Wizards of the Coast Employee Reviews

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3.0
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Good company, but knows you want to work there.
Game Designer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAApril 15, 2019
They know every person wants to work there. Pay will take a hit because they can fill the seats without a problem. However it is also a great place to work for, people are very passionate about the work they do and the things they create there, so everything comes out with love.
Pros
Looks awesome on resume, everyone in games knows Magic the Gathering.
Cons
No real chance for movement up, management can be slow to respond to things.
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3.0
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Lots of changes.
Graphic Designer (Current Employee) –  Renton, WADecember 14, 2018
My second week there, there was a huge corporate restructure. Process fell apart and this was in addition to learning a new job and culture. It made doing creative work extra difficult. Luckily, it looks like there are some changes happening and I would love another opportunity to work there in the future to see how that change has taken root.
Pros
Really fun and engaging work. Making high-fantasy design is really fun.
Cons
Culture was a little icy. Some really dumb corporate practices.
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2.0
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Back in The Day...
Random Creative Drone (Former Employee) –  Renton, WANovember 15, 2018
There was a day when WotC was a fun, supportive, adventurous place to work, but it is not this day.

Several years ago the company started recruiting managers from outside the company. Not inherently negative but it did impact the culture of creativity, exploration and experimentation. The drive from senior leadership (if you could call it that) was to take the slack out of the schedules and hit delivery dates 'or else.' Once again, not a negative itself but it was joined with yearly reorganizations followed by layoffs. It was so common the employees would ascertain the exact date of the layoff before it was announced (winner of the pool didn't have to buy the first round).

Over time, the number of people doing the actual work has decreased as the number of deliverable assets, game releases and components continues to climb. Overtime is expected and if you're not doing it, you're not a team player. If you speak to members of another team with anything but the utmost in reverence, you're not a team player. If you explain to an internal customer that you can't do something because there are other jobs already in progress or there aren't enough hours in the day to include their request, you're not a team player. If you don't do exactly as you're told ... well, you probably see the pattern here.

There is an obvious culture of favoritism in the company today. Certain teams and departments continually receive budget, functional freedom, headcount, and legitimate consideration for their ideas. The rest are on their own. There's a 'Lord of the Flies' vibe for everyone other
  more... than those select groups.

Several years ago there was a quote from a director where he said "We want to source the best talent." Sounds fine, but the underlying intent is that the company has no interest in training employees to improve or to help develop new skills. Individual initiative will only be supported if 1) You are a member of the select group mentioned above or 2) Your idea is actively supported by one of those chosen few or 3) The idea costs the company nothing (or has a ridiculously low price point). They want to hire skillsets, not necessarily develop them.

The entrepreneurial spirit that launched WotC is almost totally gone and the company has become quite risk-averse. Based on the current pattern of behavior, it's probable leadership would not approve the pitch for it's own flagship product (Magic: The Gathering) if it were made today. To further damage their ability to innovate, if someone pitches an idea to the company (even during 'Call for Ideas' that occasionally appear), it goes into a black hole with no feedback, positive or negative. After that point, it belongs to the company so you won't be able to develop it yourself without potential for a lawsuit.

Additional notes:
Career pathing is not something the organization is good at so you will want to take that into account.
Some people don't handle feedback very well, watch out for them.
The company is remarkably bad at training. New employees will face a harsh learning curve and, with the aforementioned tight schedules, a job may be taken away from you for completion.
You will be responsible for your own development and if you think there is a better way to do something you will need to seize control of the idea and push very hard against some amazingly apathetic bureaucratic inertia to get it done, and even then there's no guarantee.
There is frequently a dichotomy regarding the yearly goals and reviews. Some goals are stated as being acceptable but by the end of the year the method against which an employee's performance is judged may be harsher than originally indicated. This makes it tough to write your self evaluation at the end of the year since you were proceeding based on one set of standards and being judged against another.

It's not all bad though, for example:
It's an office environment, no heavy lifting for the most part.
It's an air-conditioned building (except when you're working overtime and weekends are even worse)
If you don't have a career in mind you'll be fine.
If you like to play Magic you may be fine if you're a member of the select groups mentioned earlier.
There is periodically free Magic product given to the full time employees.
There are weekly free lunches for some departments (and if your's isn't one of them, you can sometimes get access to the leftovers).
There is usually a company Holiday party (can be fun).
There is a free gym on-site.
There are free sodas in the refrigerators.
There are some good people there and you may be able to learn from them.

