ArenaNet Reviews | Glassdoor.com.au

ArenaNet Reviews

Updated 7 Jun 2019

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3.6
63%
Recommend to a Friend
67%
Approve of CEO
ArenaNet CEO Mike O'Brien
Mike O'Brien
65 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance(in 17 reviews)

  • "Opportunity for full-time or fair pay is pretty much non-existent(in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Cliqueish promotion system"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Inclusive, liberal workplace. Everyone is accepted and friendly.

    Cons

    Promotion is based on who you're friends with or who you're married to/dating rather then management being able to identify skills within personnel.

    Advice to Management

    Consider people that actually qualify instead of your buddies to promote.

    ArenaNet2019-06-07
  2. Helpful (3)

    "Great Individual Contributors, Shaky Management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Gameplay Programmer in Bellevue, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Smart, creative, and driven individual contributors. Awesome company culture, emphasis on growth and diversity. History of great products that are customer driven.

    Cons

    Too much project thrashing. Key management do not seem to know what their goals are. Very little accountability, especially at the higher end of the totem poles.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure you understand what the goals of the company are and what can be done *now* to help reach those goals. A lot of time is spent on the future, when it's not even clear those roads will bear fruit. Always remember that the individual contributors are the heart of the company, so you should take time to get to know them and their skill-sets. Projects will have low velocity if the management does not... understand their team. It felt like some of the management did not understand nor wanted to invest in knowing their teams.

    Show More
    ArenaNet2019-05-03
  3. Helpful (4)

    "Was probably a good place to work about 10 years ago, but no more."

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

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - I love the culture at the studio. It's unfortunate it's been ruined by huge failures of leadership. - Free drinks and snacks. - Very casual workplace. Think people with blue hair, anime t-shirts, and lots of curse words in normal conversations. - Has a culture of not asking people to work long hours. - Fairly nice modern office.

    Cons

    - Low pay for the Seattle area. - Leadership which lies to your face. - Layoffs which I believe were caused by a lack of accountability of senior leadership. No senior leaders were laid off even though they made the decisions which necessitated the layoffs. Some voluntarily left just before the layoffs hit and of course they got a raise and promotion out of it at their next job. - Lots of failed projects and... churn on teams involved in those projects. - Open office space so there are lots of constant disruptions. - If you drive you are required to pay for your own parking. I have no clue why the company won't cover it and it just seems very petty on their part.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    You really need to focus on keeping the people you have. Work on fostering trust (which is at an all time low right now). Empty promises aren't going to cut it any more.

    ArenaNet2019-04-21
  4. "Wonderful Culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Cinematic Artist in Redmond, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Wonderful people & culture Life/work Balance Amazing talent Good compensation Fun events throught the year Great facility I had a lot of autonomy and ownership over my work. I also had great mentors which lead to a lot of growth. My team was wonderful and I will miss working with them.

    Cons

    While I'm aware of some complaints with upper management. In my personal experience, I don't have real cons to offer here. ArenaNet was the highlight of my career.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing.

    ArenaNet2019-04-03
  5. "Working environment is great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -Great place to work - people who work here are very nice and helpful

    Cons

    -communication could be better -pay could be better

    ArenaNet2018-12-21
  6. "Game Development without the Sacrifice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    - This company is one of the most diverse, accepting places I have ever worked. Tons of women and minorities in prominent leadership positions. - Extremely friendly team. Everyone is here to help if you just ask. - A legitimately anti-crunch studio. Work life balance is a clear priority. - Great product with passionate fan base.

    Cons

    - Pay isn't great. - Company at the whim of NCSoft (parent company) at times.

    ArenaNet2018-11-05
  7. Helpful (6)

    "Not a Good place to grow as an artist."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ArenaNet full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Hardly any crunch hours, you can take breaks.

    Cons

    Overall the place is too laid back, because of this culture most of the studio is stagnant. If you're an artist this will eventually catch up with you and you have no option but to work on personal work because of the lack of motivation to work on an archaic game most studios do not care about artistically. Only a certain few who speak up get advancement but the ceiling is so low. Certain folks are promoted to lead... positions that shouldn't be. This usually happens because the company likes to pick certain individuals that are docile and easy to control. Do not be surprised if you're being lead by someone who is much younger than you and barely been in the industry and for the most part being a mediocre artist. It's not a bad place to work but I would leave after a couple of years if you really care about your artistry and stock. Last thing the pay is low, if you don't negotiate you will get low balled.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    To many cooks in the kitchen. Promote the right people in key position. Wipe away most of the older leads, most are complacent and bring nothing new for the better of the company.

    ArenaNet2018-08-13
  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good Devs, Bad Leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    good benefits, great developers, strong positive team dynamics, passionate people, great career development opportunities, good middle management (team leads)

    Cons

    mediocre pay, egotistical upper management, conflicting messages on work/life balance

    Advice to Management

    stop driving away talent with bad pay and meaningless personal conflict. get better at making concrete decisions. take risks.

    ArenaNet2018-07-30
  9. Helpful (4)

    "Once Great"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Designer in Bellevue, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    A lot of the people working on the ground level are great, supportive people.

    Cons

    There are major problems currently in middle management, making it an exceptionally stressful and demoralizing place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Managers of all levels need to get more involved with the development process, and offer actual direction, as opposed to ignoring projects until the last minute then coming in and asking for huge, sweeping changes to things that have been locked down for months.

    ArenaNet2018-07-01
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Adequate place to start a career. Mediocre place to grow a more senior career."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at ArenaNet full-time

    Pros

    Top-notch technologies/products. Great work-life balance (little/no crunch time.)

    Cons

    Little/no opportunities for career advancement for those with more than a few years experience. Retention problems because of that. Things move at a snails pace with lots of overhead. Support of diversity is uneven across the company. Very good in some areas. Utter failure in others. Compensation is low-to-average.

    Advice to Management

    Career growth of employees should be a review goal of managers. Trust in the experience of your more senior employees across roles, you're not using it.

    ArenaNet2018-05-31
Found 95 reviews