Jagex Reviews | Glassdoor

Jagex Reviews

Updated September 12, 2017
133 reviews

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133 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 (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.


  2. 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.

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Fun Company, bad management"

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

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

    Pros

    Fun Place to work, Free fruit, benefits. Full Canteen, good equipment. Friendly place to live.

    Cons

    Badly run, People are brought in due to nepotism on ridiculously high salaries and do not deliver. Money goes to Runescape as they are the breadwinner and the other products suffer. Redundancies are not far away when starting at this company.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on the new products. Get a small really good team and create some new ideas.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Transformation almost complete"

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

    Pros

    - CEO who knows what he wants and how to get us there

    - Great comms with internal updates via live stream, pay day beers with management in attendance

    - Good office facilities, due to be reinvented with what looks to be an exciting refurbishment

    - Much improved canteen in recent times at reasonable prices

    - Benefits package you just won't get elsewhere, including bonuses, parties, free fruit, gym membership, free health care, free dental...the list goes on

    - Ambition to be a major player in the industry, transformation underway

    - Some of the best talent you could wish to work with

    Cons

    - The changes over the last 18 months to set us up for long term success has been painful for some

    - A small but vocal minority of haters who just don't see how lucky they are, fortunately the number of these is dwindling

    - Can be slow on delivery of projects, typically for good reason but happens to often

    - Doesn't shout enough about the opportunities it offers staff for career progression, huge number of examples of people building careers

    Advice to Management

    - Start to celebrate what's good about the company and don't worry so much about what the haters say

    - Identify deadwood and get rid, don't let it spread and undermine the amazing work you are doing

    - Keep going, deliver on the transformation and those who go along on the journey will be part of something special


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Shoulder rubbing required"

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

    I worked at Jagex full-time

    Pros

    Lots of nice people, great parties, occasional bonuses.

    Cons

    Questionable career progression routes for the specific few that shout loudest and rub shoulders with the right people. For everyone else progression is a confusing maze of undefined targets and lower-than-average pay boundaries.

     Some senior staff seem to be chair warmers that are easier to keep than dispose of whilst others are working themselves to exhaustion.

    Not sure what HR do, once you're in the door you won't see them again until you leave.

    Advice to Management

    Put more focus on making your staff happy with career satisfaction instead of flashy parties and beer.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "You Can't Predict The Future, But You Can Make It."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Talented, hard-working individuals find opportunity in abundance.

    An excellent benefits package that many take for granted.

    Highly ambitious corporate outlook - marginal gains (and their associated group high-fives) are being replaced with high growth/profitability targets. These targets demand fresh thinking and innovative plays for the company; an exciting prospect for keen individuals that appreciate a challenge.

    A diversifying talent pool; the narrow-minded and bitter old boys club is (thankfully) falling away.

    Very exciting directional plans are being laid for the company, taking Jagex into the globalized era via a suite of new products under a strengthening brand.

    A holistic view of Jagex is finally being recognized; silos have been identified as a first step to leveling the company for autonomy.

    Much needed "no nonsense" messages are being broadcast from the top. Disgruntled nay-sayers are pulled from the woodwork into a revealing light (see results below).

    A very exciting future lays ahead for employees with ambition and drive.

    Cons

    Outdated workplace (to be refurbished in coming months).

    A few toxic "untouchable" individuals remain.

    An ingrained culture of reluctance to progression is still being torn away as Jagex transitions to a stronger industry position.

    Talent is lackluster, in general. As we strengthen resourcing capabilities, this will change for the better. Lets create the talent-rich environment needed to realize Jagex' lofty ambitions.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "Holding on for better times"

    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)
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Personally speaking the best team of people I've ever worked with.
    Great core product, created and maintained by enthusiastic people the majority of which are talented professionals.
    New product teams of talented devs and artists full of ideas which, as a gamer look really exciting.
    TPP (Thursday personal projects). A great initiative letting people develop ideas alone or in groups. Some excellent VR prototypes and improvements to existing titles and tools have come from this.
    Decent benefits including an excellent canteen, however as other reviewers have noted they have been refocused of late by a out of touch exec tier who don't seem to appreciate that their entire business is built on the work of artists and engineers rather than management.

    Cons

    Depending what department and field you are in salaries range from good to borderline unlivable.
    Due to measures taken pending sale (but shhh it's a secret), staffing levels have dropped. Gaps are starting to show and it's hard on the people in those under staffed teams right now.
    Work life balance. It fluctuates greatly based on your role and team. No one can deny Cambridge is now as expensive to live in as London but without the public transport system to support efficient commuting.
    Staying positive day to day can be hard. Line managers help a lot but when the rudder is flung from side to side on a daily basis it's often impossible to look back and feel a sense of achievement if the thing you just built is no longer required.

    Advice to Management

    In the trenches keep doing what you are doing. You keep the ship running and the good weeks are all due to you guys.
    On the larger company scale. The delusion is clearly too strong in those who should be immersing themselves in the medium we make, and the communities where our customer are rather than the frankly comical, buzzword laden corporate management meta material they regurgitate. The rest can embrace the future. We have an opportunity for real change at the top. I'm sure there are eager professionals out there who can actually provide business and technical leadership to our teams of capable and hopefully still enthusiastic engineers and artists. Statistics can guide games engineers and designers toward creating great games, you can't make a game based on studies and statistics.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Good experience but management and HR a mess."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Friendly and enthusiastic teams.
    Opportunities to develop skills outside of your job title.
    Team and company wide "jollys".
    Free evening meals if staying late.
    Great atmosphere and working environment.
    Opinions and suggestions are definitely taken on board in relation to game content.

    Cons

    HR and management are very unorganised and have gone downhill recently.
    Management have no interest in the titles the company produce and care solely about money.
    A lot of older employees stuck in their ways and refuse to learn new methods or approaches.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees more often.


  9. 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.


  10. Helpful (25)

    "Turning the good into bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Director 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 8 years)

    Pros

    - Office is at a great location with lakes, nature and is great in the summer
    - Christmas party each year tends to be a brilliant night with good food and booze
    - Some outstandingly skilled individuals that share their knowledge and inspire others
    - Outstanding game knowledge within the RuneScape team, there's a real passion to develop
    - Bonus payments at the end of the year if targets are met are brilliant if you perform well
    - A full day to work on personal projects / your own games every two weeks, good for creatives
    - Has an on-site canteen that's a little pricy, but food is okay and it's convenient

    Cons

    - CEO sucking creativity and passion away from people through implementing stupid strategies
    - CEO is openly offensive to staff on company live streams and doesn't treat women like people
    - Saving money is the top priority, to the point where you can't even get sign off for a team meal
    - Performance reviews for managers non-existent with no direction or role progression
    - Staff surveys get sent out and nothing happens as a result of feedback given
    - Culture and atmosphere losing the 'Games Studio' vibe more every day
    - Excellent role models being turned into boring, demotivated zombies
    - Organisation structure is getting unnecessarily complicated

    Advice to Management

    - Don't tell your managers how to manage people when you don't even do it well yourself
    - Stop saying yes to everything you're told to do and start challenging what's right and wrong
    - Value the staff that have been here a long time and stop calling them moaning pests
    - Look closer at your senior management team and realise they do practically nothing
    - Stop making promises to your staff to shut them up for a while, that you never intend to keep
    - Stop taking ownership of pay rises and bonuses and trust team managers to do it themselves
    - Stop setting unrealistic revenue targets for new games as it's demotivating your excellent staff
    - Take up the indie game development style, just throw out games quickly until you find a winner


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