There are newer employer reviews for Playfirst

 

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

Pros

- 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?

Cons

- 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

21 Other Employee Reviews for Playfirst (View Most Recent)

Sort: Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great People, Misguided Management

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

    I worked at Playfirst full-time

    Pros

    Truly kind, talented, intelligent and fun co-workers.
    Free Breakfast every day
    Free Snacks/Drinks
    Good compensation/benefits
    Diner Dash makes money

    Cons

    Non-Creative executives constantly shifting gears/priorities
    Super Reactionary
    Titles/Updates are rushed out before they are finished
    The shadow of Diner Dash looms LARGE, everything you do will be compared to this game, or games from the studio's past. (Games that were developed by other teams quite a while ago)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust your employees more. Less meetings. More Transparency as to the direction of the company and status. Stop with the lay-offs out of thin air, it insta-kills morale.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    There's room for great potential

    • 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 Playfirst full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Co-workers help each other out
    A lot of talent
    Enthusiastic people

    Cons

    High turnover
    Not a lot of transparency for such a small company
    Poor planning around crucial times

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more respectful to employees' personal commitments and more organized when it comes to planning production calendars. Also, avoiding changing key dates last minute will help keep the teams better organized and more on top of things.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
There are newer employer reviews for Playfirst

Work at Playfirst? Share Your Experiences

Playfirst

 
Click to Rate
or

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