Jagex Reviews | Glassdoor

Jagex Reviews

Updated March 20, 2017
37 reviews

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Phil Mansell
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37 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Most devs who work there are great people who make it enjoyable to come to work, and have a lot of (often underutilized) talent (in 15 reviews)

  • 60 gift voucher on your birthday, team jollies, beer Friday, full health care cover, free gym membership (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Terrible HR and senior management (in 13 reviews)

  • Little to no career development or training opportunities (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (14)

    "Do Not Work Here - Take my Advice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    Great Food
    Nice Staff
    Nice View Outside
    Ability to Bug Abuse the Game Because the OSRS team is so small and lacking coders, i was thus able to code multiple bugs and reap in billions of gp, best part is this was all done at my private home and i made over 100thousand dollars from selling the gold

    Cons

    Poor Management
    Greedy Company
    Doesn't Acknowledge good workers just wants things done.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to Code your Game


  2. Helpful (9)

    "An absolute joke, from beginning to end. All 8 years of it."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Probably the best thing about Jagex is the people. By people, I mean the staff on the ground. The managers are pretty much exclusively liars who have got where they are by lying to other liars.

    Cons

    Management have no idea how to manage people or a business. They yes and guess their way through the day, and end up with a broken team, function and business.

    Advice to Management

    Leave.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Great teams, bad management."

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

    Pros

    - Great team to work with
    - Benefits are great

    Cons

    - Bad management
    - Bad decision making that led to the loss of multiple jobs
    - Bad canteen!
    - Crunch times.

    Advice to Management

    Stop listening to investors and start listening to your employees, stop making decisions that force people to leave.


  4. Helpful (7)

    "Avoid at all costs"

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    - No crunch or overtime.

    Cons

    - Does not seem interested in making games, or developing new products.
    - The only game that supports the company is dying out and there is nothing in development to replace it.
    - Nepotism is widespread particularly in the managment/leadership circle.
    - They use their own internal tools and script language, meaning you don't develop any transferable skills.
    - Little to no career development or training opportunities.
    - People are affraid to given honest or open feedback, especially anything negative or critical of the company or its products. This has resulted in poor quality games/content being developed and resources going to waste,
    - Struggles to retain talent, as skilled individuals are often overlooked for promition, creativilty is non existant and the company leadership is clueless, unorganised and uninspiring.
    - Lots of lazy staff cruising for paychecks. Rather than working smarter they would rather hire more people to throw at the problem.
    - Managers off load their responsibilities onto others and take no accountability for their actions or decisions..

    Advice to Management

    - Start developing new games, you will never attract any worth wild game developers if you don't show that the company is capable of creating new products,
    - Invest in industry standard tech, such as off the shelf game engines and tools. Use scripting languages that people know.
    - Trim the fat, get rid of unproductive staff and reduce the amounts of "red tape". You dont need so many "managers" or "leaders". Smaller, focused teams are more productive and will result in better products.
    - Don't ignore your failures. Learn from your mistakes and move on.


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Rotting from the inside out"

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    Benefits, entry into the industry,

    Cons

    Alternating between micro-management, absentee management, and brutally poor decision-making, the company doesn't seem to have any values they subscribe to and the strategy is little more than "moar money plx". Investment in creativity or innovation is non-existent; the most senior creative staff seem to be about five levels down the MBA-led management structure (none of whom show the first shred of understanding of game development), and technical skills are rated somewhere between the ability to send long emails and the ability to arrange long meetings.

    Advice to Management

    Show some humility. Learn what communication really means, and how/why you should respect the opinions of the people who create. Actually ask other games companies what's made them successful, rather than by scrutinizing their balance sheets, and you might get a sense of the respect that the best games companies have for creative innovation and how that's nurtured.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Worst company ever"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Software Developer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Lead Software Developer in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Good salary and good benefits. Apart from that, the only good thing about that experience is the friendship of several people I met at that time.

    Cons

    Absolutely the worst company I have ever worked for in my 15+ years career.
    Management took one bad decision after the other, without listening to experienced developers on their team.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Structurally dysfunctional and lacking talent"

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    - Informal working environment.
    - Wear whatever you want.
    - Free fruit and gym membership.
    - Some good people work there.
    - Creative staff deserve praise for the long running success of RuneScape.
    - Some fun events like RuneFest.
    - Good Christmas party.
    - Free beers on payday.
    - Recent financial performance is strong.
    - Recent office refurbishment.
    - Recently acquired so perhaps the future involves positive changes.

    Cons

    - Entrenched silos. You will only be exposed to your department and do work for your department. If your silo is not seen as important then neither are you. Efforts to broaden your skillset beyond your department will be unsuccessful because of this mentality.
    - Communication is poor. You will only hear about work you could add value to if your silo is required for something specific. There is no cross functional teamwork.
    - Disconnect between departments and a chasm between games dev and non-games dev.
    - Senior management is almost totally non-games dev. There is a total and complete lack of understanding that Jagex is a games company. Senior individuals are hired because they have MBAs, not because of their games passion, knowledge and experience.
    - Cronyism
    - Detached and isolated from the rest of the games industry. There is a widespread lack of outside Jagex games industry experience.
    - New projects are ill thought out and managed incompetently. Those involving games dev are led by individuals from senior management who lack games knowledge and experience.
    - The strategy department is the most powerful silo and operates in stealth to keep its primacy unchallenged. It fails to engage with others and acts beyond its competencies.
    - Many managers are poor team players who are ill equipped to develop their teams and contribute to the whole company’s success. This causes conflict and means career progression is limited.
    - Poor to average salaries made worse by the high cost of living in Cambridge.
    - Jagex’s major selling point is that it is a videogames company. This could make it a useful stepping stone for some but think carefully before being lured in by the bait of working in the games industry.

