DeNA Reviews

Updated Mar 23, 2021

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3.7
54%
Recommend to a Friend
50%
Approve of CEO
DeNA CEO Shintaro Asako (no image)
Shintaro Asako
54 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great people, good benefits, one of the early pioneers of mobile gaming(in 11 reviews)

  • "Youthful energy to help celebrate both the successes and the failures of a company focused on creating the next big hit in mobile gaming(in 11 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "The executives from Japan and San Francisco do not have any clear idea how to conquer the west market(in 6 reviews)

  • "Little or no feedback on the decision making process, only results(in 6 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      Great people

      Jan 29, 2021 - Manager 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great people to work with

      Cons

      Office was closed in 2016.

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    2. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      My opinion of being an employee at Davis

      Mar 23, 2021 - Registered Nurse in Layton, UT
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Everyone here works really well together. It's very much like a little family—there is not any gossip or underhanding that goes on among the coworkers.

      Cons

      Management are "yes" people. They will not advocate for the employees but will agree with anything upper Management wants. It can be hard not having your director not advocate for your team. In addition to this pay is not very lovely, but the company is wonderful and even though management is "yes," people they overall act kindly to the workers.

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    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Operations and Infrastructure team at DeNA

      Sep 23, 2014 - Systems Engineer in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The operations team at DeNA is a highly collaborative group of intelligent and experienced individuals. While it's nice to talk about war stories and bond over the battle wounds of operational hellfire past. This team would rather talk over lunch about their weekend plans or go on a movie outing, because frankly they are smart enough to avoid most of the brimstone that you find in other large infrastructure deployments. It's true that their hardware is not magic and their tools are no different than the rest of the industries, but they are able to handle outages and more importantly the people that are affected by them with, dare I say it, a bit of grace?! Think of your worst experience with an IT/Operations team then think about what made you feel that way. That's what this team thinks about every time it meets to consider how we can make our clients lives a little easier, and frankly how we can keep our lives easy.

      Cons

      As with any team that can see across the entire organization, the problems that recur are the most disheartening. The entire organization would be better off if it would take more cues from the operations and infrastructure team.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    4. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Two very different companies in one office

      Mar 17, 2013 - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Excellent benefits Catered meals Nice snacks Generally, people are nice Pleasant office in a nice location SOMA Excellent core values (though not fully embraced) Many intelligent and well-spoken people There is a lot of potential

      Cons

      Technical work in first party game development always requires crunch time (long hours, week-ends) Platform has significant technical debt Some of the engineers are over-confident and difficult to work with Many of the best people are leaving at noticeable rate and, with slow hiring, technical workers get extra work The work is challenging in the wrong ways: tight schedules, poor code quality, constant emergencies due to poor/no planning. The most technically challenging thing you will do is the interview Working with counter-parts in Tokyo is difficult due to language barrier and time difference People can be discharged at any moment, equally true for middle management or line workers The success of technical work is, at best, mixed Platform/Core technology is too engineering-lead and out of touch with product needs First party development is too product-lead and has trouble delivering quality technology There is a lot of pressure to conform to the local culture which includes drinking, playing games during work, nerf darts - it can be tough to fit in, if you just want to enjoy your work Not much ethnic/gender diversity in the technical staff

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      4 people found this review helpful
    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great people, great vision, great (upcoming) games.

      Jun 24, 2014 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people are awesome and the culture is awesome! There are people from all walks of life that have come from mobile, console and many other places to work here. If you want to get promoted, you will. Speak up and work hard and you'll be rewarded. Too many people are obsessed with immediate satisfaction and don't stay with the company long enough to really see the upside. Work hard, have fun and you'll have a job you will enjoy for years to come. Work/Life balance is awesome. I enjoy working within my own hours and not required hours that are set arbitrarily . The food is pretty amazing too...

      Cons

      The pay isn't the best. The office is a little meh...not your typical gaming company office space. No real hit titles yet, but they're coming! The desk pods are a bit annoying and not really conducive to communication. No real centralized area to play and engage with your coworkers (a MUST for a gaming company). Needs a proper centralized gaming area (not just tucked away in the corner of the office).

