Big Viking Games Employee Reviews about "upper management"

Updated Sep 4, 2020

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Found 7 of over 64 reviews

2.1
38%
Recommend to a Friend
22%
Approve of CEO
Big Viking Games Founder and CEO Albert Lai
Albert Lai
36 Ratings
Pros
  • "There's catered lunch every day, RRSP matching, plenty of vacation time and there are never any qualms about needing to take sick time(in 8 reviews)

  • "BVG is great if you are looking for a job from scratch or starting your career(in 8 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "BVG is not a game company anymore(in 11 reviews)

  • "Upper management still seems out of touch with the rest of the company(in 7 reviews)

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

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    Reviews about "upper management"

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    1. 4.0
      Former Intern, more than 1 year

      Great opportunity for junior developers

      May 15, 2020 - Software Developer Co-Op in London, ON
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Amazing, friendly co-workers - Culture. While I'm not sure how it stacks against other game studios, I did get a sense of family and belonging at BVG that I did not get at my two co-op placements in government. Not only was everyone in the office nice, but I also found them interesting to talk to. It helps that video games are a common ground for most of the devs and artists. - Very talented co-workers to learn from. It was amazing to be a part of the Platform, Tools, and R & D team learning from some of the sharpest minds in the company, and being encouraged to learn new things and also to take the time to do things the right way rather than sacrifice quality to get things done quickly. - And of course the simple perks that go a long way to making the office a comfortable and inviting place to work. Catered lunches, as well as breakfast food, snacks, coffee/tea, and even a beer on a Friday afternoon really make the office feel like a second home. Allowing dogs in the office has a very similar effect and I think it helps bring people together.

      Cons

      I was only at BVG for a year and never had any problems, but listening to others who have been there longer, it seems it's not all sunshine and roses. Upper management did seem out of touch sometimes, and the lack of concrete plans for any new ambitious games meant there wasn't much to look forward to. The focus was understandably on keeping up with new content in existing games and also developing solutions to support them after Adobe Flash is removed from browsers. As a member of the tools team, this challenge on the horizon was exciting albeit a bit frightening. But many of the employees were either on a content treadmill for YoWorld/FishWorld or working on derivative mobile games.

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      Big Viking Games Response

      Human Resources Generalist

      Feedback is very important to us - thank you for taking the time to complete a review of BVG! We are also grateful for the people you mention with sharp minds, and those who make our culture welcoming. We're proud of the progress we have made on strategic priorities since May, which include improvements on areas you mention. Again, thanks for your feedback.

    2. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      They gotta build trust...but maybe it’s too late

      Sep 4, 2020 - Anonymous Employee in Toronto, ON
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I worked at Big Viking Games full-time for more than 3 years Pros BVG is great if you are looking for a job from scratch or starting your career. Unfortunately, there are severe problems that will start to cost you after 1,5 years. Some of the Pros: - Stable Employment - Great Perks, Breakfast and Snacks - Remote work. - Hardly ever had to do overtime. - Amazing people and capable employees. - Some team Lead’s intentions are genuine and those are some of the best leaders I've ever worked with.

      Cons

      - Lack of trust. Upper management does not seem to be aligned with the staff. Tries to be transparent but act inconsistently with their word and treat employees as expendable resources. - Career advancements here are scarce, no mater what they say, which makes BVG a very competitive and toxic workplace. Upper management is always putting obstacles to not give raises and promotions and contradicting their word. You'll get nice compliments but only get decent monetary recognition if you threaten to leave. - Fast paced production pipeline and turn a blind eye to quality consistency (might be costly to mental health, depending on which position/team you are at) - Company at low maintenance mode for years and mostly interested on fast revenue return. - Culture used to be great at the beginning but then became toxic.

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      10 people found this review helpful
    3. 4.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      It's getting better

      Dec 3, 2019 - Anonymous in London, ON
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great co-workers HR that cares Plenty of benefits

      Cons

      Upper management still seems out of touch with the rest of the company

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      Big Viking Games Response

      Human Resources Generalist

      Hi - thanks for sharing your thoughts on BVG! Your feedback is appreciated. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the leadership team or People and Culture to share your concerns more in depth - we would love to have a better understanding of differences among the experience of our employees so we can act on that.

    4. 1.0
      Current Employee

      It's all been said before...

      Sep 30, 2018 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - "Some legitimately great colleagues" - "People are smart, creative, talented, and are very supportive of one another" - "Office dogs" - "Snacks / Lunches" - "Summer BBQ and Christmas Party" - "Passionate customers (players of our games)"

