Blizzard Entertainment Reviews | Glassdoor

Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated June 29, 2017
86 reviews

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3.0
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Blizzard Entertainment President and CEO Mike Morhaime
Mike Morhaime
60 Ratings

86 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 15 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Blizzard CS "work work""

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Master Specialist in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Game Master Specialist in Austin, TX
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good health insurance and free to super cheap video games. Focused on career growth in and outside the company. Tuition reimbursement.

    Cons

    Pay is pathetic for the amount of responsibility you have. And they constantly try to spin the fact that you have good benefits as the reason why you get paid barely livable wages. Almost everyone there has 1 or 2 roommates to get by and are young adults or cabe dwellers so they don't care as long as they get free subscription game time.

    The number of systems is ridiculous. We are forced as part of the job to document workflows and steps taken to fix so that others can do it faster but not given any slack for having to be the first to fix an issue which takes longer and then also make the knowledge article while getting another case going.

    Advice to Management

    Stop CS'ing your employees. listen and actually work. Babbling semantics and then putting forth no effort to foster real change sucks.


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Good for a Stepping Stone, but rarely will it lead to anywhere but out the door."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Quality Assurance Analyst III in Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Technical Quality Assurance Analyst III in Irvine, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    You'll meet passionate people,

    Perks are pretty good.

    Cons

    There is no longevity,

    Have to choose between surviving at "BLIZZARD!" or living well.

    Management is joke

    There is no real path to a career, must be lucky to move up the ladder.

    Consistently reworking structure to squeeze more work out of lower level employees without paying more

    Merit increases do not keep up with cost of living.

    Promotional structure is based on how well you are liked, not how well you do your job.

    Bromance structure is prevalent among management.

    outside of Top 2% of the company everyone is paid on average 30% less than their market value

    Advice to Management

    Stop making up excuses as to why low level employees don't deserve more respect and pay

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great company if you are super passionate about games"

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

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

    Pros

    -fun
    -quality culture
    -most people who work here LOVE the company

    Cons

    -decisions are made by committee so things take forever
    -insulated company culture with little awareness of what's going on outside of the Blizzard walls

    Advice to Management

    To scale you have to change the way decisions are made an trust your leaders to make quality decisions.


  4. Helpful (18)

    "Great games, but great culture is deteriorating"

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

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

    Pros

    * Job security is #1. This is hard to find in the game industry, and Blizzard is rock solid.
    * Decent healthcare/401k
    * Progressive (at least for the U.S.) maternity/paternity benefits (8 weeks fully paid)
    * Epic & unique X-year service awards (2, 5, 10, etc.)
    * Excellent industry reputation, which translates into an automatic resume boost for future job seeking
    * If you work on a game team, you'll get to have at least one (if not more) very cool off-site team events per year. Other teams have events, but they quite obviously don't get and/or use the budget that the game teams do.
    * If you work on a game team, you'll likely have the opportunity to travel domestically and/or internationally to exciting signing and/or speaking events.
    * If you work on a game team (are you sensing a theme here?...), you get a large amount of respect from the rest of the company. *Many* people in most of the other departments are usually only working there until they can get a job on a game team.
    * 1 week paid vacation for Xmas / New Years
    * In addition to typical vacation/sick time, the company also offers 16 "float" hours per year to use for anything at all.
    * Cool (albeit occasional) swag
    * Heavily discounted shipping for any personal items
    * 2 profit sharing bonuses per year + a 10% salary holiday bonus. The profit sharing bonuses are HEAVILY tilted towards members of game development teams, however, so unless you work on a game team (again, there's a theme here) or in a very senior development position in some other area of the company, then your bonuses will likely be less than pleasing.

    Blizzard has some exceptionally talented juggernaut designers at the top levels for most of their game teams which are largely responsible for the company's success and growth over its lifetime. There is a healthy amount of pride that comes with working for one of the most well respected, premier game developers in the world.

