NCSOFT Reviews | Glassdoor.ie

NCSOFT Reviews

Updated Dec 12, 2019

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2.7
39%
Recommend to a Friend
35%
Approve of CEO
NCSOFT CEO Songyee Yoon
Songyee Yoon
40 Ratings
  1. Helpful (10)

    "Political - Unorganized - Untalented"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aliso Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The usual perks you get when you work in the game industry: It's acceptable to play games (within reason), free snacks/culture related events every once in a while.

    Cons

    It's difficult to quantify how bad the company is. Leadership has neglected nearly every single area of the company. Career opportunities are pretty much 0 unless you are extremely political or are able to talk your way up. This is due to the fact that management/leadership is completely clueless of the needs of each department and what it requires to function properly. I've seen people with less than a few years in... their discipline rise all the way to the top, while the qualified candidates who are honest and promote integrity are ignored. According to the company surveys, over 50% of the employees are looking for other jobs. I'd even put management in the same basket. As a result, you get a lot of people in leadership with the "I'm leaving soon, so it doesn't matter" attitude. I'd like to think that this is the reason why most in management ignore the company issues, but I won't rule out incompetence either. On the topic of employee surveys, what ever happened to those? The company got decimated with bad internal reviews, but took no steps to fix anything tangible within the company. As I briefly mentioned politics, you'll see plenty of professional bus throwers here. With no real leadership at the company, it makes sense that people are allowed to get away with it. Especially when, as I mentioned, people are rewarded for it. If you could lie about your experience, get away with it and get promoted, why wouldn't you? That being said, there are a few good people mixed throughout. What about working for a place where the exec group doesn't understand it's own products? Most don't even possess prerequisite or elementary knowledge of the industry.

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    Advice to Management

    Stop re-organizing the bottom when you need to be re-organizing the top. As they always say "crap flows downhill!" It certainly does here, and it's the direct cause of 90% of the issues at this company. You need to start rewarding employees who have actual experience in their field, and put a stop to the talk-your-way-up policies. Remove everyone who you put up at the top with dishonest politics, and replace them... with the employees who have actual integrity.

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    NCSOFT2019-01-19
  2. Helpful (10)

    "Completely dysfunctional organization"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT

    Pros

    The people you work with are nice.

    Cons

    Completely dysfunctional organization, the upper management is so bad that the CEO actively dislikes video games and doesn’t play them or know what they’re looking at. Don’t bother with a game pitch unless it’s an esoteric non-game. The company has no green light process for new titles and if it did the upper management wouldn’t know what they’re looking at. They attempted a re-org that was made company wide... knowledge but still wasn’t decided after 8-months which left the entire organization in a state of paralysis. Like getting promoted? Not here. The VP of HR told everyone in an all hands meeting that they don’t promote based on merit (so don’t bother doing a good job), they promote on need only, whatever that is? At any time half of the company is actively applying for new jobs. Managers leave and their job rec is just closed, so was that manager not needed or is the company now even more handicapped? Morale is through the floor. Giving the employees an Xbox One X as a morale boost wasn’t even pulled off correctly when $250 was taken off the next paycheck to cover taxes. Everything just fails spectacularly at NCSOFT, even with good intentions. It’s truly the bad place.

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    Advice to Management

    Replace yourselves with anyone who isn’t you, or more specifically anyone who likes and actively plays video games and understands them. Break away from KR funding. Establish core principles that are real, not just corporate buzzwords.

    NCSOFT2019-01-08
  3. Helpful (2)

    "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time

    Pros

    Great experience and opportunity. Great coworkers.

    Cons

    Management can lack transparency when communicating with employees

    NCSOFT2018-10-31
  4. Helpful (6)

    "Unorganized, Political, New Ideas Not Welcome"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Engineer in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Decent Salaries - Decent Benefits

    Cons

    - DO NOT APPLY to work here if not politically aligned with far left ideals, as with most things these days with twitter and Facebook there is race baiting and various other conversations that go on here. - Progressive Far Left work Environment, if you dont align with the far left be prepared to brought into hr for everything little thing you may say that someone disagrees with. - False Professional atmosphere,... there is alot of cussing and shaming going on in both chats and in the office, understandably its a game company and there will be some discussions that are not for the office but here its out of hand - Projects keep getting delayed and delayed and delayed due to over promising and the above other reasons do not help

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    Advice to Management

    There was a time when a person could show up to work no matter their background, political position, or race and just do the job, get a handle on these conversations, stop allowing coworkers to shame others while at work. Further more new employees are discouraged here from opening up as they will quickly find out how the current atmosphere is politically charged and that they will be expected to speak only when... spoken to.

