Sony Online Entertainment Reviews | Glassdoor

Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated May 2, 2017
92 reviews

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2.9
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Approve of CEO
Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley
John Smedley
65 Ratings

92 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Lots of great people and artists at the company (in 9 reviews)

  • Typically the hours don't crunch very much and the day-to-day work/life balance is even (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Incredibly over-extended use of crunch time showed massive oversights by managers in assessing scope, staff and scheduling time and time again (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great teammates"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Database Developer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Database Developer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great people
    Good management
    Work/Life Balance
    Good benefits

    Cons

    Uncertainty due to company not being profitable


  2. "web desgin"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Web Designer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Web Designer in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment (More than a year)

    Pros

    Lots of great people and artists at the company. Best benefits I've ever had.

    Cons

    The company seemed to be going to through a rough time with Sony.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "SOE - fatally flawed"

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing pool of talent. Absorbent amount of resources for developers. Good benefits.

    Cons

    Gross mismanagement of resources. Majority of production managers up to top execs were the plague of every product development cycle throughout hostly of company. Apart from EQ expansions, every single product was over budget and grossly over schedule. Incredibly over-extended use of crunch time showed massive oversights by managers in assessing scope, staff and scheduling time and time again. Massive gaps in productivity were not sensibly evaluated, instead the use of laying off employees was the go-to quick fix. Layoffs went from being a rare (every few years) event to a bi-annual one. Employee and community connection to product integrity was an ever-widening gap to the point where Employees could no longer defend their efforts due to bad creative decisions left to management. Any prior successful models were ignored and faulty tactics made by execs were a repeated annual pattern enough to harken that famous quote by Albert Einstein about insanity.

    Advice to Management

    SOE has since been bought out and had a shift in management. I cannot attest to new structure but still know many devs there and wish them all the best... pay attention to past mistakes.


  4. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in San Diego, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Had a blast while I was working customer service for SOE. People were friendly, the work was fun, and everyone was always helpful.

    Cons

    Got laid off with the rest of my department after the company switched to Daybreak Games


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Environment Artist in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Senior Environment Artist in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Salary, Benefits and amazing talent.

    Cons

    Poor direction, accountability and planning.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Comfortable environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great climate, low stress, good people

    Cons

    No sense of accountability, too slow.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Head in the Clouds, Feet on a Hoverboard"

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

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You are surrounded by great people
    The studio has a relaxed atmosphere
    Salaried employees receive a solid benefits package

    Cons

    Senior management likes to "play designer" and will frequently counter design decisions. Luckily this is usually reserved for the most recent title in development.
    Working on hardware that is consistently out of date
    Development tools (software) is atrocious and infrequently updated. Typically more productive to work directly out of the design database.
    Contract employees receive meager pay on the promise of Soon(tm) being hired on full time. Soon is supposed to be ~3 months, but was closer to 3 years for me.

    Advice to Management

    You pay creative people good money to be creative. Let them.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Formerly SOE, now Daybreak Game Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Producer in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Producer in San Diego, CA

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Super flexible and a fun atmosphere.

    Cons

    Senior management spends money like it grows on trees.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "It was fun until it wasn't."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA
    Current Employee - Programmer in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Coworkers are awesome. Creative fun people trying to make good games.
    Relaxed dress code
    "Fun" atmosphere.
    It's game development, which has a certain aura about it

    Cons

    Company just changed owners. The future is murky.
    Compensation is below industry average.
    Projects are often over-promised and under-delivered.
    Mandatory crunch fairly often, "voluntary" crunch even more so.
    The company seems to have been rudderless for a while, drifting in various directions while trying to look good to perspective buyers.
    There is no comprehensive company plan. Large projects constantly shift direction, rendering existing work irrelevant.
    Having just been purchased by Columbus Nova, benefits are up for review. There is every indication they will be lower quality than before.

    Advice to Management

    Your people are your most important asset. The rank and file make that company run. Treat them with respect. Keep them informed of changes, especially under the new ownership. Also, better facilities and coffee.


  10. Helpful (7)

    "Layoffs were always looming over our heads."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great coworkers, location was really close to local breweries and there were a ton of fun projects to work on.

    Cons

    Leadership was questionable. I felt like they were more there to babysit us and were delegating projects and going to meetings than giving us decent project direction. Layoffs were ALWAYS something we knew were inevitable. You can tell by the business structure that the company is run by a small group in Marketing who are completely out of touch with the demographic SOE's games catered to.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the nepotism. Actually look at a manager or department leads contributions or skills.
    Also, when you're doing a layoff actually LOOK at the people you're laying off because they've had to hire back essential staff a day or two later simply because their layoff gated an entire team!


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