NaturalMotion - Figuring out their role in the mobile market | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for NaturalMotion
There are newer employer reviews for NaturalMotion

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Helpful (8)

"Figuring out their role in the mobile market"

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  • 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
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

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

Pros

*great people; the hiring process is VERY tough- very high standards in the talent they bring on
*use of proprietary technology to use in mobile games
*innovation is encouraged

Cons

*disorganized
*no sense of company culture in the SF studio
*seem to have a lack of directive in the company's overall mission when it comes to their mobile games in preproduction
*breakdown in communication between Oxford headquarters and SF studio
*very small (game) studio here stateside; projects are not given the manpower or resources they need, and the hiring process/ HR is very understaffed as they are split between UK and US needs.
*minimal benefits (studio is so small, health and dental/vision options are very limited)

Advice to Management

Wish upper management had given the SF studio the resources and manpower it deserved and needed to properly make the games we had been assigned to make. Wish they had 1. had better organization and a solid plan moving forward with their games, and 2. had truly given the SF studio a fighting chance to succeed.

Other Employee Reviews for NaturalMotion

  1. "Still has potential... but it feels like the end"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NaturalMotion full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I only have experience working at the Oxford studio.

    There are still some great people at NM - really talented, experienced and nice to work and spend your time with. In the tech team the average time with the company is probably about 10 years -though that says more about the company as it was, than it does about what it is now.

    The company has tech and talent that is amazing and unique - surely it can do great things with it...

    Cons

    ... but despite that tech and talent, it has never fully exploited it on the games side - and that is where the focus is now (100%). There are constant changes in direction, changes in projects/teams, terrible code legacy, and worst of all, spread of "Zynga" influence that is strangling any sense of pride.

    Torsten was an inspiring leader, and the older/original leadership team were great, when the company was primarily Oxford based. There is a huge vacuum now they have left, certainly from the Oxford point of view.

    If the leadership team can start to lead and inspire, and if the current projects take off, NM (Oxford) could still rebuild itself into a great place. I really hope it does.

    Advice to Management

    Make the company feel like a startup that is on the up, rather than a big company that is dwindling to nothing.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "Oxford Studio is Circling the Drain, Other Studios Uncertain"

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

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

    Pros

    *Lots of talented people.
    *Generally good atmosphere.
    *Basic perks, plus the recent introduction of (unfortunately unsubsidised) private Healthcare.
    *Regular social events.
    *Offices are generally nice, and well kitted out.
    *Some projects have interesting technology to play with.
    *The office closes for the three days between Christmas and New Year, but this isn't guaranteed.
    *The CSR2 team are an example of a well built, well run and well organised team.
    *Work/Life balance can be good, if you're on the right team.

    Cons

    *Wages are 10-15% lower than average for non-management positions, even when taking (irregular and normally low) bonuses into account.
    *Wages are not adjusted in anyway for people that work in the London office.
    *Minimum and maximum pension contributions matched by the company aren't beyond those required by law.
    *Little to no reward for continued service.
    *Career progression opportunities aren't fantastic.
    *The company is now Zynga wearing an ill-fitting Naturalmotion suit - Utterly, facelessly, soullessly corporate.
    *Getting a decent pay rise will require you to seek work elsewhere and then extort a matching salary.
    *Totally unable to schedule or manage a project to completion on time and within budget.
    *Abysmal at both keeping the right people and dismissing the wrong people.
    *Zynga's approach to making a game, i.e. try to make a quick buck by quickly copying someone's popular title, is constantly at odds with Naturalmotion's approach, i.e. make a good profit by making a very stylised, visually impressive copy of someone's popular title.
    *The Naturalmotion COO (and interim CEO), is unwilling or unable to fight Zynga's corporate machinations.
    *The CPO is staggeringly incompetent and has managed to steer virtually every project into disaster.
    *Zynga are obsessed with studio head counts and not studio running costs. So, during the semi-regular cost cutting layoffs, you will find many capable and useful employees let go, whilst grossly overpaid and extraneous managers and executives keep their jobs.
    *There is a significant lack of transparency from management.
    *Zynga control how bonuses are given out, specifically if they are in cash or stock. When the stock is doing well, your bonuses will likely be in cash, and vice versa.
    *The Dawn of Titans project was an unmitigated failure, dogged both by atrocious management and Zynga's inability to manage a game more complicated than a Scrabble knock-off or a Ville game. This led to regular crunch, massive team churn, disenchantment and overall dissatisfaction - something that's still persisting.
    *Zynga frequently transplant managers into Naturalmotion when they believe something is missing. Unfortunately, almost all of these transplants is unqualified and ultimately leaves a trail of destruction in their wake when they inevitably return to a heroes welcome back at Zynga.
    *Bizarrely unbalanced on spending - you'll find expensive coffee machines and frequent office refurbishments, but also frequently broken toilets and other facilities.
    *Work/Life balance can be dreadful, if you're on the wrong team.

    Advice to Management

    *There's an undercurrent of nepotism within the company that can determine the success or failure of an employee, if they say yes to the right people, they're rewarded - even in the face of terrible business decisions. This behaviour cannot continue, if the business is to succeed.
    *When a project fails, you should take a long hard look at who has been directing the project into that failure and that person should be retrained or removed from their position.
    *Zynga are not creative or original, and this began their post-IPO implosion. Naturalmotion were supposed to have filled this niche, but instead are continuing to make knock-offs of popular titles that then fail to be as popular. You need to regain your creative edge if Naturalmotion is to even continue as a notion.
    *Embrace your technology, extend it, support it. Some of it is unparalleled within mobile games, and yet, you've allowed Zynga to dictate headcount limits and stifle any further improvement or development.
    *Stop promoting and rewarding yes people, this attitude has driven Naturalmotion into the doomed rut it's currently in. Listen to everybody, not just the one's who agree with you.

There are newer employer reviews for NaturalMotion
There are newer employer reviews for NaturalMotion

See Most Recent

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