ArenaNet Reviews | Glassdoor

ArenaNet Reviews

Updated April 19, 2017
76 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-time Part-time

3.4
Star Star Star Star Star
Rating Trends Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet Co-Founder & President Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
51 Ratings

76 Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date

Pros
  • Work-life balance (even in crunch times) (in 24 reviews)

  • The usual game company amenities such as free snacks, beverages, gym (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management is run by Yes men (in 14 reviews)

  • The pay low compared to industry average (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Happiest I've been."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends

    Pros

    I've never been so happy at a company, and I've worked everywhere. I am excited to come to work every day.

    Everyone is very accountable, reliable, and awesome at their discipline.

    EXTREMELY flexible with time off, I've been allowed every request.

    Always put up in a nice place and taken care of when I travel.

    Always permitted to take classes and seminars that build on my interests/discipline.

    Love everyone I work with, I consider them all close friends.

    Family friendly environment: family, friends, pets, are welcome.

    Very fun environment, more play than work sometimes.

    No micro-managing.

    Flexible work hours, you are trusted to finish your tasks on your own time.

    Great benefits, I'm covered for everything!

    Great mix of people, mostly twenties and thirties, but everyone is great!

    Most everyone is direct.

    Some SUPER talent on the team, that is very inspiring.

    Cons

    Pay is on the low end of the industry.

    Advice to Management

    More initial direction the first week/month.

    "Trim the fat". A few people that have no place working here.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Best video game company ever!"

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

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

    Pros

    ArenaNet consists of a large group of very professional, very passionate people. It is great to get to work for a company that is so family oriented, and I just love how satisfying it is to work on a AAA video game.

    Cons

    There really is not much to say in the way of cons about ArenaNet. I think my only complaint would be that the compensation is slightly lower than you might find at the same positions as other game companies.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Best company I've ever worked at!"

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

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

    Pros

    The culture here is awesome. Very family like! The worklife balance is great as our President "Mo" believes that you should not have crunch mode if you plan correctly. I've been in the workforce for over 10 years now and have not been to a company as great as this. I hope to stay here a longtime!

    Cons

    I don't have any Cons. I could make some up, but I really just don't have any.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work! This studio has a great future!!!


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. "Best video game company I've ever worked for."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very talented/creative/brilliant people. You will learn a lot working here
    Extremely well organized without too much production overhead
    Great work/life balance
    Awesome facilities
    Great profit sharing program
    Better than average benefits

    Cons

    Pay is a bit lower than other places, but this is somewhat offset with the profit sharing program.
    I also think that having to pay for parking is a little irksome, but it can be avoided.


  6. "A fantastic change of pace."

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    Fun work environment.
    Great, talented people.
    Flexible management.
    Generous rewards for employees.
    Free snacks.
    Open atmosphere.
    Sincere interest in involving, including, and educating all employees.
    Compared to more entry-level game-industry jobs like with Nintendo and Microsoft, this is an absolute dream company to work for.

    Cons

    Some communication problems between departments.
    Hires for contract positions in a workflow that doesn't make sense for them.
    Last minute decisions from upper management trump all others.

    Advice to Management

    Contract positions are for inconsistent workflows where demands for staffing lessen after a big project completes. With a steady release cadence, there's no reason to contract employees. It then only becomes an exceptional way to lose talent.

    Don't make large sweeping decisions on short notice without getting input from the teams that are affected by the changes.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "It's not all fun and games...well actually, it is all fun and games."

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

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

    Pros

    Best place I've worked for. Smart people, inspiring leaders and a great product. It challenges me while inspiring me to do better.

    Cons

    Too many free snacks, cereal, candy, donuts, pizza and drinks...I've gained 5 lbs since I started and although we have a free healthclub on site I'm usually too busy in the gameroom to make it there. Also, everyone is just too nice...especially those 2 at the front desk...they must be up to something.

