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KingsIsle Entertainment

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KingsIsle Entertainment

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KingsIsle Entertainment Employee Reviews about "kingsisle"

Updated Aug 21, 2020

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Found 76 of over 76 reviews
2.7
35% Recommend to a Friend
32% Approve of CEO

Found 4 of over 76 reviews

2.7
35%
Recommend to a Friend
32%
Approve of CEO
KingsIsle Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Elie Akilian (no image)
Elie Akilian
36 Ratings

Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
  • "The people are amazing and it's easy to develop strong friendships.(in 10 reviews)
  • "Good work/life balance.(in 5 reviews)
  • "Decent benefit package as the company is growing so there are changes for the better each year.(in 5 reviews)
  • "My coworkers were good people.(in 4 reviews)
  • "Adding features to track down player activity is a big bonus on your paycheck.(in 3 reviews)
Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Reviews about "kingsisle"

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  1. 3.0
    Current Employee, more than 8 years

    Two and a half stars

    Aug 21, 2020 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Decent pay and benefits lack of crunch Friendly relaxed office but also mature and professional Cheese Day

    Cons

    Extremely risk averse and metric driven Most employees are just collecting a pay check Promotions are based on seniority rather than merit, therefore many senior positions are filled by people who have little experience outside of Kingsisle or no leadership skills.

    Continue reading
    8 people found this review helpful
  2. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

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

    Jul 10, 2017 - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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    44 people found this review helpful
  3. 2.0
    Former Employee

    If you are an experienced game developer...then don't work here

    Apr 4, 2015 -  in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Kingsisle had an golden age where people were happy and felt respected by the upper management. Game developers there were awesome to work with as your peers. The job felt cushy, people were very talented, and you had leads who will have your backs and fight off the company owners and their very none creative management style. That all went away.

    Cons

    The company feels like a prison now, there's someone leaving every week, and you look longingly at those who get to. The owners and those hired to play with papers and numbers don't care about games, don't play games, and don't know anything about making games. Yet, they make decisions and place unrealistic expectations and time estimates on these projects. You will feel no respect, no steam for the projects, and under appreciated while shackled with ball and chain to your desk. Further, now everyone who spoke up had left the company, you ended up with no leads to have your back. You ask how can a game company feel this bad? Well, it does.

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    20 people found this review helpful
  4. 1.0
    Former Employee

    Company In Decline

    Apr 27, 2015 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There used to be pros. Now that the company is transitioning to mobile games and all the competent people left lead and management positions, the best I can say is you can live paycheck to paycheck with the below industry wage they give you.

    Cons

    The most sycophantic and nepotistic management I've experienced. The HQ is located in Dallas and has no clue or cares little about this issue. The company is scrambling to transition into mobile but is too cheap, incompetent, and unorganized to do it effectively. Be prepared to be treated like a child with every move you make being questioned. Managers and executives are more concerned if you took a 16 rather than a 15 minute break than your actual work. Clock in like an hourly employee even though you're salaried. Horrible PTO policy. KingsIsle purports to be a family-friendly company but they are just as dysfunctional and irrespective of work-life balance as any other AAA. Enjoy snide comments and abusive behavior from your executive producer. Passive aggression is the MO. Try making sense of their bonus system. It’s like they want to pay you just enough so you don't leave but to also say they did something. Despite meetings and talking with coworkers I still couldn't make sense of it.

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    17 people found this review helpful
  5. 3.0
    Current Contractor, more than 1 year

    Great, unless contract

    Jun 7, 2013 - QA Tester in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The culture and attitude of KingsIsle is amazing. Everyone is really open to everything and there isn't anything that can't be brought up to management/upper management. They understand that people have lives outside of work and do everything to accommodate that.

    Cons

    Contract employees are contract for at least 1 year before even being considered for full-time. This consideration can take another 15 months. The pay is not livable.

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    1 person found this review helpful
  6. 2.0
    Current Employee

    Great co-workers and local management. Terrible leadership from corporate.

    Oct 2, 2009 -  in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There are a few great reasons to work at Kingsisle, although most of these are available at any game company in Austin. Being able to work on fun and engaging games is something that doesn't often feel like work at all. You are able to have a creative outlet which, while frustrating at times, is rewarded through the success of our flagship product, Wizard101. Being located in Austin is another attractive incentive, as the town is young, affordable, and active. Local management is very approachable and easy to talk to. They are willing to listen to ideas, comments and concerns from all employees. While most of them have little to no power to enact the ideas presented, I believe they take the issues seriously and present them to corporate when possible.

    Cons

    As with any company, there are certainly problems working at Kingsisle. And as with any review, this is the primary reason for writing one. All game companies have crunch times and long hours. It's a sacrifice that you need to be willing to make when working in the industry. However, most companies provide incentives or perks to offset the work/life balance. Kingsisle fails miserably in this department. Surprisingly enough, this wasn't always the case. Over the last 2 years, corporate has slowly removed the perks associated with working for a game company. As Wizard101 becomes more successful, they give the employees less and less. There has never been 401k matching. We were told as the company began to make a profit, that would be one of the first things evaluated. Nothing but silence on this issue, even when approached by local management. Our current registration is over 5 million and growing. They have taken away free snacks and sodas, in exchange for overpriced (0.75 for 12oz) vending machines. They do not provide meals during mandatory crunch times, which could mean 12+ hour days. Corporate HQ is located in Dallas, and for many of the Austin employees is a "Man behind the Curtain." There is no effort put forth to make an employee feel like their talent is appreciated or respected by corporate. They have made comments regarding the slow hiring market, and implied there is a "take-it or leave-it" mentality. There is no corporate culture within Kingsisle. When brought up at a staff meeting, this was dismissed as "frills" and unimportant. Kingsisle does not see people, they only see dollar signs. Any successful company will have a balance of the two.

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    8 people found this review helpful
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