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Glassdoor is a fascinating little project where verified employees can anonymously take a dump on their current (or former) employers as well as praise them to no end. Unsurprisingly enough, Valve and Nintendo scored high marks with the employees. Valve in particular had their employees singing songs of praise, saying it was a good fit and offered a “good quality of life”, landing perfect marks for the company. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Square-Enix and THQ didn't fare so well, though, and you could nearly chalk them up to the evil corporations of the gaming industry based on employee feedback.
SupperAnnuation over at Kotaku contributed a very lengthy breakdown of what the average employee was saying about working in the industry; the pros and cons, if you will. There's a recurring theme throughout most of all the posts: upper management gets paid the most; hours are horrendously long; management doesn't really have a clue what's happening on the ground floor; getting a promotion feels hopeless and next to nigh impossible.
Many of the complaints seem to mirror the dire state that some companies have fallen into, letting us know that the poor public perception of some of these places isn't far off from the actual working conditions.
Despite most of the negative posts having the same kind of tone and theme, the positive posts, while rare, are still a delight to read, giving gamers and onlookers alike a slight insight into what we've always wondered what it would be like working with some of the biggest names in the gaming industry. The unfortunate part is the cost that so many employees seem to pay in the end, mostly with not being able to see or be around family for long periods of time as well as not feeling as if the work pays off in some cases.
Nevertheless, out of them all, Valve seems to have a perfect record (for now) and it doesn't suffer from the political in-fighting that seemingly most of the employees at THQ, Rockstar, EA, Ubisoft and Activision have. The Glassdoor posts also seem to better reflect and confirm what a lot of gamers already suspect what the working conditions are like at a few of these studios.
I suppose this one post about BioWare also sums up a lot of the other posts without meandering into the crybaby territory, check it out below.
The large corporate mogul of EA opens doors but closes independent thought. Only on the micro-level may creativity thrive, for revolutionary ideas that can be iterated on rapidly in a small company setting turn into months-long trudge of certification, documentation, and stagnation. Long "assembly-line" like production pipelines turn great ideas into watered-down results, quashing the desire for creativity into production, as the outcome of both becomes identical.
I could nearly “LOL” at that post. It seems to perfectly reflect how majority of the community feels about the AAA industry, too.
If you like reading about the dirt of what current and former employees of the big corps in the industry feel about the working conditions (and employee posts about Capcom's is completely and entirely unsurprising if you've been keeping up with the news regarding the working conditions and the company's corporate intentions) then you can check out the rest of the submissions over at Kotaku, or feel free to browse through the posts individually at Glassdoor.com.
(Main image courtesy of Logopond)