      Cons

      Low morale - "Many of the perks the website boasts (team outings, monthly feasts/parties, consistent raises etc.) no longer exist" - "Poor compensation - many things billed as perks actually cost the employees money." - "office perks and company shares are at the expense of salary" - "Poor morale among everyone that has been here long enough to truly understand the realities of this company" - "Many of the people in the company that are intergral in maintaining the games ... are grossly misused, overlooked and taken advantage of." - "Poorly handled round of terminations recently that were truly a blow to morale. " Favortism, Promotions and Sycophants - "Stop hiring an echo chamber of sycophants ... " - "talented, smart and capable people? They're ignored, with favor given to sycophants" - "Management places more importance on sycophants and important sounding titles, than on people who challenge their ideas and bring actual skill and experience ." - "Be a yes-man to get promotions." - "Full of yes men, and latter climbers." - "give out promotions and raises to those that truly deserve it instead of ladder climbers and puppets" - "Favoritism is a word that's understood very well in management, and ladder climbers ... are rewarded generously" - "Favouritism with promotions" - "Management ... extremely blatantly plays favorites" - "Favoritism persists ... if the manager just doesnt like you they will make this very clear. " - "random promotions that are based on favoritism rather than experience and seniority." - "Favoritism. ... the most tenured, experienced, and dedicated employees are overlooked for promotions that are given to people who are close to management." - "People who do the most work are constantly overlooked for raises and promotions " - "Raises and promotions are given more to people who make friends with Producers and the CEO" - "The people who deserve promotions are not getting them" Poor leadership and decisions - "hiring as many people as you can to fill in senior management roles is not going to magically solve the issues" - "Over-hiring in the wrong areas. We've focused on people with fancy titles who deliver very little" - "Some projects have more managers than staff... projects should not need 8+ management staff ... and shows a lack of understanding of the basic problems facing your company." - "Upper management out of touch with the office" - "Lack of games industry (and demographics) knowledge from the senior teams" - "Lack of knowledge on the products from the senior teams" - "Management, especially upper management, have no idea how to run this company." - "Senior management, especially the CEO ... are far out of touch" - "discouraging ... having leaders who did not have the seniority or experience" - "leadership team are made up of individuals who have no ability" Dying products and dying future - "The companies only success comes from two aging flash titles that pay ALL of the bills. Those products are in decline" - "Unrealistic Product Expectations" - "There is a general sense of resignation that we'll will never make another game due to poor direction, miscalculated focus and just general paralysis." - "BVG's portfolio is basically two old, tired, and fading games ... in steady, inevitable decline" - "Considering the talented people that work here and that they are all gamers, perhaps ask them about what they think would be a good idea for some games, and then allow them to make some"

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      33 people found this review helpful
    5. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Not worth working for

      Nov 23, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided

      Cons

      Lack of communication Upper management out of touch with the office Favouritism with promotions

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      20 people found this review helpful
    6. 1.0
      Current Employee

      Company that HAD potential

      Dec 7, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good benefits, including, but not limited to: - RRSP Matching Program - Allows for bringing dogs into the office - Lunch provided - Breakfast and snacks provided - In studio massages Co-workers are all great people that are fun and enjoyable to work with and are basically the people who keep you sane at this company.

      Cons

      Management, especially upper management, have no idea how to run this company. Favoritism is a word that's understood very well in management, and ladder climbers that are willing to help push the idea that everything is fine in this company are rewarded generously. Everybody else is treated like absolute garbage as the company continues to drive out talented individuals. General office morale is, and has been for some time, very low. Company has had no success with attempts to generate revenue through new titles. Company is kept alive through two aging titles that are basically on life support at this stage.

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      20 people found this review helpful
    7. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Fake Atmosphere, Real Problems

      Oct 8, 2017 - Anonymous Employee 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      -Decent salaries for developers (ei. non support staff) -Decent Benefits -Some legitimately great colleagues

      Cons

      - Many of the perks the website boasts (team outings, monthly feasts/parties, consistent raises etc.) no longer exist. Catered lunches still happen, but the catering is unreliable. - Very fake atmosphere; the company toutes positive attitude and great culture as being something they really strive for, but they don't. Upper management (ei. the CEO) only cares if people act happy, because if people started to seriously talk about issues within the company it would lower their public image. Many of the people in the company that are intergral in maintaining the games (and therefor the company's success) are grossly misused, overlooked and taken advantage of. Honesty is a fireable offense. If you don't drink the koolaide (or at least pretend to) you will be removed. - People who do the most work are constantly overlooked for raises and promotions because they're too busy working to play the social politics that reign at BVG. Raises and promotions are given more to people who make friends with Producers and the CEO, and the people who have time to dedicate to this usually have much less work. Management places more importance on sycophants and important sounding titles, than on people who challenge their ideas and bring actual skill and experience to the table. -The company is very clique-y, and is very reminiscent of high school. People who don't act like the rest, and choose not to engage in the politics get ostracized and bullied. Worse than this, people use this as a weapon when it comes to peer reviews - which affects people's ability to maintain a good work standing. Too much weight is given to social politics, instead of actual professional ability. - Very inconsistent work hours, and very unbalanced work loads. Some departments effectively work 60 hour weeks, while others can do all their work in 20 and still get paid for a full 40 hour week. Many people in these types of positions also sometimes grossly abuse sick time, break times etc. The live-op projects have a hectic and demanding schedule, which leaves little freedom for developers to take sick time or vacation time, even though it's in their contracts. There is an unspoken (and sometimes plainly spoken) expectation that people complete all their work 1 or 2 weeks ahead of time, by any means necessary -- which means double the work, in order to "earn" their off time. This leads to a lot of resentment amongst employees, but is rarely addressed. -New projects consistently fail, or at the very least maintain a luke-warm reception, because the company isn't willing to put the proper resources into making a game great. Teams are kept incredibly small, even if the project calls for more people, game design is mostly non-existent, schedules aren't flexible, and there is very little time for polish. All in all, games get released before they're really ready to impress players.

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      27 people found this review helpful
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