NCSOFT Reviews | Glassdoor

NCSOFT Reviews

Updated March 6, 2019
126 reviews

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2.6
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NCSOFT CEO Songyee Yoon
Songyee Yoon
33 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Get to work in the game industry" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Young, Stable revenue sources and competitive salary" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Slow decision-making process, a little bit bureaucratic" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Terrible relationship and communication with the Korean HQ" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Long overdue change is happening"

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

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

    Pros

    - Employee focused
    - Amazing benefits
    - Committed to the future

    Cons

    - Middle management is very junior
    - Organization is very spread out

    Advice to Management

    Make decisions quicker on if products move forward. Many of the games that have been shut down were in development much too long before the tough decisions were made. Start small and if they don't work, fail fast. This will provide more opportunity for better products.


  2. "Lots of potential, with tons of opportunities to do better"

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

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

    Pros

    • Iconic MMORPG products with global reach
    • Small company feel with long company history and financial stability
    • Tons of opportunity to learn new skills and shape your role in the company

    Cons

    • Currently has a limited live products, but has aggressive growth plan
    • With any large company, especially a global one, there are going to be miscommunications and internal politics, NCSOFT is no different
    • Has struggled to find its footing in a post-MMORPG crazed world

    Advice to Management

    • We need to become a more transparent, player focused company. People spend tons of money and time in our games and we need to show them that we care and are on this journey together. This means longer term planning for new titles so the game can find an audience, and showing integrity when we make mistakes. If we make significant changes to our approach to player interaction and feedback, we will be able to cultivate a more positive future for our company.
    • Not every product can be a hit, but keep taking chances on new titles and genres
    • Just because an approach works in one region doesn't mean it is going to work across the globe. We need all teams to understand that specific regions (especially onces across multiple continents) need extra support and unique features to operate our titles successfully.
    • We have the opportunity to make a huge impact in the game industry, but we need to ensure we have the right people in place. Keeping toxic employees that are more interested in asserting authority and collecting a paycheck are holding us all back.
    • I have rated NCSOFT a 4 out of 5 as I am cautiously optimistic for our future.

  3. "Really good at giving you a ton of rope to hang yourself with."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    * Little intervention from the HQ in South Korea meant we enjoyed a surprising amount of freedom and agency in making our game.

    * Pay was barely competitive with the rest of the SF market

    * Benefits were good

    * The specific studio I am/was at had an incredible office culture, and a really admirable adherence to keeping a healthy work/life balance. We're getting shut down, though, so I don't know what surviving studios are like.

    Cons

    * All that freedom I mentioned came at the cost of upper brass decision making feeling really distant and opaque culminating in our studio getting canned just when we thought we were about to launch with a (hopefully) successful game. This whole experience gave me the impression that HQ is pretty clueless about how to manage their western studios.

    * Rev share was promised (more like dangled at the end of a stick) and now is just moot because we (the studio that made the game) aren't going to be around when the game finally launches.

    Advice to Management

    Maybe try not shutting down studios literally right as they are gearing up to launch their game. We didn't even get the chance to prove whether it was all worth it. If the game launches and is a huge success, almost none of the original developers will see a dime from it, which is a real shame.


  4. "Worst place I have ever worked"

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

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

    Pros

    Free snack and beverages. Location is good.

    Cons

    Some managers are good, but majority of managers are just good as manipulator. CEO needs to show a better leadership and treat employees with RESPECT. Company’s turnover rate is pretty high. It is very disorganized company..

    Advice to Management

    None


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Political - Unorganized - Untalented"

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

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

    Pros

    The usual perks you get when you work in the game industry: It's acceptable to play games (within reason), free snacks/culture related events every once in a while.

    Cons

    It's difficult to quantify how bad the company is. Leadership has neglected nearly every single area of the company. Career opportunities are pretty much 0 unless you are extremely political or are able to talk your way up. This is due to the fact that management/leadership is completely clueless of the needs of each department and what it requires to function properly. I've seen people with less than a few years in their discipline rise all the way to the top, while the qualified candidates who are honest and promote integrity are ignored.

    According to the company surveys, over 50% of the employees are looking for other jobs. I'd even put management in the same basket. As a result, you get a lot of people in leadership with the "I'm leaving soon, so it doesn't matter" attitude. I'd like to think that this is the reason why most in management ignore the company issues, but I won't rule out incompetence either. On the topic of employee surveys, what ever happened to those? The company got decimated with bad internal reviews, but took no steps to fix anything tangible within the company.

    As I briefly mentioned politics, you'll see plenty of professional bus throwers here. With no real leadership at the company, it makes sense that people are allowed to get away with it. Especially when, as I mentioned, people are rewarded for it. If you could lie about your experience, get away with it and get promoted, why wouldn't you? That being said, there are a few good people mixed throughout.

    What about working for a place where the exec group doesn't understand it's own products? Most don't even possess prerequisite or elementary knowledge of the industry.

    Advice to Management

    Stop re-organizing the bottom when you need to be re-organizing the top. As they always say "crap flows downhill!" It certainly does here, and it's the direct cause of 90% of the issues at this company.

