1. "Best AAA game company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Respawn Entertainment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Respectful team - Considerate management - An abundance of passion - Lots of team building events, such as parties, sports groups, etc. - Transparent -- anyone could find out and learn about almost anything - Achievements beyond expectations are recognized and rewarded - They've figured out how to make live-service development pleasant and avoid many of the usual issues - Lots of different lunch groups -- everyone likes to make you feel like you belong - Lots of interdepartmental conversation -- both social and professional - Lots of interaction between the different Respawn game teams - Constant playtesting, including "Friday Night Fights" where I always had a fun time - Plenty of growth opportunities - Access to EA's massive network of developers, information, tools, etc. Want to learn how Battlefield did that cool thing? You can ask the person who did it. - Management is very receptive to change.

    Cons

    - Personal project policy is very restrictive. - Despite team sizes being relatively small, it can sometimes feel more "big stable game company" than "small exciting game company."

Other Employee Reviews

  1. "Best AAA Company in California"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Visual FX Artist 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Respawn Entertainment full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Wow, a company where the management actually cares about the employees. Small teams let you see your impact on the final product. It's a great campus and the culture is really nice here. Lots of talented and friendly people.

    Cons

    There is a lot more corporate infrastructure now, but it's not that bad and similar to working for any corporation. Sometimes it's actually helpful in the right situations.

  2. Helpful (1)

    "Listen to Diverse Voices"

    2.0
    Former Employee - Writer in Los Angeles, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Respawn Entertainment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Respawn (before EA acquisition) seemed to have a strong games-first culture. Nice new building even if Star Wars sometimes felt segregated from it. Some really talented people on the development side. Some good production staff. Still hasn’t suffered Visceral’s fate. Lot of events, even if there should be less. (And less drinking.) Good learning experience on what to do and what not to do in game development.

    Cons

    Problems below are on the EA side and team side, but they all influence project direction, execution, and interactions with franchise holders. EA’s touch has hurt Star Wars, unfortunately, especially from corporate influence on gameplay and gameplay elements (Battlefront 2). This pressure was felt on other projects despite promises and insistence of being hands-off. EA’s effect on the company culture was slight at first, but grew month by month until difficult to keep pace with EA requests. Culture is male-centric, and the circle of the "old boys club" is felt on all levels. Females are not listened to within a team, often silenced or sidelined until they are let go or forced out. Not an encouraging place for female voices or diverse voices, and often , raising such issues can be seen as causing "trouble" within team. While some of Respawn’s titles feature some degree/token diversity, it is not well held up on the Star Wars team where a specific subset dictated most of game’s direction. This hurt the experience, was a huge disappointment and a missed opportunity to broaden the franchise in the right progressive directions. Too many writers for a small project with no central vision (counter example: Uncharted), contributing to literal whitewash of elements. A large lack of understanding about what makes Star Wars work and what doesn’t, often causing the franchise holder to have to insist on editing the elements to make it work, becomes even more writing-by-committee, hurting title further. Collective oversight for the project often distracted, required last minute changes, was unorganized and difficult to work with. Internal (and external) meetings not run well, easily derailed to unimportant or discussions that should clearly be had by individuals, not the entire team. Story direction was often derailed narrative tangents and themes that aren’t insightful or impactful to the player and was hard to communicate why these detours are important to the team or the franchise holder. Interview feedback for new writers is not taken into account, even when red flags are raised. Difficult to understand why new writers on an already writing-heavy team are hired, as it bogs everything down and makes it quicker to terminate them later. Even worse if recent hires have made a huge move to be at the company and is left stranded. Sequel for Fallen Order not learning from previous title’s mistakes. While some managers are excellent, some are not, and at times, key managers making decisions on a team often are unavailable or unclear in their direction. Visits to franchise holder often seems to devolve into end of day drinkathons encouraged by management. Attempts to communicate with franchise holders of Star Wars was exercise in confusion, including team's inability to communicate why the game’s ideas would work, would often have to retread the same issues with every visit with little progress. Contractors are brought in and relied on more of the core elements than the internal team, ones that the company taken a long time to hire and should cultivate. No strong coordination between writing team and level design team, resulting in difficult flows in gameplay and disconnects in playstyle – narrative is often dictated to for game elements, rather than working hand in hand. Project catered to TV studio-style direction for scripts and content which doesn’t always work for games and undermines interactivity. Art team and level design team dictates more of the story elements than the writers or franchise holders, becoming a tug of war which writing often loses.

    Continue reading

Discover more reviews about Respawn Entertainment.