Fantasy Flight Games Reviews | Glassdoor

Fantasy Flight Games Reviews

Updated February 3, 2017
34 reviews

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2.7
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Christian T. Petersen
19 Ratings

34 Employee Reviews

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  1. "quantitative analyst"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Fantasy Flight Games (Less than a year)

    Pros

    good work environment; and good compensation

    Cons

    holiday and vacation is short


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Morally crooked and compromised, just wait and see how it all unfolds.."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time

    Pros

    This is a great company and great if you’re starting out. They are growing incredibly fast and are having a hard time keeping/catching up, but this means you’re able to learn a diverse set of skills.

    The immediate people you work side by side with to your direct manager are wonderful.

    Benefits are good, especially the PTO which is not accrued.

    They usually promote internally, so hard work and loyalty pay off (mostly in the title).

    Games are awesome and you get to play a lot of them.

    People from the industry are awesome as well.

    Cons

    Morale is at an all-time low: sexism, gas-lighting, micromanagement, and fear mongering are all things we have to deal with here, unfortunately. HR was introduced but seems like they are the voice of the executives and only cater to management.

    People who've been here a long time are quitting or getting fired without an explanation or notification. There is no transparency here and it's created an environment of fear.

    The whole non-exempt salary situation was a severe letdown. We were convinced it was for our own protection and the immediate disregard for it made it clear that no one cares…”We’re doing this awesome thing, we care! …..Just kidding, please ignore”.

    Salary compensation is poor in comparison to how much they expect of you.

    Advice to Management

    Over the last couple years, business is up, but moral is at an all time low.

    We’re scared, we’re angry, and we’re disappointed. Live up to your potential!

    Make your people feel appreciated because we are not okay. Value the community and your employees more than the bank you work for. The community and employees are your foundations, and the more stable these are, the better everything will become.

    *Listen* to your people and don’t be afraid to put other executives in their place.


  3. Helpful (4)

    "Run"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time

    Pros

    Benefits are great.
    Ability to adjust hours and start times.
    PTO.
    State of the art facility/software.

    Cons

    Benefits are great - they will make sure you know how great they are, constantly reminding you how grateful you should feel.
    Lack of training.
    Poor communication.
    Company does not value employees, you are easily replaced - which you will be reminded of.
    Gas-lighting management mentality.
    Low diversity.
    Upper leadership micromanagement.
    No room for advancement.
    Below industry standard pay.

    Advice to Management

    Really try to work with your teams and quit gas-lighting. You claim to want a collaborative environment - mean it.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Us vs Them"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Roseville, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Roseville, MN
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people of FFG (and related companies Asmodee North America, WindRider, and the Fantasy Flight Games Center) are just amazing, and are such a pleasure to be with day in and out. There is just a strong pro-game environment that permeates every level of the company, that you never feel judged or unwelcome for just being yourself. Everything else in my review ultimately falls by the wayside when compared to the people here. They are incredible, and the reason I continue to get up every morning and do this job.

    The benefits are fantastic. As mentioned in other reviews, the paid leave, the employee discount, and the health insurance are all fantastic. The additional fringe benefits of working in such an amazing industry, and being so closely involved with the production of these amazing games can really make the days easier. The pay is so-so. I've heard people complain about how it could be better (and it could), but it doesn't bother me that much.

    Though changes are slow and lumbering, they do happen. In the time that I've been here (prior to the Asmodee merger), I've seen it transform in many different ways. It seems that the company does genuinely try to improve things.

    Cons

    Management seems to be okay with the environment of fear they have (possibly unintentionally) created. Seemingly random firings of well-respected employees, which are then swept under the rug -- instead of being talked about in an open and honest way -- has made employees nervous and fearful for their jobs. Management has done nothing to address these fears.

