Gaia Interactive

  www.gaiainteractive.com
  www.gaiainteractive.com

Gaia Interactive Reviews

Updated November 25, 2014
Updated November 25, 2014
31 Reviews
2.3
31 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Gary Schofield
20 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Gaia was a challenging and changing environment which maintained the interesting workplace.

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive

    Pros

    Free company paid lunches everyday,
    Very relaxing environment. Couches lounges, colorful art all over.

    Cons

    Communication with the groups of people was very challenging. Very introverted individuals work here. Some very snooty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more friendly, energetic and personable! Not just to certain groups you are comfortable with but with everyone. Employees will enjoy interacting with you much easier.

  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Didn't even meet my low expectations

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    * Excellent health care (if they ever decide to offer it to you).
    * Free catered lunches that are generally half decent, plus snacks and coffee in the kitchen.
    * The pet policy has been changed a few times, but dogs were allowed to come in on Fridays. Some dogs are distracting, but for the most part the dogs are well-behaved and served as a nice way to let off a little steam during the stressful workday.
    * Lots of hard working people on the art, ops, admin/customer service, and dev teams.
    * Compensation and salaries seemed fair.

    Cons

    * The company is hemorrhaging good employees. It's getting to the point where few people can stomach working with Gaia anymore, and as a result they're losing key people who have been with the company a long time. I believe they're actively recruiting to replace those who leave, but the issue is that these newcomers generally don't understand the company culture or user expectations, and no effort is made to educate them.
    * The company values are completely out of whack. Gaia is an old website with an old format that lacks any sort of modern flash or appeal. Rather than trying to tweak the formula to stay current or even just relevant in this day and age, upper management relies on tried-and-true dishonest sales tactics to make a quick buck from what few loyal users remain. That money is then funneled into other projects rather than being used to make Gaia Online a website with a viable future. There's nothing wrong with the company trying to expand its portfolio to include other projects, but since Gaia Online is the only thing that actually MAKES money for Gaia Interactive it'd be nice to see some of that cash being reinvested in the site itself.
    * Management does everything in its power to take advantage of its employees. It compensates by offering some of them very good healthcare, but they've recently started hiring people for "probationary" periods and dangling their benefits, promotions, or salaries in front of their faces as a means of strong arming them into working nonstop out of fear that Gaia won't actually fulfill its promises.
    * Clashing egos left and right. Some people get very argumentative and defensive when presented with feedback. That's to be expected, but certain employees take it too far and it becomes borderline unprofessional.
    * Several teams suffer from extremely high pressure from upper management to perform beyond reasonable expectations, while being given few resources or support to actually meet those expectations.
    * Certain teams are highly disorganized and scatterbrained. It's not even entirely their fault, as most teams don't have the resources or staff to complete all the tasks assigned to them. A lot of questions go unanswered, projects and assignments aren't checked, mistakes are frequently made and then never corrected. Communication is poor at best.
    * Management definitely chooses "pets" among the employees and generally promotes them or keeps them around longer than necessary, despite the fact that they seem to be under performing or even redundant.
    * Company spirit seems to be at an all time low. Employees just seem broken, the creative spark is gone. People are there for a paycheck: they go in, they get out. Nothing unique or interesting about Gaia exists anymore. The few employees who still care about Gaia and try to improve the site for its users are generally stymied by upper management, and sidelined into projects that are more likely to make some easy money for the site rather than create actual improvements. Innovation and dedication aren't rewarded unless it directly adds to the company's coffers.
    * The work you do is generally thankless. Don't expect to be acknowledged or rewarded by management for the extra effort you put in, and expect the users to hate it, no matter what you do. It's hard not to get caught up in all the negativity and hostility. The entire company, and its users, seem to be getting more and more toxic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I joined Gaia already well-aware of the company's reputation and issues, but it somehow managed to be even worse than I ever imagined. Gaia is a broken system at this point. It's beyond repair. There's no point in offering any feedback or advice because it will never be acknowledged or used by anyone in management. They don't care. I left Gaia a long time ago and some of this information may be outdated, but I seriously doubt anything has changed all that much. I guess what I'll say is this: Gaia needs money to survive, but that's not all it needs. If management ever realizes that then things might change for the better, but I have serious doubts about the company's longevity at this point.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    Don't know what all the fuss is about

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

    I have been working at Gaia Interactive full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Collaborative environment and smart people. I joined Gaia this year, and was initially hesitant given the reviews on glassdoor. I was not around for the shakeout of 2013, and all I know is that prior to the change in management Gaia was losing money and is now profitable. Regarding perks, there's free catered lunch every day through eat club, snacks in the kitchen, and the best medical plan I've ever seen.

