GREE International Reviews

Updated June 21, 2015
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3.4
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GREE International President Yoshikazu Tanaka
Yoshikazu Tanaka
10 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

37 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 (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


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  5. 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!


  6. 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!


  7. GREE is GREE(at)!

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

    I have been working at GREE International as a contractor (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    This is by far the best company I have ever worked for. If you ask anyone why they love GREE, it is because of the people. Everyone is super chill, and extremely open to helping create a safe learning environment. I feel like I am extremely valued for my skills, and for my time. If GREE didn't have any perks (which are some pretty sweet perks), I would still be happily working away with their diverse group of super weird & super unique group of individuals.

    Cons

    The strong possibility of gaining the GREE 25 (25 lbs of delicious goodness)!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


  8. 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.


  9. Helpful (4)

    Past Its Prime

    • 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 a year)

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

    Pros

    Nice benefits, including free lunch and dinner, great snack selection, on-site and off-site celebrations
    Spacious, modern office space
    Less scrutiny over overall expenses than before

    Cons

    Worst con is the majority of "management" -- SVPs and above -- who exhibit little leadership and are best at just spending money traveling to different conferences and working light hours, with no measurable business results
    Almost no equity upside -- not real stock, and the Japanese parent company's stock is at all-time lows anyway
    Little product innovation -- coasting on years-old games and just starting development on our new "save the company" game (nearly a year since new leadership arrived, after demotion at previous game company), since our last "next-gen" game didn't make it out of beta
    Functional heads who are: completely ineffective and just gossipy, overly political and doing little work, or simply toxic/rude and so insecure it's unbearable
    Lots of attrition -- nearly all of the product team who built successful games are gone

    Advice to Management

    Think about whether certain "leaders" add any value (let alone do any actual work) and don't just let them hire whomever they want because they're your buddy from the industry; then, when you realize they aren't actually doing anything, start cleaning house starting with corporate business development


  10. Great company with awesome benefits

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

    I worked at GREE International full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Salary, lunches and perks like cell phone expense are really good. Always an opportunity to own your own project which is a plus in my field

    Cons

    expectation is high and so is the competition within your group for better projects.

    Advice to Management

    Streamline the chain of command... Gets a little muddled sometimes.


  11. Helpful (7)

    Struggling company full of discontent

    • 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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits and perks. Awesome colleagues.

    Cons

    Ridiculous politics, uninspiring upper management, and widespread negative sentiment about the state and direction of the company. A lot of top people are leaving as a result.



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