    You need to start rewarding employees who have actual experience in their field, and put a stop to the talk-your-way-up policies. Remove everyone who you put up at the top with dishonest politics, and replace them with the employees who have actual integrity.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Completely dysfunctional organization"

    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

    The people you work with are nice.

    Cons

    Completely dysfunctional organization, the upper management is so bad that the CEO actively dislikes video games and doesn’t play them or know what they’re looking at. Don’t bother with a game pitch unless it’s an esoteric non-game. The company has no green light process for new titles and if it did the upper management wouldn’t know what they’re looking at. They attempted a re-org that was made company wide knowledge but still wasn’t decided after 8-months which left the entire organization in a state of paralysis. Like getting promoted? Not here. The VP of HR told everyone in an all hands meeting that they don’t promote based on merit (so don’t bother doing a good job), they promote on need only, whatever that is? At any time half of the company is actively applying for new jobs. Managers leave and their job rec is just closed, so was that manager not needed or is the company now even more handicapped? Morale is through the floor. Giving the employees an Xbox One X as a morale boost wasn’t even pulled off correctly when $250 was taken off the next paycheck to cover taxes. Everything just fails spectacularly at NCSOFT, even with good intentions. It’s truly the bad place.

    Advice to Management

    Replace yourselves with anyone who isn’t you, or more specifically anyone who likes and actively plays video games and understands them. Break away from KR funding. Establish core principles that are real, not just corporate buzzwords.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

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

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time

    Pros

    Great experience and opportunity. Great coworkers.

    Cons

    Management can lack transparency when communicating with employees

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Unorganized, Political, New Ideas Not Welcome"

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

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

    Pros

    - Decent Salaries
    - Decent Benefits

    Cons

    - DO NOT APPLY to work here if not politically aligned with far left ideals, as with most things these days with twitter and Facebook there is race baiting and various other conversations that go on here.
    - Progressive Far Left work Environment, if you dont align with the far left be prepared to brought into hr for everything little thing you may say that someone disagrees with.
    - False Professional atmosphere, there is alot of cussing and shaming going on in both chats and in the office, understandably its a game company and there will be some discussions that are not for the office but here its out of hand
    - Projects keep getting delayed and delayed and delayed due to over promising and the above other reasons do not help

    Advice to Management

    There was a time when a person could show up to work no matter their background, political position, or race and just do the job, get a handle on these conversations, stop allowing coworkers to shame others while at work. Further more new employees are discouraged here from opening up as they will quickly find out how the current atmosphere is politically charged and that they will be expected to speak only when spoken to.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back"

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

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

    Pros

    Some really good games
    Friendly coworkers
    Solid base salaries
    Good medical & dental benefits
    Sometimes good potential for promotion from within
    Nice place to live

    Cons

    Confused executives
    High staff attrition
    Increasing layoffs
    Can be very political
    Lack of trust across teams
    Success is not defined and goalposts are frequently moved
    Problems start at the very top

    Advice to Management

    Find a strategy, get aligned, and communicate it with your teams. Engage in an another executive refresh.


  10. Helpful (19)

    "No logic, no communication"

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

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

    Pros

    This was the best group of people I've ever worked with. Everyone put their heart and soul into each days' work and it really showed. Together we grew and made some amazing things.

    Cons

    Nobody knows what the hell is going on upstairs. Nothing passed down to us made sense. Either management wasn't telling it to us straight, or they simply had no information (I suspect mostly the latter, though don't doubt some of the former). The incredibly talented team at Carbine was put through the wringer over and over to meet expectations that were not clarified. There were 'failures' that were given no explanation as to why exactly it was perceived as a failure. Where the team achieved great success with the impossible demands over and over, the goons up above looming over the Approve Button wouldn’t be able to find a sofa in their own living room with a map, Siri, and road signs, let alone a great game. The team delivered on EVERYTHING that was asked of them and more.

    It seems clear as things have been changing that NCSoft is moving into a more publisher-only realm with little interest in putting money into studios to develop their own content. You'll see them scavenging GDC looking for great ideas that have been independently funded that they'll eat up and take credit for. Seller beware, your greenlight process from here on out will just be a series of red lights at intersection after intersection with no one else on the road but you. Look out for the cliff at the end of it.

    And oh yes, the offboarding fiasco. What an embarrassment. Trying to be 'hip,' the NCSoft's portal webpage is skinned as an RPG experience. After being laid off, you have to go through this circus, which lists your Unemployment Benefits under a category called "Loot," and agreements you have to sign before receiving your severance are called "Quests" you have to complete. A little NCSoft robot mascot comes on screen to seemingly taunt you with a 'thank you' for working there and good luck on your next adventure.

    Advice to Management

    Communication needs to happen. You keep saying you'll do it, and then it keeps not happening. The Carbine team had no idea at any point what any higher ups thought of the pitches delivered to them. Playing telephone down through the ranks is not actually helpful, contrary to what you might think.