    There are a ton of people at this company who love to game and are passionate about making and playing high quality material. The company is also pretty far ahead of most major gaming studios in terms of financing (it'll feel like you have unlimited money to spend on a project), infrastructure, and organizational structure. This is largely due to Blizzard's ability to churn out so many great games which have kept it running for such a long time, which is simply not common in the games industry.

    Cons

    Blizzard absolutely does not pay competitively for virtually any position. Blizzard relies on its industry reputation in order to convince its current and prospective employees that you should be happy to work for Blizzard for less, *especially* if you take a job as an internal candidate. Blizzard's approach towards pay scales almost feels like a form of employee exploitation. The senior leaders across the company are very good at convincing you that Blizzard is the best place you could hope to work for, and you should be grateful they even pay you at all. Blizzard may start to change that philosophy soon, as there have been a recent deluge of employees leaving the company for other studios in large part due to the significant difference in pay.

    Blizzard also has a very large imbalance of respect, power, benefits, influence, and budget that resides with the game teams specifically over all other teams at the company. It is made abundantly clear that there is a definite hierarchy where core members of the game development teams rule over all others. This creates a host of problems for the company, including: resentment across multiple departments, a lack of cohesive & productive inter-department communication, silos of information, a "we vs. them" attitude between multiple/most teams, and a culture of elitism that makes the "lowers" afraid to bring up points or concerns to the "highers". Many members of several of the game teams have inherited a sort of God complex, even when they were hired from other "lesser" teams, where they both feel and act as though they've "made it" at the company and are now part of the cool crowd. This of course doesn't apply to all members of any of the teams, but it is a pervasive enough culture that it causes detrimental problems for both perception and interaction between teams and departments. It also contributes to a much higher turnover rate with other important departments with respect to the game teams, e.g. engineers frequently look for and get hired into positions with game teams, leaving other departments with the need to constantly rotate, replace, and train/on-board new staff.

    In general, management at Blizzard is not strong, where people management skills are lacking and cronyism is rampant. It's a common complaint that many employees have the perception that your upward trajectory at Blizzard is much more heavily dependent on your ability to network with the "right" people rather than your capability to outperform your peers. I witnessed countless high performing individuals get passed up for promotions or job opportunities in lieu of someone who was simply a good friend of the hiring manager. Managers at the company are given a high degree of latitude with little oversight with respect to how they make personnel decisions. If you're not exceptionally good at schmoozing with the right individuals, upward mobility at this company is definitely not positive, ESPECIALLY if you don't work on a game team.

    Blizzard can arguably be considered the Pixar of game development, but they have a LONG way to go with respect to improving their company culture and how they treat many of their employees. One of the "core values" of the company is, "Every voice matters," but for too long this particular "core value" seems to be treated by many as nothing more than a stamp on the foot of the Orc statue on campus.

    Advice to Management

    Your senior designers are obviously amazing content creators, but you should recognize and act on a pervasive and negative culture that ranks individuals, job titles, and departments against each other. Learn from the company cultures of several other progressive high tech companies who promote an equal sense of respect for all contributors to a product. The culture should promote humility and respect for others, including your competitors, which isn't the case right now. Too many Blizzard employees have bought into the idea that they are game industry celebrities and should be treated as such.

    Pay more attention to employee opinion surveys with respect to manager performance. I never really saw any change over the course of a decade in the manner with which most managers conducted business, made personnel decisions, or helped foster (or rather, didn't help foster) individual career growth. There is a lot of cronyism going on, and it's been going on for a long time in many departments. Sometimes it's just a coincidence that the best friend of a hiring manager is also the best candidate, but I imagine most times that isn't really the case.


  5. Helpful (14)

    "Blizzard Entertainment, not what it used to be"

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

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

    Pros

    Blizzard is still a great company with great opportunities, but just not what it was 2 years ago let alone 8 years ago. Having worked at Blizzard for over 10 years I was involved in some of the greatest growth for the company and had an amazing team of individuals I worked with day-to-day to help collaborate and grow the business. Unfortunately, almost every single one of them is now gone. Most leaving with comments referring to being pushed out.

