Spil Games

  www.spilgames.com
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Spil Games Reviews

Updated July 9, 2014
Updated July 9, 2014
35 Reviews

2.6
35 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    A great ride!

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

    Pros

    Flexible working hours, cool office, trainings, great canteen and an awesome crew.

    Cons

    Every year a turnaround strategy, tends to have a copycat mindset, lead by technology driven choices. Portal (desktop) audience is in fast decline.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in the game studio with experienced people from companies like King. With the portal business being in rapid decline, this is Spil Games only route to a new success.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Out of touch management. Little morale building. Homogenous and non-existent corporate culture.

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

    Pros

    -Work life balance (most would leave at 5pm - and no one works on weekends).

    Cons

    -Completely idiotic management / clueless about direction
    -Most VP's are 'robots' and trying too hard to hold onto their jobs

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -They wouldn't listen anyhow, so no point.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. 8 people found this helpful  

    If you have a diploma in ego management, work here

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

    Pros

    Very laid back, everything is done really slow (this is a pro for foreign people if you want to retire)
    Great location just outside of Amsterdam
    Good support for foreigners

    Cons

    Zero games knowledge. People are not passionate about games

    Reputation of cloning, building uninspired games, based on "proven concepts". End result is always a compromise.

    Failing is never ok. Taking risks is never ok. Sitting in meetings 8 hours per day is.

    Extreme politics are a daily chore. 10,000 people companies don't have this much politics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't keep people on your management team just because they're too expensive to fire.

    A good employee is the one that does his job well, not the one that tells you greatest stories

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5.  

    Interesting company with potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Hilversum (Netherlands)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hilversum (Netherlands)

    Pros

    Spil Games has great people and a friendly vibe. People generally have a good skillset. Canteen food is usually acceptable. Free snacks. Plenty of training opportunities. Technology is often pushed to its limits.

    Cons

    There are no real career opportunities besides becoming "senior". Spil is "focusing" on 10 things at the same time. Management is too focused on old, rapidly declining business models like the desktop portals. I wonder if proper ROI analysis is ever done. Same goes for regular usability testing with actual target audience, both for the portals and the games. Salary could be a bit better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop looking at the "now" and start innovating. Use a few FTEs to innovate in game platform opportunities that might come out in the future (VR/Google Glass). Keep up with innovation and drop Erlang for anything but the back-end services. Spend some resources on offline marketing to become a better-known brand. Start small and then grow.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
  6. 12 people found this helpful  

    Could Be Great if Management Knew What It Wanted

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

    Pros

    -Some of the smartest people I've ever worked with
    -Young, energetic workforce
    -If you're aligned under the right MT member, the workplace can be great
    -Good work-life balance with plenty of flexibility to take care of your non-work life
    -Very generous training budget and offered courses
    -
    -There's a TON of potential here both in the people and in the tools and tech that's been developed or started. If Spil could narrow its focus and stick with a strategy it could achieve a lot of great stuff.

    Cons

    -It's been said on most of these reviews, but I'll repeat it anyway. Strategy changes constantly, and with strategy changes come large layoffs. New strategies are only given a few months to be wildly successful before they're canceled. The struggle here is that management tries to approach everything the same way they approached building web portals in the mid-2000s, and don't understand what new emerging markets like mobile require to succeed.

    -While Spil is a company that boasts 30+ different nationalities in the office, and that about 30% of the company is women (a high number for the industry), you'll be very hard pressed to find many non-Dutch men above the rank of "Team Manager". This isn't to say it's a racist office, but at the upper ranks it's very much a white, male, Dutch club.

    -If you're under the wrong MT member, the work environment can be ruled by fear and threats. Walking around the office, you can tell who works for what MT member by how they look and act. Some are relaxed, sometimes smile, and don't snap at people. Others are constantly running around in a panic, terrified that they'll be fired any second. If you're under the wrong MT member, and you don't have a manager or two between you and him to shield you from the crap.

    -No career ladder unless you are in IT or want to be management.

    -Communication from the MT group is poor-to-non-existent. We get a quarterly meeting that summarizes numbers and maybe talks about strategy, but there's very little detail, and questions are evaded instead of answered honestly, or with a simple "I don't know yet". Or worse, your questions are aggressively challenged.

    -Silo'd, conflicting business goals between departments. It's very common to have two or more of the major departments at the company to have conflicting goals for the year, which results in internal competition for resources. This creates an Us vs Them mentality when working between certain groups. Senior Management is aware of this problem but doesn't seem to care enough to fix it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    If anything, I'd say be consistent and all try to work in the same direction. Pick a single overriding strategy with a few clear goals, and cut away ANYTHING that doesn't contribute to reaching those goals. And get the departments all on the same page. Marketing, Advertising, Studio, IT. You're all part of the same company and should not have conflicting goals. If Marketing has a Reach goal for its websites, Advertising shouldn't then get a more aggressive ad revenue goal for those same websites. If IT has a goal to unify the tech platform for speed and scalability, Marketing shouldn't let each website (run by non-technical people) go off in its own technical direction.

