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4 people found this helpful  

Glu Kirkland Studio

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

I have been working at Glu full-time (more than 5 years)

Pros

- Small teams with many good people
- Relaxed company culture; very tolerant of parents and the chronically ill
- Not too much crunch
- Fun workplace, lots of Nerf battles and cool personalities

Cons

- Mid-level salaries about $12,000 - 15,000 less than comparable positions at more successful competitors
- Management is overwhelmed and constantly changing direction to try to keep up with trends
- Company takes too long to make copies of competitor games, ship has sailed by the time games get released
- Bad decisions and policies from management get handed to teams and can't be argued with
- Company is spread too thin across too many different genres
- First round of projects was unsuccessful, and the pressure to make more money in less time is rapidly growing

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Stop changing direction all the time: pick one or two things and and get good at those before trying to do everything at once.
Hire some people who have made freemium games before and listen to them
Stop meddling and micromanaging teams, you are managers not designers
Trust your teams

Recommends
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

66 Other Employee Reviews for Glu (View Most Recent)

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  1. 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

    I worked at Glu full-time (more than 8 years)

    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
  2. 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

    I worked at Glu

    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
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