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King Employee Reviews about "middle management"

Updated Aug 27, 2021

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Found 514 of over 514 reviews
4.0
79% Recommend to a Friend
King President Tjodolf Sommestad
100% Approve of CEO

Found 22 of over 514 reviews

4.0
79%
Recommend to a Friend
100%
Approve of CEO
King President Tjodolf Sommestad
Tjodolf Sommestad
2 Ratings

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Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "middle management"

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  1. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Middle management killed this company

    Dec 8, 2017 - Software Developer in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There were a lot of creative and fun people working at the bottom ranks of the company. Designers, developers, and artistic people in general. The skills varied from high to a-bit-too-low, but the social environment was almost always good.

    Cons

    When Candy Crush became a huge hit on mobile the company was flooded with middle management people who wanted to get in on the success, and bureaucratic processes became commonplace. Political skills became the most important skill you could have if you didn't just want to be a tool for middle management to use.

    17 people found this review helpful
  2. 4.0
    Former Employee

    Stable company, but not much heart

    Aug 27, 2021 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great salary, good benefits, used to be a lot of fun company trips.

    Cons

    Grew too big too fast. To much time is spent working with middle management who only it for their career. Used to be a lot of heart, based on what games we love, nowadays its only what big data tell you.

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  4. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    King killed my soul.

    Jul 6, 2021 - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Met some of the most wonderful and talented people in my time. The older King culture really was good, with Kingfomarket etc being memories I’ll treasure

    Cons

    So. Many. Cons. - the most talented people at King are almost ritualistically overlooked, ignored and often underpaid while people who can talk the talk get pay rise and promotions aplenty. - this means we end up with middle and upper management who are actually not that good being given recognition and rewards undeservedly - for the rest of King - the people that do all the hard work and do it well, they get barely a thanks or a pay increase - for a company that has always been so successful giving increases that barely cover inflation is insulting. Especially when a small minority seem to be managing to get big increases each time. - the culture has become toxic and performative. It’s all about how to look good and make money now rather than any meaningful action, innovation and thought. - a high emphasis is put on hiring the best talent - and then that skill is completely wasted by not actually using it at all, especially in engineering. - Everything became driven by greed and money which I think is the death of innovation. No risks were taken, and lots of work wasted on ideas that were scrapped before they were even tried. - leadership seem to be willingly turning a blind eye to any feedback they don’t want to hear. - despite billing themselves as a ‘fail fast’ and ‘innovative’ company King is actually quite stubborn, and outdated. Feedback is often ignored and people who query or question things are seen as trouble makers and pushed out. HR has some gems in it, but they are mostly bullied and downtrodden by the more senior members of the team who are unreliable and extremely biased. They also seem to lack an emotional maturity you’d expect from HR Business partners + - the approach the D&I is kind of awful and honestly being there had such a negative impact on my mental health that I’ve felt insulted almost by their social media posts championing it. Leaving King was one of the best decisions I’ve made and I’ve not had a single regret so far.

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    27 people found this review helpful
  5. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Downward Spiral

    Jan 13, 2022 - Anonymous Employee in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Besides your immediate colleagues who tend to be kind, helpful, and supportive, there isn't much else left. But for what it's worth - King used to be a place where everyone was allowed to be creative; there was both freedom and time to explore your own role with great support from peers and managers.

    Cons

    The Activision Blizzard acquisition has slowly but surely changed what used to be a 1) very Swedish and 2) very agile culture. These past years have seen the biggest change to these - agile ways of working have conveniently been pushed away in favour of speed, patchy solutions, and short-term wins. What used to be an almost unique way of working for a game company has now seen a huge setback - it's like time travel, in fact - and we're closer to a waterfall model than ever. On top of that, there's been an influx of eager careerists disguised as middle management who, not so shockingly, have very little insight, understanding - and interest, even, in game development/production. The days of trusting game teams to do their jobs well and find their own solutions to the problems they know and understand best are long gone. Expect to be supervised and spend more time explaining why you would like to do something rather than actually getting it done. Slow and frustrating indeed. There is, simply put, a lot of focus on squeezing out the last possible drops, and a lot less focus on the things that used to be a part of working at King - 'having fun, exploring ideas, creating, solving, building great things for you and your customers, being proud of your work, challenging yourself, learning, growing, building a self-sustaining company on your own schedule, adding something useful to the world, and working with great people.'

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    12 people found this review helpful
  6. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Good learning experience for junior developers, terrible management.

