King Employee Reviews about "studios"

Updated 6 Aug 2020

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3.3
62%
Recommend to a Friend
52%
Approve of CEO
King President Humam Sakhnini
Humam Sakhnini
12 Ratings
Pros
  • "All the great people that working at King(in 34 reviews)

  • "Great colleagues, nice office, good focus on work/ life balance(in 29 reviews)

Cons
  • "Some studios have more benefits than others because are related to the location(in 12 reviews)

  • "The company seems to be too scared to take any really meaningful risks and spends all its money and resources on candy crush(in 11 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Reviews about "studios"

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  1. Helpful (4)

    "They talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - Nice perks and benefits

    Cons

    - A once exciting and vibrant company feels like it doesn't quite know where it's going and how to compete with ever-growing competition. There's a definite sense of panic in the company which is impacting how they make decisions - Lack of risk-taking and innovation. King is not a games company, it's a Candy Crush maintenance machine. Not many exciting prospects for projects in London - Stopped listening to their employees on a lot of issues - they don't really seem to care what the people within the teams actually have to say anymore - Over the last few years can really see the more corporate influence of Activision on decisions made - cost cutting exercises without consideration of employees or product quality - People are lovely but many in the game studios are young and inexperienced and can be very entitled - Unprofessional behaviour - confidential info is regularly leaked. Level of gossip is like being back at school - Lack of real leadership - for a company at this scale they should know how to do things by now, but they often fail at very basic production methods to prioritise work - Constantly talk about intention to take risks and empower teams, but all I see as time has passed is the opposite happen - playing it too safe, and becoming a more top-down decision making company

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  2. Helpful (11)

    "From King - To Court Jester"

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

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

    Pros

    - Some of the most talented people in the industry still work here - usual perks from a tech company in 2020 (Gym, coffee, snacks) - Having King on your CV is still good for the casual industry, although less so these days as king have slipped - Some of the management really do care about their teams - Nice offices in most of the locations, with BCN just having a major upgrade - Good salary has a junior/intern (although it didnt go up much when promoted) - Good push foward with LGBTQ+ incentives

    Cons

    - Continuing to whip a dead horse with Candy Crush, spending so many resources on the flagship title that it cripples any agile company direction or investment to other games - The amount of times I heard 'confidential' stories about someones personal situation from HR is shameful. Do not expect your problems to not be aired for everyone to hear about, this was most concerning in London but happened often here too. Furthermore, so many times HR were not impartial and if you got onthe wrong side you would have a hard time. - Brain drain from studios has hit an all time high, some of the most prominent experts in my area have left for competitors due to poor working practices or lack of recogniton from King. - Very low morale since 2019, satisfaction surveys are rock bottom. - Lack of experienced staff across the whole kingdom. Too many young inexperienced managers who have had to be promoted to fill a void because King refused to pay for and cannot entice top talent from other industries/studios. This is made worse by these younger managers own line managers being poached by banking etc (more pay) and having all that extra workload fall to them with no training. - Key HR people not held accountable when they breach privacy rules, one rep in my office has done it a handful of times at events and is still working there -Cuts from everywhere, but especially in hiring. So you lose a person through them being poached due to the reasons above, and then the company does not backfill them. So the rest of the team does more work. meaning they leeve and then it starts the cycle again then when we do hire instead of a senior we hire an intern and expect same workload - senior management are so out of touch with how it feels working at king. It is no longer 'fun and friendly' that has been killed by the consistently stripping of everything that made king was it was when i started

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  3. Helpful (13)

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

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer 
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at King full-time for more than 3 years

    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.

  4. "Great company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Animator in Berlin
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at King full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great company with great values. The best place to work if you want a great balance in your personal life.

    Cons

    Some studios have more benefits than others because are related to the location.

  5. Helpful (13)

    "Disappointing"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Graphic Designer in Barcelona
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Had the best 3 years of my life in this company, moved to BCN to work at King, and i think that what this company did for me, no other would - all the aspects of my life were taken care off and i never had one complain. The first one year and half was a dream job, the company was growing and my i can honestly say i had the best team one can have. Even tho i was in a foreigner country, in a new company, i never felt so much at home. I was proud to say i worked at King and Mondays were something i expected more than the Weekend.

