Hothead Games Reviews | Glassdoor.ca

Hothead Games Reviews

Updated 24 March, 2017
21 reviews

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3.2
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Ian Wilkinson
12 Ratings

21 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "A solid company that is getting better."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Lead Environment Artist in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Lead Environment Artist in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good co-workers
    A nice office
    Thursday lunches
    A sense of ownership in projects
    Talented employees
    Transparency with management

    I'm writing this review in response to a lot of other reviews for Hothead. In my 8 years working here I've never experienced any bulling or had a sense of toxic culture, so I was very surprised to read about it on Glassdoor. I've come out as transgender at work and felt nothing but acceptance and encouragement.
    This is a really good company that expects a lot from its employees.

    Cons

    Projects are over managed
    Games are all shooter based
    Overtime is normal
    Socializing between teams is rare
    Lower than average pay

    Projects that don't meet expectations tend to be shifted and re-worked on almost a monthly basis, which can be really hard on the devs. Some times the projects can feel either aimless, or have too much micromanagement from the top down.

    Hothead has gotten better every year I've been here, but it still has a lot of room to grow.

    Advice to Management

    I know mitigating loss is important, but it shouldn't be the driving factor behind the choices we make as a company. It feels like we're playing it too safe some times and that our games end up designed by committee, rather than letting the talents of your individual employees shine through.
    I want to restate that I think this company is better now than it ever has been, and I do see it getting better, slowly but surely.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "A Place to Make Great Games Alongside the Best People!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    Hothead Games is a progressive and industry leading company that have grown from 100 to 200 employees in the past year. Although we've doubled in size, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to have my voice heard and be taken seriously. Our senior management is always available and welcome any type of conversation whether it be personal related matters, constructive feedback and/or other concerns. Transparency within management is extremely strong. We are informed of all company-related information and no question is ever left unanswered.

    What I truly love most about Hothead is that they geniunely care about their people. HR and senior management is always looking for ways to improve in all aspects of company dealings from onboarding, perks and benefits, workplace environment, work processes or policies and the list goes on. By no means is Hothead perfect - there are many things that requires improvement, but Hothead is doing a fantastic job at coming close to it.

    Another big bonus at Hothead is that you get to work with amazing and talented people. Things like an on-site gym with regular and complimentary fitness and yoga classes, ping pong table, ice hockey and running club, roof-top BBQ, Beer Friday, weekly lunch & learns, fully-stocked fridge and snacks are just some of the cool things that come along with being employed at Hothead.

    Cons

    There are definitely growing pains that go hand in hand with doubling in size over the past year. Existing processes may no longer be efficient, outgrowing our space, and not being able to remember everyone's name are real issues we have dealt and are dealing with. However, management is keen on and committed to finding solutions to all problems we may face, which is relieving. It's a priority at Hothead to give the right tools to its employees to do their job.

    Advice to Management

    Continue being open-minded and listen to what your employees have to say. Hothead can only get better and better from here!


  3. "Fantastic place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoy working at Hothead Games because management is very approachable at all levels, including the CEO. They're always open to hearing your opinion on a topic and seem to honestly want to hear what you have to say. Makes you feel like you're really part of the solution.

    Cons

    Only 5 sicks days is very low, which leads to lots of sick employees coming to work which then gets others sick as well. An increased amount of sick days, or even unlimited days, but anything more than 2 days would require a doctor's note would be a wonderful change.

    Advice to Management

    See the Cons section.


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  5. Helpful (7)

    "keep on your toes"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Programmer in Vancouver, BC
    Former Employee - Programmer in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Many very skilled employees work for Hothead. There are also a lot of very active and fit people around. Most of their games are fun to play so it is not a chore to keep up with what is going on with company product

    Cons

    There is an expression at Hothead: "There is no HR". You are expected to fend for yourself in a hostile environment. The best way to survive is to suck up to the management as many or them have fragile egos. Do not go to management for help as you will appear weak. If you are not able to take some bullying then you do not belong with the guys.

    Advice to Management

    You are on top, you have no reason to be aggressive towards employees or assert your dominance.

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    This is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at Hothead Games and first off thank you so much for taking the time to send in your review. By receiving your feedback, we can only make Hothead Games an ... More


  6. Helpful (3)

    "A really good company with great people."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Vancouver, BC
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Vancouver, BC
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Hothead Games full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - interesting, smart, and engaged people to work with
    - projects are well-planned and suit the individual's expertise
    - much food and drink provided throughout the day/week
    - modern office reasonably close to nice restaurants on Robson

    Cons

    - a bit of a walk from Waterfront or Burrard stations
    - parking limited and may be expensive because of the location in Coal Harbour

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017 – HR Generalist

    Thank you for taking the time to write us a review! We pride ourselves on the quality of our work and it certainly doesn't go without notice the amazing people you get to work with at Hothead. We ... More


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Toxic gossip and politics"