    You want to work on one of the game teams, as profit sharing is considerably better.

    Cons

    The culture was amazing but has taken a serious kick the last 3 years. At some point, it became more about how can we do this for cheaper when it comes to employees versus how can we get the best talent to get this done.

    Basically, all the C-suite is very junior to the gaming industry minus two individuals as all the others left. As you can imagine, this would drive serious change if the new executive level staff does not fully believe in the fundamental tenants of Blizzard.

    It seems like over the last 3 years Blizzard has hired way to many people, especially in management roles. Some are okay, but most I have worked with are very mediocre at their jobs.

    Your best bet, get onto one of the game teams. All else is now just seen as basically a cost.

    Profit sharing is not even remotely close to what it was just 3 years ago. A large number of revenue neutral employees have been hired, causing the profit sharing pool to be spread considerably thinner and thinner every year.

    Blizzard does not want to pay based on your skills and experience. If you want to work at Blizzard, you should be making less than marke value. Sure you get the occasional freebie (sorry, nowhere near what it used to be), but it just does not make up for all that has been lost. Management works hard to get you to buy in on their kool-aid of how great Blizzard is. It seems like the new norm is to take what you learn at Blizzard and quickly turn it into better compensation elsewhere. No brain drain going on with this situation.

    Advice to Management

    At one point Blizzard was about building up great talent from within, but that seems to be lost now. There is a tremendous amount of talent in the ranks of Blizzard who have worked for years but have little to no opportunity to grow into greater roles. Truly look first to inside the company, build opportunities to truly grow into the roles, versus just posting to the internal job posting site and then basically just looking external anyway.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Okay place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    there is a layed back environment

    Cons

    Not much upward mobility in the company


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Stable company"

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

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Financially very stable. Relatively good benefits. Casual atmosphere.

    Cons

    Not enough room for growth.
    Assuming that a lot of people working in the company are 10~15 years old.
    Very hard to get promoted. Also, there's tons of legacy code, which is extremely hard to make improvements due to all stupid dependencies.

    Advice to Management

    sigh

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Used to be so great"

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

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

    Pros

    The atmosphere. Gamers working together to support other gamers.

    Cons

    Management no longer cares about the individual, only the numbers.

    Advice to Management

    My advice? Go back and remember what it was like to take the contacts each day, day in and day out, for weeks, months, years. The bottom line is the end user being happy, not how good you look to the other managers.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Test Engineer"

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

    Pros

    Amazing culture working with some of the most smart and capable teammates in the industry.

    Low stress and fun work environment.

    Challenging work that takes advantage of some of the latest technologies.

    Excellent Healthcare and benefits.

    Excellent perks for true gaming enthusiasts like occasionally playing games together on the clock, free/discounted games.

    Nice company events like trips to Vegas, holiday party and blizzcon.

    Cons

    Not a promote when ready workplace.

    Slow and sluggish promotion track.

    At times moves up and around the organization seem to be more time boxed than merit based.

    Management does not seem to do a great job recognizing when an accomplishment has been made so it is up to the employee to highlight their own achievements at certain intervals throughout the year in order to receive credit.

    Hires and promotes at a lower title and pay rate than your true experience level.

    Irvine is not the greatest area for the cost of living.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great culture, limited mobility"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Round Rock, TX
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Round Rock, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome culture, nice yearly bonuses.

    Cons

    No ability to move up. They are very gun-ho to prep you towards different departments if you show interest, but there is nearly never a spot open to apply to, and even when one opens up there is already other employees in back up from previous years. Some seniors and team managers got to those positions by cheating and trying hard to fire those who know about it. Language differential is really biased between the Spanish and Portuguese teams.

    Advice to Management

    Take a few steps back to how it was about two years ago. Those were the good times.


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