WMS Gaming

www.wms.com

WMS Gaming Reviews

Updated January 28, 2015
Updated January 28, 2015
97 Reviews
2.6
97 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Gavin Isaacs
8 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.  

    Good place to work as intern

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

    I have been working at WMS Gaming as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly work culture. Testing team manager Tim is very friendly.

    Cons

    No H1B sponsor.
    Less pay.
    Sometimes bad people are there everywhere

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Nothing

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Was a great company with the previous leadership.

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

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

    Pros

    The benefits are pretty good here, comparable to other companies. You are exposed to many interesting products at the Chicago campus. In addition, the people that work here are innovative and team based. Great working conditions at the chicago office.

    Cons

    The new leadership has caused growing pains within the company ever since being bought out by Scientific Games. The previous executive committee has gone and so did the great values and culture they brought into WMS. The opportunity for promotions in the workplace is minimal at this point due to not meeting sales goals and budgeting from the parent company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to emulate what the previous leadership did for the employees of WMS. They valued their employees highly and made sure that was shown. The basis of WMS products is innovation, so we need to continue that path to stay successful as the company develops into its mergers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 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.

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  5.  

    Never a dull moment in a technology-driven industry fueled by addiction.

    • 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 8 years)

    Pros

    PTO and benefits are good. Work-life balance is high. Perks like ping pong and a gym. Hours are great. No heavy crunch times if you're diligent and can self-manage.

    Cons

    Hard to trust upper management. Risk-averse. Afraid to fail. Metrics for everything. After 10 years salary has climbed to "above average." Decisions are made by a committee. Doesn't feel creative or fun even though this is a game company. Chasing our competitors and the market. Imitating. Building things we don't know how to build.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In creative companies content is king. Leverage it. Champion it. Take chances and set trends. Learn to fail. Figure out what your good at. Base growth off known strengths and move forward. Why do I feel pressure to make everyone besides me happy? I've worked at other creative jobs before. And why do I feel like I'm getting ripped off in the lunch line?

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    WMS Gaming

    • 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

    Easy Going Env't, Nice Break rooms,

    Cons

    Bad Leadership, Was fun at one point

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 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
  8.  

    Nice place to work and learn

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Test Engineer in Pune (India)
    Current Employee - Associate Test Engineer in Pune (India)

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

    Pros

    Great work culture
    Work-Life Balance
    Pays well
    Good to learn

    Cons

    None as of now. Its great

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 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 a 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
  10. 7 people found this helpful  

    Changing for the Worse

    • 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 3 years)

    Pros

    The Chicago office is a beautiful, pleasant environment to work in. Although "thank you days" were taken away in 2014, the company still has a generous time off and holiday policy and ample free parking makes up for it's Avondale location.

    Cons

    Unfortunately none of the Pros are directed towards the day-to-day work and management. The two mergers in the last year have destroyed morale and the new management leaves little hope for restoring the morale in the future. The company went from from an employer of choice who viewed its employee's as the most important asset to a company that penny pinches and only cares about the bottom line. Management is directionless, creating an extremely difficult work environment for its employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not forget about your employee's. Employees took what was provided by past senior management and boosted WMS's reputation to one of the best places to work in Chicago. Take those perks away? That reputation has and will change for the worse.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 4 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 a 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

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