Conclusion:
WotC is not the worst job to have but it's not as good as you hope for either.
I understand there has been a reorganization since I left so some of this may no longer be valid.

Watch your back, no one else will.
  less
Pros
Free sodas, free gym on-site, free product for FTEs.
Cons
Pay/salaries, career growth, professional growth, expectation of overtime, I could go on
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3.0
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Massive culture change with new management in 2017
Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) –  Renton, WAMay 27, 2018
Things have changed with new management. They are betting the farm on getting becoming a digital game studio, and sucking the soul out of what used to be a pretty fun place to work.
Pros
Free soda, free MTG product
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4.0
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Was great but now...
Engineer (Current Employee) –  Renton, WAApril 30, 2018
WotC was a great place to work but with the new management, some people in some departments are suffering due to their ignorance and

I do love the games and the cards, however. They are piece of art that no other company can come close to.

You do have opportunities to learn if you desire so. It's really up to you how to make your career at this place as long as you are contributing to the company. I guess that's always the case at any company.
Pros
Free products as FTE. Good work & life balance.
Cons
New management cares less
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4.0
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fun place to work
Software Development Manager (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAApril 18, 2018
WotC is a fun place to work as it is a gaming company. There are usually lots of opportunities to advance and move onto various teams if you network and keep your eyes open.
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4.0
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It's fun being a Wizard
Trade Marketing Manager (Current Employee) –  Renton, WAApril 6, 2018
There is lots of free product, free food, and good conversation in the building. However, everyone works hard as well.

There is a good collaborative culture between departments. The company does a good job pushing inclusivity efforts.

That said, it's also hard to advance as the tenure here is quite long. You can get some small pay raises and the bonuses are reasonable, but it's difficult to move up.
Pros
Free product, free food, free lunch, great collaboration, good corporate culture
Cons
Lack of transparency, constant changes to campaigns, hard to advance
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5.0
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It was a scene
Associate (Former Employee) –  Mentor, OHMarch 25, 2018
I ran the show at the pokemon league when it blew up. I gave out promo cards kept score, and generally was taaking care of and baby sitting 10-15 kids a day. I used to play as well so it made it pretty fun.
Pros
Environment
Cons
money
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1.0
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An Absolute Joke
Senior FileMaker Developer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAFebruary 7, 2018
I have many decades of experience in the workplace, many of them at top Fortune 500 companies. I have to say that WOtC is an absolute joke as far as their management is concerned. "Scrum Masters" with no knowledge of development run projects, which are deemed a "success" when released with over 100 bugs. Which, consequently, causing the business to STOP WORK.

There were 4 people on my team when I started last year. At present, exactly 1 is left.

Draw your own conclusions. I would AVOID like the plague.
Pros
free pizza, nice art
Cons
Everything else
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3.0
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great place to play Magic; not a great place for one's career
Senior Scrum Master & Business Analyst (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAJanuary 17, 2018
typical small successful business syndrome: arrogance and fear in the management culture based on past success and lack of clarity or alignment on inspection of strategy or operations. managers are afraid of looking bad, afraid of failing, and afraid of rocking the boat. This leads to timid strategy and poor follow through on delivering against anything but the smallest vision.
In spite of this indictment, the people are smart, creative, and fun to work with.
Pros
fun products, play is encouraged, many employees are trying to do good work
Cons
poor compensation, aversion to continuous improvement, lots of fragile egos at the helm afraid of being unmasked as frauds/imposters
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3.0
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Was a good place to work until recently
SENIOR SYSTEMS ENGINEER (Former Employee) –  Renton, WANovember 19, 2017
The company was good at first when I started working there but with upper management changes and their subsequent change in direction led to a lot of confusion as to what the goals were and how our team was to support them. Due to this ambiguity, 30+ people were laid off recently which not only impacted the people being let go but few that stayed and had to assume the responsibilities. I would no longer recommend this company as a good, solid place to work for.
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3.0
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Wizards has lost what makes it a great place to work.
Software Engineer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WANovember 11, 2017
A company that has prided itself on being fun and relaxed has become a software shop where all devs have to work overtime and weekends to make ends meet. I was blind to how stressful the situation had become until I was on the outside looking in.
Pros
Decent compensation, Excellent and diverse people, free product
Cons
Pressure cooker atmosphere. Poor work life balance.
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4.0
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Wonderful place and do wish that I was still employed at Wizards...under a different Manager
Executive Assistant (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAOctober 3, 2017
The people at Wizards, office environment and work culture were great in addition to the proximity to my home.
If I had a different manager, I would have been much happier and stayed with the company.
Pros
Culture
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2.0
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Avoid if you are a woman
Senior Business Systems Analyst (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAAugust 14, 2017
Old boys network in IT promotes based on friendship, not qualifications. Total lack of understanding of how to set goals. They don't do data driven decision making. No Project Management organization, no business analysts. All Product Owners and Scrum Masters

