- Dev teams are made up of mostly good people that are passionate about making the best games possible
- Studio has a culture of playtesting and sharing feedback
- Learning opportunity to work with a large team on the biggest AAA franchise around
- New studio head has more trust from people on the ground. There's a lot of work to do to reform studio culture, but I think he's pushing in the right directions.
- Industry low pay for the area, underwhelming bonuses
- No company pride; people bond/gossip over their mistrust of HR/Recruiting/Leadership/Activision as there is little transparency. There is often a discrepancy between our stated company values and our daily practices.
- Contract system is predatory. Many contract employees are strong contributors, but are kept on contracts for 1-2 years and then let go.
- Staffing per department is inconsistent and teams generally run lean due to headcount limitations; some teams have very bad crunch while others have more manageable schedules. Crunch is never "mandatory" but it's pressured by the culture, which creates the same result.
- Management has scoping issues, which caused us to ship a buggy game with broken features and damage the company reputation. Constant content updates create a myopic mentality of cramming in changes at the very last minute rather than focusing on stability.
- Philosophy of downsizing after every project and reloading for the next game limits ability of company to retain talent in order to make the leap from making 80% games to 90% games.
I applied through a recruiter. The process took 2 weeks. I interviewed at Sledgehammer Games (Foster City, CA (US)) in January 2014.
I contacted the recruiter at that time on LinkedIn, expressing my interest and showed my portfolio. The recruiter sent me an art test. The art test was fast, and I did lose sleep.
Next I had a phone interview with an HR person, then a Skype interview with my lead. He pointed out some areas of the art test that could be improved. I made the improvements and resubmitted.
Then I had a Skype marathon interview with 4 groups of 2-3 people, which in total lasted 2-3 hours. After that I received a job offer.
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