Naughty Dog Reviews

Updated Apr 14, 2020

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4.2
83%
Recommend to a Friend
78%
Approve of CEO
Naughty Dog Co-President Evan Wells
Evan Wells
30 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great work, great people, great times(in 7 reviews)

  • "They give us dinner during the crunch when we feel like we need to stay late(in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Crunch hours are a lot, think about it first(in 5 reviews)

  • "The crunches are hard, lots of long hours at the end of the project(in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (8)

    "Naughty Dog Dream come true?"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Developer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Worked here for over 2-3 years now. Its really been amazing to work here along side the best of the game industry. -Amazing Benefits -Well Pay

    Cons

    -Crunch hours consisted of staying at the studio for large amounts of time

  2. Helpful (11)

    "Animator"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Naughty Dog full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    -People are friendly. -The ability to insert your creative choices and views through out the projects makes for a better feeling of ownership and wanting to invest in the work. -Great projects. -Pay is ok ... needs to be better.

    Cons

    Bad Estimation of workloads and bad organization leads to too many work hours. Not great for overall health and family on the long run if you are not careful about setting limits.

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  3. Helpful (15)

    "Not the best place for people with families"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - good benefits and pay - the bonuses are really nice - you are almost guaranteed to work on a best selling, well reviewed game - people are super talented and motivated - full-time employees don't have to worry about being laid off after a project ends (though they do tend to leave in droves between projects because the crunch burns everyone out) - the worst of crunch usually occurs once every 2-3 years and lasts anywhere from 8 months to 14 months. When we're doing reasonable hours and not crunching, this is a great place to work

    Cons

    - management doesn't communicate with each other and no one seems to take deadlines seriously, often leading to confusing, conflicting and often contradicting direction/feedback at the last minute. - the crunch hours are awful. This has been the worst/longest crunch I've ever been part of. Despite management's efforts to mitigate crunch with careful planning and strict deadlines, the game ballooned, level designs changed (after design lock - see note *no one takes deadlines seriously) and thousands of hours of work were thrown away or redone. - if you have a child or a loved one waiting for you at home, chances are you won't see their waking faces for days at a time. They either need to be really understanding or this is not the job for you.

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Great place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - MP QA Tester in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Naughty Dog full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Everyone is a team player. Experienced team. We worked hard but we also were able to enjoy our work and the department.

    Cons

    There were times where there would be a break in communications due to management style but the person responsible was eventually let go.

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  5. "Great Company"

    5.0
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA

    I worked at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great people, great projects, passionate team

    Cons

    Crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch, crunch

  6. Helpful (37)

    "The snake of the games industry"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    You'll be working on some of the best games in the industry, surrounded by some of the most talented, passionate people. You'll be sheltered from external pressure of publishers and have an unlimited budget as Sony's golden goose. Working here will open many doors for you.

    Cons

    Roughly every 5 years, the studio sheds its skin. You'll see developers leaving in droves, then the cycle will repeat as the new hires roll in. For a long time, you'll think this is the best job in games. You'll have likely spent years trying to get here and for the first few years, it delivers. You'll see people leave and go elsewhere and you'll think to yourself 'That's a strange move. Why would they ever leave here?' Then, a few years later, the truth will start to reveal itself. The signs will be subtle at first, but you'll be drinking the Kool-aid. Even though the head of the studio says 'it's not possible to make a game with this quality without crunch', it won't alarm you since you're sure that's what it takes. The money's still good, the people are still good. Whatever, you'll probably have some of the best years of games industry experience in your life here. Then you'll realize the studio has no interest in your personal development or well-being. It only cares about making The Next Big Thing and it'll do it whatever it takes. It might not be any one particular thing that moves you on, but once you make the decision, you won't look back. Work here. Enjoy it. Just don't go in expecting to be here forever. It's not the dream you think it is.

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  7. Helpful (5)

    "World's top 1st party developer"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    * top quality games * focus on storytelling * one of the best animation teams in the world * best place for ambitious devs

    Cons

    Santa Monica is very expensive.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Great, Cool, Hip, Rad, Lads"

    5.0
     

    I worked at Naughty Dog

    Pros

    Great lads at this joint

    Cons

    Too much good food I put on some pounds

  9. Helpful (6)

    "Very talented team. Amazing tools. Treated well."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Animator in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There is something special about being surrounded by some of the most talented people in the industry. I love getting to work on a product I’m truly proud of.

    Cons

    The hours have can be long towards the end of the project though they are very generous with PTO. It’s also more of a culture of perfectionism than something that feels demanded.

  10. Helpful (16)

    "Great place to work if you manage yourself well!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Environment Artist in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Naughty Dog full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Good pay and great bonuses if you work here full time for more than a year! You get to work with the most amazing talent in the industry. I feel very comfortable working here, people are nice and welcoming, even when you get constructive criticism you can tell its all for the good of the game and not personal. Not that much backstabbing drama and fear as other places. Lots of PTO days and Sony discounts are cool too.

    Cons

    The only downside is the crunch is brutal most of the time, although they realize it and they are trying harder to fix it, which is nice. Lots of late hours and there's some pressure to stay late even though they can't exactly order you to stay late or come in on the weekend because that would be... maybe illegal for salaried employees and not only that it would be super lame and people would say eff that. Its all about getting your work done though, if you work super hard and you do all your stuff you can just leave whatever time you want as long as you're sure your work is getting done. Some people chat all day and night and stay late so it might look like they are working hard because they stay super late but it's their work that really shows whats going on and I think people can see that. But overall I think some crunch is okay considering they make it pretty easy on you the other times.

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Found 46 reviews