Big Fish Games Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Big Fish Games is a casual gaming company based in Seattle, with a regional office in Oakland, California, owned by Aristocrat Leisure. It is a developer and distributor of casual games for computers and mobile devices.
A former customer shared in a review: "Big Fish Games are no longer compatible with MAC. They know this and continue to sell MAC games. Their main page doesn't have a disclaimer about the known problem, it can only be found after looking through their website. They offer a"workaround" that my MAC will not install due to security problems. It took me a week and 6 e-mails to get a refund. They try to give you the runaround until you give up and cut your losses. I finally filed a complain the with BBB and eventually got a refund."
says"Run, do not ruin your family life, working 100+ hour weeks. With backstabbing coworkers with awful management. My manager tried sexually harassing me here. Not female friendly workplace. HR is very unethical. Do no make the same mistake I did and join this company. Most 5 star reviews are forced and fake."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"The pay was not as good as average but that didn't bother me so much. Poor executive management. Too many people with more ambition than intellect. A culture that promotes obsequiousness and cronyism rather than talent and candor."
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"- Leadership at the Oakland studio is essentially non-existent. Managers are forced to run things on their own terms and mostly disconnected from other managers. Minimal guidance is the norm, which is just complicated by the fact that there is nearly no communication between the different departments. - The studio does not have a solid production process. If you like your job to be challenging for all the right reasons, this is not the place for you. The challenges and frustration are all very easily avoided and are mostly due to a mixture of general incompetence, lack of communication between people who sit near/next to each other, or the extremely flimsy studio release process. - Office politics out the wazoo. If you like the mystery and backstabbing of Game of Thrones, you're gonna love working in the Oakland office. Gossip, rumors, swirls of he-said-she-said. Blame games, whining about other departments, and friends hiring friends. Each day is a struggle to make progress in both your work and with your career. I've never felt as bullied by a studio as I have working here. - Morale is at an all time low. It's masked mostly, but once you start talking to someone 1 on 1, they can't help but mention how down everyone seems."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"If you don't like to party hard and/or late, you quickly get on a list of people they will wait for to leave--as that is their culture. They rarely fire anyone, as they find it easier to manage by neglect. This affects the whole team and product as there are many people who are only there because they are pretty sure they won't get fired and it's easy to just sit around and wait it out if it does happen. Management at the Oakland office are all new to management and it shows when anything difficult arrises. Upper management often take credit for the hard work of others, promise and retract fair bonuses, and promote their friends."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"This company will never attract smart individuals who are motivated to change an industry. Politics are ridiculous. Leadership is misaligned. There is a lack of management who can actually help employees grow verses dictating to further climb up the ladder. Extremely high turnaround. The least transparent company you could join."
Customer Service Representative says"Not enough training. They held weekly meetings which were pointless. Way too much time was spent doing activities that didn't involve working or learning about the job. They give you a false sense of job security. Contract was ended right before the holidays. No warning was given not even a indication that my contract would end suddenly."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"* Heavy amounts of technical debt in source code. * Poorly managed infrastructure hardware. * No employee accountability, and a ridiculous amount of office politics. Its a disaster here..."
Current Employee - Accounting says"High turn over so you never learn. No work life balance Management is horrible!!!"
Former Employee - Software Engineer says"The aforementioned talented people typically don't last very long. Pay far under the industry average in the area. For the average employee, the opportunities for promotion are severely limited. Politically adept or highly favored individuals are promoted rather than those deserving based on merit. Which brings me to my next point. My single biggest gripe about the company is how amazingly political and bureaucratic it is; especially considering the size of the company. Middle management has very little oversight and depending on the team you're in, favoritism and double standards are rampant. If you get on your manager's bad side; or if you get on the bad side of somebody they favor more than you, things can get very difficult very quickly. For these unfortunate individuals, the work they do and their level of competence and productivity don't matter. Verbal status reports (and the occasional written ones) are typically ignored if its not directly affecting a high visibility project. Stand-ups are more of a way for managers to relay information to you than for you to talk about your status or any issues that may have come up with your tasks. Getting issues, both personal and project-related documented (typically via email to a manager) is a necessity. Speaking directly with a coworker regarding a problem will get you in trouble if a dispute arises for any reason. Middle managers are not trained adequately. They don't understand how to resolve disputes within the team or coordinate effectively with other teams. They are not trained on alternative leadership styles, such as those found among their team leads, and as such are not receptive toward any management style other than their own. And often, managers resort to a blame game should any problems arise, either interpersonal or project-related. Finally, I'm not certain what level the decision was being made from, but job/career-altering announcements are often kept secret from employees. The announcement of the death of the project you're working on or being shuffled to another team is often the first indication a low level employee has that something is wrong."
