ArenaNet Reviews | Glassdoor

ArenaNet Reviews

Updated December 21, 2018
91 reviews

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3.6
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ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
62 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "A company that really means it with work-life balance" (in 29 reviews)

  • "Work environment that encourages creativity" (in 12 reviews)

Cons
  • "mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance" (in 16 reviews)

  • "Like, artists not knowing what designers are doing, or server programmers not know what other client" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Game Development without the Sacrifice"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    - This company is one of the most diverse, accepting places I have ever worked. Tons of women and minorities in prominent leadership positions.
    - Extremely friendly team. Everyone is here to help if you just ask.
    - A legitimately anti-crunch studio. Work life balance is a clear priority.
    - Great product with passionate fan base.

    Cons

    - Pay isn't great.
    - Company at the whim of NCSoft (parent company) at times.


  2. "Working environment is great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Great place to work
    - people who work here are very nice and helpful

    Cons

    -communication could be better
    -pay could be better

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Not a Good place to grow as an artist."

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Hardly any crunch hours, you can take breaks.

    Cons

    Overall the place is too laid back, because of this culture most of the studio is stagnant. If you're an artist this will eventually catch up with you and you have no option but to work on personal work because of the lack of motivation to work on an archaic game most studios do not care about artistically. Only a certain few who speak up get advancement but the ceiling is so low. Certain folks are promoted to lead positions that shouldn't be. This usually happens because the company likes to pick certain individuals that are docile and easy to control. Do not be surprised if you're being lead by someone who is much younger than you and barely been in the industry and for the most part being a mediocre artist. It's not a bad place to work but I would leave after a couple of years if you really care about your artistry and stock.

    Last thing the pay is low, if you don't negotiate you will get low balled.

    Advice to Management

    To many cooks in the kitchen. Promote the right people in key position. Wipe away most of the older leads, most are complacent and bring nothing new for the better of the company.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good Devs, Bad Leadership"

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

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

    Pros

    good benefits, great developers, strong positive team dynamics, passionate people, great career development opportunities, good middle management (team leads)

    Cons

    mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance

    Advice to Management

    stop driving away talent with bad pay and meaningless personal conflict. get better at making concrete decisions. take risks.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Once Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    A lot of the people working on the ground level are great, supportive people.

    Cons

    There are major problems currently in middle management, making it an exceptionally stressful and demoralizing place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Managers of all levels need to get more involved with the development process, and offer actual direction, as opposed to ignoring projects until the last minute then coming in and asking for huge, sweeping changes to things that have been locked down for months.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "A wonderful culture"

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some amazing minds without "shoulder chips" to worry about, ArenaNet is a highly art-centric and creative work environment. There is a no-crunch focus and family friendly mentality that is hard to find elsewhere in the industry.

    Cons

    There are some communication problems within production and a general `go with the flow` attitude about planning that forces a lot of unnecessary re-scoping of even the smallest parts. Nothing unusual or extreme by industry standards but definitely something to consider. We can always be better.

    Advice to Management

    A little more focus on transparency and communication. There is a lot being done by the higher ups to improve, but there is work to be done in middle-management and overall studio culture.


  7. "Good Entry Company"

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

    I worked at ArenaNet (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    People are exceedingly friendly and are willing to help you grow your skill set and careers.
    Very focused on their disciplines
    Good work life balance
    Everyone works hard and is very hungry
    Moves fast

    Cons

    Moves fast, breaks things, but does not necessarily go back to fix them. This leads to a lot of hard to decipher legacy products, code and design.
    Lack of communication between teams
    Their production style creates knowledge and specialty silos which does not promote cross discipline work. Like, artists not knowing what designers are doing, or server programmers not know what other client programmers are doing.
    Leadership does not always adopt new technology, and there is a lot of proprietary technology that requires maintenance, which can distract from overall creative goals.
    Usually low salary, even for games.

  8. "Adequate place to start a career. Mediocre place to grow a more senior career."

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

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    Top-notch technologies/products.
    Great work-life balance (little/no crunch time.)

    Cons

    Little/no opportunities for career advancement for those with more than a few years experience. Retention problems because of that.
    Things move at a snails pace with lots of overhead.
    Support of diversity is uneven across the company. Very good in some areas. Utter failure in others.
    Compensation is low-to-average.

    Advice to Management

    Career growth of employees should be a review goal of managers. Trust in the experience of your more senior employees across roles, you're not using it.


  9. "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.


  10. "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!