    Cons

    For a smaller company, leadership could be more present and vocal. There are also a few people who subscribe to the mentality of "Well that ain't my job so tough luck." or only do the bare minimum.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More frequent communication to all levels would be beneficial.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Something new and different

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

    I have been working at Gaia Interactive full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Agile, talented people, great leadership, but my favorite part is probably the benefits.

    Cons

    None at the moment. The only problem we have is resources. We're trying to hire aggressively, but the company brand is not well known, so it's tough recruiting at the moment.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Due diligence necessary

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    daily catered lunches, great health insurance, colorful walls in the office are inspiring

    Cons

    High turnover rate with frequent surprise layoffs & resignations, very strict 9:30-5:30 hours, CEO & senior management completely out of touch with a staff of less than 50 people. Sick days are subtracted from vacation time.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Loved working here

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    some of the most talented and most devoted (to our users) employees i've ever worked with.

    Cons

    you have to 'get' the community / users to be really be impactful here. This is not a typical 'internet service'. Gaia succeeds because we built a multi-layered deep experience that is so valuable to users that we can monetize that. It's a complex thing to do well.

    Location is very far south - hard to live in SF and do this job.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    What once was good can be again

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive as an intern

    Pros

    fellow employees
    artist friendly
    content brainstorming
    Friendly environment

    Cons

    New CEO has no connection with user base 30% of user base is gone since he took over
    May make ANIHQ money in short term losing customers daily
    hides real numbers of customer complaints

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start listening to your user base they are your customers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great place to start off.

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Good work-life balance, autonomous, and a great place to learn. The people are what make the company good.

    Cons

    The benefits were poor and the culture as a whole was not great. Also, the company was in a bit of a turning point when I was there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    To hell in a handbasket

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    As an artist, Gaia began for me as an awesome place to work. Ideal, even. Casual atmosphere, plenty of creative freedom, respect for the art team and our work, lots of like-minded coworkers who shared similar tastes and culture. Unfortunately over the course of my time there everything that made it so good was slowly drained.

    I feel like its demise ultimately was a result of growing too big too fast. When I first came on board we were an agile, pioneering team in web gaming, full of talent, skill, and ambition. As the tide rapidly shifted toward social and ultimately mobile gaming, we took way too long to catch up and ultimately paid the price of multiple rounds of layoffs, losing a lot of talent due to frustrated workers leaving from the lack of direction and sluggish pace.

    So ultimately, not many pros left. Though I fondly remember my early years there, I unfortunately now share many sentiments with the other negative reviews here.

    * Health insurance covered almost everything when I was there, though the process to get things paid for was slow and convoluted. Before I left there was talk of reduced coverage.

    * Catered lunches, but the same 5 or 6 places eventually get dull

    Cons

    * New corporate management completely out of touch with the culture upon which Gaia was founded, much less how to maintain basic employee morale

    * Dismal atmosphere.

    * Too much management, not enough focus on merit or actual productivity.

    * Original fanbase upon which the site was based leaving in droves

    * Bad communication between departments - I would often complete work, send it off to complete silence and see it implemented incorrectly weeks later.

    * No room for advancement. Despite my time there, I never had an official position change, only token raises.

    * Strict core hours policy is terrible for creativity

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Listen to your diminishing loyal fanbase. Stop valuing the appearance of a full office over actual productivity. Treat your employees with some respect.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 10 people found this helpful  

    A roller-coaster ride that derailed before the end

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

    I worked at Gaia Interactive full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's a good place to get experience in the gaming/tech industry. Free catered lunches, drinks, and snacks each day were nice. They offered good healthcare including flexible spending accounts. Pets (mainly dogs) are welcome though they were occasionally disruptive when trying to work on something in peace.

    Cons

    The creative, nerf-gun shooting office culture was let go along with many talented individuals during layoffs and a reserved and timid culture lacking in morale or motivation replaced it. The new management killed off all of the worthwhile projects in favor of focusing solely on milking all the money they can from virtual item sales. There isn't much room to move up in the company since new or upper positions were filled from the outside or upper management's prior contacts. The open office layout causes all conversations to carry through the office and prevents you from working without distraction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees and customers

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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