Bigpoint Reviews | Glassdoor

Bigpoint Reviews

Updated January 20, 2019
83 reviews

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2.6
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Brian Morrisroe
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Works council is heavily involved" (in 4 reviews)

  • "Good location close to restaurants (Alexanderplatz in Berlin)" (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • "r das Unternehmen wird nicht gelebt" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Unprofessional upper managment, they barely know about game development,and ignoring all the bugs that most of the teaters sends to them" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Weak studio leadership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good products and licenses, every employee empowered to contribute

    Cons

    Not all employees should contribute, studio leadership unable to provide concrete guidance to development teams, existing company expertise withheld

    Advice to Management

    Roll up US studio into successful European parent


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Bigpoint Doesn't Get the Point"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Good salary compensation
    - Friendly colleagues
    - Snacks and drinks provided for free
    - Good distribution and partner network
    - Good business development unit

    Cons

    - Upper management does not understand game development
    - Upper management that does not meet the qualifications needed for a successful studio
    - Severely understaffed teams on games they wish to be AAA-quality
    - Teams lacked specific skillsets needed to ensure success
    - No mechanisms for ensuring repeat successes (no reuse of core technology, best practices, publishing requirements, etc)
    - Heavy marketing push for games that barely meet Minimal Viable Product status and then wonder why more people aren't converting to the game
    - Extremely high turnover rate
    - Producers are the single point of failure for a game; there is no one keeping tabs on their decisions nor anyone there to provide any veto and/or mentorship
    - Not willing to adapt to the behaviors of different markets even when trying to push in to those markets
    - Horrible tools support
    - No career advancement opportunities
    - Revenue generators are valued significantly more than game play features or bug fixing
    - Lack of discipline leadership and mentorship
    - Outside of base salary, benefits were seriously lacking
    - There was absolutely no company or studio goals or visions

    Advice to Management

    Your first responsibility is to protect your employees. Your second responsibility is to provide education and mentorship to those under you. Your third responsibility is to ensure your teams have whatever they need to deliver good games. None of these things were done in the San Francisco office.

    You can be a successful game developer, but you need to completely understand what is required to reach that success. Success should not be solely measured in revenue generated but in the retention of your players and the satisfaction of your developers.

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Very talented people doing great things in spite of management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production/Development in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Production/Development in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    On the development level, some of the best people I've ever worked with anywhere. It's hard to describe the passion, intelligence, and talent of the people I worked with here at Bigpoint San Francisco. Work/life balance is actually quite important here. I've built a lot of fond memories at Bigpoint.

    Cons

    Very hard to convince European managers how Americans view gaming differently (especially in the F2P space). Upper management are not from the games industry and have very different views on how the games should be built. Benefits are sparse and frankly not competitive to other similar studios in the region (leading to a constant churn issue where top talent is consistently sniped by other studios both in the Bay and across the country).


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Changes going into the right direction"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hamburg (Germany)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hamburg (Germany)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bigpoint full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Games industry, but:
    * with a works council - so employee's rights are being looked after
    * with a transparent remuneration policy, salary bands, job groups - so everybody knows what he's up to and can plan his carreer. <= this is the change into the right direction

    Cons

    Successful new game titles are missing. Sometimes hard to keep the faith due to this fact.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Left with a compensation and depression"

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

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Amazing colleagues that made suffering through everything that happened in the last 2 years worthwhile
    - A works council that prevented being screwed over by management

    Cons

    - Intransparent hierachies
    - Feeling of worthlessness
    - Multiple attempts to buy time and hope employees leave before paying out compensation
    - A "new" CEO that misunderstands 8 out of 10 questions and refuses to bring in translators
    - Higher-level managers that spread different "truths" in every studio


  6. "Witness Asian work culture first hand in Europe"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Used to be good, became a lot worse in the last three months. So maybe someday it could go back there.

    Cons

    The classic “people leave bosses, not jobs” issue affects the company a lot, but no changes happen to fix this.

    Advice to Management

    There’s a lot of comments in Glassdoor already. I can only say that they depict an accurate picture, even though many of the comments are already years old, they’re still true.

    Bigpoint Response

    Jan 7, 2019 – Communications Manager

    We would really appreciate if you could give some specifics regarding how things got worse in the last three months. We would argue that the opposite is true as new policies have been signed that... More


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Weak studio leadership"

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

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time

    Pros

    - No overtime
    - Good team
    - Good location
    - Fresh fruit
    - Free beers

    Cons

    - Poor morale
    - Terrible management
    - Lack of direction and focus

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Good place for juniors. Stay away if you want to grow."

