Sony Online Entertainment Reviews | Glassdoor

Sony Online Entertainment Reviews

Updated August 23, 2017
93 reviews

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93 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
  • Long hours, upper management can seem out of touch, scheduling can be a mess (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (5)

    "Good start, but probably nowhere you'd want to stay."

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    SOE is a good start to the gaming industry through their internship programs. They also seem to keep their contract workers and hire them on full-time. They provide decent project completion bonuses for the big ones, and direct management cares about their workers.

    Cons

    Certain pet projects of upper management wind up having fairly significant changes demanded left and right - even on a friday afternoon the weekend before a beta launch. There seems to be a consensus among some employees that upper management makes very questionable decisions, particularly in regards to priorities. Too often, there would be a demand for a feature that imposed significant code change which would put the project months off schedule, and yet we'd be expected to somehow keep the schedule regardless.

    Advice to Management

    Make the marketing department talk to developers and qa before they announce upcoming features and release dates. Some features they think aren't much require significant code change and provide a long stressful hassle for the development and qa teams that could be avoided, or at least improved, by better communication.


  2. Helpful (4)

    "unstable"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    huge profits flowing in from the robust online gaming community. enthusiastic teams that enjoyed both developing as well as playing the games with the community.

    Cons

    there is an insider's club of the original founders and development team that receive funding and support for their projects even past the viability of the game.

    Advice to Management

    consider spending more on organizational development and team building between the development teams and the headquarter support functions

  3. 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!


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "SOE"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    great place to get started In the games industry. You can get a lot of experience quickly here.

    Cons

    Doesn't offer competitive salaries. It's best to move on after a couple years after you have some experience.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Not Recommended"

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

    I have been working at Sony Online Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Solid name recognition on your resume. Good people. Some fun projects if the crunch does not ruin it for you.

    Cons

    Unstable future and long hours are expected which seemed more of miss management rather than an underlining need.

  8. "Meh"

    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

    Fun environment, Working in video games is always a plus. The people were great to work with and mostly loveable nerd-types. Challenging work too.

    Cons

    Terrible management, top heavy management style. More management than was needed by far. The hours were terrible and mandatory overtime that was made to seem not "mandatory."

    Advice to Management

    Gut it.


  9. "Eh... could be worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There's a decent benefits package plus the non-usual perks (game account, cd, etc.), working in the game industry, and being in studio / mmo environment (there's no "the game's done, now off to find another job").

    Cons

    Sometimes it's too big and teams don't communicate as they should. The squeaky wheel seems to always get promoted around here not people with the talent and skills to do the job.

    Advice to Management

    Quit having people in different departments doing the exact same work and emphasize more communication between the different teams (platform, db services, game teams, etc.)


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Surprisingly archaic Software Development"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Work environment is pretty laid back, though lots of the perks are gone
    - It's in San Diego, which has nice weather. Management would have you believe it is because of them

    Cons

    - Old boys club. SOE is full of management that has not matured with the online game industry. Products are uninspired, tinkered with by the CEO endlessly based on the games his kids decide to play that day, and late to market, not because they are spending time getting things right. They waste time making basic software development mistakes that you can read about in books from 30 years ago.
    - Nepotism all around. Growth and success in the company is more dependent on relationship with the right folks than performance. Learn to say "Yes we can!"

    Advice to Management

    Get some fresh talent in at the top that has success in the "Online" marketplace in the last decade. The industry has matured and bringing back EQ folks may not be the best way to get with the times.


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