    Mar 31, 2021 - Game Developer in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great colleagues, good perks, nice office, good learning experience getting into the game industry.

    Cons

    Poor middle management that doesn't care about you. Leaders making uninformed decision without any thought about how it impacts the people. Leaders dodging tough questions or straight up lying. Competitive rating system for employees, zero accountability for bad leadership. Lots of fluffy talk about culture instead of trying to deal with existing issues. Very political, exceptions are constantly made for favourites at the company.

    Continue reading
    8 people found this review helpful
  7. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Used to be the best company to work for... but nothing lasts forever

    Apr 16, 2020 - Software Developer 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Good work culture creating a fun environment to work in. Lots of talented employees, in particular those recruited in the heyday of the company (2023-2015). Truly cross-functional game teams and studios. Strong bound between European studios. Used to be a company where everything was possible and where management aspired to be a “best company to work for” alongside the likes of Google and Facebook... but nothing lasts forever... — 5 stars until 2015 then downhill from there —

    Cons

    As the company grew and grew and grew the culture started getting diluted. Bad hires were made as team leaders tried to build bigger and bigger teams and the hiring standards dropped. The middle management layer exploded in size filled with political people and yes men. The top management started getting disconnected from the people doing the actual work and seemed to develop a form of pride that blindsided them from recognising that their strategy was flawed and prevented them from leveraging the collective intelligence of the organisation. The centralisation of the creative and innovation strategy in Stockholm destroyed innovation, with the company trying to build what it knew worked with Candy Crush again and again and again. In the meantime great concepts coming from the studios were repeatedly cancelled. Career progression became a political game or required to be attached to Candy Crush to benefit from the all-powerful halo effect of the app’s success. Finally pay was significantly below market (unless you could be on a good equity deal) and some new comers would often get a better deal than older employees. Nowadays the company is littered with a myriad of VPs of X and VPs of Y waiting to vest their equity. What a pity King... you had it all and you let it go away.

    16 people found this review helpful
  8. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Ok but getting worse

    Dec 4, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Friendly people, learning opportunities, good perks and snacks, activities, no crunch culture. Good for those starting out and don't deal with management.

    Cons

    Lots of restructuring and shift in culture. Used to be warmer and more collaborative and feels more silicon valley tech now. Middle to senior management enjoys their power way too much and likes to micromanage and talk down to other folks. They preach diversity but you look at all the middle and senior management and they are all exact clones of one another who act professional but don't have an interest in games. Things are definitely going downhill.

    Continue reading
    1 person found this review helpful
  9. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Once upon a time this used to be great

    Feb 21, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    -Decent salaries -Great offices -Some great people are still left there

    Cons

    -Major influx of incompetent middle management with no feeling towards the industry or business. -Many of these 'Directors' are doing everything to protect their own positions without any respect for the people that fall underneath them. -HR gives the impression that they could not care less. Certain individuals seem to be more interested to hold on to their own positions. -There are hardly any options for growth or development if you are not a part of a Game Studio. -King seems to care more about PR and employer branding than about it's employees.

    Continue reading
    14 people found this review helpful
  10. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Meh…

    Nov 26, 2022 - Marketing Manager in Stockholm, Stockholm
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Ok salaries, good advantages. Some very talented people.

    Cons

    Middle management was overall terrible, political and generally lacked expertise in their field and in human skills. A couple of very bad apples….

    Continue reading
    3 people found this review helpful
  11. 1.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    An ok place to start your career on gaming but steer away if you have other opportunities

    Apr 28, 2021 - Senior Product Manager in London, England
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    - Great people. Smart and generally open. Especially middle management and below. - Excellent facilities at great locations (London office in Soho). - Good benefits.

    Cons

    - A culture that was once open, fun and friendly turned into corporate greed after the Activision acquisition. There was unnecessary pressure on studios and corporate functions to improve results that were already excellent (high profits, strong downloads, great retention). The epitome of these broken values were the 2020 mass layoffs after delivering record revenue (in the middle of the pandemic!). The same happened in Activision and Blizzard, it spams across the business. There's no empathy for people, cash is King. - Weak leadership, focused too much on numbers and not enough on people. While they worry about squeezing every last dollar of their players; devs, creatives and data scientists are fleeing to competitors. - Products are pretty boring. Candy Crush was cool 10 years ago so product management isn't very exciting (unless you like Match Puzzle titles). - Fear of innovating. The company is so focused on delivering KPIs that leaders are afraid of innovating. There isn't any incentive to try new things.

    Continue reading
    17 people found this review helpful
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