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    NCSOFT2018-11-28
  5. "Valuable programming career opportunities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Mobile Developer in Seoul
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at NCSOFT for less than a year

    Pros

    Very friendly but professional working environment.

    Cons

    Took away the distributed PC's on my last day. So, I basically did nothing on my last day.

    NCSOFT2018-10-11
  6. Helpful (7)

    "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aliso Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at NCSOFT full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Some really good games Friendly coworkers Solid base salaries Good medical & dental benefits Sometimes good potential for promotion from within Nice place to live

    Cons

    Confused executives High staff attrition Increasing layoffs Can be very political Lack of trust across teams Success is not defined and goalposts are frequently moved Problems start at the very top

    Advice to Management

    Find a strategy, get aligned, and communicate it with your teams. Engage in an another executive refresh.

    NCSOFT2018-10-15
  7. Helpful (19)

    "No logic, no communication"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aliso Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    This was the best group of people I've ever worked with. Everyone put their heart and soul into each days' work and it really showed. Together we grew and made some amazing things.

    Cons

    Nobody knows what the hell is going on upstairs. Nothing passed down to us made sense. Either management wasn't telling it to us straight, or they simply had no information (I suspect mostly the latter, though don't doubt some of the former). The incredibly talented team at Carbine was put through the wringer over and over to meet expectations that were not clarified. There were 'failures' that were given no... explanation as to why exactly it was perceived as a failure. Where the team achieved great success with the impossible demands over and over, the goons up above looming over the Approve Button wouldn’t be able to find a sofa in their own living room with a map, Siri, and road signs, let alone a great game. The team delivered on EVERYTHING that was asked of them and more. It seems clear as things have been changing that NCSoft is moving into a more publisher-only realm with little interest in putting money into studios to develop their own content. You'll see them scavenging GDC looking for great ideas that have been independently funded that they'll eat up and take credit for. Seller beware, your greenlight process from here on out will just be a series of red lights at intersection after intersection with no one else on the road but you. Look out for the cliff at the end of it. And oh yes, the offboarding fiasco. What an embarrassment. Trying to be 'hip,' the NCSoft's portal webpage is skinned as an RPG experience. After being laid off, you have to go through this circus, which lists your Unemployment Benefits under a category called "Loot," and agreements you have to sign before receiving your severance are called "Quests" you have to complete. A little NCSoft robot mascot comes on screen to seemingly taunt you with a 'thank you' for working there and good luck on your next adventure.

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    Advice to Management

    Communication needs to happen. You keep saying you'll do it, and then it keeps not happening. The Carbine team had no idea at any point what any higher ups thought of the pitches delivered to them. Playing telephone down through the ranks is not actually helpful, contrary to what you might think.

    NCSOFT2018-09-26
  8. Helpful (8)

    "Steer Clear"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Aliso Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Some genuinely great people attempting to make this a functional and rewarding workplace and (before Carbine was closed) make some compelling new games. Competitive-to-high base compensation. Some 'modern tech company' type bonuses like weekly donuts/fruit, company outings, holiday parties, etc. etc. Contract to publish Harmonix' next game could hold some compelling new opportunities for success.... Ability to put in minimal effort and make a decent paycheck.

