to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire highly competent, decision-maker, solid people with academic and professional experience to take over management! Make a change that send over-paid underachievers out of the door. The reputation that certain people in charge are only there because of "WHOM" they know, runs opened inside the company, and it is not a rumor. These guys not only give the company a bad name, but also show the environment as inefficient because they impact the grow and flow of the company, corrupt their team with lies and take credibility for the hard work, so they can look average among their peers. Although, this is no longer Brian Gamache's legacy, the WMS still has lots of potential in pretty graphics and story telling. Jokers are destroying operations because they don't know how to manage distribution and think that only their tail is important: instead of understanding logistics and relationship management which are important assets for a company's strategy, WMS is losing talented personnel and quality services along with time and money. Departments are fighting among each other because leaders lack common-sense! My boss already told me not to take on any work from another manager if it does not come from him personally (he does not even know what I do.) The dude is so lost, it is not even funny! Company will be in the whole if this keep happening, numbers are already down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Some jobs are great others are terrible. Depends on your manager.

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    If you enjoy the industry, you will be happy to see products making impact on the market. Most of your peers are great people. Overall game development is full of a lot of dedication and talent.

    Cons

    Some managers openly mock employees on a personal level. Complaints about gender and age discrimination not taken seriously, expect retaliation for complaining. Math teams are in a lot of trouble, are a perpetual blockage, and havent stabilized since merger. With new merger, unlikely to see any progress. Industry is cyclical and platforms are on a down swing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If departments are hemmoraging personnel, maybe it is middle management that is to blame.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Accountant

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time

    Pros

    Few people are really knowledgably.

    Cons

    Leadership is very weak. No accountability. Once person runs the show and very manipulative people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try and listen to more than one person before making an important decision.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Company in limbo

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Service Tech
    Current Employee - Field Service Tech

    I have been working at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Time off for the first year of employment is 15 days.

    Cons

    With the take over the moral of field service is at a all time low. Many of the techs are setting to look for other employment and the techs have over 5 years with the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership, need to have the right people in the right area of management that field service call for question that may arise in the field. Some of the management members have never worked on slots.

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

    Playing politics trump job performance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Las Vegas, NV
    Former Employee - Manager in Las Vegas, NV

    I worked at WMS Gaming full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Fair salary · Excellent facilities · Amazingly good benefits · Decent access to tools needed to get your daily tasks done

    Cons

    Playing political games is the only path to career advancement · Your opinions are best kept to yourself

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat employees like people, not disposable resources.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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