TT Games Reviews | Glassdoor

TT Games Reviews

Updated December 11, 2018
39 reviews

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TT Games CEO Kevin Tsujihara
Kevin Tsujihara
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Paid overtime - during crunch you're" (in 18 reviews)

  • "Awesome flexi time system that allows you to work around your family time and not the other way round" (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • "Senior management is too stubborn and disconnected from the workflow to notice or care, just keep hiring more people" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Overtime is paid within 2 months but no overtime means no extra pay and it squeezes you if depend on overtime money" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great first games job, bad actual job."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Knutsford, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Game Designer in Knutsford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The people - you'll work with some of the friendliest, funniest, most passionate people you'll ever meet. Everyone's trying to make the best games possible and keeping each other sane.
    - The IPs - you get the opportunity to work with all kinds of licenses, from Marvel to Pixar to Star Wars to DC, etc. There's really nothing like it when one of your favourite licenses rolls around and you get to work on content for it.
    - Variety in projects - you won't be bored working on one thing for 18 months at a time, because the projects roll thick and fast.
    - Portfolio builder - you'll get multiple titles for your portfolio within a year or two
    - Paid overtime - during crunch you're paid overtime, otherwise you accrue extra hours as flexitime. You will likely stock up on these quickly.
    - Secure - never seems to be any sign of slowing down.

    Cons

    - The people - the old-guard range from 'stuck in their ways' to 'difficult to work with' to just plain useless. Conversely, most of the workforce are so fresh from uni they're still figuring it all out in the first place. There are some incomprehensibly enormous egos to contend with across the board.
    - The processes - communication between departments, or even within departments, is shambolic. "Us and them" attitudes permeate every aspect of the job, whether it be other disciplines or other studios or even other teams within the same discipline. Collaboration does not exist on a project-wide scale, it is up to individuals to really push it - those who do are a pleasure to work with, but they're the minority. Production try to schedule projects, but that's kind of impossible given how tight the project timelines are.
    - The tools - just awful.
    - The deadlines - the company pumps games out at a rate of 3-4 per year across two studios. That means you're pumping out a game what, every 9 months? That comes at a human cost. One option is you're putting the extra hours in, because it is literally impossible to make a game working 7.5 hours a day for that amount of time. The other option is that you are not doing this, meaning the work just gets lumped on your teammates instead. There's very little explicit mandatory overtime or anything like that, but if you don't get your work done, no one else will, or one of the core 30 people who never seem to leave the office will have to do it. And that's that.
    - The location - Knutsford is a crap place to live for anyone under 60. If you can't drive, you're really trapped, as the public transport is run as if it were an optional nicety. It's almost as if it's purposefully isolated from other games studios so you can't get any perspective.
    - The pay - it's low.
    - Upward mobility - seemingly almost entirely random. Sometimes people who are bad at their job are promoted just to keep them out of the way. Different teams have wildly different processes and expectations for how and when people are promoted.
    - No room to innovate - titles come out so frequently that there's hardly any room for creativity from anyone other than directors. Your job will most likely be adapting something from a previous title into a new one, which is always weirdly difficult despite how common an occurrence it is
    - Training - what training? No time to train newbies when another game is always 6 months from release.

    Advice to Management

    Grow a backbone, secure some longer production cycles for your team and fewer games 'designed by marketing'. Treat people as humans not just workhorses to be ground down and then discarded. Breathing room to be able to create something new or train staff up or just flex creative muscles between projects would do wonders.


  2. "Great place to start but wouldn't recommend staying long"

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

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - The other devs are lovely, passionate and hard-working and will make you feel like a part of the team straight away
    - Excellent opportunity for portfolio building
    - Quick turnaround gives you plenty of experience of the game dev cycle at a triple-A level
    - Gain multi-platform experience
    - There has been a genuine attempt to improve diversity within the company in the last few years
    - Wide range of IPs to work with
    - Number of benefits that come from being part of the WB group including childcare vouchers, cycle to work scheme, DVD and LEGO discounts
    - HR appear to put the employees first rather than the company
    - Overtime is paid (let's be honest this shouldn't be a positive but credit where due)
    - If you are permanent there is a degree of job stability due to there always being at least one project on the go at any time.

