KingsIsle Entertainment Employee Reviews about "studio"

Updated Nov 20, 2017

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Found 7 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

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

Reviews about "studio"

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  1. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Great work/life balance for the Game Industry

    Nov 20, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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    5 people found this review helpful
  2. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    Going down hill....

    Mar 18, 2017 - Artist in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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

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

    Great people, unclear strategy

    May 9, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Most of the people you'll work with are great. There are a lot of talented people at the studio. The company does a great job of NOT working you to a nub as projects close in on their delivery date, so your work/life balance will not suffer. Immediate department managers are great and approachable if you ever have an issue. The studio also hosts a number of fun days throughout the year that offer opportunities to interact with people you might not work with day-to-day. Lay-offs are also extremely rare so there's nice stability.

    Cons

    The company strategy laid forth by upper management is unclear, and communication to the rank-and-file employees can be spotty. Inter-studio politics can get in the way of producing the best possible products, with projects often delayed due to constantly shifting priorities. Pay could be more competitive with other studios and it's tough to move up the ladder of promotion.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  4. 3.0
    Former Employee, more than 5 years

    In Transition

    Jul 1, 2016 - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    The best part of working at KI would be the people you are surrounded by on a day-to-day basis. Those in the trenches, working hard to make something great.

    Cons

    The company is in a transition period, making it tough for those there to see what the end goal is. Are they a mobile studio, or are they an MMO studio? There is very little transparency on decisions or directions or results. Information is on a need-to-know basis, and 99% of the studio is deemed to be on the not-need-to-know list. Feature creep is a real issue. Games drag on and on because management is determined to "only ship games that are done right"... only problem with this is that "done right" targets change all the time.

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    5 people found this review helpful
  5. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Foundering

    Jun 29, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    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.

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    9 people found this review helpful
  6. 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
  7. 2.0
    Former Employee

    A Steady Job, But A Slow Grind

    Feb 2, 2015 -  
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Occasional team building "fun days" are a welcomed break. The open concept studio is spacious and encourages collaboration.

    Cons

    Crunch is baked into the schedule with no compensation. The office culture is depressing and slows productivity. Job performance is often based on demeanor, instead of productivity or quality of work.

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    9 people found this review helpful
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