Big Fish Games "upper management" Reviews | Glassdoor

Big Fish Games Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Jan 14, 2020

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3.3
57%
Recommend to a Friend
49%
Approve of CEO
Big Fish Games Managing Director and President Jeff Karp (no image)
Jeff Karp
28 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Upper management seemed disconnected with the employees that work under them and it didn’t feel like they really cared(in 10 reviews)

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

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Reviews about "upper management"

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Great culture but poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Contract Administration Specialist (Reassigned to 904231) in Seattle, WA
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    It’s a fairly relaxed environment where the company gives you a chance to be heard and be creative. The company was open to promoting folks from all stages. I have many coworkers that had great success in being promoted. They gave employees opportunities to learn and grow. The people were amazing. Going to work felt like going to a big hang out with all my family and friends. This is what kept me going. All in all a fun environment with great perks and a great location.

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    Cons

    This might contradict what I said above. I really enjoyed working there but my comment here is one thing that needs to be pointed out. Management wasn’t the best. Most decisions were made from the top down and the vp of the in house studio at the time made poor decisions which caused several game sun setting or flat out not being released. Upper management seemed disconnected with the employees that work under them and it didn’t feel like they really cared.

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    Big Fish Games2020-01-15
  2. Helpful (15)

    "Toxic Culture"

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

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Depending on your role, pay is reasonable. Location near the waterfront close to the heart of the city.

    Cons

    When the the CEO of the company walks the floors to take an inventory of who leaves before 5pm, you know you're in for a toxic work culture. Culture is defined from the top and you'll quickly see how that toxicity has trickled down through the ranks. If you take a job here, always be prepared to make an exit because there is no telling when you'll have enough and quit or if you'll get fired because you wouldn't sacrifice your integrity to get ahead. This kind of culture will bring out the worst in some folks and you'll see good people become completely different because they are either in self-preservation mode, or see an opportunity to get ahead. Think carefully if you decide to work here because there are people put in charge that use intimidation and coercion to achieve their own goals. I have seen upper management harass their workers, speak inappropriately in many instances, and intimidate and work you to exhaustion in order to make you quit on your own. Even after informing HR from multiple sources, nothing has been done to remove or mitigate this toxicity. Although this type of environment is not unique to any company, I believe simply, that these are the values that this company currently upholds.

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    Big Fish Games2019-06-20
  3. Helpful (13)

    "Going down like the Titanic under Jeff Karp's money-hungry, non-vision."

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Free mixed nuts Some cool co-workers Overseas travel Good location although expensive garage space

    Cons

    The very worst upper management I've ever experienced. There is no creative vision, no idea how to grow the company other than to fast follow other ideas, and it's very clear that the top wants to take their bonuses and leave a shell of the company behind. Anyone with brains is looking for a seat in the life boat. Karp is well-known for being the nastiest person in the industry, and he's earned that title. HR does literally nothing to stop the toxic nature of the workplace except offer you a tissue and a now, now dear.

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    Advice to Management

    It doesn't matter. The company will be shuttered in a year or two.

    Big Fish Games2019-07-22
  4. Helpful (10)

    "Upper management doesn't care about employees, it's all about $$$$"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Seattle, WA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great/hilarious coworkers, sometimes there's free food, the work itself isn't hard but it's tedious, public transit costs are covered 100%, associate managers and senior reps in CS are super supportive and work tirelessly to help us, sometime get to just chit-chat with great customers that play the games.

    Cons

    Absolutely no work/life balance unless you can afford to live in Seattle (lol), no competitive pay/stagnant wages, upper management only cares about making us a "billion dollar company," no job security since they're planning on outsourcing our department to India within the next year or so despite the fact that there's other options to "better reach our players faster", upper management will boast about how great your department is before gutting it. All they care about is making more money and "better aligning with Aristocrat (parent company)."

