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- 5.0Jan 27, 2016Senior ArtistFormer Employee, more than 5 years
Overall, the studio is a fun environment, where you as a content creator are enabled to be as creative as you can. I worked at the Carbine for almost seven years, and it was my first game shipped in the videogame industry. I was a green employee, and was given the chance to prove myself in a multitude of different ways. I have nothing but respect for the company, their leadership, and the overall culture. Some will disagree with me, but this is my overall experience under the NcSoft umbrella :) -Benefits are great -Great Salary (If you know what you are worth, and ask for it) -Incredible Learning Environment (Art) -Room for Promotions -Willingness to be there for you, no matter what
Communication is key! They have great communication from the top down, but the teams within the company could work on this. The team needs to be more open to conversations. Plenty of times I would have to find out, months later, that a slew of requests were thought to be "In Progress" Overall, my exp was great, I had no issues walking over to talk to designers/programmers. Some things slipped through the cracks, and left people upset.1
- 4.0Jun 7, 2015Game DesignerFormer EmployeeAliso Viejo, CA
Carbine has a talented team of developers, with a good blend of both veteran and junior staff. The tools team has put together an extremely robust engine that is easy to learn, but has a rich feature set for making complex content. Focus has transitioned from just getting the game out the door by any means possible to changing the corporate culture and development practices into something that attracts more top talent in the industry. These are critical changes that probably should have happened earlier, but I'm optimistic that continuing on this path and leaving egos at the door will lead to good things in the company's future.
The studio has always been much more reactive than proactive when it comes to dealing with potential problems. Be prepared to fight fires that you or someone else may have started a while back. If you are up to that task, you can thrive at the studio. Benefits are not fantastic. A review of the 401k compensation should be a top priority for HR. Salaries were not competitive during my employment, but this has seen a drastic change for the better in recent months.3
- 2.0May 17, 2014Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 3 years
There's some smart, talented, and experienced people working here and a lot of them could offer more if given the chance. The IP is fresh and exciting and the constant involvement with the fan community is a breath of fresh air. This is literally the only good thing left about this job. The insurance plan is great for a single employee.
The last year has seen company morale plummeting as long hours, questionably legal business practices, and weaknesses in the management structure eat away at that great talent pool. The higher up you go in the management chain, the less actual management skill you'll find and that has honestly gotten worse as people who've actively sabotaged deadlines and contributed to serious problems get moved up either through straight up cronyism or because there's nobody else around to do the job and thus someone who is next in line but not at all qualified to lead gets tossed into the spotlight. The corporate culture has devolved into straight up cliques and several departments openly hate each other. Since there's no attempt to defuse these situations before they blow up, they just keep compounding. It's a damn shame, it used to be a good place to work and the IP is still solid.7
- 2.0Nov 19, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
Convenient location, large benefits package, flex time scheduling. Korean parent company is publisher of titles and therefore can set it's own ship dates, including moving the date if game isn't right and needs more time. Korean parent company more than patient giving studio chance after chance to turn things around, but not tolerant of mistakes or failure to deliver.
Very clique heavy atmosphere. Underachievers promoted because they hang with right people while top talent snubbed and leave on their own. Management very closed minded with obsolete thinking often repeating history and mistakes. Not receptive to new or current ideas within industry. Management style very outdated. Company morale generally low. Office space is dirty and unkempt. Many employees lack most basic of manners and hygiene. Korean parents send mixed messages and don't understand American game culture. Easily fooled with smoke and mirrors. HR staff clueless about benefits details even though that's their job.9
- 2.0Oct 26, 2014AnonymousCurrent Employee, more than 1 yearAliso Viejo, CA
Most of my coworkers are great talented people. We become close like family. The product is good in concept. Small enough company that you can rise up position. Good growth opportunities. Benefits include pto, healthcare with dental and optical. Snacks in office.
Communication is very frustrating. Product ion team seems to have no prior experience in project management. Lack is scheduling appropriate time for work and lack of structure in not enforcing soft and hard locks mean product when shipped was done so not complete and with many defects. Management makes bad decisions. There is a good ol' boys club. If you aren't in their inner circle forget about being taken seriously. They make plans but consistently fail to follow through to execution. People at carbine find themselves in management positions without actually having experience or the right skills. This makes for leads who have zero people skills and some who have zero organization skills whemnit comes to overseeing all the team's work.13
- 1.0Dec 23, 2014Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 1 year
The benefits are outstanding, truly. I was shocked at how good they were when I was hired. The rest of the "pros" mentioned in other reviews (free swag, snacks, soda, food trucks, etc) are true *sort of*. Read on.