    Cons

    - Aggressively short development times with regular overtime: you will probably spend at least 3 months a year crunching
    - The pay is bad: the company will try to convince you it isn't but it is really bad and the bonus scheme and overtime pay are there to prop up the base salary
    - Little attempts at innovation due to short dev cycles. Any genuine attempts are often shot down for "interfering with the formula"
    - Senior management have made it clear they are aware of the problems but have just chosen to not do anything about it.
    - There is a reluctance to offer a lot of permanent jobs (especially in QA who regularly get binned off after a project is done)
    - Many projects feel like they're being made just to make money rather than to be genuinely good games
    - Obsession with review scores from senior management
    - There are some very incompetent individuals in positions of far too much power
    - Promotions can be rare unless you manage to stand out to the right people (nepotism is alive and well)
    - There is a rift between the Knutsford and Wilmslow studios with the Wilmslow team often feeling ignored/snubbed/looked-down-upon by the Knutsford studio and senior management.

    Advice to Management

    You have made it clear you know where the problems are so now you need to act on those problems.

    You need to listen to the staff: when they tell you something is bad then don't get defensive and force them to do it anyway and when they develop something genuinely innovative don't panic and squash it over fears of alienating fans (tip: kids will accept change). Your staff know more about how the game feels than you do and they genuinely want to make these games the best they can be.

    Stop racing to meet film deadlines and give the team breathing room. Since I started each project got shorter by an average of 2 months and that is just not sustainable. Crunch is horrible and ruins your team even when you pay them for it. Crunch should be a last resort not a planned part of the schedule.

    Fixed Term contracts can have their benefits but here they are used to exploit staff in order to avoid paying them bonuses or keeping them on when projects are done and the team usually suffers from losing these people, both in terms of achievable workload and the morale.

    Finally, and most importantly, improve the salaries. There is a falsehood going around that staff are paid the industry average but this feels like total nonsense. A couple of examples of this nonsense are: annual pay rises are lower than inflation, QA are on minimum wage, speaking to other devs at companies in similar areas and they always are on higher pay. Staff feel they are being cheated and the bonus schemes are a way to make up for low pay rather than to reward staff for their hard work.

  3. "Good entry to the industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - People are lovely
    - Can get quite a lot of titles under your belt in a short period of time
    - Job is pretty secure for the games industry

    Cons

    - Pay is below industry standard
    - Documentation on the in-house tools is severely lacking
    - In-house tools are incredibly outdated, and don't provide many transferable skills if you plan on moving elsewhere
    - You are expected to work overtime even if you've done all your tasks

    Advice to Management

    Be more open with your staff about the decisions you are making, and don't lie to them. To say all future projects will have 18 months from start to finish and then turn around and tell them they have 6 months to do a project with tech they haven't used before just goes to show you don't really care about your development team. You are hemorrhaging staff right now and the silence suggests you haven't even considered why that might be.

    There's some incredibly talented people who could absolutely deliver on the Metacritic scores you crave, but they are dragged down by slackers and people who don't know how to do their jobs. And move to an industry standard engine where there is a wealth of information to draw from. It'd attract a lot more talent too, so you can get rid of all the useless hacks, and if absolutely necessary you could reach out to other WB studios for help.


  4. "Great Place To work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I worked at TT Fusion, which is the Wilmslow office.
    As TT is part of Time Warner, they have great benefits, competitive wages and great annual bonus’s (discretionary). They also have flexi time and paid overtime.

    The atmosphere in the office is very professional and friendly.
    I would also say it’s a great introduction to the games industry. While I was there I met a fair few talented graduates that had started their professional lives there.

    Cons

    Due to the fast turn around of titles, You often need to work extra. When it comes to the last month of a project you are often also expected to work 6 day weeks. You are compensated with overtime and when it comes to one of the many bank holidays I had to work, I was told I could get a holiday back. If you have a family or value a good work life balance it can get tiresome after a while.
    However if you are young, free and single and are prepared to work the extra, it’s perfect.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "TT Games, OK, but maybe lost its way slightly. Good stepping stone into the games industry for juniors though."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some great staff some of whom are experienced industry veterans.
    Good benefits package with LEGO discount.
    Good working environment and offices.

