BioWare Reviews in Canada | Glassdoor

BioWare Canada Reviews

Updated December 24, 2016
35 reviews

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4.0
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Andrew Wilson
3 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people to work with, good focus on work life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • Positive helpful work environment (in 13 reviews)

Cons
  • I agree with the reviews lamenting the contract vs full time split (in 6 reviews)

  • There is almost no room for advancement unless you're a friend of one of the 'old guard' (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Working With Some of the Best..."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Great opportunity to work with some of the top talent in the industry on incredible IP.
    - Studio has hugely experienced individuals at all three sites, in leadership and dev.
    - Fantastic culture; family oriented and friendly.

    Cons

    - Games are big and complex to make: can be a struggle for those new to the RPG genre.
    - Edmonton facility is outdated compared to Montreal and Austin.
    - BioWare's desire to retain their sense of self can be at odds with EA on occasion.

    Advice to Management

    - Stay the course: continue to invest in talented individuals.
    - Be aware of career growth for all staff.


  2. "Mature development studio"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Average age of employees here are much higher than other game studios I've previously worked at. Reinforcing my observation that they really make it a place you would like to stay and settle down in.
    - Despite the usual industry technology churn and process changes, management is always approachable and willing to listen to your input, feedback and is sincere about your concerns.
    - Family oriented; if you need to take time off for your kids, family issues or involved with outreach, BioWare will work with you on making it happen.
    - Quality focused, the senior leadership team and leads at all levels are focused on making quality games. Though we have KPI targets, meta critic ratings to aim for, at the end of the day people are willing to put that aside if your decision is to make the game better instead of bean counting.

    Cons

    - Location makes it hard to retain talent, especially when attracting younger talent.
    - BioWare culture is harder to export to sister studios, which can cause misalignment with decisions and direction.
    - EA though mostly hands off especially on the creative development of the game, still consistently tinkers with the studio structure, management and process, causing past senior leadership members to leave and it erodes BioWare's company culture.

    Advice to Management

    - Continue to act as a bulwark against decisions that don't make sense either from internal or external factors when it jeopardizes BioWare's ability to make great games.
    - Look at more other creative ways to attract and retain talent.
    - Worth looking at how we interact with both EA studios and our sister studios, a lot of positive gains can be had with how we build our games as we move more towards a build of having more than 1 studio involved at any given time.


  3. "A great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Current Employee - Software Developer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Overall, BioWare is a great place to work. I feel very much supported by my team in my day to day job, as well as in my efforts for self-improvement. I have great work-life balance. I also have a lot of autonomy in my job and room for innovation.

    Great benefits. Super fun and relaxed environment.

    Cons

    I feel really lucky on my team. The pros mentioned are not the case on every team. For example, I don't have to work the crunch that is usual for the large majority of people.

    Like most companies, there are a lot of political games. People are clique-y and there is a sense of inter-team friction.


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  5. "A place to grow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Animator in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Senior Animator in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Gives a lot of support and opportunity for their employee to leave their mark in the companies and in the games. they let you go as far as you are ready to push for and recognize your effort. They'll guide you towards your straight when you are not at your best. Bioware cares for their employees and listen to them. The hierarchy is fairly flat and very open for everyone to speak out.

    Cons

    not at the best of the technology in production tools , they come from far but are trying their best to get back up to the top


  6. "Solid Place for a Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Working for BioWare is great!! There are so many opportunities to work on some of the industries best franchises; there are even new IP opportunities, which is a rarity. I've had the pleasure to work with some of the most talented teams and individuals assembled - super passionate and humble. Certainly in an environment like this I am consistently challenged, encouraged to grow with plenty of opportunities to contribute. Couldn't be happier!!!

    Cons

    The projects I have been working on are very, very, big. This does require a lot of determination, commitment and highly skilled individuals. Trying to work with so many dependencies can be tough at times.