Former Employee - says"Poor management in software engineering. They claim to be "agile" but there is nothing agile about the way they work -- it's really "waterfall" style sprinkled with scrum meetings. I worked on several projects. We spent hours upon hours planning and re-planning entire projects 6 months into the future. When the schedules inevitably slip, we cut corners and cancelled test automation work, requiring entire teams to run manual regression tests on nights and weekends while last-minute bug fixes trickled in. Promotions don't make sense, they're usually based on who makes more noise rather than actual contributions. Retrospective meetings were mostly a facade -- managers didn't welcome negative feedback. Suggestions for improving the development process were often discouraged and frowned upon. People got made fun of by managers for thinking unit tests were a good idea. Technical debt is rampant, even in services/tools that should be long-lived. Good user experience is not prioritized, resulting in bad products that fail in production. Individual contributors clearly not valuable as people to management, treated like interchangeable parts."
Customer Support Representative (Former Employee) says"Good luck if you have a disability, mental illness, or other outside stressors. Worker's mental health or well-being is not a priority. They talk a good game about how they value their employees but then fail to recognize their strengths, foster a cliquish environment, and will dismiss any criticism or input."
anonymous (Former Employee) says"Management direction was awful- nobody knew who was running the ship. Executives took credit for the successes of their team for which they had no part in. Team was severely understaffed and requests for assistance were ignored, resulting in 80 hour work weeks. The only positive were the regular team members, who were motivated and friendly.decent salarylong hours, ineffective management"
Customer Support Representative (Current Employee) says"Sijnce being acquired by Aristocrat, the company has become a sterile, unforgiving work environment. Job security is out the window, and advancement from within is a thing of the past.Great coworkersTerrible management from the CEO on down"
QA (Current Employee) says"After Aristocrat took over, everything has gone downhill. Cuts were made to the workforce, but most management remained. Currently there is too much middle management making sweeping changes without considering the effects on the day-to-day operations. Work is being outsourced while total headcount remains too low to effectively do our job. Pay has always been too low for the area, but the fun work environment used to make up for it. Most employees are passionate about what they do and want the company to succeed, but top management is doing everything they can to make the job experience as miserable as can be.Flexible work hoursLow pay, cuts to workforce, stressful environment"
Artist Type (Current Employee) says"The benefits and pay at the company and comparable. For an artist or designer, the pay is average for the level of service being asked for. There are limits to how far you can move up as a creative. The only way to improve your position and pay is through a management track. Any job review is as much of a review of the people you work with as it is the company as a whole. It is a review of your coworkers and bosses as it is the benefits and pay and resources delivered by the company. In my situation, my current manager is unsatisfactory but previous managers and directors have been okay to work with and a couple have been great to work with. It does come down to how the the culture of the company is cultivated. Meaning, what kind of people do they bring in and what kind of values do they promote. Most of the people working in my group are 20-somethings, local, 2-year higher education and many if not all have only started working here within the last 2 years. This comes down to how much the company is willing to pay for top-tier employees."
Designer (Former Employee) says"The people at the company are great to work with. Everyone is passionate about what they do. They truly want the games they work on to succeed. Unfortunately, management can't seem to ever have an idea or vision of where the company should go, or how a game should even be released in the first place.Nice and passionate people working there.Management that doesn't manage."
Business Intelligence Analyst/Engineer (Current Employee) says"Good work/life balance. I learned a lot about data warehousing practices, and using different soap/rest apis, extracting json blogs and dserializing it into C# objects. The management was a huge negative at this place. They don't care about employee career growth. They only want their objectives met. The workplace culture is a huge issue. There is a lot of biased towards certain individuals.Free lunch a lotNo future."
