GREE International Reviews

Updated June 21, 2015
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3.2
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
GREE International President Yoshikazu Tanaka
Yoshikazu Tanaka
20 Ratings

Pros
  • Good benefits ( Cover transportation and meals) (in 5 reviews)

  • Extremely smart people - everyone here is bright (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Work-life balance is unsatisfying, usually work late to 10:pm at night (in 5 reviews)

  • Lack of communication between upper management and employees (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

71 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Very good work environment

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

    I have been working at GREE International full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Flexible working hours
    Passionate people
    Flat organization

    Cons

    Desperatly keeping top talented engineers


  2. Helpful (3)

    Not making the kind of software I wanted to make

    Former Employee - Senior Software Development in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Development in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at GREE International

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    A team of talented people.

    Cons

    Poor management. Focus on hiring over work to actually do. And produces games that I am embarrassed exist.

    Advice to Management

    Make software your developers actually believe in.


  3. Helpful (1)

    GREE International Inc.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at GREE International

    Pros

    Smart and passionate people work at GREE International. The company attempts to offer a wide variety of of work/life balance options, which is a plus for job seekers in the ever-changing SF Bay Area marketplace.

    Cons

    With a handful of surprisingly durable "elder" mobile games on both iOS and Android platforms, GREE International struggles to find ways to leverage its talent in order to bring new, fresh, durable titles to market.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (2)

    Nice perks but can feel a bit stale.

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

    I have been working at GREE International full-time (More than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    The perks are great like catered lunches, a stocked snack kitchen and $400 per year for a mobile device.

    Cons

    The place can feel a bit stale at times and the "fun" can be a bit corporate and contrived. The games feel a little bit shallow, and are driven by profit and not so much creativity or fun.

    Advice to Management

    Get the hack-athon going again it was fun and inspirational, the company lost a little spirit when that was canceled.


  6. Helpful (3)

    Treats employees great, ho-hum 2D games

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

    I worked at GREE International full-time

    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The main pros are the salary and benefits are great. Free food, transportation and gym reimbursements, good location in SOMA near Caltrain, regular morale events. Free Japanese lessions, $400 reiumbursement every year to buy a new phone. The people are really nice to work with. This made up for the cons

    Cons

    Company makes 2D mobile games in the RTS/RPG genre exclusively. (they just cancelled their first attempt at a 3D game). From a client-engineering standpoint, the style of games made are archaic relative to the console world I came from, and descend more from the flash/web/facebook world. If you come from the console gaming world, you are going to be disappointed in the lack of sophistication of some of the tech systems.

    CEO's goal seems to be to emulate Supercell and MachineZone's 2D games as closely as possible, and designers are encouraged to target the 0.1% of users who don't have a problem dropping $100 on a mobile game, while making such other considerations such as 'fun' secondary. (To be fair, I think this an industry-wide issue not specific to this company). So don't expect to work on 'innovative' game ideas here, unless 'innovative' means innovative ways to extract $$ from 'whale' users.

    If none of this bothers you, I think this can be a good job for someone who just enjoys working on engineering and design details without thinking too much about the big picture. The company does treat you well.

    The future is hazy right now, the company has gone through a round of layoffs in 2015 as revenue shrinks. I suspect the CEO may be looking to move on to one of these richer companies too.

    Advice to Management

    find a way to let more creativity into the game designs


  7. Engineering Manager

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

    I have been working at GREE International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Good environment in the city, we have a lot of freedom to try new things.
    The people are really nice.
    Great percs, catering lunch, dinner, yoga etc...

    Cons

    Not so many new projects

    Advice to Management

    Bring back Hackathon


  8. Best of Both Worlds (Work/Life)

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

    I have been working at GREE International full-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Super smart people, sharp new leadership with a very low tolerance for office politics, great development teams building really cool mobile games, tons of great food (lunch & dinner) with fully stocked kitchens filled with goodies. Great benefits.
    You actually WANT to spend time with your colleagues after work!

    Cons

    Honkin long building! Getting from one meeting to another takes some serious strides, but burns the calories from all the food that's available.

    Advice to Management

    Keep driving home your vision of a new and improved GREE! I can see it changing for the better daily!


