Cryptic Studios Reviews | Glassdoor

Cryptic Studios Reviews

Updated August 12, 2017
17 reviews

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4.0
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Stephen D'Angelo
4 Ratings

17 Employee Reviews

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  1. "A really great place to work."

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

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Awesome coworkers
    Approachable management
    Good compensation
    Flexible hours
    Great benefits
    Nice location
    Free food
    Great facilities
    and lot of interesting projects to stay enthusiastic

    Cons

    twenty words of nothing to fill this section so i dont know what to type here bla bla bla bla...


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great first or last job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Close family vibe.
    Great work/life balance.
    They do well in making sure you are able to move into roles you really want. If you have been working on one project for a while you could ask to be moved to another project.

    Cons

    Upper management can sometimes feel like they live in a bubble. The workers bring great ideas and new talent that can sometimes get over looked.

    Advice to Management

    Please be open and seek out your new blood. they bring so much passion and knowledge of whats new and hot right now in the industry.

  3. "Great place to work!"

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

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Cryptic provides a fun, family-like atmosphere, in which to work. As a mid-sized company, competing for the type of prestige normally held by some of the nearby tech giants, Cryptic manages to provide many of the benefits and perks of a large company, without losing the small office feel, so many enjoy.

    Management is extremely supportive of the employees, here at Cryptic. Encouraging personal and professional growth, as well as supporting the personal needs of all employees.

    I am also immensely proud of the innovation & creativity Cryptic and its teams bring to bear, in producing excellent game content. It seems that no matter the deadline or no matter the difficult task to handle, we get it done.

    Cons

    As a smaller company, Cryptic isn't able to offer many of the higher-end perks, commonly found at larger tech companies in Silicon Valley.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Not Perfect, but Pretty Great"

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

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Family-oriented - You will never be shamed for having or wanting a family
    Passion - Employees are there because they want to be there and have a stake in the final products
    Welcoming - Employees are very friendly and welcoming
    Less Crunching - There is no game company that doesn't crunch, but Cryptic tries to catch issues earlier so that you aren't crunching right before a launch
    Benefits - Cryptic offers $0 Health, Dental, and Vision insurance to individuals and families; they also offer animal insurance, pre-tax college plans, and more
    Longevity - There are numerous employees who have been around for 8-15 years
    Food - Mondays and Fridays provide free donuts and bagels, Mid-week provides fresh fruit; additionally there is daily free cereal, sandwich ingredients, ramen, and snacks; the company also has a deal with a CSA so you can get fresh veggies sent to the office for you

    Cons

    Some Pipeline and Communication issues - Though the company has gotten better with communication and transparency, there are still communication breakdowns and issues regarding due dates of various assets that often result in designers having to worry about their previous two tasks while handling their current task
    Morale - A couple of layoffs last year definitely took its toll on morale, but some management changes have done wonders to improving that morale
    Diabetes - Most of the available free food is very high in sugars (if you're worried about that sort of thing)

    Advice to Management

    Continue being open to positive change. We are moving in the right direction, so keep up the good work. Thanks.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Operations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Gatos, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Cryptic is an amazing place to work! The incredible family atmosphere is what has kept me here for over 7 years.

    Cons

    We are a creative bunch who can and will do a lot with very little. That can be very stressful though pulling through it with the team and being successful is worth it.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Cryptic Art Department"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time

    Pros

    Very friendly, low stress, highly collaborative environment. Great area, talented team, fun work place.

    Cons

    Sometimes the project scope can be mismanaged, but this isn't usually a problem. Tools are pretty dated, lots of technical debt.

    Advice to Management

    Try to listen to new opinions, and don't be afraid to take chances on new projects or new ideas.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "A comfortable place to work but liimiting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -comfortable environment with space to relax and get away from your desk if you need to
    -everyone is pretty relaxed and pleasant to be around
    -barely any crunch

    Cons

    -doesn't spend the money to get the best talent or keep their best talent
    -management bottlenecks all decisions
    -people want to make great games at cryptic but management is too focused on what is doing well in the marketplace and not in creating something truly unique...its a business I know

    Advice to Management

    you play it safe too much, hire up some talent with a vision and make something great

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Interesting studio with unconventional pipeline in managing and game development."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Worked with talented artist mixed with other table top playing gamers. Reasonable compensation and bonuses when compared to work and life balance. Free soda and cereal.

