Playfirst
3.4 of 5 20 reviews
www.playfirst.com San Francisco, CA 50 to 149 Employees

Playfirst Reviews

Updated Feb 28, 2014

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3.4 20 reviews

                             

67% Approve of the CEO

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Marco DeMiroz

(9 ratings)

61% of employees recommend this company to a friend
20 Employee Reviews
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Outstanding workplace if your are lucky

Data Warehouse Engineer (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

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

ProsI 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!!

ConsUsual 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 Senior ManagementPlease put a tight wrap on unnecessary politics and keep up the good work.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Left scars.

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

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

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

ConsLack of resources, bad management, lack of communication.

Advice to Senior ManagementTrain 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?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Good People, Bad Management, Apps Disguised as Games

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)
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 Senior Management- 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Playfirst full-time

ProsHigh 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.

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

Advice to Senior ManagementSometimes move a little slower with transitions.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Great People, Misguided Management

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Playfirst full-time

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

ConsNon-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 Senior ManagementTrust 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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There's room for great potential

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Playfirst full-time for more than 3 years

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

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

Advice to Senior ManagementBe 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Playfirst

ProsThe 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.

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

Advice to Senior ManagementKeep 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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super super company!

Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

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

Prosit 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

Consthere 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 Senior Managementkeep 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

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Playfirst full-time

ProsThe 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.

ConsUpper 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 Senior ManagementUpper 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.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Not The Place For Exciting Innovations In Mobile Game Design

Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

I worked at Playfirst for more than a year

Pros- There are still some good/talented people there
- You'll learn how not to manage a team
- You'll learn how not to waste your team's time with meetings
- Basically, you'll learn what not to do

Cons- Executive staff is not interested in making games that are actually fun, interesting, and intuitively designed
- Monetization strategies are cute/baffling at best
- "Management" is reactionary and not qualified/fit to critique the mobile games space
- HR is unprofessional and passive aggressive
- Company politics is toxic.

Advice to Senior ManagementI'm sure you all knew what fun, passion, honesty, and creativity meant before you jumped into the games scene right?

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Playfirst reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Playfirst CEO Marco DeMiroz. All 20 reviews posted anonymously by Playfirst employees.