Big Fish Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Big Fish Games Reviews

Updated July 20, 2017
141 reviews

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Pros
  • There is an excellent work life balance (in 20 reviews)

  • Big fish games has a great and friendly work environment (in 16 reviews)

Cons
  • I found the negativity (or lack of positivity) from some middle managers to be disappointing (in 7 reviews)

  • Lot of people left company because of that (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Great place for growth and positive culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Tendency to hire from within/upward mobility
    -Strong business model that has been able to successfully adapt
    -Great people/culture
    -Good work/life balance

    Cons

    -Lack of diversity in leadership
    -Some teams lack strong growth tracks for employees
    -Lack of creative risk tasking


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Low-key, relaxed work environment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test
    Current Employee - Software Development Engineer In Test
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time

    Pros

    Very relaxed, family-friendly work environment. Leadership has done well so far in a changing industry environment.

    Cons

    Individual teams do their own thing, don't work so well together. Also the technology is a bit of a messy grab-bag.

  3. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Game Producer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Game Producer in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Fun, flexible and creative environment!

    Cons

    Employees are sometimes asked to do more than is in their job description


  4. Helpful (10)

    "A great place... if you're ready to settle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work/life balance is excellent. Rarely is there a need to stay late or work on a weekend. Plenty of time during the working day to chat with others, mess around, etc. "Deadlines" routinely slip with little to no consequence. Projects are spun up and then abandoned. So, no need to over-exert yourself.

    A good amount of upward mobility. I saw a lot of coworkers start in Customer Support and ascend to roles all throughout the company. Big Fish definitely walks the walk on promoting from within.

    Great culture and excellent peers to work with. Big Fish employees are expressive and self-confident. They like to socialize, and there are plenty of opportunities to do so. It's a place where it's easy to form great friendships, and you show up excited to see the people you work with.

    Cons

    Senior leadership, with few exceptions, range from weak to actively destructive toward the company at this point. Many of these people started during the PC and Mac days when Big Fish's bread and butter were premium titles. I believe these leaders did a great job during that era, with that business model, but many have not made the transition well to the free-to-play gaming space. Unfortunately, due to nepotism or irrational loyalty most have not only stayed on but continued to be promoted. There is a trend of failing upwards, and despite widespread negative opinions at lower levels of the company these leaders appear very insulated and well-protected by the CEO. I believe the CEO prizes loyalty and the dependability of those he's known for a long time above a forward-thinking approach that would seek out new leaders that can effectively shepherd Big Fish toward the next stage of its development.

    Because Big Fish prizes work/life balance and a social culture above results, I wonder if they will have the killer instinct required to stay competitive in the free-to-play mobile space. Increasingly there are fewer and fewer big players in that industry, and the culture (noted above) of letting deadlines slip and abandoning projects wantonly because they were not well-defined to begin with creates an incredible amount of unnecessary churn. With the added scrutiny of a parent company now, the employees at lower levels of the company become the victims of this waste. Occasionally some are laid off as a belt-tightening exercise. Those that are retained see their efforts wasted on projects that were half-baked.

    Advice to Management

    I am conflicted about rating the CEO positively or negatively. I believe he understands the gaming industry incredibly well, has a very sharp mind, and cares deeply about the success of Big Fish. But as I noted previously, I believe he errs too much on the side of retaining leaders who have ceased to be effective, and is either actively ignoring feedback that suggests these leaders have become problematic, or has created a culture in which this feedback cannot reach him at all. If Big Fish is going to continue to be competitive in an industry where the profits are increasingly being consolidated by the top 4-5 players there is going to need to be some serious house-cleaning to bring in fresh talent that are energized and ready to meet those demands. Sadly, I don't see much likelihood of that at this company.


  5. Helpful (5)

    "No strategic direction - avoid this place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It's very tech-y, so benefits are good and atmosphere is relaxed. They have all the usual things to keep 20 somethings at their desk: M&Ms, video game rooms, stuff like that.

    Cons

    Be very careful with accepting a job offer from this place - I was directly lied to about my job responsibilities. I was hired for my area of expertise, and received the 'bait-and-switch' once I showed up. I was told that the group was switching focus for the role.... funny thing though is that was 1 week after I started.

    Advice to Management

    Middle management lacks any type of strategic focus.


  6. "fish bowl fun"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time

    Pros

    fun work environment. people there can be one of the best reasons to continue working there. definitely positive work vibe.

    Cons

    low pay, often meet people with poor work ethic or professional manner.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "A Unit with too many Captains"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA

    Pros

    - Good life-work balance
    - Good benefits

    Cons

    - Low salary
    - Executive management is out of touch with the average employee
    - Too much corporate BS
    - Too many "chiefs" and not enough "indians"
    - Ideas and improvements are blocked off by inept middle management
    - No clear, but confusing career developement
    - Promotions rewarded inconsistently or not al all
    - "Cheap and Fast"-Thinking
    - Low salary [not competitive with market value]
    - "Love it or leave it" mentality

    Advice to Management

    N/A

  8. Helpful (4)

    "Producer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer in Bothell, WA
    Former Employee - Producer in Bothell, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits. Great location. Some studios and groups are growing and valuable.

    Cons

    Managers get promoted from within. They are often good at managing products but terrible at managing people.

    Advice to Management

    Audit your manager's ability to manage people vs. product.


  9. "Great place to work if you want to get your foot in the door"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Big fish games has a great and friendly work environment. It is very easy to get settled and comfortable there.

    Cons

    Pay is not nearly as competitive as many of the competitors out their. growth is possible but slow depending on who you know there.

    Advice to Management

    keep the good people, boost morale, talk to your people before they decide to take another offer and leave


  10. "Tactically smart, strategically minded"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Management in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Senior Management in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Looks for long-term growth opportunities and invests behind them!

    Cons

    The lack of existing bureaucracy can lead to the organization being a bit tribal, but that is a necessary evil to prevent the lack of agility that too much management can cause.

    Advice to Management

    Look for in-house talent and cultivate it, but don't hesitate to bring in smart new blood from outside!


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