That’s pretty much the theme of this post on Kotaku, which surveys anonymous comments from current and former employees from every major gaming studio and developer. The comments come from Glassdoor.com, and while they’re not fully guaranteed to be legit, there is some verification done, to at least ascertain a company connection.
There are dozens of companies described in the quotes, and the ones from (alleged) Blizzard employees are far from the most negative. That said, there are some juicy tidbits. See the article for the whole thing, but here are some of the Blizzard highlights, and thanks to Lanth for the tip:
Its too bad to find out the reality of Blizzard.
2/5 — Current Senior Artist in Irvine, CA – Reviewed Jun 05, 2012
Cons – – Really bad management overall.
– Poor communication within and across departments and teams.
– Very political. Politics over logic, professionalism, and work ethics. Whether you can do a good job, finish your work on time, or have the knowledge to do the work is much less important than you getting along with people and being liked by your supervisor and key people in the company.
– People there do not understand what professionalism is. From HR to most of management. Most of them are not on top of and do not resolve issues (production or management issues). They have tons of meetings to talk about it and only to come out of those meetings to do nothing.
– Extremely inefficient. Waste a lot of time and effort to do very little.
– A lot of “old-timer” employees that has been with the company for a long time that do not do much work but yet, because of Blizzard’s emphasize [sic] on seniority and loyalty, their jobs are very secure. They happen to be the most political as well.
– Methods used to track and measure performance is a failure. Performance reviews are pretty useless and there are nothing like a 360 review. Overall, there is a huge lack of accountability throughout the company.
– Overwork employees. (multiple all nighters during crunch time is not uncommon. Salary employees do not get overtime and it does not matter how many all nighters they do.)
I didn’t count up an actual tally while reading the Kotaku article, but most-to-all of the reports, from every company, complained about terrible hours, crunch times, overwork, lack of overtime, etc. Such features are pretty much just industry standards, it seems, and not just for the legendarily-awful entry-level QA employee experience. Kind of amazing how many young gamers still want to grow up to work in the industry.