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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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)

  • Prior to the layoffs there was not much crunch time and work/life balance was well rounded (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. Helpful (4)

    "Do not work here."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Community Relations in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Community Relations in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    I can wear shorts to work. You get pretty good vacation, even though you're made to feel bad for asking off.

    Cons

    Senior Management and Management in general is just terrible. People have their jobs because they knew the right people, not because they're competent.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. Or, more realistically, do a better job of hiring and fostering the development of skilled employees.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Poor management that needs to be replaced with a very negative environment that breads fear to the employees"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good company to get in the industry
    Good salary
    Easy to get a job with

    Cons

    - Poor management
    - The management has no idea how to run a game company in 2009
    - They are very wasteful with there cash
    - The president runs and micromanages every project. There is a huge disconnect as a CEO should run the company and not the projects
    - The CEO runs the company how game companies did 13 years ago which leads to bad games and low standards
    - Lack of focus and innovation within the games. The company tends to design by what other games are doing.
    - Not an innovative company
    - There is people in management that dont know there job.
    - There are too many managers with no use to the company.
    - People don't take responsibility for there actions because the company breads fear into everyone.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of all the top executives if you want the company to service. You have great people that work at the studio but you need to learn to respect people ideas and learn to innovate. Get people in the company who know how to create games in 2009. Treat employees with respect and gratitude and you will make great games.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Papa Sony needs to clean house"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great if you want to get some experience in the MMO space.
    SOE operates a number of MMO's so if you are looking to get into Platform or IT this might be a good place to look.

    Cons

    Nepotism and apathy are rampant at the highest levels.
    There are a handful of talented and passionate people still there that want to see SOE come back from the depths of despair, and are actively trying to do what they can. Then you have the people that are merely collecting a paycheck, who have won favor from Smedley (or friends of Smedley) and are content to just sit on the sidelines. It is this dichotomy that is the most troublesome. Bottom line, if you are talented and passionate about making good games, this place probably isn't for you. The hard work of the few, is weighed down by the apathy and ineptitude of the many. Including and most importantly the people at the top of this organization.

    Advice to Management

    Chief executives, VP's, and most of the directors need to leave. SCE needs to come in and install new leadership and focus the organization in a big way. SOE is too big, too fat, and too spread out to ever have a chance of being effective.
    Austin needs to be the new SOE HQ where there is a much larger talent pool, as opposed to San Diego.
    Shut down the San Diego office and move only a select few to Austin.
    - Everquest: Sorry kiddo's, it's time to move on.
    - Everquest 2: Troublesome, it's gotten so much better over the years but at the same time it takes a good sized team to keep it going. Not sure what to recommend here.
    - Vangard: Just put it out of it's misery already.
    - Free Realms: move it to Austin
    Shut down Seattle and move The Agency and maybe a few key people to Austin.
    Shut down Denver and Tuscon, again bring a few key people to Austin. Take their tech and IP and bring it all under one roof. You get the idea, get lean, get focused, and get profitable.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Cool environment with coworkers, terrible management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Master in San Diego, CA
    Former Employee - Game Master in San Diego, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Environment is very friendly on a day to day basis, and alot of the coworkers are really nice usually. Depending on the supervisor, its usually a pretty laid back place.

    Cons

    To get any kind of recognition in terms of getting hired on, or promoted in any way, they really only stick to people who are buds with development or themselves. For example, one person had been working at Sony for more than a year, and I know they had atleast 100% quality on every performance check. Yet a guy that worked there for less than two months got promoted to a GM lead before him, just because he was good friends with an Everquest II dev.

    The management overall in the customer service department is very childish and its very reminiscent of high school cliques, even though most of the managers are in their 40s. Most every person I talked to in my time there were very disgruntled but only stayed because the environment is so bad at the moment.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on skill to promote and not how good a person looks, or how good of a buddy they are. You don't realize, or don't care, how low of a morale the company has with how things are ran.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Do not work for Sony Online Entertainment"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Programmer in Tucson, AZ
    Former Employee - Associate Programmer in Tucson, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits package.
    Casual dress code, shorts and tee shirts are allowed.
    The lower level workers are some of the best in the industry.

    Cons

    Not only do they never let people take vacations, they will often make them work holidays and weekends as well.
    12 hour work days are the norm.
    Management simply does not know how to manage people other then through threats and intimidation.
    Pay is very low for the industry, especially for such a large company.
    Project managers are not trained for, or allowed to, manage projects.

    Advice to Management

    Quit. I did not meet one person in management above the level of project manager who was competent at their job. The only hope for this company is for everyone from the studio heads to the CEO himself to leave and make room for people who have a chance to turn the company around.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Management is an antiquated old-boys club out of touch with current game development"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The pay was great, licenses were fun and line-level employees were senior and skilled

    Cons

    Executive management is the same crusty old team that has been there since Sony bought the company. They are out of touch with current development techniques and business models. They purposefully mislead their teams about ship dates and demand crunch for, literally, years at a time to ship product. It is not a financially healthy part of Sony and suffers from the fear and reactionary behavior that come from that fact.

    Advice to Management

    Do a better job of embracing console development and current MMO business models (Free-to-play). Be honest with your teams about crunch and ship dates. Update executive management with someone who has some exposure to modern game development.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Avoid avoid avoid!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You can bring your dog to work

    Cons

    - Company is cliquish, its hard for new employees to assimilate and gain acceptance
    - Managers micro manage everything
    - The departments don't work well together, there are very limited resources and instead of using creatively the departments fight over what should be done

    Advice to Management

    Work on creating and fostering a culture that focuses on doing what's right for the business and seeing it succeed vs. the status of quo each department looking out just for themselves. The company needs some major shaking up to be relevant, and the current way of how things get done isn't working


  8. Helpful (4)

    "Job Titles"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Changed Constantly in Bellevue, WA
    Former Employee - Changed Constantly in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I just cant remember any. They do have a better work/life balance than Amazon.

    Cons

    SOE has been a leader in an increasing problem we see in digital industries. The willingness on the part of the company to ignore the title and job position you were hired for. You may negotiate for a salary based on a job position, such as Character Animator, only to find yourself being asked to do the job of a Flash UI Designer.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and fire yourselves.


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Terrible products, Terrible company"

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

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

    Pros

    Some of the people are nice. Not too much overtime. Decent bonuses.

    Cons

    No career advancement or salary raises unless you are part of the in-crowd. Very cliquey, high school environment. Stale, irrelevant products. Low salaries. Absolutely no future to move up or work on anything different/more challenging.

    Advice to Management

    Why do you think so many employees are jumping ship?? get it together, people. Management is constantly changing and company policies seem to change depending on who is in charge that week.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Politics, Politics, Politics"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent pay and good benefits.

    Cons

    Terrible management and lots of backstabbing between employees. Inexperienced studio management making very poor development decisions and blaming failure on lower employees. Terrible understanding of scheduling and process. Hostile attitudes toward employees wanting to transfer from one SOE office to another.

    Advice to Management

    Honestly, I think the place is so broken they need to be shut down and Sony needs to start over.


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