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Treyarch Reviews

Updated 1 August 2018
52 reviews

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3.7
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Approve of CEO
Treyarch Chairman Mark Lamia
Mark Lamia
28 Ratings

52 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Considering how big and important Call of Duty is, I expected a more pressure-filled environment but the work environment is surprisingly relaxed" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Get to work on a high profile game" (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • "Treyarch does everything it can to mitigate the effects of crunch time, but there is still" (in 6 reviews)

  • "The nature of game development requires long hours and a lot of "crunch" time" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Crunch 24/7"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Treyarch full-time

    Pros

    Large bonuses and high profile content. Brilliant talent and hard working people.

    Cons

    75-100 hours per week almost all the time. Meetings on Sunday night and phone calls in the middle of the night were not uncommon.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your managers and senior people instead of repeating the same mistakes. Get more than 1 HR person.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Defensive Homogenous People"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The nice thing about this place is that it is a rather professional place to work at, and as long as you do your work, you'll be ok. Also, Call of Duty is a good name to have on your resume.

    Cons

    Aside from the fact that, besides QA, about 96% of the employees are white, this place is a very sad and boring place to work at. Everyone is so serious all the time, I sometimes would forget we were working on video games.

    There's also a lot of office politics and everyone is so defensive all the time. I felt like everyone was on edge and felt like they could lose their job at any moment. It seemed very sad. I only lasted about few years, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

    I also asked about ways the company could help improve current skills and they weren't very helpful at all.

    Advice to Management

    Find ways to motivate your employees. They all seem on edge, sad and are very depressing to work with. Not sure why, but every time I asked into reasons behind a method that was used, the senior artists got very defensive. I was just curious, not trying to steal your possible art-director trajectory.

    Also, hire more women and definitely more people of color, think I saw like five artists in the whole studio that were either black or hispanic.sad

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Specialist Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Specialist in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer Specialist in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Treyarch full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    bonus, great office, benefits, lunches and dinners, holiday party in Las Vegas,

    Cons

    too much overtime, to much producers, no diversity, slow growth


  4. "Good Times"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Fun to work for and a great experience.

    Cons

    Nothing really negative about the job.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "Teribble egos on senior level"

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

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

    Pros

    Established company with a proven track record. You know you’re always going to get paid even if their games don’t do so well.

    Cons

    Because many of the people have been working at the studio for years, they can be very elitist in their professional approach.

    Advice to Management

    Get senior level staff to some team work workshops. ESPECIALLY the ones who have chosen to go the “art specialist” track instead of managerial- there’s a reason they did. Hint: it’s not because they’re good with people.

    Some of these guys are very toxic and passive aggressive and no ones going to say anything because they’ve been there for over a decade. They’re nice people, but terrible teammates.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "The Ease of Integration - Treyarch"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Treyarch part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    One of the best parts about working at Treyarch, especially as a newbie in the video games industry is that everyone, and I mean everyone, is willing and able to help. Everyone is so understanding and helpful, it allows an intern like myself to fully integrate into the team as I learn along side them. It also allows me to have a visible impact on the game, where in previous internship positions my contributions were not valued.

    Cons

    The only thing that is possibly a con about Treyarch is the short amount of time interns are there.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing. Allow even the smallest of positions visibility on their work, it bolsters what they are doing as well as keep communication between all departments constant.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Pretty cool place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Artist in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Artist in Santa Monica, CA (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I created some of the best artwork of my career at Treyarch, and part of the reason for that was all the talented people I was surrounded by. Working at Treyarch was a career highlight for me for sure. Also, studio head Mark Lamia is one of the coolest and most inspiring "higher ups" I've ever met in my career.

    Cons

    I wouldn't say this is a "con" - but one does need to realize that COD is a multi billion dollar global franchise. And with that comes a certain level of corporate infrastructure, protocol, and priorities that can be potentially frustrating if not viewed from the right "bigger picture" perspective. But if you understand and can appreciate this sort of dynamic - both the challenges and the rewards - then working at Treyarch can be pretty damn amazing. My time there flew by.

    Advice to Management

    If I had advice for management, I probably wouldn't be posting it here. That seems kind of tacky and pointless.

  8. "Great and rewarding studio"

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

    I have been working at Treyarch full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working with incredibly talented and gifted people, across all departments and all levels. I've made incredibly close friends here. The people here is what makes this place great.
    The projects we work on are always ambitious and pushing for bigger and better then we've done before - all focused on how do we give our fans bigger and better experiences.
    There are tremendous opportunities for growth - as long as you are passionate, and PRO-ACTIVE.
    Financially rewarding and great benefits.
    Engineering and tools are pretty phenomenal. We typically get a lot of tools and tech support, allowing us to work as quickly as possible. Software and equipment always accommodated if it's needed.

    Cons

    It's definitely a hard place to work, and not a place for any industry professional. There have been some really aggressive crunch hours in the past, and I'm sure there will be more in the future. The trick is finding the right balance between what you do professionally and your personal life. The bottom line is most people here care more about making the best game they care over how much overtime is worked. Making the kind of games we make, on the kind of schedules we have, while always trying to out-do ourselves each time is tough.
    Definitely have to balance the time between quality and quantity when it comes to art and animation, to ensure the game play is the best it can be (game play is always the priority).
    Another downside - it's hard to publish your professional work on your personal portfolio. This seems like more of an Activision thing, rather than Treyarch itself. It's definitely possible to post your work that you've done here, but there's a process in place for it and a lot of red tape to get through before they allow you to post it.

    Advice to Management

    Overall, keep doing what you're doing. Every "difficult" project we get through, is usually followed by a new project where we learn our lessons and plan for those difficulties ahead of time. I just see this place continuing to get better and better.
    I do think a little more effort should be done on showing the world what kind of studio culture we have here. It's been observed by others that there's a giant "wall" around us with only negative things being heard about what's inside. I notice some facebook posts and some twitter feeds now and then - but rarely about how awesome the people are here and how much fun it is to work here.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great place"

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

    I have been working at Treyarch full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Treyarch has been like a second home to me. After more than 10 years here I can honestly say it is still the greatest place I have ever worked. While so many things have changed over those years, this place always adapts and evolves into an even stronger more exciting place to be. The people here are second to none, and I have built friendships that will last a lifetime.

    Cons

    The only con for me is the traffic to get from the valley to Santa Monica and back. The joys of the 405...


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great Place To Work"

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

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

    Pros

    I've been at Treyarch for about 3 months now and cannot recommend it strongly enough. The studio has a very positive vibe. I've yet to meet anyone here who I have any friction with, which is amazing for a studio this size. Considering how big and important Call of Duty is, I expected a more pressure-filled environment but the work environment is surprisingly relaxed. Also, the financial success of the game means that the studio has the resources to really take care of employees. My salary is generous enough that moving to L.A. hasn't been financially scary. The relocation benefits made moving easier than any relocation I've had before (and I've had a few!). Everyone, right up to the Studio Head, is very approachable. And being located within walking distance of Activision HQ makes our relationship with our parent company close and productive. HR Department took great care of me from Day 1. So far, this is shaping up to be the best job I've ever had -- and I'm 50 so I've had a lot of work experiences before, both good and bad, to compare it to. Finally, the fact that the studio has such a successful track record and firm financial footing means that I'm not worried about the studio faltering, which is nice for a change! Oh, and Santa Monica is beautiful.

    Cons

    Every place has some downside, and I'm sure Treyarch must, too. I just honestly haven't encountered a Con yet at this place.


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