    Advice to Management

    If your goal was to create a great place to work with a bunch of smart people...you done good.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent Game Studio!"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been at the company for just over a year now and have worked at lots of different studios. Here are some of the Pros that come to mind:

    - Always willing to change and adapt: Since I've been here, Arena Net is constantly looking and asking its employees for ways we can improve. And it works - things are infinitely better now than when I started and it looks like 2014 is going to be better still.

    - Lots of Opportunity: Don't like what you're working on at the moment? Just let your lead know, there are lots of different types of work to be done here and lots of teams to do it on.

    - Guild Wars 2: GW2 is the fastest growing MMO in history. One of things I was looking for before I joined Arena Net was a place that would be STABLE above all else. GW2 is a huge anchor.

    - Talent: There's LOTS of talented people here. If you're looking for a place to learn, grow, and be challenged this is a great place to do just that.

    - Culture: ArenaNet is very generous with celebrating our victories, rewarding the entire team, and making sure we all feel like we're part of the family. Whether it's the entire company going out to a movie or an afternoon mixer after a succesful release, ArenaNet likes to treat their employees well. Also - the studio is gorgeous! Easily the most beautiful studio I've ever seen, let alone work in.

    Cons

    There are cons working just about anywhere and different people will have different problems no matter where they go. So my list of "cons" are more FYI's than Cons

    - If you're looking for a small studio, this is not that. ArenaNet employees lots of people. Granted, we're broken down into smaller, empowered teams so even if you don't like the large group you can find a small team bubble to call home.

    - We are a LIVE game environment: Again, just another FYI and not really a con since having a money making game is a HUGE Pro, you should know that we have a live game going with releases coming out every two weeks. That means the pressure is always on to make sure we all hit our deadlines. The team agrees to the work we're asked to do and actually plans and scopes it themselves, but its something to be aware of.

    Advice to Management

    Keep that spirit of willingness to improve any system, team, or process! It's served us well so far!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Best company ever since over 12 years in CG industry."

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

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

    Pros

    ArenaNet treats employee greatly, keeping balance work and life for us nicely.
    ArenaNet University(inside of the company) provide various education actively for all employee who want to lean more or new.

    Cons

    All the events and environment for employee are well organized, people are so nice to help as needs.
    Also, schedule wise, I've been scheduled fair amount of time to finish my tasks, which is my favorite part of it.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "The Real McCoy"

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

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

    Pros

    I didn't know jobs like this existed until I landed at ArenaNet! I've programmed here for nearly 7 years and it continues to be my dream job.

    -No crunch
    -Development is driven by passion not production milestones
    -Incredibly creative, laid-back and friendly work environment
    -Collaborative bottom-up development
    -Challenging problems to tackle.
    -Very flexible with work hours.
    -Egos are left at the door
    -Very clean and well organized code base with a strong code standard
    -Great studio with lots of great amenities(gym, snacks, drinks, game room, etc.)
    -Good benefits with profit sharing
    -Did I say no crunch?

    Cons

    Compared to everything I'm grateful for at ArenaNet my complaints feel pretty insignificant.

    -Very little documentation and heavy reliance on tribal knowledge
    -High expectations and challenging tasks can lead to "sink or swim" work environment
    -Requires passion and self-motivation to be successful
    -Poor on-boarding process
    -Compensation could be more competitive.
    -Paid parking

    Advice to Management

    Focus on providing clear direction and expectations while creating better communication across the studio. Figure out how to get new employees up to speed and better integrated into our culture sooner.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "My personal experience: great company"

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

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

    Pros

    - Great HR team--I have various medical issues and they're very accomodating
    - Wonderful people to work with
    - Reasonable scheduling and work/life balance

    Cons

    - Lots of tribal knowledge
    - Unfortunate "sink or swim" approach can overwhelm new folks
    - Too much short term contract work, at least in QA

    Advice to Management

    - Make a point of mentoring new hires
    - Written design standards/best practices might help with the tribal knowledge issue


Showing 76 of 97 reviews
Reset Filters