I worked at IGN Entertainment (More than a year)
A short preamble: The founder, Peer Schneider, is the GM/CEO, not Damon Johnson. I gave Damon a thumbs down, but Peer gets a thumbs up.
First, the office is great. Arcade games and fanboy art/toys everywhere. There's free booze, free coffee, often free snacks. NERF guns often go off routinely throughout the work day.
The people are absolutely the best I've ever worked with in my life. IGN always has and always will get this right. The entire staff is composed of some of the best in the advertising and digital content business. I've never met more intelligent and fast-learning people than I did at IGN, and everyone was an absolute blast to work with. Everyone has an opinion, but no one lets it affect their work relationships. There is some very high EQ and RQ at this company. The veterans whom are not execs really know their stuff, and they know how to convey it without coming off pompous.
Data, data, data. Know and understand data. Data is used in all decision-making at IGN, and all your ideas for improving what's done, or creating new business models must be supported significantly by data.
Execs really know their stuff as well, and are ridiculously friendly, but I'll get to the cons in a moment.
IGN's core values are directly in-line with my own, so I really liked working within those boundaries. Additionally, IGN gives you every opportunity to be proactive, learn a lot, and seize new responsibilities. The encouragement to take on new things is endless, and if you have the time to manage it, definitely look for ways to improve things. I learned more in a couple years at IGN than the rest of my fairly long career in this industry.
But even with all the intelligence, a lot of people just are not motivated enough. Proactiveness is often lacking, and why shouldn't it? There's not much reward for doing great work (and great work is consistent). Some people do amazing work, and are never recognized for it, even over 5 years.
Ziff Davis, the parent company, often touts IGN's high profit margins, but those profit margins come at the price of paying IGN's staff poorly, and not pursuing advancement for employees. I often heard from execs that, "You sacrifice wages, because it's IGN," meaning that IGN is apparently so much fun and so chill that it's okay to pay people less than competitors.
If that were true, your staff wouldn't be leaving for Twitter, Facebook, Google, Twitch, CBS Interactive, Pandora, and other equally fun places that pay very well.
During my extensive tenure, I was routinely told I needed to prove myself before any advancement is offered. I did, in fact, prove it on multiple occasions, but it did not seem to be enough. Eventually, I left for somewhere much more fun that paid much better for half the hours.
The location isn't the best for those commuting via BART or subway, but it's good for those using Caltrain. It's right next to AT&T Park, so expect long commutes via car during games.
Advice to Management
Pay your people a bit more to reduce such high turnover. Stop asking for more proof to advance people, when the evidence has been presented on more than one occasion.
I applied online. The process took 1 day. I interviewed at IGN Entertainment (Los Angeles, CA) in April 2016.
Applied online, process took a few weeks, when I was finally interviewed, a few rounds of interviews later i heard nothing, when I called to follow up they kept transferring me to a number that would keep ringing,
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