BioWare Reviews in Edmonton, AB | Glassdoor

BioWare Edmonton Reviews

Updated December 24, 2016
22 reviews

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Edmonton, AB, Canada Area (Canada)

3.6
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Andrew Wilson
2 Ratings

22 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
  • Connection means very little for future attempts at full-time work there (in 8 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    - Edmonton facility is outdated compared to Montreal and Austin.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. Helpful (6)

    "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.


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  5. Helpful (9)

    "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.


  6. "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.


  7. Helpful (10)

    "BioWare Edmonton"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Many great people
    Family-oriented
    Some highly talented people there
    Makes great games
    Generous time off at Christmas

    Cons

    High level of politics and nepotism, especially among the senior leadership
    Edmonton is a cold city with the studio in an uninteresting part of town
    Lower salary compared to other studios
    Crunch lasts between 6 months to over a year
    Difficult to advance unless you are good friends with senior leads

    Advice to Management

    Talent is being lost; many reasons are because of the leadership. Listen to employees concerns and act, instead of driving them away. Be humble and check the egos at the door.


  8. "BioWare Edmonton"

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

    Pros

    Strong sense of teamwork, family-oriented/friendly, some of the more complex and well liked projects in the industry

    Cons

    Edmonton is not a great city, some level of politics and nepotism


  9. Helpful (10)

    "Sadly, a shell of its former self"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    teams work hard to keep culture intact, still a sense of pride to work for company, support teams work hard to make environment fun as possible with restrictions given

    Cons

    not the same company it was 5-10 years ago, and reflects in the # of senior managers that have either left or been let go
    Benefits have slowly eroded or been revoked by EA


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Great place to work as long as you can steer clear of the drama"

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

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

    Pros

    -Lots of really great people
    -Moving between departments is relatively easy
    -Projects are pretty cool.

    Cons

    -Tons of politics and drama
    -Zero support for innovation unless it's a lead's pet project
    -Rotten core of senior leadership that does nothing to improve the situation
    -There is almost no room for advancement unless you're a friend of one of the 'old guard'.
    -Crunch - all of the crunch. Every project I've worked on has resulted in 80 - 100 hour weeks for at least 6 months.

    Advice to Management

    Bioware is long overdue for a 'changing of the guard' - people in senior positions refuse to fix the very serious personnel issues festering beneath the surface & it's driving talent away from the studio. Either bioware will clear house and move into the future or it will crumble - not sure which way it will go.


  11. Helpful (1)

    "A caring, highly motivated place to work"

    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
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    This studio has some of the best talent I've ever had the pleasure of working with. A huge majority of the staff is sharp, passionate, but still family-friendly. There are a great deal of developers here with their own families, so the work/life balance is admirable. Very good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    I can still see some people, or even whole teams, that work a lot of hours during milestones. In some cases I think this is more due to lackluster anticipation of the actual needs to finish the product.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure everyone is giving absolute, honest estimates about work required. Projects are so huge these days, and the utmost care needs to be taken to make sure that all departments stay on the same page.


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