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

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Weekly catered free lunches
    Flexible hours
    Work from home sometimes available
    Paid bus passes and reimbursements
    Knowledgeable and friendly staff

    Cons

    Never get the truth out of your reviews; you can still get fired after a great review.
    Leads rather complain to CEO than tell you that your work needs improvement. This includes having meetings without YOUR manager present, to go over their head.
    Leads actively work together to get people fired and are not shy about it.
    If a toxic employee is instructed by their manager to do their job, they can get out of it by complaining to a different manager about "aggression".
    Zero accountability, designers change the project all the time and do not accept that certain things cannot be done in time, then blame everyone else, even when they wouldn't allow things to be cut.
    Teams are set up to fail, and blamed when they do.
    Their is no training opportunities or mentorship available, despite promises from management and HR.
    HR promises that there is no negativity, and that no one is trying to fire you, when you bring it up. Then you get fired.
    Hothead has a policy of not telling anyone why they get fired. Ever. Black, disabled, pregnant, death in the family? Doesn't matter, you'll never know why you were let go, even if you ask. They do not even have to abide by the law, because the onus rests on you to prove they violated it in the first place.
    There is very little multiculturalism or equal opportunity. Women programmers are paid less and not given opportunities to grow. Most women are QA or artists. Not a SINGLE black person in the company, and very few Indian people. High percentage of whites and Asians, and I've never seen a disabled person, though there might be one.
    Upper management goes out for beers with certain staff, and hang on to every word they say, including who they want gone and who shouldn't get a raise or promotion.

    The worst office politics I have ever seen, in any company.

    Advice to Management

    Pfft. Just sell. You don't value your staff anyway, and they all know you only care about the bottom line, since you tell them all the time behind closed doors.

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    Hi there, this is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at Hothead Games and I wanted to take some time to address your comments. As always, we appreciate feedback on our company as it helps us improve ... More


  8. Helpful (7)

    "The Reality of a Revolving Door Mentality"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Vancouver, BC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Coworkers are typically great.
    - Emphasis on team building activities like Lunch & Learns, team events.
    - Buy-in Poker Nights were fun and competitive.

    Cons

    - Management culture was built around sink or swim, everyone is replaceable.
    - The staff is frequently dismissed without offering the chance for coaching, improvement, or warnings.
    - Rather than addressing undercurrents of bullying, management would rather just spend dollars to make it seem like there was a positive culture. No amount of expensive ping pong tables or free lunches makes up for the lack of human connection.
    - Management has publicly stated that they eventually want to just sell the company so they are in it for themselves to make money and leave.

    Advice to Management

    Old School Management techniques might work in the short-term to create economic growth, but if you want to actually build a team that's worth buying (and it's obvious they are here for the money), you'll need to ditch the ex-Radical corporate elitism and make an authentic human connection with your employees.

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    Hello, this is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at Hothead Games and like all of our reviews, I wanted to first of all thank you for taking the time to send in your comments. We appreciate all ... More


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Only way to succeed is to suck up to managers and leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -Good location downtown
    -Interesting products being worked on
    -Some good people who are very good at their jobs
    -Pingpong table
    -good work-life balance

    Cons

    -Under performers will be rewarded while hard working individuals will be overlooked
    -Poor work ethic is not corrected if the individual is part of the right group within the company
    -inefficient and unproven processes are forced upon teams
    -Raising concerns is looked down upon/punished
    -Some teams are set up to fail
    -unrealistic goals are set on teams and products

    Advice to Management

    -Listen to the concerns of those whom bring them up and don't dismiss them as quickly.
    -Reward hard work more and correct poor work ethic and behavior.
    -Treat all departments and teams equally.

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    This is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at Hothead Games and I would first like to thank you for taking the time to write a review for Hothead Games, we appreciate and value feedback that allows us ... More


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Know your place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    - Individuals can be great
    - Group events
    - Ping Pong table and gym
    - Work life balance is exellent

    Cons

    - The mantra is fit in or quit, was actually said many times during the new hire orientation!
    - Feels like high school politics
    - Management will hire with the intention to fire using your skills
    - Pay is bottom of the barrel

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    Hi there, this is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director at Hothead Games and I would like to say thank you for sending across your feedback on our company. We appreciate all feedback we receive as it ... More


  11. Helpful (6)

    "Politics rule the studio culture"

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

    I worked at Hothead Games full-time

    Pros

    Some very talented people work here.
    BBQ on the roof for summer.
    Gym.
    Ping Pong Table

    Cons

    Politics rule the studio
    Hard work not rewarded
    Slow to update systems
    Not using Unity
    Bullying is rampant
    Fear of losing job if complaints are raised.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to appreciate people and not over value being in the industry for over 10 years. Look at why so many people leave or are being let go and try and correct the current system.

    Hothead Games Response

    21 Mar, 2017

    Hello, this is Mike Inglehart, Creative Director of Hothead Games and I wanted to thank you for sending in your review of our company. We appreciate the feedback we receive as we use it to ... More



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