East Side Games Reviews

Updated May 11, 2020

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4.0
76%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
East Side Games Chief Executive Officer Joshua Nilson (no image)
Joshua Nilson
16 Ratings
  1. Helpful (1)

    "Good People"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at East Side Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    People who are kind and trying to make a great workplace.

    Cons

    Predictably chaotic, it's a small game company.

  2. "ESG Co-op : Fun and Informative Co-op"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer Co-Op in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at East Side Games full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Experienced a lot of diferent roles and responsibilities, learned a lot - Friendly environment if you take the effort to get to know people - A lot of events and parties to socialize with your coworkers - Collaborative environment where you work closely with artists, designers, etc.

    Cons

    - Can have periods of crunch, where environment is a bit hectic.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at East Side Games

    Pros

    Exciting projects Great people and culture Autonomy and ownership Great benefits Tons of opportunities

    Cons

    Knowledge sharing and communication between teams

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Easy going. Good benefits. Smart people."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at East Side Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of experienced people to learn from.

    Cons

    Lots of things happening and plans change often.

  5. Helpful (8)

    "Interesting experience with a good amount of growing pains"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at East Side Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Working at East Side Games gave employees the chance to learn a lot more about making games than what their job title usually entails. The structure was lean and responsibilities in a production/pm role could include both technical tasks as well as marketing or business development on a company-wide level. There's was a good amount of tech company perks like development budgets and conference visits, free snacks, a catered lunch once per week, Friday after work get-togethers, office parties, and workouts paid for by the company.

    Cons

    The C-level management sometimes seemed detached from the day to day which translated into ongoing hurdles on the operational side. There was a tendency to label the company as a start-up and and often voiced admiration for running the business with a wild west mentality. Every now and then, this attitude clashed with reality and the level of detail necessary to deliver high calibre games based on successful IP fell short. Unfortunately, the middle management layer wasn't able to roll-out company-wide processes which were requested with urgency. Instead, micro-management was applied as a band-aid on an ongoing basis. In my experience, East Side Game's teams rarely felt a sense of ownership. For the longest time, essential technical considerations received a lower priority then shortsighted business objectives and creative direction which usually lead to an intense amount of overtime for the engineering staff. Supporting departments like marketing and analytics seemed to be understaffed while responsibilities were assigned to the game teams without considering team capacity.

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  6. Helpful (7)

    "Great Until It Grew"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at East Side Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great Coworkers Good Office Location Relatively Fun Projects

    Cons

    Lack of Clear Vision Bad HR Policies Poor Communication Recent Bout of Firings Low Compensation

  7. Helpful (9)

    "You Deserve Better Than ESG"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at East Side Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people on the floor who actually make the games and do the hard work.

    Cons

    - The founders are in denial that they have a major, cultural/morale issue on their hands and ignore and twist situations - There have been multiple claims of harassment, sexism, bullying, and gaslighting against the directors and HR has done nothing about it - Poor HR/employee relations; HR has been known to tell managers about private conversations with their reports; HR has been known to twist situations with employees including tough exits - Low employee retention; there are multiple exits a month (one time as high as 7 voluntary exits) - Employees who speak up about being unhappy are treated poorly and sometimes fired - No raise structure and no cost of living increases; the wages are some of the lowest in the industry - When anything goes sideways the lower level employees take the blame; last year Jason Bailey (CFO) collectively yelled at 90 employees in a “all hands on deck” meeting because a game was late due to mis-management and bad direction - Poor decisions from upper level management that result in overtime and game performance issues; no ownership from founders or directors for mistakes and bad behaviour - No transparency and zero reflection. The CEO still sells the studio as a scrappy, loving, inclusive “family” but he’s living in the past. It hasn’t been like that for years now

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  8. Helpful (9)

    "Hard Times at ESG"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at East Side Games full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great coworkers. I met some of my best friends through the years spent at ESG

    Cons

    If you had asked me 5 or 6 years ago, I would have recommended ESG, but the transition from a small studio to a big one was not a smooth transition. As of 2019, the morale is at an all-time low. It’s the kind of workplace that you’ll find people crying in the washroom stalls now and again. One of the directors has been accumulating complaints from handfuls of employees, many regarding sexism, and yet HR has done nothing. One founder has been heard saying “if anyone brings up Unions, I will fire them.” If you want more on him, just youtube “Jason Bailey at Full Indie Jan 2012”. He’s a delight. The CEO still sells the company as a scrappy, indie startup, despite operating for nearly 10 years, partnering with established IPs, and making millions. The wages reflect what you’d find at startups, despite all of its success. Complaints will also be met with “you need to understand startup culture” when it comes to things like crunch and wage. They do not do annual raises or cost of living adjustments anymore. Most people I know at ESG (including myself) are looking for work elsewhere, and the ones who get caught are laid off. HR has gone so far as to convince one employee that they could talk about their job search, only to fire them, saying that the conversation was their resignation. If you work there at this time, do not confide in HR. They are not a safe space. Get out. If you’re looking to work there, you deserve better.

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  9. Helpful (9)

    "A Dream Studio Fallen"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at East Side Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Amazing & talented people, truly some of the best in the industry -Very open and inclusive co-worker -Great location and cozy office

    Cons

    -A lot of what once made this studio one of the very best is dwindling and it's really starting to show. Management aka "higher ups" consistently interfere with the studios culture, pushing their personal agenda and "purging" those who disagree. It sounds intense, because it is... -Working here once felt like an open environment where everyone knew everyone and just wanted to make great games together. Now the studio is surrounded by a aura of what I can only describe as "fear". People keep their mouths shut and heads down trying to finish what is required of them and excuse themselves from the office, quite frankly just to keep their job. East Side has gone through growing pains, a lot of them, but this is NOT what this industry is all about and I can NOT recommend ANYONE look at starting or continuing their career at a studio that has taken such a fall. I wish them all the best, but do yourself a favor and skip this studio, you deserve better. I truly hope this changes and I can delete this review.

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Great company, but not enough emphasis on hard work."

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at East Side Games full-time

    Pros

    Good work / life balance, good benefits, fun IP's.

    Cons

    Low level staff feel very entitled.

Found 28 reviews