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Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated January 17, 2018
517 reviews

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4.3
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Blizzard Entertainment President and CEO Mike Morhaime
Mike Morhaime
402 Ratings

517 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Cost of Living, Irvine CA is expensive (in 23 reviews)

  • You have to work really hard to exceed expectations which can erode some of the exalted "work-life balance" (in 17 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (2)

    "How it should be done."

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

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

    Pros

    Most companies have "pillars" and then ignore them. Blizzard has cast them in bronze, made them the center of their campus, and focuses on them every day. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but when one of your pillars is "Play Nice, Play Fair" it's a refreshing change of pace. At Blizzard, a common phrase that is spoken is "Set them up for success." The idea that in everything we do, we should be setting our co-workers as well as our games up for success. In these ideals Blizzard works at making them a reality, not just saying them.

    Embracing your inner geek, leads to one of the most accepting environments I have ever experienced.

    They work not only on making their games awesome but at making their employees the best they can be, both in work and out of work. They have focuses on health, expanding skills, and having fun with co-workers.

    Cons

    The only con that comes from working for Blizzard is people you meet who ask for free stuff or pester you for changes.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A place to call home"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Manager in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Group Manager in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Blizzard has been a great company to call home for the last 3 years.

    I've never worked for a studio where the mission statement and core values are lived and embodied as well as at Blizzard. We have a great family-oriented culture where teams are encouraged to share their opinions and feedback.

    The technology stack is becoming modern as the organization embraces cutting-edge technology. This has been an exciting change over the last 3 years and will be a fun journey to observe as we release more products over the coming years.

    Game development plays an integral role in the strategy and direction of the company and the TechOrg teams enjoy a highly collaborative relationship with the game teams. Over the past few years, we've seen a lot of growth in Web & Mobile and Battle.net's approach to product development and they are building some truly innovative features for the gaming industry.

    Cons

    Blizzard has very few cons outside of compensation. Titles and compensation have been slowly catching up with Tech industry averages for the last 3 years but still have a lot of room for improvement.

    Comparable to other game studios, we pay top dollar, so if you are approaching the studio from within the games industry, you will be very pleased.

    Advice to Management

    Stay true to what makes Blizzard a great place to work.

    Continue investing in our employees, our diversity initiatives, and our culture. With the growth and explosion of eSports and TechOrg, make sure that the teams are aligned with our core philosophy and culture and manage individuals out who may not be the right fit.

    One bad apple can cause significant culture and morale impacts across the company, so it's important that we continue to hold our quality bar high in hiring.

  3. "Comments from long-term employee"

    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 Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Being surrounded by super smart, super creative people is awesome and makes you bring your best everyday. Company culture full of passionate, geeky, developers and lovers of games. Hard work and commitment is expected. Blizzard is still led by its founders and they are the keepers of our culture/what sets us apart from other entertainment companies.

    Cons

    The company is maturing. Some processes are still from it's start-up phase. Very consensus driven org which can make things go slower than other places.


  4. "Nowhere is perfect - but this is close!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Overall a really fun place to work with an awesome emphasis on culture. Plenty of opportunity to play games and goof around. Great company events and parties. Generally everyone seems to be pretty pleasant and happy. Retention seems high as many display their service awards for 5 years and 10 years in their office. Strong growth in company size appears to be welcome by most (but not all). Every team is different so really try to not get overwhelmed on your all-day interview - instead ask lots of questions and see if you're gonna gel with your new team.

    Lots of perks - onsite cafe and Starbucks are nice, library is fun, and the gym is cool - but - space on the main campus is prime and thus unless you're on a game team you wont be there for long.

    Cons

    What many other reviewers have noted about management appears accurate to me. Seems like a lot of people were promoted to manager with poor leadership skills. Lots of re-orgs, not sure if its because of poor leadership or just due to growth. "Bro" culture mentioned in previous reviews is accurate. There is some evidence that management is trying to rectify this and bring in more experiend external manager.

    Advice to Management

    Executive leadership seems to be on point and making the right decisions!


  5. Helpful (9)

    "Only if you want to live in Orange County or land on your dream game team."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PM/Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - PM/Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    + If you find a good team, it's easy to imagine yourself here 5, 10, 15+ years unlike many tech/game companies.
    + Beautiful campus
    + Benefits are great
    + Good balance of company events and also leaving you alone to focus on your work.
    + Demembers always slow down so you can recharge.
    + Great work/life balance. Typically you can work 40 hours and leave work at work.
    + Definitely a few "greats" when it comes to creating games on campus. Learn from them.

    Cons

    Nepotism. This isn't a mark against anyone personally as I'm sure they are nice people in lucky situations. However, unless you are married to someone in the ivory bro tower, BFF with someone in the ivory bro tower, your chances of a strong trajectory for your career based on merit is been slim.

    Pay, stock, and bonus: Only directors and above can afford homes, save for retirement, max their 401k, pay for childcare, etc.

    Women at Blizzard: They are (finally) trying, but only after things got pretty grave. For a few years, the only female big promotions were strongly correlated to nepotism. In addition, unethical romances in the tech department (that EVERYONE knows about) went unchallenged, HR looking the other way, and even promoting those who made severely poor romantic workplace choices.

    Tech stack: The tech stack in many parts of the company is outdated which is one of the reasons things (new features) take a long, long time.

