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ArenaNet Reviews

Updated February 5, 2018
83 reviews

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3.6
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Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
57 Ratings

83 Employee Reviews

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Pros
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More Pros and Cons

  1. "Exciting studio; kind and talented coworkers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Narrative Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Narrative Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - A company that really means it with work-life balance
    - Great teams, kind people, leadership that is engaged, compassionate, accessible, and fun
    - Commitment to avoiding “crunch” and focusing on long term sustainability
    - Impressive talent, high ambitions
    - A great game under their belt
    - Company on exciting growth trajectory
    - Active efforts to improve what pain points do exist
    - Strong benefits

    Cons

    - Paying for parking
    - Somewhat limited lunch options nearby; studio location somewhat awkward in relation to major cities
    - Things in flux / mid-growth means some growing pains and uneven workloads

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you’re doing by bringing in top talent and keeping an eye toward the future!


  2. "Overall a good employment experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    A lot of good talent, some downright great talent. Management is getting significantly better lately.

    Cons

    Management used to be a mixed bag. Some smart, experienced folks, some textbook wannabes.

    Advice to Management

    Let management evolve down the current path, you have something good going on.

  3. "Great people; mediocre pay + technical debt"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer
    Current Employee - Programmer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Really great bunch of people.
    Casual laid-back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Comp + benefits lagging behind competitors.
    Management is making changes, but slowly and changes are small and insignificant, and are often constrained by NCSoft (parent company).
    High technical debt often impedes productivity and studio often lacks resources to address it.

    Advice to Management

    This is a tough one... The studio needs to bring on more strong new talent, but that's going to be tough without spending the kind of money the studio doesn't have and NCSoft (parent company) doesn't seem particularly excited to provide.


  4. "3D Environment Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - 3D Environment Artist in Kirkland, WA
    Current Employee - 3D Environment Artist in Kirkland, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The culture here is amazing. Great work life balance.
    Able to take creative liberties.
    No Egos, people are kind and friendly but tend to keep to themselves. ArenaNet really takes care of there employees.
    Best Leads I have ever had.

    Cons

    Their software and parts of their workflow is outdated.
    Pay can be better.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being the kind and generous company that you are. I'm sure everything else will come in due time


  5. "Amazing talent. Friendly people."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Just about the nicest group of coworkers you will run into. Some very smart people working here. Very creative environment especially in the art department.

    Cons

    career growth opportunities are somewhat limited. More team building activities will yeid good out come.


  6. "Amazing talent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Anet was an amazing time in my career. I had long been a fan of the Developer, and jumped at the chance to work with them. There are some incredibly smart and talented people working there, and I am proud of the work we did as a team on Guild Wars 2.

    Cons

    Big studio with hundreds of people working. It can be hard forming bonds with people.

    Advice to Management

    More team building exercises.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Good culture, bad managers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The employees are nice and fun to work with. The social atmosphere is relatively relaxed for games.

    Cons

    The upper management is old and set in their ways. A few technically competent, but managerially incompetent people got promoted to director and it makes the professional atmosphere unstable.

    Advice to Management

    Reevaluate the senior staff. Be more discerning in hiring or be more willing to fire dead weight.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing studio, but some organizational struggles"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Programmer in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Lead Programmer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Art, programming teams are among the best in the business

    Cons

    Management has a hard time focusing, and it can be hard to get resources/attention for worthwhile projects.

    Advice to Management

    Focus more, and trust the folks doing the work. Not everything needs to be micro-managed, that's why you hire adults.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Start looking!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Free snacks and soda and company giveaways; location is good; benefits are good compared to my girlfriends company but need better 401k match; food truck is nice to have

    Cons

    Be prepared for zero profit sharing payout next 3 years; losing directors to Amazon because pay sucks HR is not proactive. No idea what career development means. Mass exodus soon if there is no backup plan. Should not spend so much money on a holiday party and start giving to employees not everyone likes to go to parties.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your pay practices not competitive people do leave for compensation. Bad management practices too so start looking at decisions being made carefully


  10. "Excellent benefits, mediocre compensation."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    They really care about their employees. They truly want you to love working there and be happy. All roles are very stable(AFAIK there's never been any layoffs in 10+ years). Culture is friendly and supportive.

    Cons

    Compensation is mediocre, especially for designers and artists. Benefits are excellent, but salaries leave much to be desired.

    Company seems, in some ways, stagnant. Financially they're stable, but the chance to work on exciting new stuff is limited.

    Advice to Management

    The best work we've put out has come from driven individuals trying to surpass expectations. Focus more on cultivating a work environment which encourages people to try new things, and make sure they have access to the resources to let them do that. Frequently stuff is too compartmentalized with top-down directives limiting what people can attempt.


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