Glu

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5 people found this helpful  

Glu Kirkland - Formerly Griptonite Games

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

Pros

- Lower-level employees are passionate about games and some can be a joy to work with.
 - Small on-site gym with showers and lockers.
 - Decent PC hardware.
 - Bonuses if a product does well.
 - Free coffee, on-site arcade, and well-stocked snack bar.

Cons

- Niccolo M. de Masi, the CEO of Glu Mobile, and the VP that came from the SF HQ use negative reinforcement more than positive.
 - "There is always one throat to choke." is a quote from Niccolo M. de Masi during the company-wide meeting when Griptonite Games was acquired by Glu Mobile. Many Griptonite employees were mortified by this statement.
 - The previous CEO, who was cherished and a friend to many, was dismissed quietly before the acquisition. Management has no idea how to handle delivering negative news.
 - Upper management are a series of friends that promoted each other, rather than a group of individuals that have made their way through talent and performance.
 - There is little to no innovation in the development process. Popular freemium iOS and Facebook games are cloned in a process dubbed the "fast follow". Expect to work on a product that imitates current popular freemium mobile and Facebook apps. Projects rely heavily on trending fads.
 - Dissatisfied employees are promptly terminated and the reason for the firing is fabricated when currently employees inquire about the departure.
 - Sub-par salaries and minimal yearly salary increases (0-2%).
 - You may not get a review due to irresponsible management.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

- Take a lesson from your former Griptonite studio head and treat your employees like people rather than a production line.
 - Listen to feedback -- if it's given. You still have some extremely intelligent and talented employees that deserve your genuine attention.
 - There is an air of fear among your employees and many of which feel they are stuck in their positions due to the down-turned economy and local studio closures. These scared employees use lies as a defense mechanism when you're seeking layoffs or need to free up capital through terminations.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

Other reviews for Glu

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    The honeymoon ended quickly

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

    Pros

    Young-ish environment, but this is fading
    Occasional movie days, where the group is taken out to the movies during work
    Occasional group lunches, where the group is taken out to a nice restaurant
    Mostly light-hearted, generally fun group of people to work with

    Cons

    Most non-managers seem to hate their jobs
    Greed and understaffing combine to burn-out engineers and require pulling all-weekenders
    Grueling schedules put together by those who count money rather than write code
    Very hierarchical structure, management lives in an ivory tower
    Expect to be underpaid by at least 20%
    Company is just breaking even, not profitable
    Games are reskins of one another, little creative thought
    Groupthink rules at meetings
    Instead of writing well designed games, a more hack-it-together approach is used, where patch upon patch is applied
    Not true software development, because no creativity, design, or ingenuity is needed when your job is to fix errors and "get it working"
    Try to trap you in during the interview with a small signing bonus that expires that day

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make it clear what each candidate's role and workday will be like during the interview
    Use a flatter structure, where managers and directors also write code
    With coder-managers, more reasonable deadlines can be set

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    a good place to work in 2009.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager  in  San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in San Mateo, CA

    Pros

    Glu is one of those rare places that "get it" in terms of work/life balance. This culture was important, and it came from the top down. The attitude was; get your job done and work hard. If you need to take some time for something important (e.g. a family issue) then do it, and make sure you get your job done on your own time. It was very liberating and useful, as we were given the right tools (mobile, laptop etc) to check in and make sure we were on track with projects.
    You will work hard at Glu, but its worth it.

    Cons

    Glu is a company that is constantly struggling against the bigger mobile companies, and lacks the necessary push to make it to the top. The reasons are:
    1. Capital. they had a few off quarters and the economy tanked in 2009.
    2. Internal lack of leadership: there was a divide between internal groups as to which direction the company should head in in 2009. Hopefully this has been resolved.
    3. Compensation was about 15% below the rest of the market. When it came time to talk about raises, there never was enough to go around. They would only award bonuses in case of a dire need or drastic change.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Figure out the internal issues and put them to rest.
    2. Take some risks; with new games on different platforms..
    3. Listen to your senior management. They have good experience - let them take a role in shaping where the company should go

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
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