Kabam

  www.kabam.com
  www.kabam.com
There are newer employer reviews for Kabam

16 people found this helpful  

What happened to this place?

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

I have been working at Kabam full-time (more than 3 years)

Pros

Kabam has a great work/life balance across most departments that I've worked with: engineering, marketing, art, product, etc. The rank & file employees are friendly, laid back and people are always willing to help. The pay used to be pretty far under market but the company has been fairly aggressive in the last 6-12 months to try to correct for this. Compared to other top gaming companies, the pay vs lifestyle is very favorable. Lastly, the perks are really nice: lunches and dinners provided (if you stay late enough), and lots of snacks/drinks readily available.

Cons

It's sad to say, but the biggest con to working at Kabam is 100% the executive leadership. When I refer to the leadership, I am really referring to the President, who is in charge of the day-to-day. The CEO is a nice guy but he has gotten less and less involved over the years - to the point where most of his time is now external facing, preparing for a potential IPO, talking to investors / board members, etc.

The president of the company has been a one man wrecking crew for the past several months. I've lost count of how many well-respected Vice Presidents, Directors and other high ranking employees have either left or been laid off due to the toxic politicking going on here. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that just about every single one of these employees would point out the same exact things about this "company leader". The problems are that A) he's extremely short sighted, B) it's either his way or the high way, C) he lavishly wastes company resources on his personal travel & entertainment budget and D) he is a terrible people manager.

Extremely short sighted. The company leadership, led by the President, have constantly squeezed the life out of new pipeline projects by ensuring all new games conform to the standards of either the current top grossing game(s) in the market or to the whims of his supposed product leadership experience (of which he has none). Teams of artists, engineers and PMs will work for several months concocting a new title and in the 11th hour the President will show up with a bunch of BS theories about how these games should be designed because only he knows best. All the previous work gets thrown out and what you end up with is a patchwork quilt of crappy game mechanics and monetization practices. Management also piles unrealistic revenue goals on top of all the game teams to the point where the "customer focus" is now, "how do we rip off our top players?". I can't remember how many times management has directed teams to use aggressive promotions and gimmicky sales (cutting to the bone) just to make quarterly revenue goals (hey our business has been damaged, but we're going to Vegas for meeting goal!). Then they panic when the beginning of the next quarter/half underperforms, and the whole cycle repeats itself. Customer complaints are not taken seriously unless that person has spent thousands of dollars with the company.

His way or the high way. Self-explanatory, but let's just say I've witnessed several evolutions of: 1) some employee rises through the ranks, 2) employee gains the President's favor and becomes one of "his guys", 3) employee is given more responsibility to lead a department or project, 4) department or project either underperforms, or is not led in the style that the President likes 5) employee is passive-aggressively moved further away from priority projects, 6) employee either quits or gets laid off as they're no longer working on core products. The executive in question never has the guts to look somebody in the eye and communicate honestly. Instead, rumors start swirling about how someone has fallen out of favor, and by that point all is lost.

Lavishly wastes company resources. Again, self-explanatory. It's a poorly kept secret around the office that the CFO has had to confront the President on many occasions for his 6 figure + expense account. This guy then has the audacity to post pictures of his international bottle service excursions, 1st class flying experiences and 5 star hotel stays on his facebook account while trying to lecture the rest of the company about how we need to conserve budget and control expenses.

Terrible people manager. It's already been mentioned that a whole slew of well respected employees have left the company as a direct result of their interactions with this person. It's also been mentioned that he has "his guys" who pretty much get all the perks you'd imagine (off-cycle pay & title raises, choice of best projects, impromptu bonuses etc) while others who are just as good but not as well known (by him) are continually passed over for all of these benefits. His communication style is the worst - most leaders have an open door policy, this guy says only to email him. Ok, maybe understandable, but why does he have to be so smug & passive aggressive in his emails? This is a universally shared view across the company. But in his own words, "that's just how he rolls".

I think everything mentioned above captures the essence of what is wrong with the company. Why hasn't anything been done about it? For better or worse, Kabam, until recently, has historically grown at a decent clip. The board & CEO automatically attribute all of this success to the President. Did it ever occur to these decision-makers that the hundreds of employees working under the 1-2 main executives might have something to do with your success? At one point, I believe the President might have been the right guy for his position (2-3 years ago) but it's clear to anybody working here now that he has 1,000% lost the faith of the employee base.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

My advice to the CEO: either get involved with the company again or find a new leader who can repair the culture. Don't just show up to random town hall meetings, talk through the bullet points of Kabam's mission statement and then go unseen until the next meeting. If you want to be a multi-billion dollar company, then make the tough decisions and fix the culture one executive at a time. This used to be a great place that I'd be proud to talk about but now the best I can feign is indifference when people ask about the company.

Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

83 Other Employee Reviews for Kabam (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    If you are a builder of new things this is the place for you.

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

    I have been working at Kabam full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Culture genuinely supports new ideas and trying new concepts as long as you can show why something needs to happen and track the success. Great benefits, stock, catered lunch, location, and easy commute from the east bay.

    Cons

    For a company of 800 people in 6 different countries it is amazing that a lot of corporate services are not as organized or scaled as you would think. Probably due to transition from start-up to more stable, longer-term goals, but still can be frustrating when trying to organize a cross business project.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Direction of company goals is clear when it comes to revenue growth, but it would be great to see more commitment to growth of quality and technology. If you look at our portfolio of games it does show growth on this level, but its not talked about as much as money. You would get a lot further motivating employees by focusing on our commitments to level up product quality instead of always pointing to monetization efforts.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 6 people found this helpful  

    Not in a million years did I ever think it would be this bad

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

    I have been working at Kabam full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Benefits, free lunch, location, beer on tap

    Cons

    1. Management: They are only concerned about what is best for them. They constantly say they care about employees, but screw them when given the opportunity. You are told you can speak your mind, then when you do, you find yourself in the next round of layoffs or restructuring which happens every 6 months. 2. Politics: If you are not part of the in crowd, then you are lied to and treated poorly. 3. Leadership: Two members of the executive team are related which is a conflict of interest. 4. Corruption: Given the politics of the leadership team, there are cover ups to rank and file employees. Important topics are swept under the rug and you are told to not double cross leadership for fear of being let go. 5. IPO track-while the company is doing well, the company protects the poorest performers because they are friends with leadership. 6. HR: The team has restructured so many time employees see it as a running joke. Employees are afraid to approach HR as there is no trust. Last year several employees just dissappeared during a round of layoffs. Employees were told nothing. Just poof and gone--just like everyone else.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure what to say here. I couldn't in good conscious say anyone should succumb themselves to such deceit, lies, bribery and cover ups. As soon as I find another job, I am out of here. Just not worth the constant fear of being next in the next restructure. God help this company and those who would ever buy them in an IPO. They will lose all of their money.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Kabam

Work at Kabam? Share Your Experiences

Kabam

 
Click to Rate
or

Your response will be removed from the review – this cannot be undone.