Blizzard Entertainment Reviews | Glassdoor

Blizzard Entertainment Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
441 reviews

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Pros
  • The benefits are generous and there is a good attempt at encouraging work/life balance (in 22 reviews)

  • The perks, dog-friendly work environment, a lot of autonomy, working with very intelligent people who are very passionate about their line of work (in 23 reviews)

Cons
  • Blizzard is slightly above the low bar but it's still hard to get by especially in Irvine where cost of living is high (in 20 reviews)

  • Work/life balance can be a bit tough at times (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Customer Support (Game Master)"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist
    Current Employee - Customer Service Specialist
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    The upper management really cares about their employees and their customers. The amount of money spent on training, company events, and programs to make the customer happy would probably blow your mind. You can email pretty much anyone you want if you have a question. Everyone is willing to talk and help. Support is very close knit at the actual support level and with immediate management. Benefits are better than government benefits. They prefer to promote within, which is actually really awesome. Employees like-wise for the most part care about the customer and work hard to be better at their job.

    Cons

    Slowly but surely more employee regulation programs are being added to the Support position. Every minute is monitored while you are on the clock. The management judges the quality of your work by surveys which is not the most intelligent thing ever done with a group as passionate as gamers. It has already been proven that we cannot make a decision without at least a little emotion involved so surveys will never reflect the actual work. They should be surveys for the Developers, rather than Support. You may find yourself kissing a lot of behind for better surveys which is doing more harm than helping and will ensure that the customer continues to be difficult if that is what gets them what they want.

    There is a huge disconnect between Support and the people who run the support building. Software chosen, such as the live chat, may be great for customers, but as Support you will hate it with a passion. That one program causes a large amount of stress and anxiety in the department but should you admit to any of that, you hurt your chances at future promotions out of that department even though you are told that is not the case.

    Raises in support, are less than the cost of living each year.

    Not a great job if you have a family. Your sick time is juggled between when you are actually sick, and when a member of family is sick a couple days and needs help at home.

    Ineffective management tends to stick around for years.

    Employee monitoring and restrictions continue to increase while the actual humanity in the job decreases. If say for instance, you were hit by a drunk driver on the way to work and hospitalized, you might find that you have to come back and fight to get that attendance hit removed from your record.

    Abuse by customers can go overboard. Numerous times I have heard employees trying to not be heard crying in their cubicles at the sheer amount of cruelty aimed at them that they dealt with that day.

    Pay is a little low, but the benefits are great and job security as well.

    Immediate management is rather helpless in some areas. If you come to work with Bubonic Plague your Supervisor cannot tell you to go home and they will cover the attendance hit. Instead they might just tell you to go home, but you still get the attendance hit.

    Most of the job is saying "No" to a customer, often before you ever say a word to them, you already know that policy or tools will not allow you to help them, even if the request is perfectly reasonable.

    Advice to Management

    Above Support Team Leaders, they need to loosen up a bit. Stop relying so much on data because hard numbers are just as hard on the people working below you. Not everything that is good for the customers, is good for the Support reps that have to handle the new changes. We don't need to be monitored every minute of the day, we don't need a point system for attendance that forces you to choose between getting written up, or going home to take care of a wife and child with bronchitis, we do not need surveys made from irrational customers who are unhappy about situations completely out of the control of Support to determine how well Support is performing. Stop worrying about "Throwing Dev under the bus." when not doing so throws Support Reps to the Lions. They are big boys and girls and if they make a mistake it is literally on them. Lastly, allow Team Managers to excuse an attendance hit when obviously sick employees are working and spreading sickness because they cannot afford another attendance hit.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Epic place to work"

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the most talented, brightest, and passionate people I've ever worked with. Largely, there is a focus on the game and the players, and monetary value always comes last. Great atmosphere to work in. Great games. Highly recommend for seasoned veterans.

    Cons

    The initial employee is bright and full of energy, but after a year, it wears off and you're left with disgruntled employees disillusioned and underpaid - but want to stay at Blizzard because it's Blizzard. It's exceptionally difficult to terminate employees because of the passion, time, and energy that goes into Learn and Grow.

    Advice to Management

    Bring in new blood, industry experts
    Raise the bar
    Pay competitively, remove profit sharing


  3. "Okay place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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


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  5. Helpful (14)

    "Great games, but great culture is deteriorating"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  6. Helpful (11)

    "Blizzard Entertainment, not what it used to be"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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.


  7. "A great stepping stone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Test Analyst in Mission Viejo, CA
    Current Employee - Associate Test Analyst in Mission Viejo, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cool place to work. Lots of opportunities to learn and grow. People are nice and the atmosphere is generally relaxed.

    Cons

    Management taking over QA. Process, procedure and time tracking is becoming more important than the actual testing. Takes advantage of being cool and pays less than you're worth in QA.

    Advice to Management

    Listen carefully to James Bach.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Certainly one of the best !"

    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
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Blizzard Entertainment (More than a year)

    Pros

    Incredibly creative environment where you get to work alongside top artists in the industry. Management are very caring as well.

    Cons

    There aren't any cons I have experienced in my time there. Other than the cost of living for Irvine being really unforgiving.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Great Company to Work for if you are in Gaming"

    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
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Awesome Perks- Fly everybody to Vegas for a blow out? Great co-workers who are passionate about gaming. Interesting people who are into your company and make you feel like a gaming rockstar!

    Cons

    Sometimes very political operations teams with some very manipulative execs are now in control. If you are on a game team you are protected but if you are in the IT or Operations groups, keep your friends close but your enemies closer as they game like Survivor in these areas (Non-Game primarily)

    Advice to Management

    Stick to your core values as they are truly inspirational. I cant say get rid of the suits because as a stock holder they have certainly helped the value of my portfolio but remember who got you there. It wasn't the suits. Overall though I made some great friends and I still think the company is the cream of the crop in the games industry.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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

    Pros

    Culture, work environment, perks, benefits, flexible schedule

    Cons

    Pay is below the average for comparable jobs at other companies, but is counterbalances by lots of positives.


  11. "Entry level"

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

    I have been working at Blizzard Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed job with some very cool and interesting people as co-workers. They try to keep the environment fun and casual, with special events from time to time.

    Cons

    Opportunity to advance is really slim. Stare at a computer screen for hours on end. Not a lot of real social engagement day in and day out.



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