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    Advice to Management

    Actually give a damn about your employees and don't outsource outside of the country. Employee morale is the lowest I've ever seen it in the 3+ years I've worked here. So many people are leaving who could be awesome assets to the company in other teams, but I'm sure they want us to leave anyway because it will look better than firing us all. It was a better place to work when Paul Thelen was still here.

    Big Fish Games2019-06-21
  5. Helpful (13)

    "Terrible"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Some nice people work there.

    Cons

    A terrible group of upper management who don't care about people. Turnover has been nonstop because people keep leaving or getting fired without warning or cause. They are ageist and sexist. They set employees up to fail on a regular basis. They are experts in gaslighting employees into believing they lack skills. Goals and direction are chaotic, unclear, and inconsistent. Goalposts are moved so consistently it's impossible to get promoted.

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    Advice to Management

    I'd give some if I thought they'd listen.

    Big Fish Games2019-05-03
  6. Helpful (8)

    "Decent perks, poor upper management."

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great for learning new tech Reasonable compensation

    Cons

    Upper management is quick to fire employees with little or no coaching Upper management does not listen to direct managers Company gets bought and resold every 3-5 years Currently owned by an Australian Slot Machine Manufacturer Original Company founder Paul Thelen has left the company

    Advice to Management

    Consider coaching your employees before terminating them. You've lost talented techs due to missed coaching opportunities.

    Big Fish Games2018-10-24
  7. Helpful (1)

    "Get out of CS when you can!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time

    Pros

    The benefits are great, and I've also made a lot of lasting friendships by working here. Working in CS gave me the skills, confidence, and experience I needed. They have parties, company meetings that keep employees in the know with yummy snacks, and I got the chance to work with some wonderful and hard working people. It's a fun place to work.

    Cons

    The pay and raises are mediocre. Even if you move up to a different team and out of CS, they base your pay off of what you made in CS instead of the base pay for the position you're moving to.   At the end of my time there, I dreaded going to work because of the toxic environment. There's a lot of trash talk and passive aggression going in CS. It felt like I was back in High School, having to deal with Mean Girls.  There are only a handful of decent managers in CS. I truly believe if there was some kind of anonymous feedback system in place for management, that some of the god awful managers in CS would no longer be working there. There is so much favoritism going on when management positions open up in CS, as well as in the manager to employee relationship in CS, it's ridiculous. There is one manager there that frequently sleeps and snores  in meetings and at her desk, and while I don't know everything that goes on, I doubt anything has been said to her about it, because she is pals with upper management. When I first started, it was all about customer service, quality, and retention of employees as well as customers. Ever since the buyout, it feels like Big Fish cares less about employees as well as customer service, and more about "hit" games they can produce and make money off of. That's fine that you want to make money, you're a business after all. But it's a big and unfortunate change to experience as an employee, as it before I left, it felt like Big Fish cares about is making money, and that anyone is replaceable. This feeling is shared by many, as the turnover is high and job satisfaction is low. I know several employees that are unhappy and looking elsewhere, and trying to get out of Big Fish ASAP.

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    Advice to Management

    Find a way to inspire your employees.  Stop sleeping on the job. If you don't want to be a manager, go somewhere else, because your disdain for the job is obvious, and that just makes it awkward for everyone. Have some self-awareness and self-reflection. Stop playing favorites. Be kind. Don't trash talk your employees, at all, EVER. Be professional. Give more incentives. Fight for your employees to get better raises. 

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    Big Fish Games2017-07-20
  8. Helpful (5)

    "Great company limited by old-school leadership"

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

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    A great company to work for in terms of work-life balance. Dynamic environment where change is fast paced with lots of smart people doing the best they can. They consistently hire from within which is good for career growth but maybe not so good for long term viability in a changing marketplace.

    Cons

    There are a lot of people in upper management that were good for a small scrappy business like Big Fish was 6-8 years ago. Now, they are in a lot more complex environment and many of the leadership who were there for more than 6 or 8 years are out of their depth. They got to where they are because of longevity with the company, not because they are right for the job.