      1 person found this review helpful
    6. 1.0
      Former Employee, less than 1 year

      NOBODY wants to work here or be here

      Jul 31, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - China Basin office location next to the ballpark is good - Usual SF office perks in terms of snacks and meals - At least SF will get to claim they're "successful" once they help promote Nintendo games in the West

      Cons

      - Senior leadership team that is all Japanese and has failed on so many levels since DENA acquired ngmoco. - Retention has been awful. It's been a revolving door of people coming and going once they realize the abysmal situation. - Leadership has blacklisted people who "speak-up" or have basically driven them out of the studio. - Horrible product decisions from crappy rushed games to spending millions on user acquisition campaigns with extremely poor returns on investment. - Transferred some employees from the failed Vancouver studio who are clearly not happy to be here and are apparently just going along with it because they got fat raises or they're work/immigration paperwork is controlled by DENA. - CEO's knowledge of games and the industry is laughable. Just a hollow figurehead being controlled by Japanese HQ because he can speak fluent English and Japanese. - Quality and execution on the tech side is a joke. - It honestly feels that if you're not Japanese or one of their few puppets left, there is no chance for advancement or having impact in this studio.

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      4 people found this review helpful

      DeNA Response

      CEO

      Thank you for your candid thoughts regarding DeNA West management and practices. Many companies deal with employees leaving for other opportunities and that simply is the reality of running a business. I am proud to say that we have a strong percentage of team members who have been with the company since our inception and several new hires seeking us out to to join the company. We take all of our DeNA qualities to heart and “speaking-up” is one that is encouraged and practiced at DeNA. We continually listen and have conversations with our team members and appreciate their suggestions, direction and vision. If you’d like to discuss any of this further, do not hesitate to reach out to me.

    7. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Not great, just ok

      Jan 20, 2014 -  in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - People are generally nice - Catered meals - Great location - The current games are doing pretty well in the charts

      Cons

      - Lack of strategy and transparency! Ever since the new CEO has taken over, there has only been 1 all-hands. Management is essentially hoping that the new games are successful, but not explaining the steps we need to take to reach success. - Terrible morale because a lot of the veteran employees are leaving - Limited growth opportunities... but because of the high employee turnover, you will be promoted to a senior position eventually - A lot of technical debt in games and platform - HR needs to post fake reviews to attract new hires - Despite what they say, culture is not flat. New ideas often go nowhere. - Occasionally, you will run into politics/ego problems with people who won't compromise or aren't willing to listen to another point of view. Too bad that a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. - No clear direction on the future of the company - In general, this company is not great due to poor leadership and vision, but it's not a terrible work environment either if you want to just get by or get your foot in the industry.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    8. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      A very good "first job", but the company has no real love for videogames

      Feb 2, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good benefits: Free food, nice neighborhood. Most of the employees in the company are really friendly and open to share their hobbies with you. If you are new to the videogame industry, you will learn a lot here. Most games have good art direction.

      Cons

      Most games are only copies of whatever game is successful in the current market, with no real innovation or creativity. People get frustrated by this and move to other companies eventually. The company has no real vision, other than to make as much money has possible. Shows no real love for the medium or the playerbase. Most games base their income thanks to "whales", i.e. players who will pay huge amounts of money to rank first on the different live events of said games. This business model makes the production to focus on how to squish as much money from these whales as possible, ignoring any attempts to make the game a compelling for the "not whale" players.

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      3 people found this review helpful
    9. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great place to gain experience.

      Jul 23, 2016 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      DeNA was a great place to gain experience. No matter which department you are in (engineering, art, marketing,etc...) DeNA had talented people to teach and guide you. Their systems and on par or better than the industry, and you will learn a lot.

      Cons

      Growth is tough at this branch. It doesn't feel too good if the company is not growing. In Japan, DeNA is a beast though, so don't worry too much about this branch closing yet. I pretty much learned everything in a year, so while there was a lot to learn initially, it does get a bit mundane after a few months.

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    10. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 1 year

      Great Possibilities, Great Challenge, Lots of Variables

      Feb 22, 2013 - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      DeNA is trying to replicate the success of their business in Japan in the rest of the world. The challenge is immense and the paths to get there provide enough variety to keep anyone entertained. Overall team spirit is encouraging and you get a sense of being in something in the rise and unknown potential.

      Cons

      There are large disparities between the management structures between Japan and the Western studios, particularly DeNA San Francisco. The duality of leadership sometimes creates problems, and poor leadership skills in positions of large influence are at times, quite evident.

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