    Hostility in Battle.net: A few years ago, Blizzard hired many Microsoft PMs/Directors that brought their hostile, alpha-male, non merit based, interrupting habits, top-down decision posse to Orange County. While many tech companies have ditched this type of workplace culture and actively avoid these types of hires, B.net doubled down on it. If you search for the "Microsoft org chart by Bonkers world", it reflects the culture they brought to Battle.net. I now know from being on the outside, Battle.net senior PMs/directors at Blizzard have made a name for themselves in the industry, and not in a good way.

    Advice to Management

    Be willing to pay and hire top tech talent to clean up your old tech and PM culture. Great engineers, program managers, data scientists, and artists will not apply nor will stay at on a team that hurts their career for the long run. Learn from the teams that work well and reflect on those leadership qualities and apply them to the teams that are suffering.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Gaming Giant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Designer in Irvine, CA
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    My time spent as a member of the design team at Blizzard was indeed epic. I was fortunate to be a part of a UX team that really cared about the gamer problems and how best to solve them. I was able to learn and grow from excellent design, research, content strategy and data peers, given the opportunity to lead, mentor, and manage. The Blizzard culture naturally sets a high bar and is conducive to the in-depth product thinking the UX discipline needs to thrive.

    Some of my favorite moments were the game launches, amazing company events, department holiday parties, collaborating with peers, presenting to the leaders in the game teams and understanding how they think about gaming. Blizzard sets bold visions and high bars and it's a fun space for creative thinking.

    Cons

    It seemed like Blizz would go through heavy hiring years, but when it came time to promote qualified employees to the next level, they were stingy with amount of promotions a team could have. This would force well deserved peers to go quite a while without promotions and cause them to leave. As many people have noted, the pay doesn't compete with other world-class companies. Middle management throughout the company was a dice roll between highly qualified/effective people and those who prefer Mad Men style management tactics.

    Advice to Management

    Looking forward to the next Blizzard Game! GLHF!


  7. "Great Experience all Around"

    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 Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Extremely great people to work with, fun environment, and great benefits.

    Cons

    Work-life balance can be difficult to maintain at times. Can be difficult communicating between teams due to different technologies used.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to standardize processes across the company as much as possible so work doesn't sometimes feel wasted.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Don't know if I'll ever leave"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Operations Planning Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Global Operations Planning Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Very strong culture
    Extremely casual dress
    New ideas are embraced
    Creativity is encouraged
    Play games at work (without getting yelled at)
    Awesome perks (champagne toasts for all launches, cool parties, pubs/beer in the office, sweet swag)

    Cons

    No child-care options
    Pay could be better (not bad, but not "competitive")
    Benefits are so-so, nothing to write home about

    Advice to Management

    Look into better pay, benefits and child-care to give Blizzard a notch up from competitors. Then you'll have all employees on lock.


  9. "game designer"

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    amazing games to play and watch

    Cons

    cant slack off much unfortunately


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Starting in Support -> Moved to Business Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Business Analyst in Irvine, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Environment is wonderful. Geek or not, you will find others around you that are wonderful to talk to. There are so many days where it almost doesn't even feel like work! Especially as a geek, if you are talking to a customer - you're effectively talking to another gamer just like you. The spirits of everyone, and how teams get along was one of the best things I had experienced.

    - Wear (pretty much) whatever you want. Don't need to be business dressed, or business casual, can wear and wave that favorite t-shirt of yours of your favorite band or game (obviously inappropriate things should be obvious here..). Just be at work, and be presentable. No need for uniforms or looking around for new clothes for a job.

    - So many free benefits - from games, to clothing, to pretty much anything you can imagine (especially as a geek). So if you're a geek, you will love it.

    - Friendly all around the company, and every voice even to the highest (CEO/President) of the company cares for your feedback. Does it mean that ALL of that feedback is going to be implemented, no. But it is wonderful to be able to voice things, and know that others care to hear them. Often times even resulting into some great changes.

    -The company truly values their employees and their feedback. To the point that you will have game-time when available, to test out new aspects of a game that hasn't launched, or other things to help provide insight into what may need to change/improve.

    -Reasonable hours/shifts for about any need. Early day, mid day, nights, etc. And always open on holidays for that double pay if you are scheduled/work for it!

    -Sharing of revenue due to how well the business (and even you) are doing. At least yearly.

    -Not on the phones? Listen to your favorite music all day, be more productive than you could ever imagine, and have your day swing by like nothing!

    -Lots of Growth Opportunities

    -Lots more.... but that is about the summary of it.

    Cons

    -Definitely lower on the pay-scale (even professional level) due to the amount of free perks, etc. So this environment/company may be perfect for some, and not so much for others.
    -Some things are a bit disorganized due to a lot of in-house changes and developments, instead of relying on people to do it for them. (but this isn't necessarily a bad thing either, just can sometimes become frustrating at times if impacting to you).
    -Lots of definition that does not exist for roles, sometimes departments, etc. Causing confusion within responsibilities/expectations, or ensuring the right people are notified/aware of the right things.

    -HIRING PROCESS: This is by far the worst thing I have to complain about. Not only is it incredibly long to even find out if you are hired, but it can sometimes take forever (or never) to even hear if you're going to be interviewed. I'm not sure if denial letters are sent out, but it keeps you on this line of waiting for something to happen that you want/interested in, but have no idea what the hell is going on on their end. Feedback/status updates of the process would be helpful so that if denials happen, you know when to move on, or if not, you know to expect something like unknown callers, etc.

    Advice to Management

    Please Please Please PLEASE consider improving the hiring process. It is so painful to have that resume/cover letter submitted, and then never hear ANYTHING. Did I get denied? I have no idea. Has it even been read? i have no idea. Am i a potential candidate? I have no idea!!!

    The process is long enough as it is, having some feedback intervals would be very helpful.


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