    As mentioned above, it does feel like the company makes genuine efforts to make things better, but these changes are often far to little, and far too late. It really feels like the vast majority of the veteran employees stick around either because 1) they're chummy with the CEO and have earned themselves a comfy paycheck for little actual work; or 2) they've convinced themselves that they won't get a better deal elsewhere, and that things are improving at a fast enough pace that they're okay with it. That's it: either scheme your way into a good job, or grit your teeth.

    Advancement is a joke. They lure you with the carrot, and then just completely deny the carrot was ever an option later on. Unless you're interested in more work at no additional pay, you will probably stay in whatever position you got hired in indefinitely.

    Advice to Management

    Listen -- actually listen -- to your employees and what they're saying. We really believe in this company and what we're all trying to do here, and we're ready to do whatever it takes. I know this company is your baby and was founded on your ideas, but it has since grown well beyond you, and its time for you to recognize that and let the people you hired actually do the jobs you hired them to do.


  6. "Creative shop for creative people"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    People - The people are amazing. Very talented, hard-working, no egos or overly aggressive ladder climbers. Down to earth, solid people with a variety of interests.

    Games - let’s face it, we make games. We work with killer brands and make killer games. Does it get any better?

    Cons

    Pay - It’s not great. You can definitely make more money elsewhere. Maybe not in this industry, but there are much higher paying jobs out there.

    Communication - Needs a lot of work. Communication between departments, between business units, etc all needs to improve.

    Growing pains - we’re growing, fast. There are positives to that, but the sudden explosive growth can bring a lot of growing pains, ever-shifting priorities, and constant deadline pressure. This will probably stabilize at some point, but it’s a challenge right now.

    Advice to Management

    We're not 30 people anymore. We need to scale our team and resources and collaborate better to fit our new company. We're a big boy company now that still operates like we're in danger of going under any day now.

    Trust your managers and VP's and officers to do their job. Not everything has to be decided by the CEO.

    Stop stepping over nickels to pick up pennies.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Better than advertised"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Developer/Producer in Roseville, MN
    Current Employee - Developer/Producer in Roseville, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are the least bit eclectic or have tastes that are considered strange, not to worry. There isn't a "normal" person working there and you'll fit right in! I honestly didn't even know people so similar to me existed. What a fun bunch of coworkers.

    No matter what department you work in, there always seems to be opportunities to express your creativity and contribute to the design and development of the wonderful products they make. If you enjoy being creative in spurts, even better.

    Though the company has gotten some bad press regarding mismanagement, I just don't see it. They aren't perfect, but I feel management is constantly trying to improve upon the work they do and seek nothing but the best for us as a work force. Yes, I work overtime (without pay) on occasion, but no one has ever forced me to do so. In fact, for every person who has worked overtime, there are at least a couple who punch the clock when their shift ends every day without reprisal or reprimand. It is an individual choice.

    If you like games (why are you working here if you don't), there are some fantastic industry perks, including major discounts and even free product. Though it doesn't specifically have cash value, it's equivalent cash value is substantial.

    Cons

    Communication needs work, specifically at the upper management levels. It's all a work in progress but at the current moment there are definitely frustrating gaps that appear constantly.

    Training is minimal and organic rather than continuos and structured. This may be enjoyable for those who enjoy personal freedom to explore, but for anyone who is bothered by having to "sink" before you can "swim", this is extremely frustrating.

    Advancement is minimal at best. Perhaps just a result of the company being so small, there is no where else to advance to other than adding the meaningless "Senior" designation to your title. And perhaps even worse, the industry as a whole has very little job opportunities, so leaving isn't even an option.

    Advice to Management

    Meritocracy is not the best fit for a small business like ours. Promote based on management skills, not aptitude in the previous position. Not all home run hitters make great coaches and not all great coaches used to be home run hitters. Those skills are likely not even to be used as you advance, so promoting someone with such advanced skills only depletes that departments skill pool.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "A Precarious Stepping Stone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Producer
    Current Employee - Producer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Despite it being overall a bad work environment with poor management and low morale, there are a few good things about working at Fantasy Flight. The name has prestige and will open doors for you in the future, which you will need since there is little chance for advancement in the company itself.

