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Certain Affinity

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Certain Affinity

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Certain Affinity Reviews

Updated Aug 31, 2022

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Found 47 of over 54 reviews
3.8
76% Recommend to a Friend
82% Approve of CEO

Found 47 of over 54 reviews

3.8
76%
Recommend to a Friend
82%
Approve of CEO
Certain Affinity President Max Hoberman (no image)
Max Hoberman
38 Ratings

Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
  • "Work/Life balance is amazing.(in 9 reviews)
  • "Studio is incredibly talented with some of the most senior (and nice) people in the industry.(in 8 reviews)
  • "Excellent culture(in 7 reviews)
  • "CA has the best employees, best benefits and a great culture that respects every individual.(in 7 reviews)
  • "Competitive pay.(in 3 reviews)
Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Certain Affinity - If you don't know us yet, you will soon.

    Apr 6, 2022 - studio design director in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I have been at Certain Affinity for just shy of a year now. It is a veteran company that has been around for 15 years (with no layoffs, ever) but doesn't have all the red tape and bureaucracy of a huge publisher. The executive team is very approachable and accommodating. They really care about the developers and understand that happy people make good games and good games make happy people. Certain Affinity has a storied history of assisting on some of the biggest AAA franchises including Halo, Call of Duty, Doom and Left 4 Dead. The company currently has some exciting projects and seems poised to make a splash in the industry within the next few years.

    Cons

    Certain Affinity is not well known in the industry due to the lack of publicity from its past focus on co-development work. This co-dev work has created a stable and respected company that is on the verge of being a breakout company in the industry.

    2 people found this review helpful
  2. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Middle of the road for middle aged people looking to get lost in middle management

    Aug 31, 2022 - Artist in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Incredibly diverse talent selection - If you join, you have the potential for the ability to work on cool stuff, if you're a seasoned dev looking for a reprieve it may be a solid option. If you're just starting out in the industry, even better to get in here and run a muck. - There is a nice inclusivity feel with everything, and the upper management is ahead of most with regards to altruism. - Codevelopment is a term you need to learn before applying, be wary of the myths*

    Cons

    - High churn. Many times I didn't know who my lead was because either people were leaving or the person who was my manager didn't want to manage me. The interview process felt unnecessarily intricate because after a month of working there, it seemed like everyone who has interviewed me left the company. - It seemed like every department was having some sort of foreboding situation happening that would delay the other department, but now it's your problem. Communication gets frayed because people become disengaged with the task at hand, resulting in an inconsistency in performance as well as career progression... Lots of rumors of "stagnation". - Myths: the idea of meaningful contribution to a project gets spread thing when you tempt the idea that you could work on multiple things, given a long enough timeline. - Too many meetings that aren't optional, probably because your representative who should be attending isn't going to relay anything meaningful down the pipe. - When they struggle it's stress that everyone seems to feel, and at times its difficult to find repeated success from project to project.

    Continue reading
    1 person found this review helpful
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  4. 4.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Amazing people and projects

    May 27, 2022 - Senior Software Engineer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The people. This company really has the largest collection of wonderful people I’ve worked with in my career. The Engineering management team is full of brilliant, kind, hard-working folks. The work itself is interesting, and the titles are easy for even non-gamers to recognize as prestigious. CEO is ethical. His involvement in Refugee Services of Texas, his vegetarian / borderline vegan leanings, and his consistently landing on the Golden Rule with regards to political topics really demonstrated to me, over and over, that he’s a great guy. I’m proud to have worked for CA.

    Cons

    Management is tied per project, and projects last between 6 and 18 months. So in my 1.5 years I had 5 different managers.

    Continue reading
    1 person found this review helpful
  5. 2.0
    Former Employee

    Petty Office Politics hinder an otherwise good studio culture

    Apr 3, 2022 - Designer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There is a great attempt being made for inclusion and diversity (whether or not it is succeeding). In the past they have been extremely transparent about studio business. Pay pretty well (my experience, but I've heard your mileage may vary)

    Cons

    The last 6-7 months have been a downward one for the studio. The excellent transparency ended with the Gala Games partnership and the conversion of a long time studio project into a blockchain game. Regardless of your personal opinions on these types of games, the way studio management sprung the project on the devs was completely opposite to how projects had been announced in the past (almost as if they knew this was going to be a controversial decision). Studio leadership promised a townhall to discuss the issue. Instead, we were given a "Ted Talk" from the CEO of another studio working on blockchain games telling us how great it was and praising us for not asking "Avocado Toast" questions (don't ask me what he meant by this) A lot of talent is leaving this studio for various reasons. Leadership that is left is being promoted simply based on how long they've been at the studio, not their talent. The leadership that employs tactics such as gaslighting, ultimatums, etc to get employees to do work. A co-worker was screamed at by a fairly incompetent lead on a project in the past. I was told later that lead "Needed to be handled delicately" and that he was just "misunderstood" by multiple other managers... The culture may vary depending on your gender and racial makeup. Right now, the studio is pretty much a white boys club (granted, a fairly liberal, progressive white boys club, but actions speak louder than words IMO). There seems to be a commitment to change this, but I'll believe it when I see it. Studio Leadership is obsessed with creating original IP AAA games and have tried to do so multiple times to little success. They will not stop chasing this white whale, despite many many many failures. Know that if you're lured to this studio on the promise of CA working on their own game, you are standing on the bones of a dozen failed projects. The new health insurance was awful.

