Sucker Punch Productions Reviews | Glassdoor

Sucker Punch Productions Reviews

Updated March 27, 2017
13 reviews

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3.4
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Brian Fleming
9 Ratings

13 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Happy Sucker Puncher"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    This is a tight knit community where your opinion matters which keeps you inspired, stretching your skill sets and growing in new areas all the time. I am relaxed, comfortable to collaborate beyond my department, and experience a healthy work life balance being at Sucker Punch. The people here are highly skilled and down to earth.

    Cons

    None that I can think of.

    Advice to Management

    Thank you for the acknowledgement, advice and attention you give all of us.


  2. Helpful (11)

    "Good company, but could be so much better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great people in design and engineering, talented artists, the cafeteria is stocked with the best, Sony perks are great.

    Cons

    Confused management stuck in the last decade, decisions are made and changed all the time causing critical stress on employees, no art leadership, several special snowflakes making life harder for everybody else.

    Advice to Management

    Join the best studios in the year 2015, instead of trying to stay stuck in the early 2000's. Games need more than just strong shaders and good art and code, it needs heart too. Improve communication between teams, and stop meddling in every little thing that happens. Let the teams have more freedom to run their shows.


  3. Helpful (8)

    "Perhaps the best experience Ive had in my 7 years making games"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Environment Artist ( Modeler ) in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Environment Artist ( Modeler ) in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Suckerpunch has been the best studio Ive worked for in my career.
    The staff are welcoming and a pleasure to work with. Upper management has made sure that the people who really know their stuff are in leadership roles. Ideas and brainstorming are encouraged. The quality of art is top notch and I feel privileged to have worked here.

    Cons

    Usually, wherever one works, there are negatives, but in this case I really cant think of any.


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "At Sucker Punch I get to have fun, make awesome stuff, and work with really smart people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Bellevue, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    SP has a big focus on productivity and pushes itself with respect to quality.

    Everyone can have a positive effect on the quality of the game.

    Cooperation is a big focus, with fairly tactically minimal management intrusion.

    SP has less crunch compared to most of the industry (pretty minimal).

    There are lots people with families at SP and that is reflected in the games we make (have not made an M rated game).

    Cons

    You have to be able to get over your ego to succeed here (pro for me).

    Requires constant effort to learn and improve quality of work (pro for me, but not for everyone).

    SP is not averse to cutting under-performing staff if things can't be improved. This is painful, but seemingly unavoidable in a competitive industry.

    SP has increased in size over the years and communication across the team has sometimes suffered.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Culture of Teamwork and Quality"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - This is a small, tight-knit team for a AAA studio, and it shows in the trust developers place in each other. New employees get big responsibilities, and it is rare (though not completely unheard of) for a single person, even a senior one, to be overly possessive of a feature. At other studios where I've worked, it's been common for certain employees to "own" certain features or systems, and it's difficult for anyone else to get in and work on them. At Sucker Punch that's almost nonexistent.

    - Studio culture is very collaborative. Anybody passionate about a discipline other than the one they were hired into is encouraged to contribute there if they can, and offer feedback if they can't. Feedback is well-received by every department, from every department. That doesn't mean every employee is great at receiving criticism, but many are.

    - Almost to a fault, the studio is dedicated to making quality games: they are willing to throw away months of effort if it's not working, almost all the way to release. If the game isn't fun, the employees take it personally, and won't settle for shipping it the way it is. For some people this might be a con -- early iteration on a project can be difficult, before it comes together, especially when ideas fail. That time can feel rudderless, and like wasted effort. But for me, it's a pro, because it shows a willingness to keep trying and an unwillingness to settle.

    - Higher-ups are open about decision-making, hiring, and production processes, and keep the whole team up to date weekly. At other studios I've worked for, this would be unthinkable. The small size of the studio allows everyone to meet in one place on a regular basis.

    - The studio has a very family-friendly culture (and a late-thirties average employee age), and it shows in the incredibly generous paid time off. Work-life balance is encouraged and expected, and sustained crunch (especially by comparison to other AAA companies) is nonexistent.

