NaturalMotion Reviews | Glassdoor

NaturalMotion Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
13 reviews

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13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Love it!!"

    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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    Really enjoy working here. benefits are up to par, can't complain. life and work balance is fair, never feel overworked. Yes, even with deadlines.

    It feels like they are still feeling their way through as a startup. All an all they are headed in the right direction.

    Cons

    I hate to be honest and say there is no real cons, at least for me.

    Only thing that comes to mind is.. training is lacking but nothing serious. you can read-up on most things and people are always willing to help.


  2. "Oxford Studio is Circling the Drain, Other Studios Uncertain"

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

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

    Pros

    *Lots of talented people.
    *Generally good atmosphere.
    *Basic perks, plus the recent introduction of (unfortunately unsubsidised) private Healthcare.
    *Regular social events.
    *Offices are generally nice, and well kitted out.
    *Some projects have interesting technology to play with.
    *The office closes for the three days between Christmas and New Year, but this isn't guaranteed.
    *The CSR2 team are an example of a well built, well run and well organised team.
    *Work/Life balance can be good, if you're on the right team.

    Cons

    *Wages are 10-15% lower than average for non-management positions, even when taking (irregular and normally low) bonuses into account.
    *Wages are not adjusted in anyway for people that work in the London office.
    *Minimum and maximum pension contributions matched by the company aren't beyond those required by law.
    *Little to no reward for continued service.
    *Career progression opportunities aren't fantastic.
    *The company is now Zynga wearing an ill-fitting Naturalmotion suit - Utterly, facelessly, soullessly corporate.
    *Getting a decent pay rise will require you to seek work elsewhere and then extort a matching salary.
    *Totally unable to schedule or manage a project to completion on time and within budget.
    *Abysmal at both keeping the right people and dismissing the wrong people.
    *Zynga's approach to making a game, i.e. try to make a quick buck by quickly copying someone's popular title, is constantly at odds with Naturalmotion's approach, i.e. make a good profit by making a very stylised, visually impressive copy of someone's popular title.
    *The Naturalmotion COO (and interim CEO), is unwilling or unable to fight Zynga's corporate machinations.
    *The CPO is staggeringly incompetent and has managed to steer virtually every project into disaster.
    *Zynga are obsessed with studio head counts and not studio running costs. So, during the semi-regular cost cutting layoffs, you will find many capable and useful employees let go, whilst grossly overpaid and extraneous managers and executives keep their jobs.
    *There is a significant lack of transparency from management.
    *Zynga control how bonuses are given out, specifically if they are in cash or stock. When the stock is doing well, your bonuses will likely be in cash, and vice versa.
    *The Dawn of Titans project was an unmitigated failure, dogged both by atrocious management and Zynga's inability to manage a game more complicated than a Scrabble knock-off or a Ville game. This led to regular crunch, massive team churn, disenchantment and overall dissatisfaction - something that's still persisting.
    *Zynga frequently transplant managers into Naturalmotion when they believe something is missing. Unfortunately, almost all of these transplants is unqualified and ultimately leaves a trail of destruction in their wake when they inevitably return to a heroes welcome back at Zynga.
    *Bizarrely unbalanced on spending - you'll find expensive coffee machines and frequent office refurbishments, but also frequently broken toilets and other facilities.
    *Work/Life balance can be dreadful, if you're on the wrong team.

    Advice to Management

    *There's an undercurrent of nepotism within the company that can determine the success or failure of an employee, if they say yes to the right people, they're rewarded - even in the face of terrible business decisions. This behaviour cannot continue, if the business is to succeed.
    *When a project fails, you should take a long hard look at who has been directing the project into that failure and that person should be retrained or removed from their position.
    *Zynga are not creative or original, and this began their post-IPO implosion. Naturalmotion were supposed to have filled this niche, but instead are continuing to make knock-offs of popular titles that then fail to be as popular. You need to regain your creative edge if Naturalmotion is to even continue as a notion.
    *Embrace your technology, extend it, support it. Some of it is unparalleled within mobile games, and yet, you've allowed Zynga to dictate headcount limits and stifle any further improvement or development.
    *Stop promoting and rewarding yes people, this attitude has driven Naturalmotion into the doomed rut it's currently in. Listen to everybody, not just the one's who agree with you.

