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Bungie Reviews

Updated 19 May 2018
39 reviews

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3.8
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Pete Parsons
22 Ratings

39 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Best place I've ever worked for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Best culture I've ever seen.
    Caring people managers and career development.
    Transparent and accessible company leadership.
    You're working on AAA franchises.

    Cons

    The company has outstanding creative leadership, but I'm not confident in their ability to run a business.

    Advice to Management

    Might be time to bring in some outside expertise from some major game companies on the business side.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Passion lead by poor Management."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Human Resources Manager in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Bungie full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Working at Bungie was like no other studio, all employees were built as a family and not as a typical workplace. Tension between employees was often rare and many employees often we happy of current positions and often shared a high morale for what they were currently working on.

    Due to being employed as a Human Resource Manager I had very little focus on the "Destiny" franchise, I focused on making sure employees were focused in their respected areas of work and ensuring the continuation of the standard high morale many employees strive themselves on. I worked with a small team (most of the time 2 other managers) who would manage employees. To maintain this high morale of employees, management allowed for small incentives for employees, these included coffee bars, workplace activities, bonuses and health care plans.

    Job security was almost guaranteed if you did what was required of you. Although there was little promotion of employees. Often many would stay in a role for 3-5 years with increasing yearly salaries. We used a small rung system to determine an employees salary based on how many years had been contributed to the current role the employee was in. Although confusing at times many employees enjoyed this structure as they knew when a rise in salary was in the near future and how much the increase in salary was.

    Cons

    Although management aloud HR to make small incentives such as health plans and coffee bars for employees. Often when things needing shifting or something was not working between employees that HR could see was having a negative impact and downfall on the productivity of employees senior management would not allow for this change to happen and would over rule. Yes, naturally no one likes change but when it was drastically needed, making no change at all lead to further problems down the line of production.

    Once full production of the "Destiny" franchise started in 2010, many employees has already or begun to exit the studio to continue work on the "Halo" franchise. We decreased from about 250 employees to roughly 175. As production carried on, in HR we spend roughly a year bringing in new talent to work on "Destiny" and slowly integrate these new employees as part of already existing groups in production. Once 2011 had rolled around the studio was at roughly 400 employees. Management had set a goal to have an employee base of around 350-450. Although we in HR quickly learnt the studio expanded and grew in size to quickly. This resulted in a loss of the high standards we had built and the "Bungie culture" started to go. This lead to a somewhat rupture within the employee base that HR slowly needed to go though and fix, due to this production was drastically hindered. During this time senior management were persistent on no change whatsoever.

    Senior Management. Although I had been friends with many of them for years during my time at Bungie, it was clear the lack of managerial skills. Some of senior management was excellent but while many lacked behind resulting in many times a clash of senior management while employees would watch on. In late 2015 this came to clash of heads as of then current studio president Harold Ryan was pushing and overruling other senior management to have the "Destiny" sequel released in 2016 although many in the studio knew it was not possible to do. Due to this Harold Ryan was stood down and Pete Parsons was going to be taking his place. A major wrap to Pete Parsons was his ability to bring back the "Bungie Culture" and this drastically showed within the studio.

    Advice to Management

    Its time to clean house. Senior management are running off old habits and old outlooks towards production. HR needs to be given the ability to make the major changes needed. The studio needs a big reshuffle of its management to make this happen.

  3. Helpful (6)

    "bloated monstrosity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Test Engineer in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Regardless of what you think of Destiny as a game, Bungie is still a AAA studio making AAA games.

    Cons

    As evident from the polarizing reviews on Glassdoor, you can see that some employees have a great laid back experience where they actively progress their careers and experience personal fulfillment and rewarding production. Then you see those about people who work 60 hour weeks+weekends, in constant chaos with no upward movement and are managed poorly. Both of these worlds exist at Bungie.

    Since Destiny 1 launched this company has only ever grown in size to the beast it is today. There were never rounds of layoffs other than temps to cut the fat. As a result there are a lot of people simply taking up space. Employees who have been here for years were advanced a level without any major effort to hire a new wave of fresh blood to replace the vacancies. We end up with people in Lead positions in charge of a team of 0 or 1. Other critical teams are dismantled and the knowledge base is disbanded until a massive issue crops up and we have to scramble to find someone who remembers how any of that system works.

    During 1 on 1's we are encouraged to report our happiness level to management. My happiness level has been a constant level of 4 out of 10. Some days it's worse. We report this happiness level to our manager and our manager's manager. They know how happy or unhappy we are. No effort is made into increasing that happiness. They'll ask us what will it take to get you a few points higher and then nothing.

    Management acknowledges that some teams are orange or red in terms of team morale. These got out as team slides, areas that are at risk, they're listening to our feedback but on a micro level nothing changes. If you think the communication to the playerbase is rough sometimes we won't find out about game changing features until we read about it on reddit. A lot of, we said what?

    so many people at the company fill roles that fail the bus test (if they get hit by a bus, can someone do their job, to which the answer is no). no effort is made to train or disperse knowledge to others. There are at least two dozen people at the studio who are the only person that knows how something works and if they left the company development would grind to a halt. Players are already seeing that in the live game where these key people are stretched thin.