  8. Helpful (12)

    "A game studio that doesn't know what it's doing"

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

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

    Pros

    - Benefits of employment are the best I've encountered in the games industry, however in my opinion they do not make up for the toxic culture inside the studio.

    - The office itself has recently undergone a refurb. It actually isn't a soulless white office any more.

    Cons

    - The studio is not creatively led at all, and is instead run by a numbers focused 'strategy' team that show no understanding of good game development or seem open to learning. This evolution of a studio is fairly typical (read up about Halfbrick) where, somehow, owners forget the importance of empowered creativity which created success in the first place.

    - The upper management are completely invisible to the staff actually making games. There is no sense of wanting to connect or engage.

    - Projects which are spun up are often outsourced to external studios, then fade off into obscurity and are marred by politics because they aren't supported correctly and there is no clear vision from day one as to what they should be.

    - The studio has not the decency to close a project in a professional and honest manner. Radio silence seems to be their strategy of choice despite the resentment and bad sentiment it cultivates, and the negative effect it has on developers.

    - Morale is the lowest I have ever seen it.

    Advice to Management

    Better engage with your employees. There are a lot of people who believe things can be done better and have ideas for doing so, but do not feel there is a way for them to voice their ideas which will be sensibly considered. We're game developers; our passion should be about trying to create enjoyment and fun but this is getting entirely lost by growing resentment.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Idiots or thieves; there is no middle ground"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Content Developer
    Former Employee - Senior Content Developer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Jagex full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    The people you work with in the development teams are great, friendly and offer a good sense of camaraderie.

    It is a nice place to start your career in the games industry, just don't hang around long term.

    Some money does get splashed on the Christmas parties, so they are often good.

    They now have enough mental health professionals on standby to help you deal with the stress of working here.

    Cons

    Pay is appalling in the long term. The pool for pay reviews is very shallow. Your access to it is not determined by how hard you work or adhering to your development plan. Pay freezes due to unsuccessful reviews can extend indefinitely.

    Management ranges from poor to borderline bullying. Your line manager will likely be a developer who has been given the position and a little training, but cannot handle anything other than PDR's for happy (or at least non-vocal) employees. The result of this is either frustration as they are unable to push back against policy, or being tossed from team to team to try and make you shut up and/or quit.

    Middle and upper management have little to no idea how to make games. They consist of an aggregate of the worst managers who were at the helm when the product they were in charge of went under. Now they are are guiding the company as a whole with the same level of finesse.

    You can be demoted without warning or proof. Nobody, including HR, will bother to check if this was needed until they might have to prove it in front of a tribunal. Even then, don't expect them to admit anything wrong occurred when they back down.

    HR exist for two reasons; get you in and drum you out. Once you are in you can expect HR to defer to the closest manager, regardless of how against company policy his statements are. Other than that you'll maybe see them taking notes at whatever meeting is used to threaten your job or title. Note the maybe; this company has demoted people in the past without a member of HR or representative present.

    The company values are there to trip you up. Managers do not adhere to them, but woe betide anyone who they feel is not meeting all of them. They get updated every now and then with lofty goals of helping us all to work better, and are generally followed by a round of people leaving due to 'failing against the values'.

    Ultimately the actions of the people in charge of the company boil down to one of two choices. They are either so poor at their jobs that they have no idea what they are doing, or they are deliberately applying unendurable pressure to good employees to make them quit. Either way, the morale across the company has become EA levels of low, but mentioning it will get you punished.

    Advice to Management

    To the current managers; name me one credible, legitimate company that attempts to demote multiple people across the development teams without bothering to check if the evidence exists, let alone is true. You cannot sack your way into respectability or competence. You cannot paper over the rot indefinitely. The level of poor competence you display can and will come back to haunt you.

    To the new investors; if you want to ensure you are not left holding a gigantic, rotten lemon in a couple of years, go through the management team with a fine-toothed comb. Better yet, speak to the actual developers, artists, etc in confidence, and get an accurate picture of who needs to go to prevent the game keeling over.


  10. Helpful (15)

    "Incompetent CEO, Incompetent Exec team, Little opportunity."

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    As always came up in the Staff surveys, the colleagues who actually do work are amazing. Benefits were good, but have been recently stripped so that higher management get the lions share of rewards and benefits.

    Cons

    The CEO appears to be just a money man, and took over as a vehicle to get the company sold. He seems completely incompetent and it is no surprise that every venture he's ever been involved with seems to have gone heavily down the drain (eg Acclaim, Codemasters). His cronies in the "strategy team" couldn't strategise their way in or out of a paper bag. All of the competent managers or exec have either left in disgust at the CEO's behaviour, or have been fired because they actually care about the people who work for Jagex.

    Employees are expected to work long hours to meet unrealistic deadlines, and pay for overtime is scarce unless you happen to be one of the 'On Call' employees.

    Jagex's corporate 'strategy' is unknown, and no-one appears to be able to indicate what it might be above 'diversify the brand' and 'penetrate China', although there is little to no company strategy on HOW to achieve this, and definitely no technical strategy to underpin any development.

    Approvals for hiring are all vetted by the CEO, and approval is only actually given once an offer is made to a candidate. Thus you may go down a long and protracted interview route before finding out that the role you applied for doesn't actually exist.

    Advice to Management

    Fire the CEO and the Strategy team and associated cronies. They add absolutely no value to the company as it stands. Stop driving your best employees out of the door, and finally, stop letting the CEO drain huge amounts of money out of the company to pay for his personal lifestyle.


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