    Cons

    Poor wages in comparison to other companies offering the same job title.
    Poor Upper/Senior Management.
    Dev Cycles are far too short leading to buggy and un-polished games.

    Advice to Management

    Stop with the ultra short dev cycles and crunch mentality, it doesn't help to make a polished game.

    Actually deliver on the promises you make in company meetings.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Good company but not for QA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Former Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Former Employee in Oxford, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TT Games full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    A great company to work for animation or programming.
    Fun Company soirees
    Some interesting titles

    Cons

    The QA dept should be avoided at all costs as the management do not treat employees particularly well
    1 month contracts

    Advice to Management

    Treat you employees with more respect and less of the shadyness


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Don't work for QA!"

    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

    I worked at TT Games full-time

    Pros

    - The people you work with are amazing
    - Discount on Lego and DvDs
    - Good work parties

    Cons

    - Everyone else in the company will get a bonus but QA don't. It is ridiculous. You put years of hard work in to basically get nothing out of it.
    - The games are exactly the same. There is no individuality nor is there anything exciting about it.
    - QA are treated like poo. No respect and treated like children
    - You don't have a life.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being so lazy and fight for QA. Start caring about your job.

  8. "Animator"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    I worked at TT Games full-time

    Pros

    * Fun Projects
    * Good People
    * Flexi time and benefits

    Cons

    * Some projects weren't planned well enough so that lots of overtime was needed.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Creatively bankrupt. A stepping stone and nothing more"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at TT Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Lovely colleagues, the company is full of friendly and talented individuals who are very easy to get along with.

    -Area is fairly nice with great travel links to Manchester.

    Cons

    -Once you've worked on one project, you've worked on them all. Unambitious and repetitive. You will not be creatively fulfilled here whatsoever.

    -Technology is extremely outdated, engine is ancient. No transferable skills from learning how to use it, it is uniquely awful.

    -Management is pathetic, impotent, and either blind or unwilling to see where the problems lie.

    -Culture of cronyism in the upper echelons. Structure of the the studio is poor, no real prospects of moving up the chain no matter how good you are.

    -Mediocre pay in an expensive area.

    -Atrocious and unrealistic work schedule. With each project that goes by it feels like there is less and less time to get it done. Extreme overtime and crunch. Extremely stressful and destroys morale, but nothing changes.

    -Working with third parties is a complete nightmare due in part to a spineless publishing team. Unreasonable demands, constant changes, but no real pushback on TT's side. Demoralizing and affects creative freedom.

    -Culture of studios one-upping and undermining the other (Tt and Tt Fusion). It is unhelpful, pathetic and childish. Extreme sense of elitism from the upper management.

    -Staff headcount is huge and unsustainable. Yet the core problems with the pipeline remain. Senior management is too stubborn and disconnected from the workflow to notice or care, just keep hiring more people. Why do we need 600+ people to make what is basically the same game over and over?

    Advice to Management

    Stop and take a good look at how stretched and stressed and exhausted your team is. Consider that pushing them constantly from one project to the next with no respite is the worst possible thing you could do, regardless of how many freebies you give out. Cut down the work schedule and give the team some actual time to make something good instead of constantly rushing everything. Stop focusing on maintaining the status quo, things need to change before you end up with a mass exodus on your hands.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Good place to start. Don't stay longer than 2 years."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Animator in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Animator in Wilmslow, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at TT Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice workmates.
    Good place to start and gain AAA experience.
    Equal tasks are given regardless of your position, so It's great in order to face some challenges.
    You will develop a lot of autonomy and end up being quite resolutive.
    Paid overtime.
    Crunch time here is a joke. (A lot of free time)
    Great place to settle down and have a family if you are looking for an easy life, since it is not challenging once you've been around for some projects.
    Good workplace if you are an older artist seeking an easy going environment.

    Cons

    Really poor leadership and Cronyism. There are no supervisors.
    Hard to settle down if you are newbie since no one cares about what you have to do.
    No training.
    You learn what you have to do by doing it.
    No guidelines.
    A lot of frustrated artists.
    Poor feedback.
    Mess of pipeline. Worst thing probably.
    Unable to keep good professionals.
    No rewards for talent or hard working attitude.

    Advice to Management

    Hire pipeline people ASAP. So many people slacking off to be honest.