Valve Ranks First for Most Desired Game Company to Work for

Valve Ranks First for Most Desired Game Company to Work for

Valve Policies

The 2014 IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey listed Valve Software as the number one company developers would like to work for, above their own company.

If you ask the gaming community what companies they'd love to work at, Valve Software earns a high ranking on the list. Well it turns out game developers share the same sentiment, preferring to work with Valve over creating their own company. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) conducted a survey on 2,200 developers and found Valve took the number one slot for the question "What developer/publisher would you most like to work for?"

Valve is popular for its hit games such as the Half Life, Left 4 Dead, and Portal series, and for the Steam platform itself. Valve earned more favor when their employee handbook was posted online and it detailed how employees have the ability to work on their preferred projects, have mobile desks, and it doesn't want its employees overworking themselves. Even in the timeline diagram of their history as a company the last bracket states "What's next? You tell us..."

Here is the top ten list of companies developers want to work at:

1. Valve
2. My own company
3. Activision Blizzard
4. BioWare
5. Ubisoft
6. Current employer
7. Nintendo
8. Naughty Dog
9. Double Fine
10. Bethesda Game Studios

According to a more detailed analysis of the survey, Valve had 12.07% of the votes while "my own company" came in a very close second with 11.79%. It's a stark difference from Activision's and Blizzard's third place ranking of about 5 percent.

Source: GameSpot

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In other news, 5% of developers are masochists. Either that or they're aiming specifically for the Blizzard part of Acti-Blizzard.

How'd Ubisoft get so high? For that matter why the eff is Double Fine near the bottom!

I guess the poll was anonymous, because otherwise anyone who answered anything other than "Current Employer" is sooo fired. x)

Bungie's nowhere to be seen on that list. o.o That's craziness.

It's too bad for Blizzard they are with Activision. That third spot feels wrong.... like 50 shades of wrong.

Nikolaz72:
In other news, 5% of developers are masochists. Either that or they're aiming specifically for the Blizzard part of Acti-Blizzard.

Or you know, perhaps Activision is a nice place to work at? There's a difference between what the fans and community think and what the employee's think. My friend's mother used to work for Activision and she enjoyed it alot (she was the person that managed supplying Australian stores with Activision's games), from an employee's point of view a large successful company like Activison is a desired job as it means you've got job security (as much as you ever can have).

GothmogII:
How'd Ubisoft get so high? For that matter why the eff is Double Fine near the bottom!

Ubisoft actually has a pretty good reputation for communication within the company, and projects like Valiant Hearts suggest there's still room on their dockets for passion projects. They also haven't had any big fallings-out that destroyed internal teams, like Activision, nor major stories of spouses of people who worked there describing themselves as "widows", like EA.

Double Fine may make terrific games, but they're also still going to Kickstarter to fund them. What makes a company good to work for isn't just about the games they make but things like job security and stress. Working as a developer for a company comes with a different shopping list than buying or playing their games.

On that line, Valve is just about perfect- good working environment, financially sound, ability to get projects one feels strongly about into the queue, not having your family forget your name.

Not surprised at the last three, Nintendo seems like a toss up. Kinda scratching my head at Bioware, they're being choked to death by EA's tight leash. Personally, I'd pick ND, Bethsoft, or Obsidian. Sure they pick up pieces and deal with broken tools, but Obsidian does good work.

I'm laughing on the inside, because I know people are going to be oh-so surprised at "OMG, HOW IS MY FAVORITE DEVELOPER NOT ON HERE?". Guys, come on :P People like Acti-Blizz and Ubisoft are up there because they probably have stability and are big enough to have good workplaces. I doubt that many triple-A games house 100% staff full of quirky-creative-Ican'tstayseatedwithoutmakinganindiegame developers, they wouldn't work otherwise (obviously no offense meant to those types of people, I just doubt it's entirely feasible xP) Valve is probably a stand-out because their development process is so completely out there in comparison to most standard work-places.

You know most of those voters for Valve just want to work there so they can find out what Valve is actually making these days. :-P

Pros: those who work on anything with a 3 in the title don't have to turn in any work.

Cons: death threats from people angry about the lack of 3s from your lazy coworkers.

DaxStrife:
You know most of those voters for Valve just want to work there so they can find out what Valve is actually making these days. :-P

How else do you expect to find Episode 3?

Because you make more money selling other people's games than spending it by making your own.

Nope. Atlus isn't on there. They're an excellent company that I RARELY hear complaints about, if ever.

FalloutJack:
Nope. Atlus isn't on there. They're an excellent company that I RARELY hear complaints about, if ever.

Think they mean the American side of "The Most Desired Game Company to Work for?"

But games companies are supposed to make games right.

If I was able to chose I'd go for CD Project or Flying Wiled Hog. Because I like their philosophers as well as actually making games.

Not really surprised, honestly. In fact the only thing I am surprised about is how small a margin Valve beat "starting your own company".

Well, actually no. There was something else from that survey that surprised me. Surprised me quite a lot, in fact.

Also of note was this portion of the survey:
image

There was also a lot of interesting information on diversity and perceived sexism within the industry; at all levels.

