KingsIsle Entertainment Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Dec 17, 2018

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2.7
39%
Recommend to a Friend
34%
Approve of CEO
KingsIsle Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Elie Akilian (no image)
Elie Akilian
35 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "The frustrating part is that we don't seem to be run by a CEO or upper management that really enjoys playing games(in 7 reviews)

  • "pto policy(in 5 reviews)

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Reviews about "upper management"

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  1. Helpful (5)

    "Positive Outlook"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT Technician in Round Rock, TX
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for 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.

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  2. Helpful (39)

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

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for 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.

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  3. Helpful (3)

    "Kingsisle"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer II in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A lot of new technology to learn. Good working environment. Nice people.

    Cons

    communication between upper management to workers need improvement

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Great people, unclear strategy"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for more than 3 years

    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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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Nothing new that hasn't really been said."

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time

    Pros

    The company has some passionate, outgoing people with years of experience. Business hours, location, people, I personally like a lot about the company.

    Cons

    The frustrating part is that we don't seem to be run by a CEO or upper management that really enjoys playing games... well like most of us. Our current direction is uninspiring and frankly just a clone army of games. It's all in the name of money unfortunately. I honestly don't know the financial situation of the company, so I cannot pretend to know what's really going on with our CEO or upper management. But I can say that we're taking shots in the dark in the mobile market, essentially just cloning games(from what's already been released), without any real marketing strategy to push them forward.

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  6. Helpful (19)

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

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment

    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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  7. "Stable beacon in gaming industry"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great friendly work environment. Fun days, collaborative projects and creativity fostered. Upper management very approachable. Constantly working to improve all current projects and push the bar forward in new directions. Low turnover and virtually no layoffs. A very stable company that is extremely family friendly. Good bonus structure and benefits.

    Cons

    Different experience being contract versus full time. Sometimes it can be confusing to see a direction of a project due to many things not being communicated past upper management.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to start a career"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Associate Designer in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - If you are driven enough, there are a lot of opportunities to get where you want to go in this company. - Much of upper management is easy to talk to and get advice from. - People are friendly - Fun environment

    Cons

    - Unnecessary crunch time that is the product of poor time management on all levels, and the peons suffer for it. - Suggestions are listened to but rarely taken advantage of, even when the issue could have a large impact. - Lack of transparency on upper level

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Great, unless contract"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - QA Tester in Austin, TX
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at KingsIsle Entertainment for more than a year

    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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  10. Helpful (1)

    "ok"

    3.0
     

    I worked at KingsIsle Entertainment

    Pros

    eh its fine but needs more creativity

    Cons

    upper management needs to talk to employers more and the people who know the fans

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