DeNA Reviews | Glassdoor

DeNA Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
126 reviews

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126 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people, good benefits, one of the early pioneers of mobile gaming (in 12 reviews)

  • You learn a lot, you are always busy (in 6 reviews)

Cons
More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (4)

    "Horrendous Japanese Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Non-management are an exceptional and talented group of people. Lunchtime game sessions are among some of the best communal opportunities to get to know peers.

    Cons

    Management is abysmal. Typical Japanese bureaucracy wherein Japanese leaders make horrendous decisions, yet, aren't held responsible for any of the failures.

    Advice to Management

    Read every single review here on Glassdoor to understand how your employees think your leadership is a joke.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Good Benefits but very bad and out of touch Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits like: meals, commuter benefits, 100% health and vision, Working from home, the employees are mostly friendly.

    Cons

    The management style is horrible (very Japanese) and the lack of knowledge of the Western market is driving this company to a predictable doom.

    The studio head insist in approve his own games and protect "rockstar" employees. The result is that he has singlehandedly affected the quality of the games. consistently taking bad and rushed decisions.

    The "bonuses" are laughable and the compensation is below market even though they have a performance review system, getting a raise, even if you perform well, is impossible.

    If you respect yourself professionally or want to be respected by your bosses, please don't even think about joining DeNA.

    Advice to Management

    Please tell the truth to your employees, stop kidding yourself thinking that the company is on a good path and replace the entire management level (specially the studio head) before every employee leave the company.

  3. Helpful (3)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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.

    Advice to Management

    Trying to motivate your employees just telling them how much money you make, overlooking the quality of the product and the satisfaction of the players, is not enough.

    Stop putting people who know little to nothing about videogames as managers.

    Try to innovate over the draconian gacha system.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "typical Japanese company"

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

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

    Pros

    Nice office, parent company in Japan is listed and very big. Mobile game development and publishing is becoming increasingly competitive, DeNA still has deep wallets and stable enough to persist at least for the next few years.

    Cons

    No management autonomy at DeNA West, everything is decided between Tokyo and local management team who happens to be Japanese. Little or no feedback on the decision making process, only results.

    Advice to Management

    Really should let local experts handle the ins and outs of non-Japan mobile game market penetration. That's why you hired them. You should use them.


  5. "Artist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at DeNA full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good pay. Good perks. Good culture.

    Cons

    Company vision and process hasn't produced a successful product...ever.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on licensed products. Don't spread the talent too thin.


  6. "ngmoco:) was promising until the acquisition"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at DeNA (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Lots of challenges, great people, interesting products, good culture.

    Cons

    Technical debt, mismanaged priorities, inability to merge Japanese and western mindsets

    Advice to Management

    Don't hire "90 people in 90 days". Listen to your employees when they suggest new ideas. Pay attention to the integrity of your products... the games used to be fun, but now they are just re-skinned versions of the same-old mechanics. If you expect employees to adhere to core values, then hold management to the same standards.


  7. "Great experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DeNA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Good employee culture
    - Good work/life balance
    - Supportive management
    - Good talent

    Cons

    - Company vision might be off-track
    - Lack of recent successes caused employee morale to take a dive
    - When I left, there weren't many exciting projects on the horizon

    Advice to Management

    Stop making the same games over and over

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Project Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends

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

    Pros

    - Great benefits
    - Collaborative environment
    - DeNA encourages new ideas and allows us to try new approaches. If we succeed, great. If it didn't work no one is to blame, we learn from it and move forward.
    - Amazing people. Smart, friendly, social
    - Really good options for catered lunches and great breakfast too

    Cons

    - Morale has been down but execs are doing their best to reinvigorate the team. Already seeing an improvement.
    - Area gets busy and loud during baseball games


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great Culture with Questionable Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    DeNA has great benefits (fully covered health insurance, catered breakfast & lunch) and a friendly culture.

    Cons

    Global company mission and western company strategy have been questionable for years. DeNA West seems to wander from one strategy to the next. While the culture is friendly, there is little respect for the western and global CEOs or studio management in the west.

    Advice to Management

    Find a new studio leader. Focus game teams on building games in genres that align with their expertise. Stop targeting oversaturated genres. Doing the same thing everyone else is doing in gaming is a guaranteed way to fail.

    DeNA Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – CEO

    Thank you for taking time to post your opinions. I agree that we have a great company culture with competitive benefits. We take pride in providing our team members with the best possible work... More


  10. Helpful (4)

    "NOBODY wants to work here or be here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at DeNA full-time

    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.

    Advice to Management

    This advice is directed to CEO in Japan. If you're serious about the West then rebuild DENA offices here and get rid of the current leadership group. Their failures in so many areas has killed this office and has created a horrible reptuation in the city. Nobody in this industry wants to work at DENA.

    DeNA Response

    Aug 17, 2015 – 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... More


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