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King Reviews

Updated February 23, 2018
180 reviews

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3.2
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King CEO Riccardo Zacconi
Riccardo Zacconi
118 Ratings

180 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Excellent work life balance (Stockholm) (in 27 reviews)

  • Great people and good cooperation between game and tech teams (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • Lack of vision - no clear strategy (in 5 reviews)

  • Unfair, top-down decision making process; all important decisions are made by upper management based on input from data (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "King Seattle Studio (Z2)"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There's a lot of trust in the game teams to make decisions on product and timelines. Teams are collaborative, well structured and 'office politics' are not tolerated. Cool office space with lots of perks, but the main draw for me is the people.

    Cons

    Communication with the corporate office is often slow because of distance and time zones.

    Advice to Management

    Allow studios to be more independent so that we can move quickly with the market.


  2. "Junior Data Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    Current Employee - Junior Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Junior Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Cultural fit is important. Friendly team environment.

    Cons

    None yet to speak of

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Future is bright in North America"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Seems like King is really committed to investing in North America. New Senior leader of North American Games who sits in Seattle, seems genuinely interested in the people and what we are doing. We can finally see how the US ties into the rest of King. Also, it sounded like SF is going to grow a lot, excited to have more people in the US.

    -New games in Seattle
    -Good vibe
    -Great location
    -New teams in SF...we get updates from the studio heads in SF during a new North American call....which in itself is cool
    -Travel...we all get to go to Stockholm this summer!!!!
    -We have recently hired a bunch of new people, good to have more energy in Seattle.

    Cons

    Wish we had more day to day communication in Seattle. My team runs independently which is great, but sometimes it feels like separate studios since we are all so busy.

    Would be good to have clear studio goals that we can all understand. Saying we need to launch a game seems obvious, but is that really it? I saw the King goals at our CEO call but studio leadership has never spoken of them before or again.

    What happens when local leaders go to London...can you tell us why you go or what you learned.

    Advice to Management

    This is the first time I feel like I have a connection to the rest of King, mostly because of the the hiring of new leadership.

    I wish Seattle leadership spoke more about about Europe and how we are part of King...seems like there is a lot of excitement about the games we are making but its rare to hear much other than team specific updates locally.

    Please keep finding ways to have the new North American CEO call...maybe keep it to 45 mins

    Please keep sharing its a nice change


  4. "Ads BU feels like a start-up - in a good way"

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

    I have been working at King full-time

    Pros

    King's Advertising business is a new, high-energy unit hosted within King (SF-NY-London), with plans to scale to Activision-Blizzard more broadly. Growth is high, hiring fast & accelerating, and there's a lot of breaking new grounds to it. It provides good careers prospects, that feeling of creating, and always doing something new. You don't get the painful political processes of a large empire, while being able to leverage their systems. And King's values are quite prevalent (from internal hires) and lived

    Cons

    There are definitely downsides to be a start-up within a larger company -- you need to invest more energy in shaping your role/market than you would in a comparable position elsewhere, and it can be a risky path too. Leadership is definitely aware of this and is doing a lot to keep people motivated

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work. Results are good, attrition low - talent is crucial at this stage and we can't afford to lose any


  5. Helpful (7)

    "Great environment, toxic culture"

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

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

    Pros

    Great breakfast/snack bar/coffee machine.
    You get to work with some very talented people.
    You get your own MacBook Pro and equipment/software budgets are very accommodating.
    Private office gym with a good range of classes.
    Great office locations. Work trips, staff events, many clubs and occasional staff lunches.
    Riccardo, the CEO is great. Friendly, open, approachable and a great communicator.

    Cons

    Managers appeared to understand business principles, but had poor software development knowledge. One to ones with my manager revealed that he did not understand software principles or development pipelines and was completely out of his depth. For example, he had no idea that DOM was an API used in web pages, and refused to believe we could improve the pipeline to automate time-consuming, iterative tasks. When I pointed out that our production pipeline needed vast improvement, based on my experience over a decade in software development, I was completely shut-down and marginalised as if I was some kind of threat to his position. Other developers I spoke to told me similar stories about encounters with senior King staff, so it wasn't just me.