  7. "One of the best game companies out there"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Current Employee - 3D Artist in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BioWare (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Bioware cares about its employees. Benefits are nice, and Bioware has a good life and work balance( of course there is always crunch when the game is at its final stage.)
    -Most of the time , the higher ups listen to our feedback.
    -Aim for a very high quality game.
    -When the game needs more time, most of the time is given by EA to ensure Bioware ships great titles.
    -Friendly work environment.
    -Very open to trying new 3D software to improve the pipeline.
    -Employees are actually rewarded and recognized for doing exceptional work.
    -I have been working in the industry for almost 12 years in a few companies, I can assure Bioware is one of the best one overall.
    -A lot of very talented people in the industry working for Bioware. It's a great feeling when you can trust your co worker to have the common goal to deliver great product.

    Cons

    -Politics. But I have been in the industry long enough to know politics exists at every game studio.
    Bioware has the least amount of it.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "I would of choose differently"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    1.If you are right out of school you can learn some basics in first 6 month.
    2.Looks good on the resume
    3.regular employees are mostly great people.

    Cons

    1.Promotions and rewards based purely on friendship with management, not hard work or contribution.
    2.you might work hard every day, while your leader plays video games on his computer, and gets all the credits.And if you complain who is going to believe you?
    3.Management are mostly can be very insecure, unskilled, lost their passion, given up on learning new skills and keeping up with industry standards.
    4. Because of lack of standards in middle and upper management ,most do the least to keep their jobs and collect the paycheck for their family. So it will be near impossible to try to improve anything as you get beaten down by sarcasm ,drama, and unnecessary jealousy .
    5.Lots of drama, and lack of professionalism.

    Advice to Management

    Get your passion back, or quite.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "A job, not a career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    EA has great benefits and competitive salaries. Name looks good on a resume.

    Cons

    Unless you were hired when the company was founded there is zero chance for advancement. Lots of weird politics, nepotism and unfathomable decision making. Management is clueless about building anyones careers but their own. Production always seems like its their first project ever. Get in, get a credit and get out. Innovation is rejected from a place of jealousy and insecurity as the old guard (the 1%) are easily threatened. Best way to get a new idea in is to 'Inception' it into their brains so they can think they had it. Ugly facilities.

    Advice to Management

    Good luck with this type of leadership across three studios.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "VFX Artist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Montreal, QC (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at BioWare full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Used to be a great environment filled with great amount of world class creative talents.
    - Work on a great AAA IP.
    - Great location downtown Montreal.

    Cons

    - Bioware Edmonton and Montreal symbiosis is broken. Lots of conflicts and bro culture.

    - Lost over 13 leads (game design, art, audio, prog, senior core leads, etc) in 5 years at Bioware Montreal on Mass Effect. Edmonton lost only 3. It is clear that Edmonton has the bigger part of the stick when it comes to purge Leads and Producers who are not aligned with their leadership style.

    - Putting people on performance improvement program (PIP Program) is the new tactics to get rid of people. Once again more than 10 people in Montreal got slammed with this bureaucratic uppercut to let go people that are not bending to Edmonton leadership styles in the last revision cycle. This approach is used by the Montreal Leadership to purge the mess from the lack of vision cause by upper management in the last 4 years (throwing people under the bus to protect bad core management).

    - Renaming crunch to Finaling mode. Which means company pays for your lunch but you have only 30 minutes to eat and then getting back on the keyboard. Was lasting for over 2 months and was a real catastrophy.

    - Retaliation and harassment is sadly a reality. If you talk and ask questions you will be tag as a trouble maker and end up in a bad position.

    - HR won't help you out. They will deny the current harassment from Monreal management by ignoring and not documenting the facts. In other words if you leave don't talk. Just let it go...

    - Many benifits got cut due to too much time extension to get the game done.

    Advice to Management

    Not going to waste my breath on this one... Sadly they won't listen anyway.


  11. "Excellent place to work, but good luck staying there for long."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - QA Tester in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Former Contractor - QA Tester in Edmonton, AB (Canada)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Strong employee benefits
    - Positive helpful work environment
    - Fun and engaging coworkers.
    - Industry's best and brightest
    - Really great ergonomics (this is super nice)

    Cons

    - Little to no room for further growth.
    - Connection means very little for future attempts at full-time work there.
    - Lots of overtime, but this can be a positive if you want that.
    - Quality of life can vary from team manager to team manager

    Advice to Management

    Please work on improving clarity in the application and hiring process.



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