  9. anonymous

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

    I have been working at GREE International

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people, great products, great pay, great perks (free lunch, dinner, snacks (including Pocky), ice cream, Jamba Juice and Boba Guys ordered in, yoga, Japanese language lessons, etc)! Amazing family feeling here with lots of collaboration, support, and room to grow. They even have an iPad asking for meal feedback and always wanting to improve and make sure employees are happy. I also love that they have an art gallery where they display personal work from the artists. I really respect this.

    Cons

    Seems like they've been going through a restructuring which has shaken some people up. Near the ballpark which gets crazy on game nights.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure employees stay happy and always have room to grow!


  10. Stable but somewhat boring

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

    I worked at GREE International

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    + Content and Development pipeline is generally very well managed/planned out
    + Employees are treated very well
    + Free Lunch/Dinner/Snacks
    + Frequent Company Outings
    + Fairly frequent reviews, with opportunity for raises/bonuses

    Cons

    - Projects are fairly boring
    - Studio relies too heavily on aging games to make a large portion of revenue
    - Most employees will be doing the exact same sort of tasks day in and day out which leads to tedium and fatigue
    - Some employees in leadership positions have ego problems


  11. Helpful (23)

    Milking a Dying Cow, Run by a Megalomaniac

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

    I worked at GREE International full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Great offices
    - Lunch every day, dinner every night except for Fridays
    - $250/month transportation stipend
    - $400/year device reimbursement
    - 2% 401k matching
    - Well stocked kitchen and snacks
    - Good monthly parties and quarterly off-sites
    - Good pay (but no equity piece)

    Cons

    The last 3 reviews seem so glaringly fake that I felt compelled to write about the truth of the matter.

    GREE International is a company that is milking the last of it's cash cows. The company has done fairly well in the last 3-4 years in large part due to its $210M acquisition of Funzio. Funzio created a portfolio of addictive and profitable games that have been the majority of revenue but that is now beginning to decline rapidly as these games are really starting to show their age. User retention is falling and new user acquisition has been an uphill struggle for the last couple of years.

    The people who made these successful games are also all nearly gone. The 4 founders of Funzio left nearly a year ago and there has been a steady exodus of Funzio employees as their options have vested. Product pipeline is soft at best and there have been numerous delays for upcoming games. Several unreleased games were simply re-skins that crashed and burned during beta and never saw the light of day.

    Product portfolio isn't great but company culture, especially at the top, is even worse. A recent reorganization has brought in a megalomaniac leader (search Kabam's review "What happened to this place?") who attempts to inspire but instead micromanages and drives fear throughout the organization. Decisions are made and changed with little to no warning with subordinates taking the fall while leadership blames and points fingers, despite the fact that subordinates did exactly what was asked. The other VPs are not much better. What many of them do on a day-to-day basis is a mystery to most people and most rank and file employees look at them with disdain.

    Promotions are given to those who pander to the execs the most, not to those who do the best work. This results in managers who often have an over-inflated sense of self worth and are completely clueless about the division/product they now run. The best skill you can have to succeed in this company is not product management, analytical reasoning, or design but rather how well you can navigate a treacherous corporate culture.

    Due to the lack of new games and the dependence on antiquated ones, the company is now at a point where revenue is monitored on a day-by-day basis and any sort of deviation below target is dealt with a scathing postmortem meeting and usually solved with an aggressive sale shortly thereafter. This is the start of a vicious downward cycle as revenue typically plummets post-sale which is then made up by another (you guessed it) sale. Players aren't stupid and end up buying only during sale periods which creates an incredibly spiky revenue profile and increasingly difficult to hit monthly targets. Because of the monthly pressures to meet revenue targets, product development is stifled as there is no breathing room to try new and innovative features; only optimize existing ones.

    Many people who are still working there are looking for a way out and the ones who are not are either new hires or content to ride the gravy train to the bitter end.

    As most people know, gaming is very much a hits driven industry. If the next couple of games do not knock it out of the park, it would not be surprising to see GREE have a mass layoff like DeNA (it's neighbor across the courtyard) within the next 9-12 months.

    Advice to Management

    Replace yourselves with a team of professionals who have morale integrity, deep game domain experience, and who genuinely care about employees.

    Allowing fiefdoms to form, playing favorites, not taking responsibility for your actions, and the willingness to throw subordinates under the bus for any reason have created a toxic environment where most employees do not trust or respect you.

    Despite all the negatives, there are still people who work at GREE that believe in making a great game. Get out of their way and let them do it.



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