    The working atmosphere was tense. Office politics were rife, and many people seemed to be embroiled in power struggles. When our manager went on holiday, and the (very talented) lead programmer ran the project, it was like a breath of fresh air, until the manager returned.

    Bizarre and pedantic interpretation of agile that consumed around 25% of the working week in abstract meetings. I had one retro where I was told to talk about my sprint using the analogy of movie genres. Maybe a fun thing to do if I was a 9 year old, but with a stack of work on my desk, it was a frustrating and pointless exercise.

    I was explicitly informed that I was completely incompetent in reviews, and yet since moving on, I have experienced the most rapid growth in my career. King do not let people play to their strengths, and punish them for their weaknesses.

    I find it hilarious that 'fun and friendly' is considered a core value, because nothing could be further from the truth.

    Advice to Management

    Company core values encourage employees to be honest, bold and friendly, but when employees try to make an impact, they get shut down, and their careers are threatened. My experience was unusually bad, but I observed these frustrations in many of the people I spoke to also. Managers should be prepared to consider change if something can be improved by doing so. Management are resistant to negative feedback and appear to take it as a threat. Managers seemed far too concerned over numbers, and lose touch with maintaining a positive and productive working culture. In a career spanning almost two decades, I have never encountered a more toxic environment.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "bookkeeper"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at King full-time

    Pros

    funplace to work nice friends

    Cons

    lazy co workers not friendly

    Advice to Management

    be nicer


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Fun place to work"

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

    I have been working at King full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Leadership has really paved the way for innovation on our next wave of titles. We have a lot of leeway to be creative and try things to create the next big thing for mobile.
    - Lunches and snacks are plentiful and the office location in Downtown Seattle is central and near a bunch of great stuff.
    - Leadership in the studio has given the game teams a lot of autonomy to build the games and features that they want.
    - We probably have the best culture and teamwork at the studio that we have had in years.

    Cons

    - Communication with central King Leadership is sometimes slow, which can hamper our ability to get stuff done quickly.

    Advice to Management

    - Keep giving teams space to be creative!
    - Keep a consistent Prototype process going so ideas don't go stale

    King Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – HR

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. I will share it on with the local HR team for future reference.
    Best regards / King HR representative

  8. Helpful (2)

    "Seattle Studio Rocks! Overall Awesome Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Seattle studio has an amazing culture of collaboration and innovation. Lou F has done a great job uniting the studio through informative sprint reviews and all hands meetings, while taking the time to work with all the development teams who are in the process of making the next great game. The studio's only live game, Paradise Bay continues to kick butt after its strong push through the holidays.

    Cons

    They recently stopped serving lunch on Fridays. Oh well, guess the breakfast, free snacks and drinks will have to do.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to creative great games and move on quickly from anything less.

    King Response

    Feb 13, 2017 – Global Employer Brand

    Great and thanks for sharing your experience! And agreed, keeping the focus on creating brilliant games is the most important. Best Regards / King representative


  9. "Love SF"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Platform Team in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Platform Team in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    We just moved into a new office
    Benefits are getting better and better
    New investment in SF in development and a Top Secret game team
    Local leader is one of the best ( empowering, transparent, always listens and does whatever he can to bridge needs of office and needs of global)

    Cons

    Benefits are getting better but the new office is in the middle of the finance district so more commuting benefits would be great

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work, love the team and the pace...please keep investing in SF we love what we do and feel like we can make an impact globally!

    King Response

    Sep 8, 2017 – HR

    Great and thanks for sharing your experience! And agreed, keeping the focus on creating brilliant games is the most important. Best Regards / King representative


  10. "Z2 Studio"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Seattle studio (Z2) is firing on all cylinders - we have exciting new projects, talented co-workers and managers who are dialed in, but give us enough space and empower us to make cool stuff. Last year had lots of ups and downs, but the leadership team here has given us the green light to do what we need to do to make great games. 2017 is going to be a big year for us, excited to see how everything develops.

    Cons

    Seems like the office budget has gotten tighter, less team events/celebrations than in the past. It's fun to get together on a Friday and talk shop.

    Advice to Management

    Keep being supportive and trusting us to do our thing.


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