    Advice to Management

    Take a hard look at who is running things. The old ways are long gone and it takes a whole new skill set to survive in the environment you are in now. The shift in business priorities was the right thing to do but the old guard continues to keep you behind the market leaders.

    Big Fish Games2016-10-29
  9. Helpful (18)

    "Comfortable enough culturally but a messy and stagnant operation"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Oakland, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Big Fish Games full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    * Great work-life balance. Overtime is rare and the pace of work is pretty much the same week in week out. People are generally treated like human beings. * The people you get to work with are mostly very nice. It’s fun to hang out together on breaks or work trips, play Smash Bros. and pool, try to come up with game ideas. * I can’t speak to others’ experience but I make fair money for what I do, on top of bonuses, options, and other stuff like occasional free trips. * The Oakland building is very nice and is stocked with your usual tech company array of drinks and treats. Free lunch every few weeks. Ergonomic everything. Good neighborhood with an ok amount of food options. Convenient commute options. The masseuse is great. * It’s fun working at a company people have heard of. I see people playing my game on transit, in the elevator, on TV.

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    Cons

    * Company culture consists of 1) maximize revenue 2) don’t get sued. Everything we do is a means to one of these two values. * The studio leans heavily on a single product. We only get to work on one app, all day every day. Customers get squeezed constantly with sales and promotions in order to maintain record-breaking revenue. Other projects that don’t make the same ludicrous level of money get canned. * Development is orientated towards adding more and more and more new features to the flagship app to try and increase revenue. There’s little concern with maintaining existing features or dealing with known problems unless they seem to impact the bottom line. * Managers and HR are very cautious about dealing with employees who are angry or lazy; the preferred approach appears to be “do nothing and maybe they will calm down/get back to work/find another job”. * Project/Product management is very opaque, making it appear chaotic. Or maybe it is chaotic, it’s hard to say from outside of management. Some PMs demand constant reporting from teams without really explaining why it’s necessary. Some PMs let their feature team do whatever, or nothing, and then just let the whole project flop over the finish line weeks late. * Our development process is the wild wild west. Maybe some people can deal well with no code freezes, lots of frantic hotfixing, and development environments that don’t behave the same as the production environment, but I’m not a fan. Nothing particularly seems to happen to those who check in breaking changes all over other people’s work, so there’s no real incentive to play nice together. * There’s no mobility either within departments or between them. Solid employees who turn out good work get passed over because upper management haven’t heard of them or can’t imagine people in roles other than where they were hired.

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    Advice to Management

    * Stop being wimps about employees. Hire only people everyone is actively excited to work with. Do not allow people who are underperforming or problematic to rot away in junior roles of their department hoping they will quit; manage them. That’s why you get paid to be MANAGERS. * Clear out some technical debt so that engineers can actually deal with each other’s code. Spend more than one week a year on polish. Let’s stop having to fix the same problems over and over. * Make a concerted effort to provide employees with a career path. Nobody here seems to be going anywhere. * Try to get and remain excited about something besides revenue. I am motivated to work on cool new features because they are fun and innovative, not because of the way they will drive D7 retention or increase our conversion rate.

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    Big Fish Games2015-06-03
  10. Helpful (9)

    "A selfish company for selfish employees (management)"

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

    I worked at Big Fish Games full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Eager to be friends with you and to show you how awesome their perks are--friendly coworkers. New office in Oakland has great amenities.

    Cons

    If you don't like to party hard and/or late, you quickly get on a list of people they will wait for to leave--as that is their culture. They rarely fire anyone, as they find it easier to manage by neglect. This affects the whole team and product as there are many people who are only there because they are pretty sure they won't get fired and it's easy to just sit around and wait it out if it does happen. Management at the Oakland office are all new to management and it shows when anything difficult arrises. Upper management often take credit for the hard work of others, promise and retract fair bonuses, and promote their friends.

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    Advice to Management

    Hire someone who has experience to replace you and go back to your old position where you and everyone else will be happier.

    Big Fish Games2015-01-07
Found 10 reviews