Gearbox Software Reviews | Glassdoor

Gearbox Software Reviews

Updated June 20, 2017
11 reviews

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3.4
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Recommend to a friend
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Randy Pitchford
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. "Best work place of my career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Gearbox Software (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    I loved working at Gearbox. The people are some of the most talented and charismatic I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone made sure to put in the effort necessary to achieve the goals of the company, the project and the teams. While working at Gearbox, I didn't feel pressure to work crunch time as the work I was doing was very satisfying to me and I just wanted to be there. My manager was very open and supportive of anything I had issues with or questions about but was very hands off when it came to daily management, which I greatly appreciated. My manager definitely trusted me to get the job done and I trusted my manager to make the right calls for our team. The members of my team were very smart, charismatic and willing to share knowledge, work loads and good times with each other as needed. I always felt like my team had my back and I'm sure they knew I had their back. Aside from the work, having the benefits and profit share payments was really nice. I've had some terrible insurance in my life but working at Gearbox, even when company needs force changes in the benefits package, I felt the company was doing everything to bend over backwards for the employees without actually risking breaking their backs.

    Cons

    If your goal is to break into the gaming industry and start in the QA department, it appeared to me that if you weren't a freaking rock star, you weren't going to get out of the QA department. I'm not entirely sure that's necessarily a con, as I can see from a business perspective that having just and John Doe show up and move through the ranks can cause some serious issues. But, I do believe it was harder for QA team members to grow than it was for the development and support staff.

    Advice to Management

    It's been far too long since I've worked at Gearbox for me to give management any advice on how to do their job. I know business needs can sometimes dictate what management is able to do with regards to the employee but I truly believe the employee and longevity of the company are considered carefully. If our paths ever cross again, I would have no problems accepting a position with Gearbox again.


  2. "Bitter sweet."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist in Frisco, TX
    Former Employee - Artist in Frisco, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Flexible, great community, well treated.

    Cons

    questionable project management, discontinuity, confusion.

    Advice to Management

    Find and respect talented developers, and do whatever it takes to keep them motivated in the the right direction. They are where value comes from.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "All Style No Substance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Extremely fun subject matter in terms of style and genre, laid back company culture, lots of free food

    Cons

    low base salary, excessive micromanagement by producers, uninspired leadership, weak writers, undisciplined design pipeline, poorly managed art department, wondering what embarrassing thing Randy will do next

    Advice to Management

    Give individual devs more freedom to collaborate and innovate, encourage the writing team to work with other departments, make a medium number of high quality assets instead of a huge quantity of mediocre assets, stop micromanaging the team, pay your new hires a fair wage


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Terrible Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Working on games is cool, but you can do that somewhere that doesn't treat you like garbage.

    Cons

    Way too many to list.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "I've worked for many companies, but this studio is my home."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Frisco, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Frisco, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Despite being a AAA studio, employees are treated as valuable contributors. No role is too insignificant to matter at Gearbox. The partners make an effort to be accessible, and encourage employees to voice their opinions.
    Coming from outside the industry I'm extremely pleased with the vacation time (over 1 full calendar month in PTO when all is said and done) and ultra casual environment. There is a freedom to be yourself that goes unmatched (especially in DFW). If you see anyone in a tie or "business casual" attire it is a safe bet that they are a visitor and not an employee. Some people prefer to work in a very corporate environment, and if you are one of those people this likely isn't the place for you.
    Gearbox thrives on collaboration, and the majority of senior talent actively takes a role in trying to make the junior talent better and better.
    Hours are flexible which is very helpful to those who hate to battle rush hour traffic or are more productive at certain times of day.
    Though the studio is rapidly growing, there are a significant number of people that make an effort to reach out to new employees as both resources and often as friends (speaking from personal experience).
    I began my employment as a contractor and soon realized how lucky I was to have a shot to work for one of the greatest producers of entertainment in the world. I did everything within my power to try to stay, and was genuinely touched that a spot was made for me on a permanent basis!

    The talent shares in an extremely generous royalties and profit sharing program which is unrivaled in the industry.

    Overall the benefits are excellent, and perks like free food, daily gaming hour, and "level up" bonuses make the total package very appealing.

    Overall I feel like senior management makes a genuine effort to keep employees informed of the direction the studio is going, and the ongoing financial health of the studio. I feel this instills a feeling of mutual trust which is something I personally appreciate.

    Overall the tenure at the studio is high, and overall morale is very positive.

    Cons

    The hiring process can be slow at times, but often it is due to the care that is put into hiring the right "person" rather than simply the right skill set. Hiring decisions are VERY rarely made without significant input from multiple members of the team throughout the entire lifecycle of the recruitment and hiring process. Though it can be frustrating at times the end result is typically hiring the "total package" of raw talent, aptitude, and integrity.

