BioWare Reviews | Glassdoor

BioWare Reviews

Updated March 16, 2018
84 reviews

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4.1
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Andrew Wilson
14 Ratings

84 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Employees are often brought in on contract and promised a full-time position if they perform to Bioware's standards (in 8 reviews)

  • Higher ups have extreme attitude problem (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Good environment . Good people.

    Cons

    Location is not good. Too cold.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "great place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    - People are in general kind, friendly, and helpful. Many of these people are the best in the world in their individual roles and they care enormously about the games and their team.
    - Upcoming projects are exciting and look great.
    - Company is family-oriented and leads constantly stress that you should keep healthy work-life boundaries (a nice change from past years).
    - Studio is moving soon to a new, very nice office space.
    - Perks are great and pay is pretty good.
    - Looks great on paper.
    - Edmonton isn't as bad as people assume.
    - Lots of people REALLY love the games.

    Cons

    - Siloing has always been a huge issue at BioWare.
    - Some leads are really insecure which can manifest itself as either avoidance behaviour or abusive behaviour.
    - A small but passionate section of BioWare fans have historically and will probably always be mean to our company and our games.
    - EA is a double-edged sword.

    Advice to Management

    -Please give people an opportunity to grow beyond "just" senior without forcing them to be people managers. Top talent should be rewarded but there's nothing worse than a manger who is there for the wrong reasons.
    - We could be doing more to attract great people. I don't blame the city. I blame our processes. We should modernize our recruitment processes and then become pickier on who we hire.
    - Encourage employees to build bridges between teams so reduce siloing.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Feels like home"

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

    I worked at BioWare (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Great people, great live work balance. Literally a big family.
    - Lots of exciting challenges
    - Lots of love from gaming communities and cosplayers
    - Free breakfast, lots of swags and nice perks

    Cons

    - Products and solutions can be repetitive.
    - Hierarchy is strong, very hard to challenge senior technical people.
    - Very difficult to find the 'meat' of the game .
    - Put itself in tight deadlines as it promises impossible things over and over.
    - Edmonton is tough if you like a urban/hipster life.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on less content but high quality content.
    Look forward and not sideways, try thinking ahead. What is it that players want to play 3 years from now?


  4. Helpful (6)

    "A studio barely clinging to life"

    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 BioWare full-time

    Pros

    - Opportunities to work on famous and popular AAA franchises
    - EA's pay and benefits are tops in the industry
    - Good facilities with lots of perks
    - Inclusive workplace that values and promotes diversity
    - There's a sincere effort to ensure work-life balance, but that's the first thing to disappear when a project catches fire

    Cons

    - Studio leadership is untrustworthy, unaccountable and obsessed with politics
    - Bad creative and business decisions are allowed to survive for years and destroy the projects that get stuck with them
    - Sub-studios are the public scapegoats for the Edmonton mothership's failures
    - Constant high turnover at all levels, with many replacement hires being temp workers who don't receive any benefits
    - After years of high-profile failures, fans and EA have lost faith in BioWare and left its future in doubt

    Advice to Management

    - Reconnect with what made past BioWare games great and let it be the focus of future projects
    - Clean house in the upper management's ranks to bring in fresh blood that won't be distracted trying to settle old grudges
    - Give employees a good reason to stay besides the paycheck


  5. "Solid company that cares about its people"

    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 BioWare full-time

    Pros

    Passionate team who care about making high quality products

    Cons

    Creativity limited by external requirements


  6. "Despite the location, a wonderful place to work"

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

    I have been working at BioWare full-time

    Pros

    - In general, ideas are valued by their strengths, and can be argued for
    - A high concentration of good personalities
    - Great benefits
    - Edmonton is relatively affordable

    Cons

    - Edmonton is cold in the winter
    - Office could use some upgrading

    Advice to Management

    Continue to listen to the ideas of your employees, send clear messages.


  7. "Culture of Excellence"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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. Helpful (6)

    "I would of choose differently"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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. "Working With Some of the Best..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  10. "Mature development studio"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


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