    Cons

    Tech companies change quickly, which in my opinion needs to be done - adapt or die right? As soon as the company objectives change, and instead of growth, King switched to maintain the live titles, everything went south. Many studios closed, people were fired in masses. And more recently all my team was fired with no noticed whatsoever. The values that King so much preaches, were broken like they meant nothing. Very Disappointing! Upper Leadership should be ashamed of themselves!

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  6. Helpful (4)

    "Great place to work, but lack of purpose"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Barcelona
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    - Awesome perks and work conditions - Incredible team of great and skilled professionals - Parties every year, summer and winter and a the Kingfomarket - A lot of space to learn and innovate (Innovation days, Hack days, budget for trainings, online courses, conferences...) - Culture and values are the best I've ever seen in a company.

    Cons

    - Barcelona tech department has become a death march department, with all the teams working on a project with no clear purpose or value. We work totally disconnected from the game studios, and Candy studios have all the real power in the company. Also, the change in the direction since Activision took over the control of the company feels like we're on a completely different company. A lot of talent is leaving the company lately, bored of doing projects without purpose and changes in priorities. - Work life balance is just not enough. They're not flexible with people's needs and just allowing to enter from 8:00 to 10:00 is not enough. Allow working remotely, free afternoons, or even summer special time. People can't spend the whole day at work. - Senior management is too unexperienced, usually overwhelmed by pressure or loosing control of the situation too easily.

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  7. Helpful (14)

    "Software Engineer"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Developer in Barcelona
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at King full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Nice coworkers - Good benefits (breakfast, gym, health assurance, ticket restaurant) to compensate the base salary - Good computer and phone (without a phone plan) - Some teams are not stressful

    Cons

    - Bad management since was adquiered by Activision - Don't give shares or stock options to new joiners - Small % bonus for new joiners - Lack of new ideas, it turns all around Candy - Hard to promote, it’s all about “friends” - Increase of 1-2% of salary per year - Remote job is not allowed - There is not early finish on Fridays or during summer months - Extra hours are not paid, but you usually don't do - Some studio has not anymore the benefits of allow secondments in other studios. - Some teams are only focus in maintenance, so be caution in case do you think you are going to develop new games. - After relocate a lot of people now the teams are full, so is harder to move between studios.

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  8. Helpful (1)

    "Future is bright in North America"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    Seems like King is really committed to investing in North America. New Senior leader of North American Games who sits in Seattle, seems genuinely interested in the people and what we are doing. We can finally see how the US ties into the rest of King. Also, it sounded like SF is going to grow a lot, excited to have more people in the US. -New games in Seattle -Good vibe -Great location -New teams in SF...we get updates from the studio heads in SF during a new North American call....which in itself is cool -Travel...we all get to go to Stockholm this summer!!!! -We have recently hired a bunch of new people, good to have more energy in Seattle.

    Cons

    Wish we had more day to day communication in Seattle. My team runs independently which is great, but sometimes it feels like separate studios since we are all so busy. Would be good to have clear studio goals that we can all understand. Saying we need to launch a game seems obvious, but is that really it? I saw the King goals at our CEO call but studio leadership has never spoken of them before or again. What happens when local leaders go to London...can you tell us why you go or what you learned.

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  9. Helpful (17)

    "Developer - London studio, Live Games"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Most of the developers are really good and have a passion for games Nice parties Gym in the office

    Cons

    1) Most of the promotions are done based on how much you talk, and how pushy/arrogant you are.If you talk with a lot of confidence and arrogance, you have chances of being seen very competent and very smart, there is no room for good hard working competent people. It also helps if you make a lot of drama along with being arrogant !!! 2) Lots of good developers are leaving the studio and nobody seems to care too much about it, even if upper management wants to increase some teams again! 3) No build configuration engineer, even if all other studios have one and there was supposed to be one "in hiring" process for like 1 year at least 4) Low sad mood in the teams, especially among developers, who seemed very demotivated, stand ups are like funerals. 5) Low salaries compared to the market 6) Producers screaming at developers during meetings , even if they are not technical, they have 0 ideas what they are talking about and they have 0 contribution or positive impact on the game 8) Poor tools and poor infrastructure which increase frustration every day 9) There are no consequences for poor performers

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "On the up"

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

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

    Pros

    Working with great people, at a great company. Benefits and salary also good. London studio is busy, many projects just starting up.

    Cons

    Lack of creatively interesting and boundary pushing projects being developed at London , unlike other king studios. That said still challenging and busy.

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    King Response

    HR

    Thank you for sharing! And we'll take your feedback onboard!

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