    Growing pains can be irritating, but with the rapid growth it is to be expected. I feel these issues are given a great deal of attention and remedies are constantly being proposed or implemented.

    If you're shy it can be more challenging to meet people, but if you remain open you will find there are many people that will actively make an effort to reach out to you and include you.

    Advice to Management

    Continue with efforts to integrate veterans of the studio with the large influx of newbies. Continue practicing transparency.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Alright company, too divisive in culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Gearbox Software (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people are fantastic. The benefits and employee bonuses are a cut above any other company in the industry. Dallas and Plano are very affordable places to live. The studio is being moved and the new joint looks like it will be fantastic.

    Cons

    Gearbox Software has a lot of good people working for them, but is grossly overshadowed by the 'groups' that exist. It's almost like being in high school again where there is a major divide between people. They also quarantine QA and treat the entire department as though it isn't an actual part of the company. The QA team hosts its own Christmas party and isn't invited to the 'Gearbox Christmas Party.' Frankly, there is a lot of improvement to be made on how Gearbox Software is ran when it comes to these things.

    Advice to Management

    Please put more time and effort into making the culture at Gearbox Software more about the collective rather than about specific groups of people that are 'friends.' It's awesome to make friends at work, but that shouldn't create a divide in interaction comfortability within the workplace.


  7. "Sr. Levle desiger"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great team every body I work with is awesome

    Cons

    can be clicky and art has control over gameplay

    Advice to Management

    game design and art must work better together..improve communication.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Amazing Company to Work For...if You're not QA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Gearbox Software full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great family-like culture. Lots of wonderful, inspiring people eager to collaborate with one another. A great place to grow artistically and professionally.

    Borderlands is a blast to work on and the amount of love from the fan community provides a great sense of personal reward & satisfaction.

    Open company communication, mostly transparent culture from the top down. Company quarterly meanings openly broadcast earnings and updates all full time employees on what the road map for the future is.

    Gearbox pays modest, yet comfortable salaries but has a very generous and forward-thinking quarterly royalty bonus program based on an employee's SENIORITY (it's not based on managerial position or how well you can play office politics) that can have enormous payoff. Full time employees that have been there 8-10 years have made over 6 figure bonuses from the Borderlands franchise. I personally doubled my year's salary in one check after the release of Borderlands 2.

    Employees can still see great reward staying in a position of creativity instead of having to work their way up to management to achieve a higher salary or personal growth.

    Relaxed schedule for when employees have to be at work. Employees can make their own hours as long as they are present at meetings. Most people arrive between 10-11 and stay between 6-7.

    One hour every day (5pm) can be spent playing a game.

    Good health and dental plans.

    There is a 'development bonus' reimbursement program up to $1k a year for all full time employees if they spend money on a new computer, console, gym membership or equipment/software related to their profession.

    Usually teams are given paid compensation time after finishing a project. This is usually a week or two off not included in the employees 2 weeks paid vacation per year.

    The Dallas-Forth Worth area is very affordable. Owning a home is easy.

    Gearbox throws really fun parties. Release parties are usually massive and spectacular, bringing in top notch talent music acts such as The Crystal Method, Nero, The Heavy, DJ Jazzy Jeff and more. The Christmas party has a gift giving game that is fun to participate in.

    Cons

    For QA testers, there is hardly a way forward for personal growth. They are paid barely above minimum wage, receive no benefits and there is no real reward for staying loyal to the company & testing their games for years. Every now and then, but rarely, ambitious and hard working QA testers can move up into QA lead roles or into production roles. Upper management doesn't seem to have much empathy for them.

    Hours can sometimes be longer than desired.

    No company gym to work out in.

    Dallas is uninteresting culturally for most artistic types. Landscape is flat and boring. Many employees say Gearbox would be 'perfect' if located in a different city.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to give QA a path forward or at least compensate loyal and hard working QA with some sort of departmentally shared bonus that can be earned after a year or two.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "QA Tester, great place to get your feet wet to figure out next steps"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Contractor - QA Tester in Plano, TX
    Former Contractor - QA Tester in Plano, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Gearbox Software as a contractor (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work with a free hour of game time.
    You get to work with some of the best talent in the industry.
    Plano is a relatively cheap place to live

    Cons

    low pay, long hours and job security. This is pretty typical in the gaming industry though especially with QA.

    Advice to Management

    More Borderlands!


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Poor leadership, organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Plano, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    There are a lot of smart folks here, including some standout talents who could do very well at any studio in the industry.
    The business is in good shape and likely will improve as a result of the next game release.

    Cons

    There is very little leadership present. No process, almost no project management, extremely outdated attitude toward qa.

    Advice to Management

    Learn about current generation software development practices.