Ok, so the free swag? I can count on one hand all the gifts rained down from on high. Food trucks? Once a week and there's two, maybe three of them. Location? A beige purgatory with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Regardless of the baubles given or the fusion tacos served off a truck, these things are distractions and deserve no place in a review of a company and it's performance (as in other reviews) The company: As of when I was excused, it was toxic. Expect cronyism. Expect favoritism. Expect double standards. Watch what you say and pick a side and hope it's the correct one. Expect a lot of hurry up and wait tasks. Expect bizarre management tactics. Expect unqualified or apathetic leads. Expect low pay. the game: Looks pretty. The sure fire way to make it a success is to build a time machine and release it in 2003 when a game like this had a chance. The culture: As I mentioned above, pick a clique and hope it's the correct one. This happens in every company I've seen and it's the job of managers to remain neutral and fair, which doesn't happen here. Friends of management are treated well, others not so much. Also, mandatory crunch for...what exactly?13
- 4.0Apr 22, 2015Content DesignerCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsAliso Viejo, CA
Competitive pay Bonuses Awesome healthcare package Internal Greenlight Process 401K Feature ownership of the game Game design club Quarterly Parties Movie nights Additional PTO for cons
There were a bunch of issues before but the studio has made serious strides. Last year was tough but I feel like the studio has turned a corner and I'm honestly getting excited again for what the future holds. I do wish there was more WildStar SWAG though ;)1
- 1.0Oct 17, 2013Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 3 years
You get to work with a few amazingly talented people. The employees are truly great people. Wildstar is still an amazing title, regardless of a handful of faux leaders who are slowly causing it to rot from the top to the bottom
You have to work with way more amateurs. Since there is no established IP; and the fact that this studio is know to pay laughable wages in an extremely expensive living area, this studio is forced to hire whoever they can get. Luckily for the studio, the IP in development is pretty good, so they end up attracting some leader. Management lies to your face and expects you to care about the project after illegally bullying your entire team with into working 11 hour days for the rest of your life.8
- 1.0Oct 25, 2014Anonymous EmployeeCurrent Employee, more than 3 years
- Mostly pleasant people making the best of an increasingly bad hand. -Decent medical. -A driveway that can accommodate 2 lunch trucks. -Free Pop-Tarts -Free Fruit Bars -Free orange soda
-Abysmal wages, morale, and job security. -Astonishingly inept resource allocation. -Disregard for employee and player incentives -Inability to put the word to the deed: deadlines routinely missed, poor quality assurance, sweatshop workplace conditions. -Amateurish design, management, PR. -Boys' club.15
- 5.0Mar 3, 2015Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee, more than 1 yearAliso Viejo, CA
Carbine houses some of the smartest and most talented developers working in games today. The passion and creativity is what keeps the studio breathing. The mix of our employees creates an incredibly fast-paced work environment that reminds me of a few start-ups I have worked with. Be prepared to wear many hats and if the initiatives you champion are successful, share their success with your fellow coworkers. Along this line, the studio has a cumulative wealth of experience that you will be challenged to learn from on a daily basis. I have never had such rapid learning and career growth as my time at Carbine and I am truly grateful for the opportunities that it afforded me. Akin to the concept mentioned earlier, be prepared to coach and teach as you learn and morph your ideas. There are many co-training opportunities at the studio and you can learn the nuances of all aspects of game development from Engineering, to Design, to Art, to QA. Company benefits were very competitive and as a family we were able to afford and safely provide for everyone. Along these lines, compensation is fairly average for the industry and the studio has been making a huge push to normalize and fix pay rates for employees to be comparable with changing industry trends. Our HR department is very active in pursuing these updates as well as overhauling yearly performance and merit based reviews. Carbine is on their way back to become a destination studio. After some bumps in the road, I am very confident that the team will be able to grow the studio and develop for many years to come. I will miss working with everyone and absolutely suggest that given the opportunity, people accept and offer to work here.
Compensation is average for industry and does not include equity, although the studio does have a profit sharing bonus structure. Furthermore, continued education funds are being slowly systemized at NCSoft and at the time of writing were very hard to justify and push through. Shifting gears to discuss corporate strategy, the company and NCWest as a whole, is still focusing very much on the short term and this is hurting us. We need to rectify our short term goals against our long term goals in order to realize and achieve success. Until we are able to do this, we will continue to run into unforeseen pitfalls and emergencies that arose from poor risk mitigation. Huge steps are being made in this regard and I'm excited for what the future holds.3
Carbine Studios Reviews FAQs
Carbine Studios has an overall rating of 2.6 out of 5, based on over 31 reviews left anonymously by employees. 31% of employees would recommend working at Carbine Studios to a friend and 29% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has been stable over the past 12 months.
31% of Carbine Studios employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Carbine Studios 2.9 out of 5 for work life balance, 2.8 for culture and values and 2.7 for career opportunities.