Playfirst Reviews

Updated June 20, 2014
Updated June 20, 2014
21 Reviews
3.3
21 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Marco DeMiroz
10 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great workers, terrible management

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

    I worked at Playfirst

    Pros

    The workers are the greatest asset at Playfirst, aside from their Diner Dash series. People are smart, kind, and friendly.

    Cons

    The people steering the ship don't know what they're doing. They don't have a background in video games (or in tech for that matter) and have repeatedly made bad business decisions that cost people their jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop hiding your decisions, strategy, and inadequacies from the people that you depend on--your employees. Stop treating them like children--always assuming that you know what's best and that they need to be protected from the harsh reality of business. If you are more open and transparent they will surprise you with their trust, dedication, and insight.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Outstanding workplace if your are lucky

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

    I worked at Playfirst full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    I was one of the lucky ones who could get a chance to work with the best minds. I learned tremendously on new technology stacks such AWS, big data and so on.

    Marco truly cares about the success of the team.

    Free Breakfast every day
    Free Snacks/Drinks

    Overall, a great journey for me.

    Best technology stack.
    Melissa is a rockstar!!

    Cons

    Usual politics among the team(blame game between teams) that could have been easily avoided.
    Commute (I live in South bay)
    Attrition which is usual in gaming industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please put a tight wrap on unnecessary politics and keep up the good work.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Left scars.

    • 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 for less than a year

    Pros

    Snacks, co-workers, good benefits, nice location.

    Cons

    Lack of resources, bad management, lack of communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your managers on how to BE managers. It was truly the worst management experience I've ever had. I've worked with many people and personalities and have been very successful. How is it that one place can hurt so many people after promising to be fair?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    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
  6.  

    Great company with lots of visibility and personal/professional growth opportunities.

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

    I have been working at Playfirst full-time

    Pros

    High visibility.
    Collaborative environment.
    Casual environment with continual feedback and response.
    A high amount of transparency from the top down.
    Teams are very cohesive.
    The people here are SMART!!
    Catered breakfast everyday, and always a variety of fun company events.

    Cons

    Decisions can be made quickly, often causing a lot of head spin, but ultimately all decisions are made for the best.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sometimes move a little slower with transitions.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 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
  8.  

    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 for 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
  9.  

    I've been working for PlayFirst for a few years and really enjoying it.

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

    I have been working at Playfirst

    Pros

    The company has some really smart people. Some of the recent hires bring a lot of industry experience. The tech we work on is cutting edge. We've really built up a lot of experience in the mobile sector and are ahead of the current pack of mobile developers in a lot of ways.

    Cons

    As with others in the industry the going can get tough at times. Some projects are successful, others are not.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to the advice of those in the game pods. Combined they have a huge amount of industry experience. Good management is a combination of listening to others along with decisive decision making.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    super super company!

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

    I have been working at Playfirst full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    it is rare that you get so many top smart folks together that get along and make great teams
    fun positive happy place with fantastic benefits
    really a nice balanced workplace for minorities and women

    Cons

    there isn't a con to share at this point, maybe if you don't have experience with small high growth profitable companies in the City -- that might put an incoming employee in a position where they have a bit to learn -- there is nothing PlayFirst specific to list in this column

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    keep it going, your efforts to date are appreciated by the staff, Marco is a knock your socks off CEO!! a top notch human being, excellent manager with CFO chops at the core of his skill set

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Change happens on a whim, depending on how management feels that day.

    • 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

    The people that handle the day to day projects are really smart and friendly. There are some extremely talented engineers, artists, designers, product managers, and producers; they just need to be allowed to do their job.

    Cons

    Upper management makes incredibly rash decisions on a whim. It leads to people being fearful for their jobs if they say something that may be out of line that day, depending on what mood management is in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Upper management should trust their employees instead of getting offended when they ask for clarification on decisions. Staff know when you are trying to cover up for low morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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