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    Cons

    The running joke, which may not actually be a joke, is that NCsoft (U.S.) is run at a loss purposely to avoid taxation of the money sent over by the profitable Korean company. It's the only plausible explanation for the bizarre and at times schizophrenic decisions, questions, and demands that are made. Execs are out to lunch. The primary executives running the company don't have a clear direction or intent for... the company. They let clear profit drivers go or take on clear profit-losing projects. Or they read a Newsweek article about Fortnight and then ask why our games don't make billions of dollars. Seriously. Wholly owned subsidiary = licensee nobodies. The entire NCsoft game publishing division are treated like drones. There's little-to-no agency, no chance to improve products, and very little allowed to help adapt products to their market. From what I'm told games are essentially changed only so much as to avoid outright negative backlash, but that's all. There are no developers in the U.S. offices that touch any PC titles, so we just put out whatever they give to us. Although NCsoft in the US is a part of the NCsoft company in Korea, it might as well be a third party licensee. Lack of passion/desire for excellence. If the executive leadership communicates with the employees (which is rare) it doesn't provide any framework for how to be successful, and it sends a signal of being ok with mediocrity. Stringing people along. The CEO of NCsoft U.S. (the wife of the CEO for the Korean HQ) will send an email once every few months with generic platitudes on how they're working to make things better, or how our employee survey results are being taken seriously, but of what little substance those emails have or plans to improve things have all been empty promises. HR projects are stopped after months of development, manager training programs are shelved, and small little blips that give anyone hope that things might actually be improving are just one-time blips or never materialize at all. "Never Ending Change" is one of the core company philosophies. It's also a running joke because it's obviously a bad translation from Korean, but it's a "funny but true" statement. This is a company that doesn't know what it's doing, so it constantly changes hoping it'll find a combination that works. Or maybe it doesn't want to find one! (see Con #1) 401k matching is a joke. They put in a percentage of what you contribute, and don't match your full contribution. The two other studios I've worked at matched up to a percentage (3-4%) of your total pay, here they match a percentage of the percentage you put in. It was funny to get emails celebrating how they raised contribution matching up to 6% of what you've contributed! So if you divert say 1% of your take home which ends up being $100 from each paycheck, they'll put in $6. They don't even match your 1%. It's a percentage of a percentage. Puzzle-piece company. Some leadership is in Austin, some in OC, some in Seattle, some in San Francisco, etc. This is from years of the company moving their HQ from state to state (curious if those moves match with changing state tax laws...) meaning that there's leadership spread all over the country. That leaves entire departments with no direct leadership in their office, and even less of a reason to perform positively in their roles. It's a Korean company. This might be a Pro if you're Korean or used to it, but if you're from the U.S. and are used to working in U.S. studios this can be a big shock. Koreans run businesses very differently, and in my experience it leads to a lack of clarity or direction. Title and hierarchy are everything. If you don't have a specific job title there are levels of people that won't even speak with you. Koreans don't say "no", it's considered rude, so communication issues are constant and can lead to months of wasted time and effort. Saving face (chaemyeon) is everything. Many conversations are "pretend" because they are being polite or saving face. What you do is not as important as what you appear to be doing. Lack of direction for game production. A CDO was brought in to help right the ship in relation to Carbine and the San Mateo mobile studio, but the result was Carbine was closed, we were all let go, and San Mateo still hasn't actually launched a mobile title after 3+ years. The smart people there have already left or are leaving real soon. I think most employees are hoping for a success, but no one expects one because no one has clear direction of how to achieve one.

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    Advice to Management

    I don't believe there's any changes made that could realistically improve this company. It will continue to be a profit loss for the HQ office, and I believe that may be the intent.

    NCSOFT2018-10-31
  9. Helpful (19)

    "Most dysfunctional game company in the industry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Publishing in Aliso Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at NCSOFT full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Knowledgeable co-workers Good benefits Flexible working hours Competitive salary Get to work in the game industry

    Cons

    Awful leadership. 3 words can describe it: JUST PLAIN AWFUL The CEO surrounds herself with Yes-Men and never emerges from her Ivory Tower. Management will routinely lie to you HR will force managers to "re-calibrate down" employee reviews during the annual performance review period because "there are too many 4's and 5's" The bonus program is horrible. It's quite laughable. The CEO lives within her own echo... chamber The products are all old, live MMO games with no roadmap schedule for new, cutting edge releases. Korea runs the show; you will do and implement what they tell you to do. To make matters worse, most of the best Koreans at HQ have left the company already, so you are left with the fodder. Work isn't particularly challenging, so there's lots of time to goof off, watch Netflix, or play other people's games. The mobile team in San Mateo is beyond horrible. They are going on 4 years now and have never released even 1 mobile game.

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    Advice to Management

    Even Obi-Wan couldn't save this crew. There's no hope.

    NCSOFT2018-09-19
  10. "Great Company"

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

    I have been working at NCSOFT full-time

    Pros

    Awesome benefits and fun culture!

    Cons

    None at this time.

    NCSOFT2018-09-24
Found 137 reviews