    Most of my coworkers are great, though they recently divided the company between Asmodee and FFG so now half of the cool people I used to be able to see daily, have lunch with, play games with, can't even come over to the FFG side of things. People used to be more fun to, but as morale drops coworkers get stressed out and crabby, which lowers morale more, etc.

    You get to make cool games! Well, sometimes. The mandates are often pretty heavily, and while sometimes you get creative freedom, other times what you would like to do gets thrown out the door over the opinion of a manager who played 10 minutes of a prototype. This of course will cause delays, which you of course will be blamed for. They told us that nothing would change from the merger, but over the course of the past year it went from quality first to deadlines, deadlines, deadlines, even if the product isn't at its best.

    Cons

    The management doesn't trust its employees. Our time is micromanaged to make sure we aren't a few minutes late or that we are hard at work every moment of the day, even as they expect to volunteer their time for special events, warehouse work, and to come in on weekends to take care of impending deadlines that they set up purposefully tight.

    We all had hope when last year an HR department head was finally hired thinking that it would be a way to get some positive change in the company. While there seemed to be some improvement, but HR rapidly became another tool for the management to crack down on employees instead of a path of healthy communication between employee and management.

    At the time I was hired I thought the pay was pretty descent, and the time off policy was pretty good. Since then I have learned how below average the pay is, and that if you actually use your time off management grumbles quite a bit about your deadlines and such. Apparently it is better than it used to be, but still not great.

    Morale is pretty terrible these days. The lack of trust from management, the seemly arbitrary changes to projects in the middle, the miscommunications between departments, etc. Healthy practices such as employees helping each other out on projects and employees coming up with original ideas to submit to the company are frowned upon.

    These are all issues that the entire employee base brought forward to HR a year ago in a company wide survey, and while there has been a few pittance changes (a daily snack cart, VPs submitting positive glassdoor reviews to offset all the bad ones), for the most part things have gotten worse in most regards.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage creative employees properly. Actually invest in your employees rather then push them until they burn out and then toss them aside since its easy enough to hire new ones. But hey, I guess its working for now, so why change?


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Sometimes Great, Sometimes Horrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Producer in Roseville, MN
    Current Employee - Producer in Roseville, MN
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The working environment is great; most employees (non-management) that are very creative, very passionate, and very fun to work with. These employees are a major reason to work at FFG.

    The company PTO policy is great. 20+ days of time off the moment you start; one day added to that each year you work with the company after two. Employees are allowed to roll 40 hours into the following year if you don't use it.

    The company discount policy is great. Almost all of the games that FFG makes are deeply discounted for employees to purchase. On top of that, each employee gets a bi-annual "allowance" to purchase games.

    Cons

    The management is troubled. Upper management (the VP staff) are courteous but do not fraternize with lower employees. FFG is a small company and no one knows why this is exactly. It is a little off-putting when the department goes out for dinner or a drink but your boss declines giving no real reason.

    Middle management is swamped by the demands of upper management. Entire departments that most assume are run by a team of employees are, in fact, run by two or three. Upper management seems to forget this and assigns more work to the middle management, who then piles the work onto the lower employees. The lower employees are keeping this company running and it seems that the VP staff assume that is their leadership that is the reason for success.

    Salary rates are a joke. Most, if not all, of the company is woefully underpaid when compared with national and state averages for each role. New hires can expect to be paid 10k to 20k less than they assume their role should pay. Raises happen almost every year, but the company is based on a tier structure for promotions. Since the departments are so small, if you plateau in your tier you are stuck and can expect no promotion. For example, if you are part of a four-employee department (one of them being the manager), unless your manager quits you will never get promoted to the next tier. Your career will stall out.

    Advice to Management

    Slow down and step back for a moment. Your staff is stressed out. Talk to them and figure out some solutions. Stop restarting entire games based on the whims of the CEO because he didn't like the box art. Grow a backbone and stand up to your bosses (managers to VP's and VP's to the CEO). You don't have to be rude when you do, but you don't have to pander to their whims if you are passionate that something is wrong or right and a course of action needs to be taken.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Growing too quick."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Generous PTO (3 weeks, up front - not accrued).
    Cheaper insurance for individual (family still expensive).
    Co-workers.
    Casual dress code.
    Product allotment and discount.
    Occasional parties and company sponsored movies/events.
    Great first job for new grads.

    Cons

    "Other duties as assigned" used liberally: This includes required warehouse hours for non warehouse staff.
    Non-flexible hours: Sign in system required for salaried employees when late. Overtime expected.
    CEO: Hyper involved, quick to anger and outbursts.
    Senior management: Conflicting direction often communicated to employees, quick to anger.
    Morale: Company culture includes finger-pointing, blaming, and shaming by management and between other employees.
    Combative personalities often advanced.
    Low salary.
    Frequent changes to processes and structure within company.
    Lack of proper training.
    Poor communication throughout company.
    Car break-ins in parking lot.
    Low diversity.
    No or little upward movement among positions.

    Advice to Management

    Culture of fear does not make for a positive team environment.
    It's hard to be a productive worker when one is afraid of who is going to throw you under the bus next.


  11. Helpful (12)

    "I love what I do (most days) but I wish I could support my family."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Roseville, MN
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Roseville, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fantasy Flight Games full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Everyone says this, but the people who you work with here are amazing. It's a casual environment with a lot of laughs. I love playing games over lunch with my coworkers. I also love meeting gamers from all over the country at conventions like GenCon. Discounts are amazing: huge discounts on our own games, but we're also able to get discounts on games from other companies!

    Cons

    I will admit that things have gotten a bit better with management allowing more autonomy in the departments. However, the CEO still inserts himself into the process regularly. He also still flies off the handle on employees, loudly insults our work, and turns what should be an amazing job into an exercise into how much abuse someone can handle for under 30K a year.

    Management knows enough to keep the company puttering away, but not enough to become a game-changer like Wizards of the Coast. People that are in those management positions have no qualifications to be there, they've just been friends with the CEO for a long enough time. The company does no research on what customers want or trends in the business. We're just forced to throw out as many products as possible as fast as possible and hope that a few of them stick.

    Management also has no education or training and very little understanding of how to work efficiently. For example, they have most of the staff pack up Thanksgiving sale orders for a week or more in November. So they're paying 50 people their full salary to stop their professional work and pack boxes in a freezing warehouse for a week. Management doesn't realize that they are bleeding money when they do this, but instead thinks that they're saving money by not hiring temps. Oh, and we're still screamed at when our games are delayed by this warehouse duty. So we have to work even longer hours during those times so we can pack orders and design, test, and proof our games.

    Customers wonder why we have so many problems with our rule books. The reason for this is that we have only a few weeks to churn out products, and we have to play test on our own time. We actually can't play test our games during work hours. So we put in a 40+ hour work week trying to put out as many SKUs as possible, then have to work late into the evenings and over the weekend to play test the game. I love everything about board games, but it's hard to spend 60+ hours a week at work away from my family, especially when I'm earning such a small salary (a clever move by the CEO so he doesn't have to pay for the over-time he forces us to do every week).

    Despite all the profit we make, employees are paid very poorly. Home ownership is very rare here. Employees who are salaried don't share in the profits of their game design. So if your game sells 5 copies or 5 million copies, you're only going to make your 30,000 dollars a year salary. Independent contractors and freelancers can negotiate for a portion of net sales (like royalties) over the life of the game, just not employees. This is why many of our best designers quit and become freelancers.

    Advice to Management

    I can't feed my family with employee discounts. Provide training to employees. Participate in human capital management training yourself. You could also greatly benefit from training in project management, marketing, and monitoring consumer trends. Also, making us pack up old games for the Thanksgiving sale is a huge waste of money.



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