    Advice to Management

    cut the fat actually embrace agile and get rid of the people who are hindering the culture that you claim you're promoting. in the book Good to Great, which everyone on the Leadership team harps about, there's a chapter about getting the right people in the right seats and then letting people get off the bus if they're not a good fit. right now this bus is packed to the brim and no one wants to move seats for the good of the company. practice what you're preaching.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Bungie is what all studios should be like."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Artist in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bungie full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bungie supports and embraces individuals creativeness. Your opinion is valued even if you disagree with individuals. This is really a company that looks for and embraces people that are self-motivated and are willing to interact with other teams and push the boundaries of the game.

    The growth at Bungie is great. We have reviews every 6 months these are peer reviews and if you are performing above what your level and you are working hard you can be promoted. I do not know many companies that promote people every six months but Bungie is one of them.

    The work life balance is great I work 8 - 9 hours a day 5 days a week. I have only had to crunch a couple times and even when crunching it was like 10 hour days for a week or two.

    Bungie has some of the best benefits I have ever seen in the industry they go well above and beyond when it comes to keeping their employees happy.

    Bungie also has performance bonuses and profit sharing this means every 6 months you will get one or the other this can range from a 3k - 9k.

    Cons

    It tends to take too much time to get approval from the higher ups to proceed with something and this tends to slow down production and leads to some crunch.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing but push on the higher ups to make decisions faster.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Bungie"

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

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

    Pros

    High growth company with top selling games.

    Cons

    Political company culture. Low investment in good management practices.

    Advice to Management

    More management training. Create shared company culture of support.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "A Fun company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Bungie full-time

    Pros

    Fun place with phenomenal benefits.

    Cons

    Bungie is experiencing a lot of growing pains, they are working hard to figure out how to appropriately deal with them, but the pains are there regardless.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Great!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Physics Engine Programmer in Seattle, WA (US)
    Former Employee - Physics Engine Programmer in Seattle, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Excellent work environment, flexible hours, great pay!

    Cons

    none! Keep up the great work!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work!

  8. Helpful (13)

    "Bungie Great for Some Employees, Not So Much for Others"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great perks, such as a well stocked kitchen, food and beer brought in for events, coffee cart, company parties, gym membership for FTE employees, etc. Surrounded by very talented, intelligent, and passionate people.

    Cons

    Bungie is a great place to be as a salaried employee, but not as great if you are an hourly employee. Even though both are FTE positions (though there are certainly some contract, hourly employees on site as well), the benefits are different. For example, salaried FTE employees get a parking space and 10 floating holidays to be used between October and February. Hourly FTE employees only get 5 floating holidays (and no parking, taking the bus is the only option). Bungie can feel like a prison for an hourly employee, as you are not allowed to leave the building without clocking out (even mandatory 10 minute breaks cannot be taken outside). If you have a mandatory team lunch, you still have to clock out and miss an excessive amount of time that will have to be made up somewhere else during the week. If you have a phone call longer than 10 minutes, you have to clock out. There is also zero flexibility, so all of your hours must be done onsite (there's no ability to work from home, even if that would be completely reasonable in your particular position at most other companies). All of these things make Bungie a very difficult place to be if you are a parent. It is nearly impossible to find the time to take care of your family and get all of your time in at the office due to Bungie's extreme treatment of hourly employee's time. I imagine it is a bit easier as a salaried employee though.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees, especially your hourly FTE employees. Most people will work hard and get their job done without being micromanaged. Treat all employees the same - benefits should not be different for salaried vs hourly employees simply because of they type of work they each do. If you treat people well, they will be excited about the company and push to work even harder.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Fantastic company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bellevue, WA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fantastic culture.
    Work is super interesting.
    Lots of opportunity for growth.
    Not a lot of politics.
    Opportunity to have a big impact in a great product.

    Cons

    Even though pay is very good and benefits are good too (I would say both are top notch compared to other game companies) there are a lot of big companies in the area that will temp you (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc).

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing!


  10. Helpful (28)

    "Shell of former glory"

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

    I worked at Bungie full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Good pay.
    Good benefits.
    Can drink at work.

    Cons

    Management is filled with people who were talented contributors, but have no clue how / want to actually manage.

    Used to be a thriving meritocracy, however promotions are now given more to people who spend half their day schmoozing with management and actively refuse to or are incapable of doing their actual jobs, than the people doing the work and getting things done.

    Crunch falls more heavily on certain departments, than others. Due to an attempt to maintain a "good work/life balance". IE, some people will end up working 100 hour weeks in order to do the work of people who refuse to work more than 40.

    Management frequently will not get involved with the work being done, until it is nearly complete. Often causing it to have to be completely scrapped and redone due to it not fitting their "vision", that they could not bother to share beforehand.

    Certain members of upper management will literally yell at their coworkers, until they acquiesce to their demands/ideas.

    Disagreeing with management is a fast path towards being excluded from meetings, even on areas you own.

    Too concerned with playing things safely design wise, and too low of opinion of their player-bases intelligence, to allow for any interesting innovation.

    Terrible at talking / planning any kind of advancement or career growth. If you want to advance, go somewhere else, then come back.

    A lot of "well, I made Halo, so obviously the way I want to do things is the right way." attitude among the older employees.

    A good number of duplicitous people who only see you as a tool to advance their own career.

    Terrible parking availability.

    Extremely limited bathroom availability.

    Advice to Management

    Clean house, lose the hubris.


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