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Playfirst Reviews

21 Reviews
21 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
(no image)
Marco DeMiroz
10 Ratings

    Good People, Bad Management, Apps Disguised as Games

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Playfirst full-time


    - A lot of smart, talented people reside here.
    - A few well-known IPs that have a lot of potential (though probably not so much in the freemium space).
    - Free snacks?


    - Management has no software development expertise, which would be fine(ish), but for the fact that they try to mask this inexperience with loads of corporate jargon, countless meetings, and a general lack of transparent dealings. They've largely hired good people, but business decisions are primarily driven by fear, not data.
    - Process is routinely shirked due to inconsistent business needs, and the result is chaos. Management has a terminal case of "analysis paralysis."
    - Executives often randomize team members with minor requests or reassign staff at critical points in development without notice.
    - PlayFirst makes GINOS -- "games in name only." They have just enough game-i-ness stapled on to justify the category, but make no mistake; you are not making games, so much as making an uninspired spate of middleware-stuffed applications masquerading as games.
    - The company culture is your typical startup-that-grew-too-fast-didn't-plan-or-account-for-scale-now-oh-my-god-what-happened sort of venture. The key difference is that PlayFirst is not a startup, so it has little to no excuse for the bulk of its issues.
    - Morale is frequently low, and management is either unequipped or uninterested in addressing the issue. Employees who levy even constructive complaints have been known to be deemed a "poor culture fit" and summarily terminated without explanation.
    - Management's troubling inexperience and mismanagement of personnel matters has led to a disturbingly high rate of turnover; over just the last 12 months, more than 3 dozen employees have parted ways with the company -- nearly unthinkable for a company of no more than 40.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Hire good people. Get them the tools they need. Trust them. And let them work.
    - It's okay to admit when you don't know something.
    - Also, manager/doer is not a thing.

    Bottom line: Software development is not as hard as PlayFirst makes it look.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO