Goodgame Studios Reviews | Glassdoor

Goodgame Studios Reviews

Updated July 25, 2017
168 reviews

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2.5
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Goodgame Studios CEO Kai Wawrzinek
Kai Wawrzinek
99 Ratings

168 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • The GGS Work-Life-Balance and Benefits fit perfect for a father like me (Kindergarten is in the same building as the company) (in 14 reviews)

  • Throughout the year you will have many events, from company parties to department gatherings or even team events (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Lack of leadership from C-level to studio side (in 9 reviews)

  • Low salaries and especially miserable salary increases (in 8 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (26)

    "A Good time"

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

    I have been working at Goodgame Studios full-time

    Pros

    Very good and friendly atmosphere, no dress code, benefits like cereal, drinks and other. Many events.

    Cons

    The salary could be higher as Hamburg is quite an expensive city, mainly as it comes to accommodation.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Management with delusions of grandeur"

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

    Pros

    - Some benefits are nice (not the shared pool though, which is just a HR marketing tool)
    - Team spirit between colleagues is good in many departments

    Cons

    - Delusional management who made, and continue to make, one basic error after the next
    - When I say management, this is effectively the CEO, as the rest of the (under-experienced, but ego-inflated) leadership just nod off whatever he says
    - Middle management is mostly hired externally, many of whom lack any relevant skills and contribute to an unproductive work environment by sucking up to their superiors and keeping their team members down
    - Accordingly, hardly any career or even training opportunities for the majority of employees
    - Some departments are so politics-ridden and/or entangled in nepotism that the turnover rate is through the roof
    - Hired way too many people for way too many projects without any strategical direction or even common sense. The mass layoffs that happened recently were not surprising in the least for anyone in the industry.

    Advice to Management

    - Look for a benign investor that actually knows how to run a company and sell out, as that's what you always wanted.
    - If that fails, get external help for liquidating the remains of this one-hit-wonder shop in a manner that is, for once, fair and socially acceptable to your employees.
    - Pro tip: If you do copy another company's formula for success (i.e. Bigpoint), also learn from the major mistakes they made and don't copy them as well.
    - Please do not try to found another company - thanks!

  3. Helpful (7)

    "Inability to change with the times"

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

    Pros

    Diverse culture, hardworking employees, free beer after 6pm

    Cons

    Management seems incapable of changing with the future trends

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the experts you hire instead of arrogantly assuming you know best and immediately dismissing any opinion that doesn't match your own.


  4. Helpful (47)

    "Not a game developer, but a business that happens to make games on the side."

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

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

    Pros

    - Free cereal, fruit on Monday and Wednesday and drinks after work (used to be pretty much unlimited, but quantity and hours have been cut progressively).

    - Flexible working hours, 10 to 5 base and the freedom to add hours to reach 40 hours per week (unless when you're in QA). The company does not keep close track of this and largely trusts you to work the hours you are paid for.

    - Company parties are amazing and you get 20 euro per person per quarter for team events.

    - Very loose dress code, room for individuality.

    - Quality hires, at least in my team (see below for internal promotions).

    - Very flexible and fair when it comes to personal wishes. Special vacation requests for example, getting time off in advance, were possible for me.

    Cons

    The biggest caveat you have to keep in mind when considering this company, is that it is run (very successfully from a financial point of view) by a dentist and a lawyer. They could have been selling insulation material and the company would not be all that different. Marketing, sales and PR are by far the most important teams, and a lot of issues stem from that.

    - No flat hierarchies. Despite what is still being said during interviews, there is a serious level of overhead you will battle. You talk to your project manager, who talks to the first, who talks to the lead, who talks to the team lead, who talks to the department lead, who talks to ... If you're lucky people are actually talking, but it might all go through Jira tickets. Trying to skip one of those levels could get you in trouble.

    - For a company that is 100% privately owned, it is run as though there are outside investors. With games that have zero hype built around them, it makes little sense that you let marketing dictate a release date and that teams end up working on Saturday. On that note, poor planning seems to be a common occurrence in general. Ideas become critical overnight only to be cancelled again when fully implemented two weeks later. Breaking releases of tools the company relies on get announced months in advance, but it gets ignored until the games stop working.

    - Good old boys club when it comes to management. Though they advertise with the company being multicultural, once you reach a certain level you need to be white, male and German speaking. Yes there are exceptions, but they are just that.

    - Internal promotions are questionable at times. I've seen more than one person get bumped up to a position they would never have been hired for if they weren't dating someone higher up, or were grandfathered into the company.

    - Poor communication skills from the top down. Major decisions that affect entire teams are taken without any input from the relevant parties and nothing is shared until the last second. Any available information comes from office gossip. Failed projects are swept under the rug without a proper retrospective, so the same mistakes are made over and over again.

    - Every decision is based on tracking data. This makes sense in many ways, but also kills the creative process of game design and development. No one seems to listen to actual customer needs and wants. The value of a feature is purely defined by weekly spreadsheets that list the amount of paying users.

    Advice to Management

    You proudly proclaimed that "the company does not hire *ssholes" at one of the company parties. Several women would disagree with that, and it's disgraceful that being high enough up on the corporate ladder gets you this kind of protection. Any other employee would be fired immediately (and rightfully so). I doubt that this is the reputation you want your company to have.


  5. Helpful (16)

    "Poor Customer Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Goodgame Studios full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A great place if you are under 40 and don't mind taking advantage of other people - primarily your customers

    Cons

    The company consistently turns a blind eye to the requests and needs of the majority of the customers. Catering to deep pocket players and lying to investors is part of the daily routine.

    Advice to Management

    Be honest and do the right thing!!!


  6. Helpful (25)

    "Intransparent recruiting process"

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

    Pros

    Company with a strong growth and therefore plenty of job offers in various departments. However, growth is financed by venture capitalists and not by current profits.

    Cons

    The recruiting process is completely intransparent. It seems to be luck to be selected for an interview, even if you fulfill all the requirements. No feedback will be provided.


  7. Helpful (38)

    "Worst working experience of my entire career!"

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

    I have been working at Goodgame Studios full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great company to do a intership, due to the fact that most its workforce are interns. Good people and working culture.

    Cons

    GGS hires staff with no games working experience, so they can pay low wages. People with gaming experience do not last because they make them train their interns. After somet ransfer of their knowhow has occur, they fire them, because is cheaper to pay a semitrained intern than a professional. The people that are "well paid" are constantly remided of how much they earned and how great it to work there.

    Advice to Management

    Get some balls and take some resposibility for your decisions. Always blaming your errors on your staff will get nowhere. Take some business management classes, you need them.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Mismanagement"

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

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

    Pros

    Good coworkers - good crew
    good offices - good location
    nice perks - gaming rooms, free beer after 6 pm

    Cons

    Mismanagement - really poor choices that meant a lot of layoffs


  9. Helpful (2)

    "The Roman Empire of mobile gamecos"

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

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

    Pros

    I had a great time overall. Fantastic colleagues, excellent boss, learned a lot, good work life balance, good opportunities for growth. I understand the spin off, New Moon, remains an excellent place to work, with great leadership.

    Hamburg is a wonderful place to live.

    Cons

    C-level made a lot of crazy bad decisions. Growing way too fast (over 1200 people on just two several year old solid games' revenues), spreading too thin without expertise, hiring too junior, not selling up when they should have (and now it's too late), giving way too much power to one hit wonders in the company who failed over and over to reproduce.

    Like the Roman Empire, this led to a miserable couple of years where they downsized 75% of the staff, and naturally most good people jumped off the ship. Graveyard now.

    Still, when it was good it was great and my ratings reflect the overall experience, not just the end.

    Pay pretty weak for Hamburg, but hey, that's gaming.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Good place to make friends and gain some initial experience in the gaming industry"

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

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

    Pros

    happy and laid back atmosphere, you can make a lot of friends and meet international people, possibly work on interesting projects, used to be a decent place to start your career in gaming

    Cons

    lack of development for team members, lack of good senior management and clear goals, low salaries, lack of successful products, salaries are low.


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