BioWare Reviews | Glassdoor

BioWare Reviews

Updated April 12, 2017
26 reviews

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5.0
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Andrew Wilson
7 Ratings

26 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. "BioWare Lifer"

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    BioWare has always had leadership that cares about its people. From the founders, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, to the current GM Aaryn Flynn. The company is focused on creating some of the best games in the world and it shows in its track record of games, including the recent Dragon Age: Inquisition (GOTY).

    BioWare's culture is defined by the statement "Quality in the Product and Quality in the Workplace". It is difficult to balance the needs of a project with the needs of the employees, but BioWare has done a good job of it over the years.

    Cons

    BioWare is a company that values open communication/critique. This can lead to stress as everyone's work is held to a high standard. If you enjoy a high performance culture, this might be a positive :-)


  2. Helpful (3)

    "A great place to learn the mmo game and a much better run game studio than most."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Talented, passionate people all over the place. I particularly want to call out the embedded QA analysts (if you get a contract QA position I highly recommend pursuing any of these opportunities that open up) and our community/marketing teams which do a really great job of engaging the community and looking through data to make sure that we're using our finite resources to develop parts of the game that keep players happy.

    EA has great benefits - great medical/dental, 401k, employee stock purchase plan, charity donation matching, tuition reimbursement, active living benefit, free games, etc etc etc. EA has an 'evil empire' reputation, but they actually put a lot of effort in to taking care of their employees.

    You'll have coworkers all over the age/gender/sexual orientation/racial/religious/political/diet/brogrammerness/shoe size map. It's not an echo chamber.

    Not so much crunch time and boom-and-bust as other game studios. There aren't massive layoffs all the time and crunch time is kept pretty minimal compared to previous sudios I've been at.

    I'll second the reviews saying communication from studio management is abundant and informative. You always know what the studio's goals are and how your role plays in to it.

    Cons

    I agree with the reviews lamenting the contract vs full time split. There's a place for contract-to-hire, but when half your staff is temp segregating them is really demoralizing. Fortunately managment uses temp positions much more sanely now.

    The Heroblade middleware is pretty universally loathed.

    There are a lot of negative reviews for the contract QA jobs, and yeah those jobs suck but they just kind of suck everywhere. If you can land an embedded job you're going to have a highly respected role and challenging work that affords you a lot of autonomy.

    Advice to Management

    Keep it up! Things run much more smoothly now than they used to. I really look forward to the next cool projects to come out of the studio.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Best/smartest company I've worked for"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Withheld in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Withheld in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Committed to product quality
    Committed to quality of life for employees
    Honest, committed management
    Company ran via analysis rather than emotion

    Cons

    Had challenges with integration with EA
    Loyalty to long term employees sometimes meant they were promoted beyond their capabilities

    Advice to Management

    Let Bioware be Bioware rather than EA!


  4. "Great company with great values."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environment Artist in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Environment Artist in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great IPs to work with, lots of emphasis on personal input, management is open to listening to your ideas and is generally concerned with your work satisfaction. There was a really great emphasis on work/life balance as well.

    Cons

    I don't have too many cons to report. I had a great experience during my tenure at the studio.

    Advice to Management

    I really admire the company's core values. Keep adhering to them and you'll have a satisfied and enthusiastic team.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Very challenging and satisfying."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Outsourcing Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Outsourcing Coordinator in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great work environment. Everyone is hardworking and excited about the product. There are a lot of team buiding events that make the weeks enjoyable.

    Cons

    The only down side is that it is a volatile industry. Gaming companies have to stay competitive, and thuse there is a lot of transitions that happen within the departments, and between companies in the gaming industry.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is a difficult aspect to manage in any company. Bioware has a lot of highly trained, technical people. These talented people dont necessarily communicate with eachother very well, however. My advice would be to cultivate leaders and managers that can pull these talented people together, and leverage their skills more effectively.


  6. "QA Tester"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at BioWare as a contractor

    Pros

    Great culture, great people, great food.

    Cons

    Low pay, contract work (rather than permanent full-time), long hours during crunch.


  7. "Culture of Excellence"

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    BioWare rewards hard work and dedication with opportunity and growth. BioWare goes out of their way to make employees work-life comfortable and collaborative. Chance to work alongside worldclass teams, such as VFX, Character Art, Level Art and Cinematics.

    Cons

    Often BioWare is the target of wrongful assumptions and scrutiny.

  8. "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.


  9. "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.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "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


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