Anyone interested in reading more can find the survey results here:
https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.igda.org/resource/collection/9215B88F-2AA3-4471-B44D-B5D58FF25DC7/IGDA_DSS_2014-Summary_Report.pdf

I think the "current employer" skews the results a little, because for all we know 4% of respondents could be working for rockstar and just liking it there. Also "my own company" seems to be quite high, seeing how sucesfull indies were, so thats nice i guess. Of course the list is dominated by big studios, and no wonder - they got plenty of funding there and structure big enough to have job security and likely nice enviroment.

Ferisar:
I'm laughing on the inside, because I know people are going to be oh-so surprised at "OMG, HOW IS MY FAVORITE DEVELOPER NOT ON HERE?". Guys, come on :P

Paradox made the list. all is well in life.

Vigormortis:

image

What the hell is "PC Online". There is no such platform.

Strazdas:

What the hell is "PC Online". There is no such platform.

I am going to assume that it refers to online only (MMO) and browser based games, but that is only a guess. At the same time, I would definitely like to work at Valve. Probably work with their cutscene department, push the SFM development team for it to be the best that it can be.

Darklupus:

FalloutJack:
Nope. Atlus isn't on there. They're an excellent company that I RARELY hear complaints about, if ever.

Think they mean the American side of "The Most Desired Game Company to Work for?"

I dunno. Shouldn't it count because Atlus has a stateside branch?

What a horrible survey. Someone even replied 'THQ'. I'd like to call the methodology of this survey into question.

Wait, wait, wait... you mean Valve is still making games?

Or is this just developers wanting access to Valve's secrets so they can finally find out if they're actually working on you-know-what?

GothmogII:
How'd Ubisoft get so high?

To be fair to Ubisoft they have gotten better lately. They've started turning on the radiators all the Assassins Creed devs are shackled to so they don't get cold. Plus dev whippings are down 2% :P

Nikolaz72:
In other news, 5% of developers are masochists. Either that or they're aiming specifically for the Blizzard part of Acti-Blizzard.

From the article: "On its own, Activision came in at number 18, representing 0.85% of the company responses sample. Added to Blizzard the percent is 6.11% and still 3rd place."

Casual Shinji:
Wait, wait, wait... you mean Valve is still making games?

Or is this just developers wanting access to Valve's secrets so they can finally find out if they're actually working on you-know-what?

I honestly think Valves revolutionary: "Everyone can do whatever they want" policies that attracts people, but at the same time i also think it's the reason why they never finnish any new games, if anyone can work on whatever they feel like, how are they ever going to accomplish something as huge as a Half-Life 3?

Personally i wouldn't mind working at Double Fine, i like how everyone in the company has a chance to be assigned as a game director, if their idea is strong enough.

You get paid to sit around and do nothing all day?

Yea I guess.

Sounds kinda boring but ok.

Zachary Amaranth:

DaxStrife:
You know most of those voters for Valve just want to work there so they can find out what Valve is actually making these days. :-P

How else do you expect to find Episode 3?

Or Left 4 Dead 3, or Team Fortress 3, or Portal 3... =/

OT: Well, I'm not surprised by this, mostly for the above reason more so than the excuse of "everybody loves Valve and therefore you'll get to make a game of your own much like everybody who worked on Doom".

GothmogII:
How'd Ubisoft get so high? For that matter why the eff is Double Fine near the bottom!

I guess the poll was anonymous, because otherwise anyone who answered anything other than "Current Employer" is sooo fired. x)

When was the last time Ubisoft was in the news over closing a studio or layoffs?

Casual Shinji:
Wait, wait, wait... you mean Valve is still making games?

Or is this just developers wanting access to Valve's secrets so they can finally find out if they're actually working on you-know-what?

I don't get this comment at all. Valve has only 330 employees that's only 50 more than Treyarch which under Activision made 1 game every 2 years (and helped with ports in the intervening year) and now makes 1 game every 3.

Valve has released since 2007 1 game a year

2007 - Portal, Team Fortress 2 and HL Episode 2
2008 - Left 4 Dead
2009 - Left 4 Dead 2
2010 - Alien Swarm
2011 - Portal 2
2012 - Counter Strike: Global Offensive
2013 - Dota 2

Plus porting all their games to Linux and Apple.

Arnoxthe1:
Bungie's nowhere to be seen on that list. o.o That's craziness.

Or game developers are better at spotting overrated games and companies than gamers are.

MrBaskerville:

I honestly think Valves revolutionary: "Everyone can do whatever they want" policies that attracts people, but at the same time i also think it's the reason why they never finnish any new games, if anyone can work on whatever they feel like, how are they ever going to accomplish something as huge as a Half-Life 3?

Thing is, Valve has had this policy in place since the company was founded in 1996. And even with such a policy in place they managed to finish games as big as Half-Life, Half-Life 2, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, etc, etc.

There are any number of reasons why Half-Life 3 hasn't seen the light of day yet. Valve's design teams not wanting to do it or being too lazy to do it aren't among them.

Personally i wouldn't mind working at Double Fine, i like how everyone in the company has a chance to be assigned as a game director, if their idea is strong enough.

I agree. I feel like even being there would be fantastic. Even if it were only to see the inner workings of the teams at Double Fine.

Though, I get the feeling that Tim Schafer would still be the final say in any given design decision; regardless of the idea's merit or acceptance by the rest of the team.

I could be wrong, of course, and would rather believe that I am.

 

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