    - Studio-wide events are scheduled every month or two. There's a big focus on everyone spending time together that contributes to the tight-knit feel of the office.

    - Pay is good, and leadership is dedicated to sharing the success of the studio in bonuses and raises.

    Cons

    - The studio was founded by engineers (as many game companies were) and it still shows. For all the cross-disciplinary cooperation at day-to-day and milestone levels, the upper leadership and final decision-making is dominated by engineers. Some non-technical employees feel they have less influence than they should.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage employees in every discipline and at every seniority level to be educated in other disciplines. It's already a strength of the studio, but there's room to grow, and rough edges, especially for people who are non-technical. Provide resources and push them to learn new skills, if they want, and find other ways to expand their influence if they don't.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Talented team held back by leadership with no vision"

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

    I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Our current project has potential to be great and the team is excited to make something amazing. Many talented and friendly people at the studio and generally a very relaxed place to work. Good compensation and benefits and the new office is neat.

    Cons

    The current project has no vision which makes it hard to know what we're working towards. Art team constantly gets jerked around by poor design and art leadership. Some key gameplay features have stalled for over a year with no real accountability.

    Advice to Management

    Empower those on the team that know what they're doing to get this project moving. We want to make something great and we're held back by a lack of vision and decisive leadership.


  8. Helpful (2)

    "Talented coworkers"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time

    Pros

    Place is full of very talented people and coworkers. Enjoy working with most of them.

    Cons

    Management struggles a bit. Leadership is hard to read and changes minds/directions frequently.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees more. Less micromanagement.


  9. Helpful (9)

    "Stalling"

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

    I have been working at Sucker Punch Productions full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    The studio is filled with talented people. The freedom given and independence expected is great. This is a relaxed, easygoing company to work for.

    Cons

    We're rudderless. There's little direction from top. All these talented people are wasting their time making internal demos. Promises are made about "creating something special" and "making something amazing" but nothing is ever delivered. One senior partner has spent almost a year ignoring advice and input on developing a next-gen system without showing anything for it. So much is invested in engineering that creative development is forgotten.

    Advice to Management

    Give us a game to work on. Don't just make us rehash more mechanics demos. Trust your instincts and write the game first. If you can't do that, get out of the way and let someone else do it. Vacuous "pillars" and "razor statements" are only getting in the way of making anything.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "A fish rots from the head down"

    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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Sucker Punch Productions full-time

    Pros

    Talented and friendly coworkers.
    Excellent pay.
    Convivial studio culture.
    Sony's benefits package is quite robust, and they seem to give the studio tremendous leeway (perhaps too much).

    Cons

    Management has completely failed to make important leadership decisions, resulting in a power vacuum and internal politics among senior employees jockeying for position, with disastrous consequences for studio morale and direction.
    Studio has been bleeding talent for years.
    Shockingly poor diversity among employees, along with bad attitudes towards its value in the first place.
    Complete disregard for the value of narrative or creative direction in their development, preferring to follow "tried and true" concepts, resulting in uninspired or unconsidered creative decisions.

    Advice to Management

    Find the courage to make creative decisions on your own, instead of submitting all creative issues to design by committee. And if you insist on design by committee, don't give equal weight to the people who have no interest or appreciation for creativity.

    Also, recognize the people in your studio that are more interested in gaining power and prestige than they are in making a good game. They've slowly taken control of your company away from you, and your employees know it.

    Your studio's problems are coming from your lack of leadership. A fish rots from the head down.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "Doing well/could be doing better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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 Sucker Punch Productions full-time

    Pros

    Very flexible. You’re able to take PTO as you wish (and the PTO is actually quite generous). Deadlines don’t seem to get in the way. Management seems honest and sincere. They are also intelligent and typically accountable.

    Cons

    Every other team has an interpersonal issue that management has yet to get under control. Think the team is capable of creating a better performing game. This seems to be entirely trickle-down and preventable. PTO is seemingly flexible to a fault. Often folks are gone during important milestones, and superiors are not holding them accountable.

    Advice to Management

    Create a vision and follow through. The company needs great leadership. Some cuts have to be made on the staff for the good of the game and company.


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