Graphic Designer/Illustrator (Former Employee) says"Working at Big Fish was very fun. The culture is energetic and exciting as well, but there is a trade off. There were more promises broken about promotion than I care to go into, and being laid off with about 100 other people with none of management involved really makes you feel like you're just a cog in a corporate wheel.fun environment, close to restaurantslow pay, can be stressful"
Tester (Former Employee) says"Low pay for testers for the expected output/skills. Testers were living 1 1/2 hrs away because no way to afford anything in Seattle. Good morale events (needed). Company seems to care more about growth and very little about the quality of life of it's employees. Not a terrible place to work, but terrible pay for QA. Maybe if the company was in Tacoma, it would be ok, but not in Seattle.pay"
Software Design Engineer (Current Employee) says"Fellow coworking peons are knowledgeable and friendly for the most part. The atmosphere is relaxed, nerf darts and scooters abound. The projects aren't the most exciting to work on, but I've seen much worse. Yes, this would be a great place to work except for the management. Managers here are somehow completely unavailable and micromanaging at the same time. There's no clear direction; the company's main focus changes every few months; engineers routinely work without requirements documentation, and for a company as small as it is, there is an amazing amount of politics going on. Managers support their favorites regardless of what the right or best decision is, is woe be upon you if you disagree with your manager or their chosen ones.Scooters, free drinks and snacks, general office culture, lenient on vacations and days offPolitics, managers, lack of direction, team infighting"
Tester II (Former Employee) says"Big Fish was a great place to be back in the day, but through some changes in corporate culture, its not longer the same environment. Laying off 15% of your staff isn't the way to build up a brand."
Senior System Administrator (Former Employee) says"Working with my team was fantastic technically. I surrounded by many talented people and there were junior people I could mentor daily. We all worked very hard and spread our work loads when we could. However, I was getting into a dead end and management constantly overriding my recommendations. There were several hostile situations that never got permanently resolved and made our lives miserable. There was no plan to advance my career path. HR was the worst I've ever seen. They were not an unbiased party in employee/manager disputes. The quarterly performance review process was insane and the most misguided approach with an backend application that was equally as horrible. Building never had enough rest room facilities despite numerous complaints from many. There was no support for philanthropies or community initiatives.Talented people at numerous levels and superior project managementPoor executive management, poor HR"
Customer Support Representative (Former Employee) says"While the job and culture of this company are more than enough to make any person happy, both while sitting at your desk and getting to play at office functions, there are a lot things to be wary about."
Girl says"Appalling service, they sell dud games, and blame the customer for this. They take money, knowing the goods are defective."
Cathy Voyles Williams says"I got a new computer last November. The games on my The list of games was very incomplete and most even showed a Play Now and Buy Now. Someone suggested uninstalling the games and re-installing. I thought I was doing the right thing, but, now some of the games are just gone and the rest I have to repurchase. I have 4 out of 30+ games to play. Two months ago, I tried to buy another game and was told my password wasn't correct. I tried changing it but wasn't successful. I asked them to PLEASE call me because I am elderly. Then I got an e-mail last week about not using my rewards. I used that e-mail to contact them again. They sent me a thing to reset my password. All I want are my games back without having to buy them. Very poor Customer service. Also, going through 1000's of game titles to find the ones I paid for is not going to be fun. Are there other games companies?"
Viktoria Jansen-Gotchev says"I want my money back! I've played the demos for Spellarium 5 and Laruaville 9 and liked the games. After purchasing the full versions, these could not be activated. I've written a few emails of complaint to BigFishGames, only to be answered by a standard non-specific reply that, in essence, I should sort out the problem. I was also given a replacement coupon, which (surprise, surprise!) didn't help activating another new game, Laruaville 10. I'm not sure what are BigFishGames up to, but I was not expecting to be a victim of a day-light robbery like this."
Heather Pearce says"I’ve just joined big fish. The game I’ve just purchased won’t activate, I keep getting errors and I go to get help and it’s useless. I’ve done everything it says, changed settings ect, still the same crap errors. I can’t seem to do anything more and there doesn’t seem to be any more help. Disappointed!!!!!"
Classifieds 4 Canada says"RT @CanadianFreeAds: Nintendo DS Mystery Case Files Million Heir Video Game 2008 Big Fish Games https://t.co/06wbesAE27"
IndieGameTrends says"RT @SarkSweet: -Big Fish- I didn't enjoy it at all. I can even pass the first enemies I meet and don't understand its rules. #indiedev #ga…"
IndieGameGuys says"RT @SarkSweet: -Big Fish- I didn't enjoy it at all. I can even pass the first enemies I meet and don't understand its rules. #indiedev #ga…"
A Shark For Trouble says"-Big Fish- I didn't enjoy it at all. I can even pass the first enemies I meet and don't understand its rules.… https://t.co/ToC48124oQ"
In The News
PRNewswire reports"Big Fish Games Pledges $250K Toward Breast Cancer Awareness in Partnership with National Breast Cancer Foundation"
KOMO News reports"Class action lawsuit: Seattle-based Big Fish Games uses illegal gambling practices"
Polygon reports"Gaming community pulls together to tackle breast cancer"
Kotaku Australia reports"Streamers Furious After Ad Company Uses Twitch Donations To Advertise Burger King"