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Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated April 21, 2017
47 reviews

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Blizzard Entertainment President and CEO Mike Morhaime
Mike Morhaime
28 Ratings

47 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • The pay wasn't great, especially for the cost of living in Southern California (in 23 reviews)

  • You have to work really hard to exceed expectations which can erode some of the exalted "work-life balance" (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (11)

    "Beware of the Bro Culture and Nepotism"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Engineer in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Excellent basic benefits (health, vacation, sick)
    - Fun company events
    - It's always sunny in Irvine
    - Perks such as affordable food, free gym, and lots clubs and activities if you're need to the area and would like to make friends.
    - CEO seems genuine in his vision for the company.
    - When I first arrived to Irvine, I felt very welcomed by the company.

    Cons

    I was hired and inspired by some incredible talent with a clear focus of "Gameplay First" and I left like many other talented, passionate, morally aligned professionals, deciding to not participate in the rampant “Bro Culture” in the tech department. I write this due to the lack of action the company had taken while I was an employee.

    Some highlights of the bro-culture are:
    - Clear promotion of your bro buddies, even when they lack any leadership, mentorship, process knowledge. Leadership is seeing rising stars as a threat to their lack of skills.
    - Listening to your peers dreading to present their projects, describing the experiences as hellish, brutal, and hazing.
    - Listening to your peers debate if they should do the right thing or do what the boss wants.
    - A shift from the Blizzard value of “Gameplay First” to a Microsoft culture of “Just execute anything” in the hopes your bro boss will promote you.
    - A fear of talking to HR about issues to due past employees being “outed” by HR.
    - Some keep a tally of how many meetings they go without seeing women in any Eng/PM leadership roles.
    - The mass exiting of women in the tech org.
    - Most of upper management will drive their “Honda work car” to the office, not to remind employees who can barely pay rent in one of the most expensive areas of the country that their annual bonuses are 5x, 10x, 20x more than those who are crunching hours.
    - Watching talented Engineers and Program Managers get overlooked for promotion or new roles only to hear a Bro has hired another MS employee. (Year after year)
    - Watching discipline experts not be valued due to their lack of “Bro-ness”.

    Advice to Management

    Whatever your strategy was in the past few years in the tech org, it wasn't working. Good talent is afraid to speak up and/or leaving in droves.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Great benefit, great people, but very unorganized..dissatisfied for such big company"

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

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

    Pros

    - People are smart, sharp, professional, great to work with.
    - Benefit is great. They take good care of you.
    - Great perk of being able to work on coolest game titles.
    - Environment is amazing.
    - Work life balance is decent.
    - Tool to succeed is provided if you speak up.
    - Fun parties and company events.
    - Swags and hoodies are given for every events.
    - Get to meet celebrities and voice actor/actress at events.

    Cons

    - LOW salary. I think it is the lowest in the industry...but people still apply and want to be part of Blizzard for its legendary titles.
    - Unorganized. Many of the Managers and Sr. Managers are people who started as QA or CS and to most that was their first job and climbed the ladder to become a Manager. So some did not get professional training or anything and just one day became Managers...and doesn't know what they are doing. Also, there are many many introverted personnel and some which ended up to be a Manager are somewhat socially awkward...making it difficult to communicate.
    - Too many changes. Constant change can be pro and con. But their change is negative. It's a consequence of not being organized. The department changes, manager changes, and people changes... your position can change drastically. I've seen people from Production thrown into Community Management.
    - Most people have work life balance but some has NONE.
    - Unhealthy food. Not many selection at the cafeteria. (Currently under construction)
    - Little to no parking.

    Dissatisfied for such big company.
    I had high hopes...

    Advice to Management

    Need to up the game with both salary and management training.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Mid-level Software Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    Work life balance
    Visibility into the entire organization
    Passionate workers
    Good benefits
    Family and pet friendly

    Cons

    Management can feel overbearing
    Pay is low
    Upward movement in engineering is more difficult than necessary
    Engineers under senior level must use time clocks

    Advice to Management

    While the company as a whole is great there are places and times where management steps on the toes of their employees as well as other departments.

    Lastly, if you have experts in a field have a bit more trust on what they are saying.


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  5. Helpful (11)

    "Quickly degraded to the lowest of mind numbing corporate enviroments."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Specialist Game Master in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Specialist Game Master in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Laxed dress code
    Fun co-workers
    Cool events
    Nice benefits

    Cons

    Out-of-touch management
    Complete destruction of the core values that the company says it holds dear
    Insufficient pay for the area and the industry
    Shifty pactices when it comes to things like bonuses
    Huge derease in perks with switch to battle.net balance

    Advice to Management

    Actually start listening to your employees and instead of calculating how you can make it appear you care, actually start to care. This isn't true of all management, but key management in cutomer service has lost touch.

    Also fix the underhanded pay and "bonus" structure.


  6. Helpful (16)

    "Crap pay. Crap hours. Clique leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - In-Game Support Representative in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - In-Game Support Representative in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Free stuff is alright enough. And having art from games that you used to love is nice. Although the love you have for the company and any of its games will drain away.

    Cons

    Hours are crap. And the company is downright cavalier about paying their cs staff less than what they'd make anywhere else.
    Leadership is clique as hell. Will bend over backwards for people they like.
    I literally sent an email to my boss saying "I am dealing with some serious depression. I have been hospitalized twice for suicide attempt and I don't want to lose my job. Please help." And was gone within a month.

