KingsIsle Entertainment Reviews | Glassdoor

KingsIsle Entertainment Reviews

Updated October 15, 2018
53 reviews

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2.7
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Elie Akilian
28 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great work life balance compared to most game studios" (in 8 reviews)

  • "Fairly accommodating work environment" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "communication between upper management to workers need improvement" (in 6 reviews)

  • "Creativity is only encouraged when it comes from upper management brainstorms or select middle management followers" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Nice place"

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

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Nice relax environment. Everyone seems very friendly. A great place to make friends with co-workers. Core hours are 10-5, so you set up your working schedule.

    Cons

    Not a lot of organization or follow up on projects until crunch time. There has been a lot of people leaving the company lately.


  2. "How awesome is working with KingsIsle?? QA Tester"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, PA
    Former Employee - QA Analyst in Austin, PA

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment (More than a year)

    Pros

    gamer schedule
    food
    drinks
    friendly people
    super awesome enviornment
    no micro management

    Cons

    temp, better get to work or you'll be gone

  3. "Positive Outlook"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Technician in Round Rock, TX
    Former Employee - IT Technician in Round Rock, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people and fun culture, recent hiring of veterans from the mobile game industry have the company headed in the right direction and the release of Animal Cove on mobile and Wizard101 on Steam has been very successful.

    Cons

    The company is now in Round Rock if you live in the Austin area. Also in the past, upper management was not always open to change or new ideas or supporting the various departments as some would have liked, but I feel with the new people they are bringing in and the move to Steam they are proving they want the company to succeed.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up what you are doing with bringing in veterans to help the company make better mobile games and consider moving other products to Steam as well and possibly GOG. Offer benefits that set the company apart from the competition.


  4. Helpful (6)

    "Ceo Is Out Of Touch With A Lot Of Things. Can't Wait To Leave This Place."

    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 KingsIsle Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Lots of talented and friendly people to work with.

    Cons

    Ceo is out of touch with the fanbases.
    Ceo insists on wasting resources on pointless mobile game projects.
    Ceo meddles with creativity far too often.

    Advice to Management

    There lots of talented people that work at Kingsisle Entertainment, but quite often their creativity is squandered because of the insensitivity of the CEO. My advice is to the CEO is to stop restricting people's creativity, stop wasting resources on pointless mobile projects, and stop neglecting YOUR playerbases and start listening to them.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Great people, lots of talent, too much meddling from the top"

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

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

    Pros

    Lots of talent, very friendly work environment, decent work/life balance. There were some very fun employee days, although those started to become less frequent.

    Cons

    Not enough trust from management and ownership, employees not empowered to go above and beyond, limited advancement.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to and trust people with experience in the game industry. Stop meddling and looking over people's shoulders. Let games get finished.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Great work/life balance for the Game Industry"

    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

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    Good balance of the structure in a professional organization and the creative environment of a game studio.

    Financial discipline has kept the studio from doing a lot of layoffs over the years.

    Great work life balance compared to most game studios. Little to no overtime unless driving towards a specific strategic target.

    Collaborative high caliber employees who truly want to create a great product. I can count on one hand the number of employees who were truly difficult or didn't subscribe to being a team player.

    Opportunities for someone with experience/success in the mobile game market to make a real impact.

    Cons

    Limited opportunities for career growth depending upon the level which you come into the organization.

    Very little experience making mobile games and slow to hire subject matter experts which would impact their success in the mobile game market.

    Advice to Management

    Empower subject matter experts more and leverage failures which lead to lessons learned for the entire studio.

    Use Beta releases as a testing ground to learn and improve the product strategically vs. expecting immediate results.

    Have more urgency to recruit and leverage the experience of new employees with proven success in the industry.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Foundering"

    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 KingsIsle Entertainment full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Provided decent benefits, had some good and fun people (a few are still there), felt somewhat stable (though it wasn't). Some teams worked limited overtime at milestones, but overall overtime was rare. The location was good for north Austinites, but it has since moved to Round Rock from Austin. I know little about the new location.

    Cons

    Some in studio management had an attitude better suited to industrial labor than creative work, worrying more about things like lunch break lengths than how to foster creativity. I often felt I was being watched, despite being religious about my hours. The studio continues to survive on revenue from old PC products and tries to succeed at mobile, but success there is terribly unpredictable and elusive, and the studio management didn't seem to have much vision with regards to anything, let alone how to win at crafting mobile IP's.

