Crystal Dynamics Reviews | Glassdoor

Crystal Dynamics Reviews

21 reviews

Filter

Filter

Full-timePart-time

3.5
StarStarStarStarStar
Rating TrendsRating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Ron Rosenberg and Scot Amos
1 Rating

21 Employee Reviews

Sort: PopularRatingDate

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Salary"

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

    I worked at Crystal Dynamics (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Very good work culture.
    Very friendly people to work with.
    Good salary to all the employees.
    Good infrastructure every where

    Cons

    Communication needs to be improved within the company as that is very important for any company for improving problem solving in a very quickly manner.


  2. "Development QA"

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

    Pros

    Wonderful happy people to work with, make you feel like a close friend/family in the workplace. Amazing campus with a fancy gym. Free snacks in the kitchen with espresso/cappuccino machine. Lots of sunlight from the ceiling windows. Very chill relaxed place to focus and work hard.

    Cons

    Can't really think of any, i loved this job. Crunch time required working 10-12+ hours daily including weekends. Rarely had 2 days off to relax but i didn't mind, i enjoyed what i was doing.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, QA is chill, everyone gets along for the most part.


  3. Helpful (6)

    "Great talent, poor leadership"

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

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Exciting IP, great design and art staff, good facilities, decent wages and benefits, lots of free snacks, fairly decent office environment.

    Cons

    Poor management, lack of transparency, 'too many cooks in the kitchen', nit picking the details by leads instead of focus on higher priority items, lack of proper schedule and accountability of leads and production to commitments, terrible studio location.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of some of the superfluous senior and lead staff, trust the leads you hire instead of micromanaging them and ignoring everything they tell you is being done wrong, don't let leads dictate tasks for other teams, have a clear vision for the game's design and story before arting it up, get rid of at least half of the useless producers and replace them with more mid level designers and artists, hire more tech staff, don't expect constant crunch from employees to make up for poor lead decision making and production management.


  4. "Senior Accountanat"

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

    Pros

    High level of skilled employees who are also good to work with.

    Cons

    Better coordination amongst senior management.

    Advice to Management

    None


  5. Helpful (1)

    "I like Crystal Dynamics"

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

    Pros

    I very much enjoyed my time at Crystal Dynamics, and I still miss it after moving on. As an engineer, I worked with some very motivated people in all departments. Overall, I felt the process of building games was fairly efficient compared to my past experiences. There was a lot of encouragement from team leads to share knowledge and that traveled in both directions. The feature game was immensely satisfying to contribute to, and most of those I worked with really wanted it to succeed as much as I did. The culture is quite family friendly, where the Halloween and Thanksgiving season have been particularly memorable where the Halloween parties usually involve child costume contests or parades. The newer top floor location looks amazing and has a lot of natural sunlight. I appreciated the transparency of the periodic town hall meetings, clearly identifying past goals hit, missed, and everywhere in between. Weekly Friday Awesometowns are brief social gatherings (with a keg) where the state of the game is showcased. This does more for motivation than you might realize.

    Cons

    I'm sure many have said it, but the limited bathroom situation really sucked. A few times the stalls were all full, so I had to take the elevator down to the public lobby/cafe, only to find those stalls full also, forcing me to walk to an adjacent building and pray there was a free stall. There's a little bit of a dust problem, though it's possible it just looks like it because of all the sunlight exposing it. It felt a bit cramped at times, and I can't imagine things getting much better as they seem to be continuously hiring. Anthem Blue Cross HMO plan is extremely restrictive, but they do offer Kaiser, so I advise you choose that instead since it's so prominent in the Bay area.

    Advice to Management

    The newer location looks great, but I think it may be time to move on to a larger space. Please do that rather than downsizing after the release of ROTT later this year. Ditch Anthem Blue Cross and go with Cigna. Otherwise, keep up the decent work.


  6. Helpful (9)

    "Interesting project, terrible organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Redwood City, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Without a doubt, the people at Crystal are their greatest asset. Many people are very helpful and friendly. The office space is nice, with big windows, eating areas, video games and a good kitchen. I have not been ignored by my managers, and there is a general feeling that we all want to create great work.

    Cons

    The pay is low for the cost of living in the Bay Area. There seems to be a lack of technical leadership, and a confusing art leadership org. Assets are a mess, tools are unreliable, and finding the owner of a feature is difficult. In general, studio efficiency is very low. There is waste at all levels from disorganization and poor communication practices. Many key employes have left recently and been replaced by junior level hires, or contractors. There is a general air of frustration and apathy.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your best asset. Ask them how they would make Crystal better. Start by making a no overtime policy and scheduling your products around that, or pay for overtime and budget around that.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Poor management is killing this company"

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

    I worked at Crystal Dynamics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you need a break from spending time with your family and friends, this is the place for you.