    Advice to Management

    Why? They're not listening.


  7. Helpful (34)

    "Was great until culture shift"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Anything related to the corporate part of the organization (game releases, benefits, perks) are wonderful. The overall company culture is wonderful.

    Cons

    If you are part of the Tech Org, you can kiss the company culture goodbye.
    What makes the company great are the core values, however the new management that came from MS are creating a culture of finger-pointing and fear mongering.
    People in the Tech Org are downright miserable.
    The turnover is quite high, but they don't count escaping to a game team as turnover.

    Advice to Management

    Your Tech Org is falling apart. They are great at making you think that everything is improving however that's just their experience from MS on how to deflect blame and create fake accolades. It's downright unethical how MS folks can recruit each other at higher incomes and try to overhaul without listening and understanding the corporate culture. Do you want Blizzard employees or Microsoft employees?


  8. Helpful (17)

    "Too Many Managers; Not Enough Leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Passionate, brilliant teams who balance hard work with a fun work environment, lots of perks (gifts, food, swag, events), decent amount of time off, and located close to lots of parks, hiking trails, the beach, etc.

    Cons

    The department I work in has grown too fast, too quickly. Many of the upper management are new and have brought in sweeping changes without first getting to know the existing culture and employees. I used to feel like a valued member of a talented, close-knit team. Now I feel like a faceless resource to be moved around to promote someone else's agenda. The career advancement is completely opaque to the majority of the employees, and management lacks any apparent will to mentor, lead, or even get to know their employees. In this environment, the goal isn't to stand out and excel, but to do just well enough not to be noticed.

    Advice to Management

    Talk to your employees, and build real relationships with them. Be active in mentoring them. Be more clear in career advancement help. Take an active role in leading your teams and improving the culture before you make more changes.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "If you are not a P level employee, you won't be taken care of"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Manager in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    Blizzard has wonderful people that work there. The casual environment and the people are what make this job wonderful.

    Cons

    Depending on the department you work for, you will have a vastly different experience. Our entry level departments underpay people significantly and are not honest about the promotion process. They are not transparent, they will tell you to work harder to get promoted even when you should have already been promoted. I do not enjoy my job is a manager because of these things. I cannot promote people when they deserve it so my job is less career growth and more listening to people be upset about the quality of life conditions and making sure that they keep working.

    Most of the game teams at Blizzard are becoming less about gameplay first, and more about $ first. The days of being a small company that wanted to make epic games is over. Now its all about pushing people to work hard to hit deadlines and not compensating them for it. Work harder not smarter.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the boys club, and don't put people into high level leadership that severely lack the qualifications and also that have no vision for the future of the department. I would also advise against putting the same people into leadership that have no desire to professionalize the department and just want to hop over to another department.

     Focus more on ensuring that decisions are made based off of analysis and data, and the relabeling positions over and over again and thinking that is going to fix processes. Put people from outside the company into high level positions to lead the department if you feel you cannot train those that have been in it for a long time.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Would not recommend to fellow workers"

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

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Good culture at work
    Are not held accountable for anything

    Cons

    Too many to list
    Bad pay
    Bad Management
    Bad upwards movement in company (Elimating VP jobs when founders leave the company)
    Lack of accountability
    Lack of follow though
    Lack of Vision to a common cause


  11. Helpful (23)

    "Passion is not compensation"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The work itself is fantastic.

    You will be surrounded by brilliant people who are bursting with passion. They will inspire and surprise you daily.

    Constant stream of creativity and challenge. You will learn more and grow faster here than anywhere else in the industry.

    The products are exciting and interesting. The problems are challenging and fulfilling. You will leave work some days totally fried and mentally exhausted, and other days feeling like you can conquer the world (or like you just have). If you like work that is rewarding and challenging you'll love this place.

    Cons

    You will not make a living wage. The same job title at nearly any other company or location would afford someone a stable and comfortable lifestyle. Not here.

    It's absurd that people in career positions can not afford to live nearby. Unless your senior or higher, you will need to have at least roommate simply to survive. Sure, the answer could be "Just work up to senior then." But advancement opportunities seem to be time based as opposed to skill based. My manager has literally said "You're doing fantastic work. Just keep doing good work for a few more years" in response to a promotion inquiry.

    They expect the best, but refuse to pay for it. We are constantly told that our pay is "competitive" which, while technically accurate, is clearly not factoring in the cost of living per location. Oh, but hey, we are also having great profits as an organization, just FYI.

    For every brilliant person you work with, there is an inept one around the corner. Many of these people seem to be relics or go unnoticed by management. This is often not management's fault directly, as giving a single manager a whole department worth of employees is unrealistic.

    Advice to Management

    If you really want to be the best, that comes at a cost.

    You are resting on your laurels and your past.

    Share the wealth, it's concerning that half of your employees are worried about paying rent and the other half come to work in high end luxury cars.

    It's unfortunate that you are located in such an insanely expensive location, but that's the reality. You need to accept that and accommodate it. Your wages would be passable if you were based pretty much anywhere else.

    I know people in similar positions to my own at other companies who own homes. Here I have to share with roommates and even then I'm pinching pennies to make sure I stay afloat.


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