Only benefit was 1/2 day Friday.

Salaries are below market (because people just want to work for us so we don't pay at market levels).

Health care plan is high deductible with HSA so essentially, you pay everything unless you have a major illness.
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5.0
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Fun and Engaging Workplace
Customer Service Representative - Contract (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAJuly 22, 2017
Supervisors are very open to communication and work in close proximity to the rest of the Customer Service team. Full-timers are also on hand and happy to help with sticky questions as time allows! The workload itself can vary quite a lot, though a typical day will have 30-40 phone calls over your shift in addition to emails. The most challenging and enjoyable part of the job is the actual customer interaction- you get players of all skill levels calling in about everything under the sun for pretty much every game Wizards makes. Magic: the Gathering is definitely the most called-about, though, so I would highly recommend having a good baseline-understanding of the game and its mechanics.
Pros
Free employee drafts and prereleases, paid breaks, supervisors very understanding re: sick days, flexible time off provided enough notice is given
Cons
Inter-department communication needs work, don't receive free product on release due to contractor status
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2.0
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Current management team needs to be replaced!
Team Lead - Senior Systems Engineer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAJuly 5, 2017
Wizards was a great place to work until the management team was replaced about 2 years ago. Since then, the great culture and environment of togetherness eroded until you get what you have today. Management leads using fear and bullying tactics that have destroyed the morale of the company.
This was a great company that was built by gamers for gamers. It was a great place to work the first 3 or so years I was there. I wish it had stayed that way.
Pros
Still produce great games.
Cons
Current management team.
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5.0
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it is just fine i am very happy to work there.
SYSTEM ENGINEER (Current Employee) –  RemoteMay 14, 2017
i look at it and fine it just perfect. the environment is fine and the managers very cooperative. The work team they are very helpful
And they are very systematic in office management. .
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5.0
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Productive and great work culture
Devops/ Release Engineer (Current Employee) –  Renton, WAMay 10, 2017
Good Management
Great Team coordination,much helpful team members in difficult time
Superb work environment
Weekly Playoffs
good work and life balancing
Pros
Free Lunches, snacks, Games
Cons
Na
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5.0
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you will really enjoy work here if you love games and knowing behind it(coding)
Sr. UI/UX Developer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAApril 12, 2017
Though my employment was only for a few sets, it was nevertheless an interesting and exciting experience. Being privy to classified information was simply amazing.
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4.0
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Fun environment with many creative people and a full gym and daycare on site.
Game Designer (Former Employee) –  Renton, WAFebruary 16, 2017
As a game designer a Wizard of the Coast I created new games and helped other people improve their game designs.Games ranged from online one to card gmes, and board games.

A typical day at work was fairlty self-directed, woking on individual prjojects. We'd show our projects and get opinions from other people. We would also play our new games among each other.

When a game got close enough to potentially being produced we would to focus groups to see if we had writen the rules right and created an enjoyable game.

Workplace culture was relaxed and a bit like a bit toy factory. The most enjoyble part of working for Wizards were the creative staff and the flexibiity to work on your project your way.

The hardest part of the job was keeping up a steady stream of creative projects on a deadline. But Wizards taught me to do this.
Pros
Creative Environment, Writing, Work/Life Balance
Cons
Upper management stress, Sometimes unclear directions
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Overall rating

3.8
Based on 40 reviews
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2.9Job Security/Advancement
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3.8Culture

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3.2InHerSight Score

3.3Personal Development

2.6Career Opportunities

3.5Family Support

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