    Advice to Management

    Don't delude yourselves that you have any insight into what players want. To the extent there are any left, listen to your creatives (not marketing or yourselves), don't worry about how long they're seated at their desks, and pray they can get lucky where you aren't and bail you out.

  8. Helpful (17)

    "A company on the verge of collapse... Getting out before it does!"

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

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

    Pros

    Solid pay for most jobs if you can actually survive the overly self- indulgent interview process.

    Nice, friendly, talented local people who like to have fun, play all sorts of games and be creative when allowed to be. Lots of underused talent in the studio.

    Average benefit package with the very occasional company outing or play day.

    A consistent paycheck for the moment.

    OK work / life balance if you completely check out and put forth little care or effort towards the sinking ship around you.

    Cons

    Kingsisle isn't Blizzard or EA, and the last relevant game they shipped is almost 10 years old, but upper management/HR will treat you like you need to be a ROCK STAR just to interview for them regardless.

    Owner is totally unqualified, narcissistic, rude and apathetic towards his employees.

    Over the past ten years their two(ish) successful live MMO titles have declined in profitability and the company remains directionless with no sustainable future.

    Upper management, is filled with sycophants and decision dodgers, who form a wall of exclusion when it comes to making creative or informed decisions.

    Just trying to get ideas heard by decision makers is judged harshly by middle management and frowned upon.

    Industry experience and experienced opinions are very undervalued, with very few exceptions.

    There is an overall fear of accountability throughout all levels of management causing production delays, needless iteration, and stagnation of creativity. This translates to employees whose moral is so low they have little care or input left to give.

    Ill informed, game design choices and management decisions made by middle and upper management, who are drawing at straws due to lack of experience.

    Self centered management not company or product focused.

    No appreciation or understand of current game design standards, analytical data or marketing trends.

    We know better attitudes on a corporate level, very xenophobic and paranoid about people outside the inner circle .

    Opaque approach to mobile game development, with zero analytic transparency and zero sharing of company goals and direction.

    Recent shift to mobile was many years late and volumes of experience short for actual success.

    Can't ship a product besides content for Wizard 101.

    30 to 48 month development cycles for mobile games that if even released become shovelware due to poor marketing, monetization design and analytical expertise.

    Company laid off the entire marketing department because upper management "knew better".

    Current roster of three "shipped" mobile games took 4+ years to develop and currently earn less than $15K gross revenue collectively according to App Annie.

    Very corporate, no game industry culture.

    No room for growth or advancement anymore, management spots are locked out and upper management are hostile to newcomers.

    PTO time is ridiculously monitored by the hour with a nickel and dime mentality.

    Creativity is only encouraged when it comes from upper management brainstorms or select middle management followers.

    Middle management has serious decision paralysis and are ill equipped to lead teams.

    Lost over 90 employees to layoffs last year thanks to their failed mobile transition and are suffering severe attrition on a weekly basis.

    Planning to give my notice immediately upon finding another position.

    Advice to Management

    None. You didn't listen to me during my long tenure as an employee, doubtful anything I can say now will change your mind. Hope that other talented people run from the plethora of job postings that will be popping up in the near future. Unless you have nothing to lose and desperately need employment, there is no future here.


  9. Helpful (7)

    "Senior Artist"

    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
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Innovative group. Fun,smart, relaxed co-workers. Previous location in Domain was good.

    Cons

    Unrealistic management. Flip-flop company goals. No sure plan for the future. Currently relocating in Round Rock.

    Advice to Management

    Get some help, pick a direction for short term and long term company future.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "Going down hill...."

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

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    -Good people to work w/ in the Austin office
    -They have the ability to make another great MMO
    -They still have one great MMO that is making them enough money to operate
    -There is still a lot of talent left in the studio

    Cons

    -An owner that seems to be content w/ running the company into the ground B/c he is sold on the fact that they can make successful mobile games... thus far they have done nothing but fail miserably.
    -Management makes it feel like you always have big brother watching over you
    -a company culture that doesn't seem to want any fun at work
    -An owner who let the person who built the company up go, b/c he thought he could make games even though he has no experience doing that.
    -Horrible chairs for people who are sitting in them at least 8 hours a day
    -you actually have to pay for sodas at a video game company
    -It was a struggle to get an essential/standard program for our artists that cost 200 dollars...they do not seem to want to invest any money in what their employees need.
    -A company that was willing to let the person who made the studio successful walk and didn't really seem to care.
    -It's a sinking ship

    Advice to Management

    this is more to the owner...you should let the people who know how to make good games make good games. Your the money guy, and that's what you should be your not a game designer. To management Stop treating your employees like children.