A proverbial unicorn in an industry of work horses
Gameplay Programmer (Current Employee) – Stockholm, Sweden – October 12, 2018
I keep telling my coworkers how super stoked I am to be working at Arrowhead, and I figured it's about time that I actually put pen to paper and document it for the world to see.
My work history is littered with game studios, both big and small, that openly tout what a great place they are to work. I can say confidently that Arrowhead that doesn't just talk the talk, it walks the walk, where other companies stumble. It's the first place I've worked where "We're a great place to work" isn't just a spiel from recruiters, but a motto that informs the work and social ethics of every single person at the studio.
Hours-wise, the company operates on flex hours, where there are four core hours per day, and employees are free to work whatever hours they want outside of that in order to hit the requisite 40-hour week. Having said that, the word "requisite" doesn't tell the full story: Arrowhead's leadership will positively bend over backwards for people to accommodate their working style. There are various people who work various amounts of partial time for various reasons, and that's okay - there is none of that toxic culture of resentment that pervades the industry.
As someone on the autism spectrum, "accommodation" is the word of the day, all day, every day at Arrowhead. The company leadership is 100% committed to accommodating any and all reasonable accommodations that one requires. The HR manager has openly stated that he sees no reason why people shouldn't be able to work remotely if that's what helps them work to the best of their abilities. In the rare event that someonemore... is unhappy on a given team, they always have the opportunity to switch roles or switch teams as long as staffing needs can be met.
Speaking of words of the day, the concept of overtime is viewed as bordering on blasphemous - a refreshing contrast to other companies that view their employees as simple resources to be worked to the bone. Unlike previous jobs that have required working 10 to 12 hour days, six days a week, for months on end, without a second thought, the only overtime that I've ever worked at Arrowhead is overtime that I personally chose to work, simply out of pure passion for my tasks, and not out of any sense of requirement or obligation. And when I have worked overtime, I've encountered countless coworkers expressing concern that I not overwork myself. In a way, that is literally the hardest part of the job, because I find myself constantly wanting to stay late out of pure passion. That isn't to say that overtime isn't compensated, either - if you're working extra hours, the company management is happy to comp food, and you're expected to take the extra hours off the end of the week in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
On that note, that also brings me to another of the things that really stands Arrowhead out from the crowd: The genuine care and concern that each employee has for everyone else. It has always seemed that even at the most welcoming company, there's always an employee with a rock-star ego who's permitted to come down on others like a ton of bricks due to stellar work - but here, we strive for civility and being constructive. It's generally understood that everyone has a bad day from time to time, so there have of course been times when people have been less than stellar in their delivery of feedback, but that is the exception, not the norm, and apologies tend to follow almost immediately. There isn't a single person here who isn't a truly kind and helpful individual. As I like to describe it to people, it's a company culture where people extend a helping hand to bring you up, not a punching hand to knock you down.
Beyond that, there's a fundamental attitude of fun at the company. Hardly a week goes by when there isn't some sort of movie night, gaming night, or other social event that people are welcome to participate in, or skip if they have other obligations: Again, nobody is ever expected to stay late if it's not their jam, and it is never held against anyone. If someone who isn't usually social decides to participate in something, everyone is just super stoked to have them around for a change.
I'm actually beginning to get a bit misty-eyed as I write this, thinking about how lucky I am to have finally found my "forever home" at Arrowhead. It's a super group of people, with a super work culture, who are super accommodating, working on super games. I just can't say enough how grateful I am to have gotten the opportunity to work here, and I would encourage anyone looking for a happy and welcoming group of people to apply for any openings. Because your peace of mind is worth it.less
Culture, Flex Time, Accommodations, Fun, Atmosphere, Social Acceptance, The People
HR-Generalist (Current Employee) – Stockholm – October 2, 2018
The atmosphere at Arrowhead is something special. I have not met a single person here who wasn't thrilled to be a part of this company. That is because the culture at Arrowhead is very much built on trust and communication. No matter the situation everyone here can count on the support of their colleagues.
The leadership is very focused on making sure that people have a good and healthy work-life balance. For instance, the core working hours are between 10:00 and 15:00, and outside of that people can adjust their schedules according to what suits them best. There are numerous benefits such as a weekly wellness hour, a yearly wellness allowance and even a massage therapist who comes to the office every other week!
Arrowhead also prioritizes secure and long term employments instead of short contracts. It contributes to the friendly family feeling where you can really get to know the people around you. Security and stability are also important to the studio as several different health care insurances, payment to pension funds and quick access to health care is included in the terms of employment.
There is almost always something going on at the studio. Such as, movie nights on Fridays or people playing video games in the kitchen during lunch breaks. Not to mention a recent company trip to Rome! It really is an awesome place to be!
Community Manager (Current Employee) – Stockholm, Sweden – September 6, 2018
I enjoy working at Arrowhead because you're given a high level of autonomy and trust. There's not a lot of micro-managing going on, which lets you just get on with the things you're best at - you have the freedom to really excel. You're also encouraged to give suggestions and opinions, even if they aren't specifically in your "area". It feels like everyone has a voice.
The other nice thing about the company is that teamwork is strongly promoted and you're placed in a supportive and collaborative environment. Regardless of discipline, it is easy to chat to people and everyone is eager to help each other. There are no big egos here; everyone is focused on making great games.
In regards to the social aspect, there is always friendly office chat and at the end of the week people do not rush to go home - you'll often find people hanging out. There is no typical crunch either and no pressure to stay working extra hours. The flexi-time reflects this as some people leave at 15:00!
If you're looking to work in gamedev, but don't want all the stereotypical cons that come with it, Arrowhead is strongly recommended. It is really nice to find a company where you feel secure as they aim to hire for life, not just project based.
Food and snacks, comfortable environment, nice location