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Wizards of the Coast Reviews

Updated January 11, 2018
129 reviews

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3.0
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Christian Cocks
16 Ratings

129 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work life balance is good at this company with a lot of products given for free to all full time employees (in 28 reviews)

  • Half day Fridays are probably the best thing to say about working here (in 14 reviews)

Cons
  • Some of the middle management is poor and in need of further training or replacement (in 7 reviews)

  • I've loved Magic since I was a child, and working in R&D was a lifelong dream (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Material handler"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Mater in Grand Prairie, TX
    Former Employee - Mater in Grand Prairie, TX

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great company to work for..Love the Work schedule

    Cons

    Pay not good at all..or opportunity to move up

    Advice to Management

    I have 15+years in management


  2. Helpful (6)

    "Was a good place to work until recently"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Senior Systems Engineer in Renton, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work/Live balance was good except during deployment times

    Cons

    Lack of trust between the teams hindered improvements to internal processes

    Advice to Management

    The company was good at first when I started working there but with upper management changes and their subsequent change in direction led to a lot of confusion as to what the goals were and how our team was to support them. Due to this ambiguity, 30+ people were laid off recently which not only impacted the people being let go but few that stayed and had to assume the responsibilities. I would no longer recommend this company as a good, solid place to work for.

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Sales"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great company culture, fun environment, awesome product. The people really come together and going to work is a joy instead of a chore.

    Cons

    Leadership very secretive and reactive. Benefits, especially health coverage, is pretty bad and wages are below area standards

    Advice to Management

    Listen to subject matter experts and keep the long term health of the business in mind.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Great Company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Work life balance is good at this company with a lot of products given for free to all full time employees. WotC is backed by Hasbro as its child company.

    Free soda and some amenities.

    About 15 days paid vacation days and 3 personal days from the first year.

    Cons

    Pay is a little below average.

    I'm sure the company is going through a change for better but a few arounds of layoffs happened all of a sudden this year.

    Advice to Management

    If the company needs people with certain skill sets, why not train the existing employees instead of letting them go and hiring new ones? Those who have been working for the company are much more knowledgeable about the systems than the new ones. I think the management should try to invest in the current employees' training so much more.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Good culture, unpredictable demands"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Game Designer in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent culture, great office and perks, good projects, good managers

    Cons

    Executive mandates that change everything at the last second are more common than I'd like.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Great company to work for, if you can avoid management."

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

    Pros

    Free product, there's really no good reason to work here unless you are a Magic
     or D&D fan.

    Cons

    Upper middle management. Whether its an inept VP or CEO, there's a lot of layers of blame before it gets to them.

    Benefits are just garbage.

    Always hiring non-diversity. It always seems like a new, over-paid white male comes through the door.

    Hire a CEO that has actually produced a game.

    Low pay. People are vastly underpaid for trying to be a "tech company".

    Promote people who actually deserve it.

    Advice to Management

    Take some classes in leadership and strategy. Keep people who actually know their job and drop those lazy managers who blame others or pile their work on to front-line workers.

    Stop bringing Microsofters in.


  7. Helpful (20)

    "If you value your sanity you will not want to work on Magic"

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

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    The people. That's about it.

    Cons

    Over the last year there has been immense pressure from the executive leadership to churn out more and more products, marketing efforts, events, you name it and very little has been done to keep headcount at pace with the requests. Our people are exhausted constantly and overall life at work has become miserable for most. If it weren't for the great people we work with helping to keep morale up our attrition rates would be much higher than they currently are. Ever since Chris has become president there has been this lip service talking point from him, and other executive leaders, about how they want to make Wizards one of the "greatest places to work" companies in the Seattle region, however, they are going about it in the most naive way imaginable. Here's a tip to Wizards leadership: free soda, new furniture, and the occasional food truck is never going to get you on that list. You get on that list by fostering a work environment that doesn't make your employees dread going in to work because of the inevitable pain they are going to feel each day trying to deliver your insane requests. Stop making one person do the work load of an entire team. Stop ignoring your people when nearly every employee survey comes back negative. Stop telling us that the budget doesn't allow for additional headcount and then dump another new project on us and tell us to "be more flexible". But who knows, maybe the 30+ people you just let go will open up some of that budget? Probably not, but here's to hoping.

    We have lost all breathing room in our day to day. We used to be able to get in a game of Magic on the regular, you know, celebrate the IP that we love so much, but now you rarely see anybody playing games around the office anymore. The sentiment now is that if you're seen playing a game by certain people your job is in jeopardy, or your work load can handle a few more requests. It's really quite sad. The best example of this was today; Halloween. In years past Halloween has been a sacred day at WotC where every floor goes all out to make the most impressive experience they can think of and it was glorious. This year was pathetic all around because half the building couldn't afford to spend half a day having a fun festive time which has been tradition for years. Now, some exec may be reading this and thinking "the business needs vastly outweigh something like Halloween!" and from a business perspective you're right, but to us little people it's a huge part of what used to make Wizards a great place to work and now you've killed it. If nothing changes you are never going to make that list.

    Advice to Management

    Either slow down on the requests, or invest in your teams and hire more people. Give us the time to make truly great products and regain some of our sanity. Chris, go back to trying to connect with your employees and listen to them. Your ideas and intuitions are not always the right way to go.

  8. "Project Manager"

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

    Pros

    Wonderful creative culture and love of products!

    Cons

    Ever-changing priorities and resource constraints make it difficult to deliver and lead to EE burnout.

    Advice to Management

    Properly staff projects based on resource needs.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Good Place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Build and Release Engineer in Renton, WA
    Former Employee - Build and Release Engineer in Renton, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Game company that is using many different tools and working to lead in the gaming industry.
    Great opportunity to grow and learn about the game industry and how to build games using many different tools.

    Cons

    Has a hard time understanding the best implementation of all the tools and technologies.

    Advice to Management

    Please hire someone who can help make informed decisions from a technology and software development standpoint. Allow yourself to move to feature driven development instead of date driven development.


  10. "Depends on Your Department"

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

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Four 9's and half-day Friday is hard to beat! In the technical side of the business, management is improving. With the implementation of Agile and Kanban the groups can manage their own work.

    Cons

    Structure between Systems Engineers and studio engagement leaves the Systems Engineers in the mode of "selling" their services rather than simply being brought in to the studio at certain phases of the studio project.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to bring back the coalescence of studios and Systems Engineers by using project phases to enforce early and periodic engagements with the Systems Engineers and the studio's work pipeline.


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