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

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - A lot of good people (for a time, Bigpoint was great at hiring strong talents)
    - International culture
    - Great office place, great location in city center
    - Flexible hours
    - Fresh fruits delivered twice a day & Free beers on Thursday evenings
    - Sports classes
    - Some good projets/teams
    - The Facilities and IT teams are very helpful and make everyone's life easier

    Cons

    - Communication across the company is a disaster. Employee trust in the management has been completely lost, and rightfully so. Promises are regularly made and broken. Tough decisions and cuts are often kept silent instead of being broadcast company wide.
    - A hiring freeze has been in place for over a year and teams are left heavily understaffed. It's slowly being lifted at the point of this review but projets will still suffer from it for a while before things settle.
    - Growth is impossible and top talent is leaving. It is impossible of getting a raise even if your direct managers agree to it. Some people have not been raised in over 5 years.
    - Salaries and hiring are all over the place. While most salaries are sub-industry standards, you will sometimes see Associate level employees being paid more than Seniors. Moreover, some newly hired Seniors have weaker work and experience than some current Associates. It creates a lot of extra tension when people are already struggling for years to get a raise.
    - Projects are being micro-managed by inexperienced leaders, some who have never made a game in their career!
    - Development processes are not functional. Bigpoint has several games with production ready artwork that haven't even figured out a gameplay loop. This results in many projects being canceled after months, sometimes years of preproduction.
    - A couple of key managers have handfulls of HR complaints against them and yet keep climbing up the ranks.
    - The Works Council is made of people who are on a crusade against management. They often block situations and create a status quo which results in a situation where the employees don't get the support they would need.
    - All of the above have created a culture of entitlement. A group of poor employees are near impossible to fire so they'll just sit there and complain about Bigpoint while sucking money out of it. Meanwhile driven employees work hard and leave the company as soon as they can.

    Advice to Management

    - Work hard to regain employee trust. Tell both the good news and the bad news without sugarcoating everything. Stop thinking your employees are idiots who can't read through the lines.
    - Fire key managers that are causing employees to quit.
    - Reassess employee titles and salaries.
    - Put in place proper development processes where a game has to prove it's fun before going in full production.
    - Staff the teams appropriately.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Good place to enter the industry, but needs to grow to keep professionals"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Level Designer in Berlin (Germany)
    Former Employee - Senior Level Designer in Berlin (Germany)
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bigpoint full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good team atmosphere and most of the team was trying to be creative and deliver the best possible experience within the given constraints. It proofed, based on experience with my co-workers, a good place to enter the industry, but due to some weaknesses may not be a good place for senior entering in the normal production pipelines.

    Cons

    Hallway politics influence too much of the career opportunities and it is almost more important to be the loudest and have the right friendships instead of the experience and expertise. Most employees are paid below industry standard. Experience in the middle management seemed to be limited and focused on a very narrow set of experiences and goals. Making more money was always the number one goals regardless if it harms a game´s experience or not.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your senior developers and recognize their skills. Try to look for the people working day in and out to improve your games with great skills instead of for those screaming the loudest and spending more time building relationships than working on the games. When I left, a lot of feedback was lost due to internal politics and not listening to the more silent developers.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "A company at the crossroads"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hamburg (Germany)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Hamburg (Germany)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bigpoint full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Great colleagues and teams, with plenty of opportunities to learn and grow
    - Interesting projects
    - Stable, still profitable games pool
    - Due to the current high turn-over, lots of chances to advance
    - Policy of open communication (up to the management), you can ask anything and get an answer
    - good work place in great, central location

    Cons

    - Outdated game pool, difficulties to develop and launch new hit(s)
    - High level strategy by the Chinese shareholders totally unclear
    - Policy of open communication does not apply to the shareholder company or its managers
    - Micro-management by Chinese shareholders, without knowledge of the market/territory
    - Some of the managers sent by the Chinese shareholders for said micromanagement are unqualified, counter-productive and harmful to the company
    - High employee turn-over due to the above, lost many valuable key employees and a lot of know-how
    - Workers' council is secretive and adds layer of bureaucracy, while not managing to provide actual benefits, it needs new leadership direction and a clear, open strategy
    - Salaries relatively low and no financial perks

    Advice to Management

    - Stand up to the shareholders when needed
    - Continue to develop and follow clear strategy both for game development and employee development
    - Use and adapt the existing strengths, don't copy others
    - Totally revamp HR department and develop an actual strategy how to retain quality employees

    to the shareholders:
    - Let the company work, don't try to micro-manage what you don't understand
    - You bought the company for the people (as the games are not valuable to you), so try to actually retain some of them and let them do their job