    Continue reading
    8 people found this review helpful
  6. 5.0
    Current Employee, less than 1 year

    Fantastic Team And Culture

    Jan 20, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Awesome people, amazing culture, fun projects, great compensation, and excellent benefits. Loving my time there so far!

    Cons

    New to the company, but nothing worth noting so far.

    2 people found this review helpful
  7. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Toxic leadership culture destroys morale and keeps company from reaching full potential

    Feb 2, 2022 - Senior Engineering Director in Pflugerville, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Certain Affinity is first and foremost a codev studio. They work on other company's games and not their own. If you're cool with that then there's opportunity here for you. As a new game developer you'll get the chance to work on some big titles. You'll also get to work with some seriously skilled talent. You'll be surrounded by great coworkers with a deep passion for their craft. Feel free to join on, learn what you can, beef up your portfolio, and move on to a bigger adventure. 3 years is a good stint.

    Cons

    The biggest con of working at Certain Affinity is the toxic culture at the senior leadership level. This toxic culture destroys leader morale, encourages politics, rewards unproductivity, and allows incompetence to flourish. The more productive you are, the less successful you can be as a leader here. The source of this toxic culture are the founders, Max and Mojdeh (a deeply distrusting husband and wife team). Neither one understands game development, nor do they delegate decision-making to competent lieutenants. Their ignorance of the business of game development affects every decision they make. Contrary opinions be damned. The best you can hope for is some lip service as they continue full steam ahead implementing whatever their next hairbrained scheme is. They don't lead... they micromanage, belittle, and otherwise cajole their leaders into executing ill-conceived plans that keep the organization perpetually off balance. This results in the company careening from one leadership crisis to another. There's never quite enough bandwidth to actually solve the issues that leadership faces. It's just fire after fire after fire. It's exhausting but it also ensures that the founders are front and center in any crisis. And they love that! This perpetual fire fighting is the main reason why Certain Affinity hasn't been able to ship their own games for over a decade. And, if you want to ship your own games, this company is absolutely not for you.

    Continue reading
    16 people found this review helpful
  8. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Nothing but positive experiences for me

    Oct 22, 2021 - Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Fantastic communication to the employees about the company, I have always felt like they genuinely cared about me as an employee -Many opportunities to work on different big-name games -Very stable job with great work/life balance and decent salary -Quarterly evals with merit-based promotions and clear job ladders (if you are consistently performing beyond your expected level, then you will be promoted)

    Cons

    -I know people who have left who haven't had as positive experiences as me, but it's usually for better opportunities rather than a real problem with the company -While benefits are great, I haven't ever had a significant bonus

    2 people found this review helpful
  9. 5.0
    Current Employee

    What a difference!

    Oct 20, 2021 - Technical Operations in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Amazing leadership. Great Team morale. HR Training is on point. Really supports employee growth. Takes pride in the work life balance.

    Cons

    New to the company. No Cons that I can report on.

    1 person found this review helpful
  10. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    Really good place to work.

    May 3, 2021 - Lead Environment Artist in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great people and fun projects

    Cons

    Some projects are too short in duration.

    4 people found this review helpful
  11. 5.0
    Current Employee

    Great Company!

    Apr 20, 2021 - Senior Character Artist 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Work environment is great. -Work/Life balance is amazing.

    Cons

    Most projects are co-dev elopement, but that is the nature of the company.

    2 people found this review helpful
Viewing 1 - 10 of 47 Reviews
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Certain Affinity Reviews FAQs

Certain Affinity has an overall rating of 3.8 out of 5, based on over 54 reviews left anonymously by employees. 76% of employees would recommend working at Certain Affinity to a friend and 75% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -1% over the last 12 months.

According to anonymously submitted Glassdoor reviews, Certain Affinity employees rate their compensation and benefits as 3.7 out of 5. Find out more about salaries and benefits at Certain Affinity. This rating has decreased by -2% over the last 12 months.

76% of Certain Affinity employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated Certain Affinity 4.5 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.1 for culture and values and 3.7 for career opportunities.

According to reviews on Glassdoor, employees commonly mention the pros of working at Certain Affinity to be career development, culture, benefits and the cons to be management, senior leadership.

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Glassdoor has 54 Certain Affinity reviews submitted anonymously by Certain Affinity employees. Read employee reviews and ratings on Glassdoor to decide if Certain Affinity is right for you.