BioWare ULC
BioWare employees winning awards at the holiday party   (Photo credit: JProcktor Photography)

Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)

Here are some of the reasons why BioWare ULC was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018):

  • BioWare's head office features a variety of great amenities for employees, including a lounge with classic arcade games, a 40-person movie theatre, an onsite fitness facility with subsidized membership and a conveniently located pub on the main floor that is often used as a gathering place on Fridays
  • Bioware provides excellent family-friendly benefits, including a subsidy for IVF treatments (to $10,000) as well as an adoption subsidy (to $3,500) -- and also follows-up with maternity leave top-up payments for new moms (to 100% of salary for 12 weeks) and parental leave top-up for new dads and adoptive parents (to 100% of salary for 4 weeks)
  • Employees at BioWare are encouraged to save for the future with matching RSP contributions -- and receive other financial perks such as a share purchase plan, year-end bonuses for some roles and a new employee referral program, from $500 to $5,000 when they successfully recommend a new candidate
BioWare employees from the company's Mass Effect: Andromeda game team in Edmonton, AB

Employer Background

Industry Software Developer
Established in Canada 1995
Publicly traded yes
Parent company Electronic Arts Inc.
Parent company head office Redwood City, CA, United States
Major Canadian hiring locations Edmonton AB
Full-time employees in Canada 317
Part-time employees in Canada 2
Workforce engaged on a contract basis 14.2%
Average age of employees in Canada 35.7
Longest serving employee 20.4 years

Physical Workplace A

Commuter amenities transit subsidies, subsidized parking, secure/sheltered bicycle parking
Workplace features located a short walk to one of the city's most fashionable restaurant and shopping districts, the office features artwork by BioWare employees throughout the building, a popular pub on the main floor (that is often used as a gathering place to end the work week), telecommuter workstations, religious observance room, self-serve lunchroom, outdoor barbecue, outdoor patio, discounts at local restaurants
Employee lounge amenities comfortable seating, music, television, video games, pool table, foosball table, board games, table tennis, classic arcade games and all video gaming platforms, 40-person theatre located on the main floor that employees can use
Snacks available cereal, organic fruit, yogurt, ice cream, popsicles, cheese, bagels, waffles, pastries, muffins
Onsite fitness facility shared use facility, subsidized membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing machines, weights, sauna, shower facilities, squash courts
Other nearby amenities Confederation Leisure Centre, Kinsmen Sports Centre, Millwoods recreation centre, fitness club, Whitemud Creek Park and Ravine, Millcreek Park and Ravine, daycare, restaurants, shopping mall

Work Atmosphere & Communications A

Recent social events holiday party at Christmas, new game release parties, a friends and family summer barbecue, sundae building days, monthly departmental social gatherings, beer events, food truck events, international chocolate day celebration, Halloween costume contest, team dinners
Cultural aspects employee sports teams, casual dress (e.g. jeans) daily, music while working, concierge services available
Employee communications intranet site, company newsletter, traditional/email suggestion box, internal social media

Financial Benefits & Compensation B+

Outside salary surveys participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months
Employee salary reviews individual salaries are reviewed every 6 months
Long-term savings matching RSP
Long-term planning life & disability insurance
Share purchase plan available to all employees yes
Referral bonuses (max) new employee referral bonuses (up to $5,000) for some positions
Signing bonuses available for some positions
Additional financial benefits significant discounts on all EA and BioWare games (console and PC versions)

Health & Family-Friendly Benefits B

Health plan premium as part of the health plan, the employer pays up to 100% of the premiums
Minimum hours worked for coverage 20 hours per week
Waiting period there is no waiting period for coverage
Family coverage option yes
Dental coverage routine, restorative, orthodontics
Traditional coverage (e.g. prescription drugs) yes
Additional coverage employee assistance (EAP) plan, semi-private hospital room, physiotherapy, medical travel insurance, medical equipment and supplies, massage therapy, nutrition planning, podiatrist, osteopathy, chiropractor, alternative coverage (e.g. accupuncture, naturopathy)
Health spending account up to $500 each year
Fitness club subsidy up to $500 each year
In vitro fertilization (IVF) $10,000 per lifetime
Maternity top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 1 week
Parental top-up (mothers) up to 100% of salary for 11 weeks
Parental top-up (fathers) up to 100% of salary for 4 weeks
Adoption top-up up to 100% of salary for 4 weeks
Adoption assistance subsidy up to $3,500 per child
Additional family-friendly benefits extended parental leave to unpaid leave
Alternative work options flexible work hours, shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay), telecommuting

Vacation & Personal Time-Off B

Vacation allowance new employees receive 3 weeks of paid vacation after their first year on the job
Maximum vacation allowance employees move to a maximum of 4 weeks of vacation over their career
Paid holiday shutdown during the Christmas to New Year's holiday break, employees receive an additional 4 days off
Unpaid leave maximum 6 months

Employee Engagement & Performance B+

Employee performance reviews employees receive individual performance reviews every 4 months
Managers receive performance review training yes
360° feedback option as part of the review process, performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work
Confidential employee feedback employees can also provide confidential feedback on their manager's performance
Exit interview exit interview option is available for departing employees
Performance recognition individual performance bonuses, on-the-spot rewards, peer-to-peer recognition awards, long-service awards, annual bonus program based on company performance as well as individual and group performance, share options (also based on individual performance)
Outside survey period outside consultant surveys are held every 12 months

Training & Skills Development B+

Career planning in-house career planning services
In-house training initiatives mentoring, in-house training, paid internships, subsidies for professional accreditation
Related tuition subsidies employer covers up to 100% of tuition per year
Annual tuition maximum employer pays up to $5,000 in tuition subsidies for job-related courses per year

Community Involvement B

Scope of charitable involvement local, national, international
Employee charitable involvement employees are involved in selection of charities
Total number of charities supported last year approximately 4 charitable and community organizations were supported last year
Some of the community organizations supported Stollery Children's Hospital, Youth Emergency Support Systems, Edmonton Food Bank, Canadian Blood Services, Santa's Anonymous
Charitable giving matches employee donations, matches employee volunteer hours with company donations
Community highlight Every year, employees volunteer with the Stollery Children's Hospital Snowflake Gala, setting up a video game lounge for children. The company has also recently introduced a charitable component to many of its staff functions, helping to raise money for charity as part of its lunch and barbecue events.

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