    One strategy, a few clear goals, and make sure everything the company is doing works together to reach those goals. You're in a declining market right now, and the only way to get any sort of traction to turn things around is to get everyone to work together. But that means you need to be clear and consistent on where you're deaded.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 4 people found this helpful  

    Mediocre internship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Intern  in  Hilversum (Netherlands)
    Former Employee - Intern in Hilversum (Netherlands)

    Pros

    - High pay for an internship
    - free lunch, cheap cafeteria, travel expenses covered
    - Company parties
    - Good learning opportunities
    - Loads of nice people everywhere
    - Spacious offices

    Cons

    - Office politics are rampant
    - Greater attention is put into telling everyone everything's fine when it isn't
    - Management team isn't sure what it wants, barely communicates with rest of company
    - Managers everywhere
    - Dishonest managers
    - Company is trying too hard to be a fun place like Google, without achieving the same results.
    - Organizational changes will happen on a day's notice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make up your mind, let people know, and stick to it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    Don't go there, everything is bad about it

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

    Pros

    Good lunch and a few good nice people

    Cons

    Back stabbing happens a lot, trust no one in the company specially not in the higher management our people who have been working here longer than 3 years.
    There is no strategy, they change their "focus" every few months and with that get rid of anyone critical or creative.
    They promise mountains, they driver mountains. Problem is, no one warned the mountains are full of distrust. They actively read others email chat conversions and even more actively use that against their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get out of this business, you're ruining a whole bunch of good people.

  9. 10 people found this helpful  

    More chiefs than indians

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager  in  Hilversum (Netherlands)
    Former Employee - Manager in Hilversum (Netherlands)

    Pros

    A good place to gain international work experience, great talented people, fair salaries, good catering and parties.

    Cons

    Strategy is ever changing and the company seems to lack a true (long-term) vision. Employees who raise their concerns or challenge decisions are disrespectfully silenced by upper-management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust and respect your employees, stop spreading fear and being narcissistic. Stimulate antonymous teams and stop with micromanagement. Listen to your consumers.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. 12 people found this helpful  

    A waste of human and technological potential.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Hilversum (Netherlands)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hilversum (Netherlands)

    Pros

    The non-managers are really good and skilled. Some of the best engineers I have ever worked with, seriously. The lunches are good, the facilities (laptops, phones) are good and Office IT does a very good job. The hacking culture is good and there's a lot of freedom for experimenting new technologies.

    Cons

    The offices are cramped with people (while other areas are semi-abandoned); there's a culture of fear and control (you MUST be in the office from 9 to 6 or 7, don't even talk about remote work or working from home). Promotions are non-existent, pay rises ridiculous. They'll happily keep you on a 6-months contracts because they never believe in people, then they act surprised if you leave the company.

    Salaries are below market average (about 3K for an entry engineering position); the evaluations are based on hearsay and the whole ship is sinking (but they don't care; Spil Games makes money even without people) but everyone's happily polishing the brass on the Titanic.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Put the money where your mouth is; just talking about being "open" doesn't magically create an open culture.

    The CTO should be fired for ineptitude: a useless transition to an Erlang-based architecture took years and was greatly mismanaged; myopic vision of where the technology should be is more than incompetent, is bordering criminal (as the lack of decisiviness will now result in people getting fired). The "Pivot to mobile" strategy is late and ineffectual.

    Management speaks the arcane language of..management and it's totally impervious to criticism and new ideas and opinions; they are there only because they have been there forever and no one can remove them anymore. Meritocracy is a foreign word and for sure it's not applied here.

    P.S. If you leave, you lose all your bonuses. Then they are surprised that people leave bad reviews on Glassdoor (and instead of fixing real problems, they just write fake reviews. That's how HR at Spil Games thinks)..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    Rewarding and frustrating at the same time

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

    Pros

    Good compensation when you negotiate well in the beginning
    Lots of opportunity for development (courses & training etc.). Company supports you going to conferences etc.
    Looks good on your CV
    International work force & fun parties
    Pretty good lunch (according to Dutch standards)
    Good work/life balance, in most roles you're not expected to work overtime

    Cons

    Execution of strategy seems to change every 3 months, including hiring/firing
    Poor communication from (senior) management to rest of the organization
    Chances for development depend largely on how well you get along with 'key people' in the organization OR how much leverage your manager has
    Management is totally dominated by men, few women in senior positions. Those who speak up seem to get fired or side-tracked

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop protecting people that display bad behaviour because of their years of service. Dare to fire some dinosaurs that spoil it for the rest of the people.
    Hold on to the start-up mentality of giving people ownership to execute good ideas.
    Keep investing in training and personal development for your employees, you're doing a pretty good job here!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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