    If you enjoy micromanagement and zero trust in your knowledge and abilities, there's no better place to be.

    If you're an aspiring executive producer who is prone to ruining your team's hard work by making misogynistic remarks to the press, you'll feel right at home-- and you just might get promoted!

    If you value the opinions of game directors who hold onto their jobs by having the team work overtime to make up for their lack of actual design skills, submit your resume ASAP. Oh, and don't worry-- they won't bother you much since they'll be "working from home" most of the time. More free dinner for you!

    Cons

    The head of this studio is quite possibly the biggest narcissist I've ever worked for. He never misses an opportunity to talk about himself and how he made Crystal what it is. What he fails to mention is how his bullying style of management has trickled down through the organization and made it a toxic environment. That is his true legacy.
    Strangely, some of the least qualified employees have managed to fail their way up into positions where they tow the company line: Place an unreasonable amount of work on too few people and expect to compete with the likes of other game studios that employ double the number of developers. Reducing project scope is never an option. Don't even think about proposing reasonable compromises to outrageous scheduling.

    Contract workers are the new wave of the future. Why hire senior people with lots of experience when you can hire three junior level contractors and not have to pay benefits or other perks?
    Besides, senior developers ask pesky questions. We don't have time for that.

    Advice to Management

    I honestly don't know what you'll do if you have to find another job.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Fantastic, family-friendly environment. Great Games!"

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

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Highly collaborative environment.
    Amazing tools, level editor is best I've ever used.
    I get tons of creative flexibility and decision making power in the moment to moment gameplay. Management could be better, but I've never felt like I couldn't go talk to them about any issues, they are very approachable, especially considering how busy they are.
    Feels like a family, everyone in the company (from dev to HR to facilities to IT, etc...) is committed to making the best games we can.
    Yearly performance reviews can sometimes be a little late, but they will happen and merit increases have always been pro-rated to where you should have gotten them.
    Mandatory crunch doesn't happen often and isn't for long, you've got your tasks for the week and if you don't finish them in the normal 40 hours, then it is on you to work more hours to complete your tasks.
    Employee is part of the scheduling discussion each week to figure out how long each task should take, so if weekly crunch happens, the employee is as much to blame.
    Little to no office politics, either that or I'm just really good at staying out of crap like that.
    Great benefits structure, especially if you have children.
    I've often been told by upper-management that family comes first, not just lip-service either, they've been great at working with me during family crisis to ease my mind of work matters so I can focus on my family.
    Big support of outside sports activities, company sponsors multiple athletic teams for leagues at the complex's gym.

    Cons

    Lots of the original Tomb Raider team has indeed left, including some very key to the success of that game.
    Crystal likes to higher very junior employees and give them 3 months of contract to see if they'll work out or not. I'm fine with this practice as 3 months should be enough time for everyone to know if it'll work out or not, I just would like it if the employee would be made more aware of that fact. They'll hire 4 jr. designers this way even though there are only 2 permanent roles available, makes it feel very gladiatorial.
    Bonus scheme isn't very good.
    Heavily controlled brand messaging. Employees aren't allowed to breath a word about announced projects without getting approval from the Brand team first. I understand why this is, still kind of annoying though.
    Not sure if my experience with Promotions is shared by others, but this is what I'm dealing with now. At last year's performance review, I received a promotion. Yay! Wasn't sure what my new title would be because they were about to start an initiative to change all job titles to a new scheme (so instead of Associate Designer, we would have Designer I). That's fine, except a year later and with performance reviews in full swing, I still don't know what my official title is.
    Just moved into a new office a month ago. It has 1 men's bathroom that only has 1 urinal and 2 toilets. There are over 100 men in this office. It is a serious problem and one that we voiced loudly from the moment we heard the company was looking to move (our old office only had 2 urinals and 2 toilets, we thought that was bad). They failed to listen to us in that regard and effectively downgraded our bathroom situation.
    On the new office topic, we are on the top floor and have high ceilings, large windows surround the upper level. This lets in a ton of natural light, some people think its great (non-artists) some people hate it (artists). The big problem is at certain times of day, the sun shines directly in the windows and makes it so some people can't see their screens. This affects a large number of people actually


  9. "great people full of passion on making great AAA games"

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

    I have been working at Crystal Dynamics full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    a lot of talented people.
    super nice and willing to help.
    passion on making great games.

    Cons

    salary is a bit low


  10. "Good times, but Hard work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at Crystal Dynamics full-time

    Pros

    They make great games and have a real commitment to making the best game they can. They seemed to really care about the people that work there and have a really nice office. There are a lot of fantastic, super talented developers there.

    Cons

    I'm sure everyone will agree, they crunch too hard and for too long. Home/work balance goes out the window. Don't know if this is poor management or just commitment to excellence, but crunch time needs to be minimized.


Showing 21 of 24 reviews
Reset Filters