BioWare Employee Reviews about "crunch"

Updated Jun 22, 2020

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Found 16 of over 122 reviews

3.7
75%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
BioWare CEO Andrew Wilson (no image)
Andrew Wilson
26 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great people to work with, good focus on work life balance(in 14 reviews)

  • "Positive helpful work environment(in 13 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Occasional crunch (Though much improved)(in 10 reviews)

  • "The gaming industry, owned by EA(in 8 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Reviews about "crunch"

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    1. 5.0
      Former Contractor, more than 1 year

      Quality Assurance Tester

      Feb 26, 2018 - Quality Assurance Tester in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Great culture and atmosphere - Catered suppers during crunch - Working with fellow gamers - Fun team-building events - Seeing cool new things getting built and added to the game every day

      Cons

      - Long hours during crunch - Mediocre pay - Not all offices have windows (winter crunch can be depressing--going to work in the dark to a windowless office, go home when it's dark) - Employees are discouraged from creating personal independent game projects on their own time

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    2. 4.0
      Former Contractor, less than 1 year

      Great for contractors, but needs balance

      Jun 22, 2020 - Software Engineer in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I worked on an excellent team that was well organized and communicative. I never felt like I couldn't ask for help if I needed to, and everyone in my team was committed to cooperation and quality. I loved getting breakfast in the kitchen as there was always fresh fruit, cereal, and juice. They often brought in snacks for everyone on Fridays which gave everyone a chance to chat and hang out, and was always a welcome break.

      Cons

      I noticed my team and others often worked incredibly long hours, and were often stressed. The emphasis on crunch was obvious, unfortunate, and destructive.

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    3. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      Unfortunately a shell of what it once was

      Sep 24, 2018 - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Fun perks, game deals - 'Community' events for coworkers - Being able to work on top quality titles

      Cons

      - It's now become just another EA studio clone. The dollar is the ultimate bottom line now, as opposed to the quality (of both the product and the workplace) which used to be the priority. - Long hours of expected crunch with poor food options during finaling stages is still a problem here - Excess bloat of middle-management 'producer' positions which are full of people with little to no experience in the departments they are working with causes ignorant scheduling and inappropriate tasking - Contradiction in cross-department training/moving. The company likes to say that they support people wanting to transfer to another department and will help someone get time to be trained/mentored into the role they are interested in, but from what I witnessed it's extremely rare that this happens. Once you know how to do something, you will be doing that one thing for years to come. - No upper management left that is still fighting for unique BioWare culture and perks (which is why it's entirely gone) - Workspaces are now very large open rooms that are loud and distracting - not even cubicle dividers were used in a room full of ~50 employees. For more introverted people that require quiet spaces to focus and concentrate, this can create anxiety and stress because there's no other option. People will literally be hollering from once side of the room to the other on some days. - Blatant contradiction in policy regarding remote work - there are various employees working from remote locations yet when management is asked about opportunities for remote work, the answer is 'we have a company policy that states we do not allow staff to work from remote locations', which is repeated when the existing cases are pointed out.

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      15 people found this review helpful
    4. 5.0
      Former Contractor

      QA Tester

      Apr 12, 2017 - Anonymous Contractor 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great culture, great people, great food.

      Cons

      Low pay, contract work (rather than permanent full-time), long hours during crunch.

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    5. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      One of the best game companies out there

      Dec 13, 2016 - 3D Artist in Montreal, QC
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Bioware cares about its employees. Benefits are nice, and Bioware has a good life and work balance( of course there is always crunch when the game is at its final stage.) -Most of the time , the higher ups listen to our feedback. -Aim for a very high quality game. -When the game needs more time, most of the time is given by EA to ensure Bioware ships great titles. -Friendly work environment. -Very open to trying new 3D software to improve the pipeline. -Employees are actually rewarded and recognized for doing exceptional work. -I have been working in the industry for almost 12 years in a few companies, I can assure Bioware is one of the best one overall. -A lot of very talented people in the industry working for Bioware. It's a great feeling when you can trust your co worker to have the common goal to deliver great product.

      Cons

      -Politics. But I have been in the industry long enough to know politics exists at every game studio. Bioware has the least amount of it.

      1 person found this review helpful
    6. 2.0
      Current Employee

      BioWare Edmonton

      Oct 14, 2015 - Anonymous Employee in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Many great people Family-oriented Some highly talented people there Makes great games Generous time off at Christmas

      Cons

      High level of politics and nepotism, especially among the senior leadership Edmonton is a cold city with the studio in an uninteresting part of town Lower salary compared to other studios Crunch lasts between 6 months to over a year Difficult to advance unless you are good friends with senior leads

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      12 people found this review helpful
    7. 2.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      Great place to work as long as you can steer clear of the drama

      Apr 6, 2015 - Designer in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Lots of really great people -Moving between departments is relatively easy -Projects are pretty cool.

      Cons

      -Tons of politics and drama -Zero support for innovation unless it's a lead's pet project -Rotten core of senior leadership that does nothing to improve the situation -There is almost no room for advancement unless you're a friend of one of the 'old guard'. -Crunch - all of the crunch. Every project I've worked on has resulted in 80 - 100 hour weeks for at least 6 months.

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      8 people found this review helpful
    8. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      Good Experience, long hours

      Dec 10, 2014 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Fun people, the only big game company in Edmonton, good perks

      Cons

      long hours, crunch times. downhill since being bought by EA

      2 people found this review helpful
    9. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      A great company in a mediocre city

      Oct 2, 2013 - Software Engineer in Edmonton, AB
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good work-life balance. A lot of employees are older, with kids; as a result, the focus is on sustainable work practices rather than a bunch of twenty-somethings competing to see who can work the most hours in a week. Although crunch does occur now and then, the company makes an effort to minimize it. Lots of friendly, intelligent coworkers. Generous time off allowance at Christmas. Free breakfast. Plenty of opportunities to work on high-profile, AAA projects. Good job security; although there have been selected layoffs, BioWare has largely been unaffected by sweeping cuts. The studio general manager, Aaryn Flynn is a genuinely nice guy who cares about his employees. Alberta has the lowest tax rate in all of Canada.

      Cons

      Edmonton is an ugly, boring city. The winters are cold, dark and long -- and as a result, BioWare has a tough time recruiting new talent. There is no significant "tech" presence in the city; if you get laid off, your only other option is to go work for the oilfield. Cost of living in Edmonton is high (although not as high as say, Vancouver.) Salaries are lower than what you could be making elsewhere.

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      4 people found this review helpful
    10. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      A great studio and fair employer

      Oct 13, 2019 - Games Specialist in Galway
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Bright comfy office with loads of options to chill Some of the most inspiring producers and artists of the industry who are willing to support new employees Fair salary and bonus scheme Some fascinating projects currently in pre-production

      Cons

      Weather tends to be on the cold and rainy side Occasional crunch (Though much improved)

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