  3. "Always exciting and challenging"

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    Genuinely AAA and cutting edge products for mobile. Constantly improving tech stack and tools. Great company culture, teams know how to have fun both inside and outside of the office. Future looking very bright with current and future projects.

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing


  4. "Exciting times at NM"

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

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

    Pros

    People, Talent, Ambition, Location of Offices, Awesome CEO

    Cons

    The ability to keep simple as we grow

    Advice to Management

    Keep it real and keep in touch with what made us great as we grow


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Pros and Cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    The titles that employees work on are of a very high calibre (from a marketplace perspective). Clear intentions to improve processes on projects. Good social schedule and fair-to-good benefits package (though not able to compete with King, Facebook or Google in London). Good new facilities, though seems to be a short-term solution.

    Cons

    A few quite old-school people in management positions who are unwilling to change. Cliquey-ness and "establishment" habits. Not clear paths for progress for everyone. Unsure what their support-level from Zynga is. Bad communication with a number of stateside Zynga employees.

    Advice to Management

    Pay more for and promote quality staff or even just those showing dedication, rather than those within the "clique". Improve benefits and pension package.


  6. "Great company, with exciting times ahead!"

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good work-life balance compared to previous jobs, working at the forefront of mobile gaming and pushing the limits. Great managment and the chance to work with some of the best industry talent.

    Cons

    The company has grown rapidly in recent times which has caused some teething problems, but management listen and these problems are being addressed.


  7. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Team Lead in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at NaturalMotion (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Really Innovative Technology
    - Very talented people
    - Lots of really good ideas
    - Office in the Centre of Oxford
    - Highly collaborative environment
    - Commitment to change and Improve

    I have been at NM for between five and six years and very much enjoy working here. This is without doubt the best job I have had. The technology is great and the people that I work with are very talented, helpful and work in a collaborative way. Having worked in a few places the thing that stand out is that the company seeks to improve and does so proactively - it is a part of the culture. It comes from the top. Most places that I have worked in do not, or have done for a bit and then stagnate.

    Cons

    The company has grown quite quickly, when I joined there were 70 now there are more than 200 - sometimes the evolution of the company has to catch up with the growth. This is not a "biggie" - a growing company is a really good thing.

  8. "Valued skills"

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

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    I actually feel like my opinions are listened to, and they've had a real visible impact on some of the work. This is the first job I've had where I've been given time and opportunity to use the skills I spent years learning, even skills that I didn't think would be directly useful for my role. And it's nice to feel like you CAN just chat to the other people you happen to meet in the kitchen (even the CEO), there's very little awkwardness.

    Cons

    Like all growing companies, there are little niggles and things that are hard to get right for everyone. But in my view these are either dealt with or at least acknowledged and investigated.


  9. "Great Company, Awesome People, Fantastic Products - HUGE POTENTIAL"

    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

    Great Company with an abundance of talented people across development, tech and support.
    Good working environments in London, Oxford and Brighton.
    Awesome innovative products.
    Passionate CEO who actually cares and is active in projects and the wider business.

    Cons

    Grown very quickly, leadership and support are adapting to the growth but have teething problems. Nothing that can-not or isn't already being addressed.

    Advice to Management

    Have belief in your teams to deliver, listen and implement the good ideas and do not fixate on numbers.


  10. "Great company, great people, great technology"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Programmer in Oxford, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NaturalMotion full-time

    Pros

    On the technology (Morpheme & Euphoria) side of the company, the team has got a lot of very talented people, but no big egos, which is great. People are focussed on steadily making the product better, working together and helping each other out. The working environment is far more sensible in the technology side of NaturalMotion than in the games industry as a whole, yet it remains ambitious. The management (on the tech side) feels like it's there to help get work done (on the whole!).

    Cons

    The main Oxford office is split into two - technology and games. The two sides feel very different and rather disconnected. The focus is normally on the games side, which can be a little disheartening at times. Then we get back to the tech and all is good.

    Advice to Management

    As the company has grown and shifted focus, it has gained many more managers (in proportion to people who actually make stuff), layers of management, HR people etc. As a result it has cultivated a corporate sense (especially since the Zynga takeover), and much more of a feeling that people are working for their "masters" rather than each other. It would be good to get some of that back.


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