Vicarious Visions Reviews | Glassdoor

Vicarious Visions Reviews

Updated May 28, 2017
43 reviews

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43 Employee Reviews

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  1. 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!


  2. 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

  3. 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.


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.

  8. 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!


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Friendly, fun and driven, but the projects fall a bit flat for the ambitious and quality focused artist"

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

    Pros

    Wide variety of projects
    Lots of room for internal growth
    Good compensation through bonuses and stock purchase plans
    Excellent facility
    Friendly, talented people

    Cons

    The projects aren't the most exciting for ambitious artists
    Deadline rather than quality focused
    Facility is great, but the location isn't ideal

    Advice to Management

    Keep taking care of your employees and they'll keep taking care of you!


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to get started, but whether or not you want to stay... questionable."

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

    Pros

    Being part of Activision, there is a great deal of stability. Getting to work on Guitar Hero and Marvel titles is pretty great. You definitely get to make your mark in the game industry. However, with the nature of Guitar Hero, and the dreaded holiday release schedule, there is only so much time to innovate and polish. Great people, great company, they take care of their employees, and have been through pretty rough times with regards to crunching, and are doing everything they can to mitigate future crunch, it's always not avoidable though.

    Cons

    Albany. While the projects are relatively high profile, there could be better things to work on. The company is still has a ways to go before being top notch. It also seems some people who are in leadership positions could benefit from having a critical review of their performance from their subordinates. Not to say that they're particularly bad, but perhaps don't know that they could improve in some areas.

    Advice to Management

    Be more communicative and open. More regular feedback on how employees are doing would be helpful.


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