    Cons

    Not enough staffing and they will still over schedule your workload. No clear vision of design/goal and so every milestone was a scramble. In fact, working on art while still designing was common which lead to extra work and reuse of art.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employee's that work their tail off everyday. Have a more clearer vision and change morale fast.


  9. Helpful (11)

    "Capable developers hobbled by ignorant management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Los Gatos, CA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Los Gatos, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Cryptic Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Some very talented developers. We have a solid core on each team of strong developers that do great work even with limited resources and unfocused management. Over the past year a few of these people have left, or were fired, which was disappointing to see.

    Decent work stability. If you're the kind of employee looking for a paycheck and job security, Cryptic is your place to be. There are many long-term employees that remain employed here for no clear reason other than they continue to show up to work each day.

    Decent benefits and vacation package. Can't complain about that.

    Cons

    Executives think they are designers. Much of the executive team has a distant background in design, but they are ignorant of their limitations and how the industry and market has changed. One of our former designers likened it to "Talking your grandfather about the internet".

    Quality is not a part of "The Cryptic Way". Despite claims by management suggesting otherwise, quality is a distant second to getting it done on time. That wouldn't be a problem if management (executives and production) didn't set unrealistic goals every step of the way. Everything comes down to "Do more and do it faster" rather than ever focusing on upping the quality bar or prioritizing in a way that ensures we deliver something worthwhile.

    Apathy and ignorance towards the product and customers. Most of the developers don't play the games they make and some don't even play in the genre they're working in. That leads to a serious lack of passion on the development teams, and when faced with brutal deadlines, a lack of passion for the project shows in the end product.

    Limited opportunity for growth. This is a two part issue -- one stems from the executive micromanagement neutering internal leadership opportunities and the second coming from the fact that most developers interested in growing realize it's more efficient to find a new company than to wait for an internal opportunity.

    Advice to Management

    Understand your limitations. Cryptic was successful with City of Heroes and squandered much of that momentum for years. The Neverwinter and Star Trek franchise are the reason the company is still afloat, not the games themselves. If you intend to be in business five years down the line, double down on those franchises and/or up your quality bar.

    Trim the fat. For a company so focused on metrics and profit margins, it's astounding how many employees are little more than seat warmers. Cryptic lacks a company culture because there are too many people complacent with mediocrity.

    Invest in technology. Your engine and tools are not competitive nor are your efforts to modernize it. Spend the time and money to get up to date, or focus on projects that aren't competing with next-gen tech.

    Trust your talent. There are many talented and capable developers at Cryptic that are hobbled by Executive and Producer micromanagement. Your best employees will do better work if you get out of their way. Also, stop losing or firing the developers capable of bringing Cryptic into the modern age. You need your best employees to challenge you if you intend on being relevant.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Just like the movies, the Directors run the show."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Artist in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - Artist in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There are some good people here, but they are completely shut down. The studio is relatively stable, with regards to layoffs and company finances. I've occasionally seen a few teams crunch but most of the employees are 9 to 5.

    Cons

    No company culture. Everything has to be done ASAP, with very little room for creativity and experimentation. Stress levels keep everyone on edge. Very little time to take a deep breath and enjoy work.

    The proprietary engine used is years old and hasn't seen a lot of modernization. The dev teams are unable to steer the games or company in any direction other than what is dictated by the top two or three Directors. Quality of the games are an afterthought, as the primary goal is to create systems and mechanics that will monetize well.

    Most of the teams here do NOT play the games that they build. This is disheartening when trying to have a conversation about what works or not, and are shushed by someone who has only played a single level 20 toon (and only due to a bonus requirement).

    Advice to Management

    Let the qualified people that are already here actually lead the teams.


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