Vicarious Visions Reviews | Glassdoor

Vicarious Visions Reviews

Updated October 24, 2017
45 reviews

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Pros
  • Overall Vicarious Visions is a friendly and fun environment with lots of activities and events to take part in especially in regards to music (in 3 reviews)

  • Friendly group of people, challenging problems to solve (in 2 reviews)

Cons
  • Really long hours for extended time periods (in 4 reviews)

  • While Albany has some attractions, it is a relatively lower energy area more geared towards families (in 13 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Worked my ass off, got great reviews and bonuses for 3 yrs. TODAY, was axed along with 50% of staff/ Guitar Hero is dead"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engineer in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Engineer in Albany, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    grreat as long as Activision is making big . The little guy is dead here!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Cons

    Don't expect loyalty from this employer


  2. Helpful (5)

    "My advice to anyone interested in vicarious, learn as much as you can, don't plant roots."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Art in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Art in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    *Hand Held leadership in game development
    *Good place to learn if you're new to the industry
    *Strong and talented production teams
    *Honest and extremely likeable upper management; executives are friendly and approachable
    *Decent bonus plan when the company does ship titles.

    Cons

    *Albany
    *With the Atcivision buyout the atmosphere is becoming more corporate
    *Middle Management does not respect the experience of it's team members
    *Performance reviews can often times come across as negative and insulting as opposed to being constructive.
    *Middle management avoids taking responsibility by scapegoating lower level employees
    *Leads and producers often base performance scores on what they percieve on the surface instead of following up and getting the proper information on what an employee contributes to a team
    *Large and talented enigneering staff but poor tools quality across multiple teams resulting in a large number of broken tools
    *Through out the company their is a senes of elitism despite always playing catchup in the industry
    *Two major issues that lower morale:Middle management/Leads often focus on the negative while neglecting to offer praise or incentives for good work; Advancement which was once based on skill, hardwork and overall knowledge, now feels more like a popularity contest
    *Guitar Hero is in a state of decline in popularity, for ATVI's sake I hope the next iteration does better than the last few have.
    *It seems that those who can talk a good game advance faster than those who do the actual work.
    *Senior title means very little as some people seem to be able to attain it while never having completed the requirements for doing so.

    Advice to Management

    Vicarious has had it's ups and downs. There are a lot of good talented people across all the discplines. Upper management does an excellent job planning the company's future. Middle management seems to be where the bulk of the issue are, too much kissing up and not enough honesty. I would cut down on the number of producers and associate producers, I would also start to value the opinions of those working in production, your leads tend to be single minded and care for nothing but career advancment.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Great Company before being acquired by Activision then all went downhill!!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Friendly and talented artists
    Decent benefits

    Cons

    It's in Albany... need I say more.
    Job security is non-existent
    Upper management does not listen and thinks inaccurate criticism will help motivate employees
    Boring and repetitive tiles
    Too many meetings that take time away from art production
    Pay is very low for industry and don't count on the bonuses here

    Advice to Management

    Treat your fellow employees right and people will want to work for/with you!


  4. Helpful (3)

    "A great place to start right out of school,but get what you need and get out!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menands, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Menands, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Friendly work environment
    Good facilities
    A good place to start a career and make contacts
    Surrounded by very talented people

    Cons

    Poor morale
    Promotions from hourly to salary often result in pay cuts
    Tired franchises
    Burnout is inevitable
    Deadlines are far more important than quality of work
    Very little incentive for large amounts of work


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Talented people, poor structure."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Artist in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Artist in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Great people. Lovely Albany provides access to some great sites.

    Cons

    Bloated management. Too many meetings. Little room for creative growth.

    Advice to Management

    Lose half of the management staff and focus on making games.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Down to earth talented studio, marred by inept elite middle management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY

    Pros

    Great people, with a friendly and open atmosphere. Interdisciplinary collaboration is a plus. Upper management tries their best to be as open and honest as possible. Bonus plan sometimes pays well. Nice areas available to raise a family.

    Cons

    Long and harsh winters are rough. High NY State and property taxes. Activision decides what titles their studios produce, which causes a lack of game innovation, and tends to take the safe route over the high risk high reward approach. Game titles are boring. Too many unnecessary meetings interrupt production. Constantly trying to push tool development is tiresome, and the in house tools are extremely poor for an engineering focused company. Studio is always playing catch up to match the quality output of competitors. The higher you climb, the view starts to get uglier.

    Advice to Management

    Try to create more incentive for talented people to want to come and stay here.
    Be more accountable for failures instead of pointing the finger. Turning a blind eye towards office morale for too long has left a bad taste in the mouths of many.
    Paying people what it takes to keep them employed rather than what they are actually worth is bad business. Just because employees may not speak up about this does not mean they do not know what is going on. Allowing practices such as this go unaddressed for too long eventually forces very talented people to leave. Remember the saying, “Good people leave bad managers”.
    Take care of your employees and they will take care of your products, which benefits everyone in the end.


  7. Helpful (7)

    "A great place to start your career, but beware of the office politics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Overall Vicarious Visions is a friendly and fun environment with lots of activities and events to take part in especially in regards to music. The company has a great working relationship with Activision, so that brings some measure of stability. Additionally the company often has multiple projects running at the same time, and employees are usually allowed to choose which project to take part in.

    Cons

    With Activision now in the drivers seat, much of the comforts that once made the company really stand out are fading away and corporate "standards" are now taking hold. Creativity is stifled as creative decisions are made for the teams instead of by the teams. The projects are also not exciting enough to make the previous complaint insignificant.

    Advice to Management

    There is such a thing as too much management. I think Vicarious Visions needs to take a serious look at its bloated management staff, which also tends to cloud what is really going on under the hood with its developers.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Overall its a decent place to work at for a short period of time."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animator in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Animator in Albany, NY
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    - Friendly and cooperative environment. People are very approachable at any time.
    - Great to work as part of a group.
    - Open to you learning other skillsets that are not your main focus.
    - Competitive benefits package.
    - Great community outreach.

    Cons

    - Not a good place to be if you are looking for long term goals.
    - Job titles and advancedment tiers lack structure therefore making it difficult be promoted and/or to know what is expected.
    - Tiresome and repetitive titles will cause burn outs.
    - Salary bumps are low and sometimes do not equal the amount of work and level of effort put in.

    Advice to Management

    Clarity in job advancement within the company and a better leveling of salary=experience + responsibilities.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Friendly & talented co-workers, bloated & inept management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Albany, NY

    Pros

    like minded & talented fellow artists
    there are many co-workers that specialize in a particular facet of their craft, this provides a lot of opportunities to learn from others
    good job security
    decent benefits
    the bonus pay system can be quite nice (depending on the quarter)
    a decent effort is made to balance quality of life
    a good company to start off your career with

    Cons

    clumsy & unaccountable management / leadership
    five uselessly micromanaged Performance Reviews a year
    deadlines & bureaucracy leave little room for creativity
    final products are determined mostly by arbitrary deadlines rather than quality
    career advancement is mainly fueled by politics and personality contests, rather than merit and team contributions
    location

    Advice to Management

    Step aside.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Nice People, Decent Office, Tiresome Franchises"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Programmer Co-op in Albany, NY
    Former Employee - Game Programmer Co-op in Albany, NY
    Recommends

    Pros

    - A great collection of artists, designers, and developers alike.
    - Truly friendly atmosphere, thanks in part to the openness of the office...
    - A nice and spacious warehouse-turned-office; I consider the lack of doors for team "rooms" a good thing.
    - Management is respectful & caring; most stick around during "crunch time" situations and take your advice seriously, once you've shown you're capable

    Cons

    - Tethered to Activision -- ATVI execs call the shots when it matters most
    - The kind of juggle between long hours and downtime you'd expect from game development (This may be a good thing for some)
    - Lack of original IP -- Guitar Hero wont survive much longer, Marvel is now owned by Disney...
    - Shortly before I left, the "secrecy" levels of certain projects were dramatically heightened for some reason; this apparent lack of trust of employees from either ATVI or upper management was pretty disappointing.
    - Albany isn't the most glamorous city -- there's little to do nearby and a pretty low quality of life.

    Advice to Management

    I don't need to tell you, there's a great deal of talent packed into your warehouse. Please, put it to good use and keep pushing for more original in-house work, you guys deserve it!


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