Big Fish Games

www.bigfishgames.com

Big Fish Games Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
76 Reviews
3.2
76 Reviews
Rating Trends

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Big Fish Games President & CEO Paul Thelen
Paul Thelen
44 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • great work life balance, fun to be part of the shifting game industry (in 9 reviews)

  • Friendly employees and causal work environment make it a fun place to work (in 8 reviews)


Cons
  • However, I found that there was a consistent hiring of C-level employees (in 4 reviews)

  • Salaries offered are below industry average for the game industry (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great company with sane, caring management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Intelligence Engineer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Business Intelligence Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The company values are fantastic, and they truly care about their employees. I have had lots of opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

    Cons

    Honestly, the best job I've ever had, so no cons for me.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Startup feel, opportunity to meaningfully contribute

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work life balance is better than any company I've ever worked for. The people are fantastic.

    Cons

    There are challenges around scaling our workforce. Not every team has grown into their roles and it affects the workflow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Big Fish Games Oakland or: How I Learned To Stop Loving My Job and Start Worrying

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    - Some very friendly people who will make you feel like one of the gang.
    - Great office views.
    - You get paid to work here.

    Cons

    - Leadership at the Oakland studio is essentially non-existent. Managers are forced to run things on their own terms and mostly disconnected from other managers. Minimal guidance is the norm, which is just complicated by the fact that there is nearly no communication between the different departments.
    - The studio does not have a solid production process. If you like your job to be challenging for all the right reasons, this is not the place for you. The challenges and frustration are all very easily avoided and are mostly due to a mixture of general incompetence, lack of communication between people who sit near/next to each other, or the extremely flimsy studio release process.
    - Office politics out the wazoo. If you like the mystery and backstabbing of Game of Thrones, you're gonna love working in the Oakland office. Gossip, rumors, swirls of he-said-she-said. Blame games, whining about other departments, and friends hiring friends. Each day is a struggle to make progress in both your work and with your career. I've never felt as bullied by a studio as I have working here.
    - Morale is at an all time low. It's masked mostly, but once you start talking to someone 1 on 1, they can't help but mention how down everyone seems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire leadership who will actually lead and who actually cares about and connects with their employees. I'm not saying you have to be best friends with everyone, just be familiar. When an employee comes to you and says that they're unhappy and thinking of looking for a new job unless some things change, don't just say "Okay, it was nice working with you." and let them walk out. Instead, try engaging. Try understanding the feelings of your employees. Try walking around and getting to know the people who work for you.

    Focus on people and culture, not just revenue. Come out of your cave and talk to artists about what they're working on. Ask an engineer how their weekend was and mean it. Visit the QA department and ask for some hands on time with the game. Leave your tower every once in a while and connect with the studio you're trying to run.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    A selfish company for selfish employees (management)

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Eager to be friends with you and to show you how awesome their perks are--friendly coworkers. New office in Oakland has great amenities.

    Cons

    If you don't like to party hard and/or late, you quickly get on a list of people they will wait for to leave--as that is their culture. They rarely fire anyone, as they find it easier to manage by neglect. This affects the whole team and product as there are many people who are only there because they are pretty sure they won't get fired and it's easy to just sit around and wait it out if it does happen. Management at the Oakland office are all new to management and it shows when anything difficult arrises.

    Upper management often take credit for the hard work of others, promise and retract fair bonuses, and promote their friends.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire someone who has experience to replace you and go back to your old position where you and everyone else will be happier.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Can't keep great people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    A lot of free time to catch up on laughing baby videos on YouTube.

    Cons

    This company will never attract smart individuals who are motivated to change an industry. Politics are ridiculous. Leadership is misaligned. There is a lack of management who can actually help employees grow verses dictating to further climb up the ladder. Extremely high turnaround. The least transparent company you could join.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    True leaders actually lead. Hire some management that actually cares enough to inspire and empathize with their teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    A company I trusted

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Customer Service Representative in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Big Fish Games

    Pros

    Free soda, Free coffee, Free goldfish crackers.

    Cons

    Not enough training. They held weekly meetings which were pointless. Way too much time was spent doing activities that didn't involve working or learning about the job. They give you a false sense of job security. Contract was ended right before the holidays. No warning was given not even a indication that my contract would end suddenly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees. If you want your employees to succeed at their jobs then take the time to train them better. Don't expect great things from people if you haven't offered them guidance. Spend less time throwing parties and spend more time on visiting with your employees and addressing their needs. They need to take a good hard look at how they treat their contracted employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time

    Pros

    Good environment, great work/life balance , smart people

    Cons

    Could use a female on the C Level

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Warning its a disaster.

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    * Free pop?
    * The location is nice.
    * Met some nice people.
    * Its mildly amusing watching the poorly designed infrastructure meltdown weekly.
    * I now know what not to look for in a company.

    Cons

    * Heavy amounts of technical debt in source code.
    * Poorly managed infrastructure hardware.
    * No employee accountability, and a ridiculous amount of office politics.

    Its a disaster here...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay at this company, don't change a thing. Seattle needs a tech sieve to catch the turds.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    It's been better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Big Fish Games

    Pros

    Really good work and life balance

    Cons

    Compensation is poor
    Training is under-par
    Culture has gone downhill lately

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get to know your employees again. I feel like it's been a long time since you actually seemed to care about the little fishies in the pond. Seems to me you're more concerned about the bottom line then the people that get you to that point. Maybe you've just gotten too big or something else. I don't know.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunities!

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great work environment, the employees are what make the company a great place to work, great benefits- lots of paid vacation

    Cons

    leadership can be frustrating at times, company values, a bit disorganized

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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