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Interesting Glassdoor review about some of the competition

Discussion in 'Off-Topic English' started by Hecaton, Sep 29, 2019.

  1. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    I think a lot of us in the minis gaming crowd played or were at least exposed to Privateer Press's products at some point. A lot of us perceived the company and playerbase to be having problems after their MK III (3rd edition) release, and an outgoing employee left a scathing review on Glassdoor that kind of supported my assumptions (I know people who've worked at the company).


    I worked at Privateer Press full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get to work in the miniatures game industry, which is a niche industry with a lot of passion.

    Cons

    There is only one person in the company (Matt Wilson) who gets to make any decisions, and he has a very specific, narrow vision of what he wants from his properties, and he struggles to communicate it with the rest of the employees. Senior leadership is willfully ignorant of the product lines and irregularly requests assistance from knowledgeable team members, which leads to inconsistent and often error-filled products. Senior leadership is very out of touch with current business trends for the industry and make decisions with little research or understanding and poorly delegate the projects. Company turnover rate is exceptionally high, and management does not back fill positions (either at all, or in a timely fashion), or simply shuffles existing employees into new roles and responsibilities with no pay or title adjustment, leading to exceptionally large workloads handled by unprepared employees. No training or career development. No reviews. No raises or bonuses. Pay minimum or close to minimum wage for almost all roles. Company owner lives in an entirely different state but no decision can be made without his implicit sign off, which can stall or halt project completion. Very, very, very few people in the company play any of it's own products except during mandated events (streams, conventions, etc) because of fatigue with the game and an aging game design that caters to a very small audience that is continually shrinking. New products are rushed out without proper design and iteration time and only manage to land well on pure luck and grit.

    Advice to Management

    The company has shrunk from over 100 employees at it's peak to 30'ish now, and most employees have left for better pastures or simply because they can't stand the company management and direction. Start from scratch. Re-organize the company structure, build a solid process foundation and put key employees in positions where they can meaningfully direct the future prospects of the company. Give employees the power to actually make decisions and steer product direction.

    The whole situation is kind of a bummer, since when Warmachine came out it was a breath of fresh air compared to Games Workshop, and they had interesting fluff and models. To a certain extent there's a bit of schadenfreude at seeing Matt Wilson's failing attempts at starting a career in Hollywood, a bit of "Oh, you think you're too good for us?"

    Interesting situation in the industry, though. GW has found a second wind, recently, it seems, though from where I'm standing Infinity seems to be expanding pretty steadily, and Malifaux has hit a rebound. One of Infinity's big hurdles is getting new people into the game, and I'm hoping that the slimmed-down or beginner's ruleset that hits next year enables that, and it doesn't fall the situation that Warmahordes has/had where it's utterly incomprehensible to new players.
     
    #1 Hecaton, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
    ZlaKhon, Savnock, csjarrat and 6 others like this.
  2. csjarrat

    csjarrat Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    I think infinity is in a good place. Malifaux has had a lot of ups and downs and has major problems in EU with distribution which have a big effect on growth.
    Both malifaux and warmahordes have died off in my area and in the areas adjacent to mine. GW seem to be the biggest winner off their death tbh, all the skirmish games and legacy games they've rebooted have mopped up people's spending power.
    Infinity seems to be ticking over ok as there's a steady stream of releases and good attendance at events.
    We're Def ready for a new edition though. N3 Def feels its age
     
    ObviousGray likes this.
  3. ObviousGray

    ObviousGray Frenzied Mushroom
    Warcor

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    Does Malifaux 3E gets some appeal? Our scene its decimated. Like 4 people playing it in entire nation.
     
  4. csjarrat

    csjarrat Well-Known Member
    Warcor

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    A few have drifted back but the scene is a shadow of itself now
     
  5. Rizzy

    Rizzy Armchair Strategos L3

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    Warmahordes Battlebox games were really fun to play a little with friends who weren't that much into tabletop games. Sad to see it go down.
     
  6. Challenger

    Challenger Well-Known Member

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    The developer who wrote that (who said it was them on facebook) ran the CID playtests that were pumping out new models and themes (equivalent of infinity sectorials).

    Unfortunately the CID experience became one of the worst you could find around. there were:
    • Lobbying for buffs for your faction because if its not top tier, its garbage
    • Fake battle reports
    • deliberately misleading battle reports - a good example of this is i personally spectated two players doing a CID game. Part of the process is you document your battle report, then rate units afterwards and say why you think they are green (balanced), yellow (op or up) or red (mechanically don't function, like a rule not working). they played out a full game where a unit had a very minor effect on the game, it essentially tangled with another unit of similiar cost and came out losing, and they were very quick to add "Yellow - this units ability is too strong" just at the end of the battle report. This was a very, very common trend. post a battle report, then post opinions of models they had that didn't follow from the testing
    • community witch hunting about CID forum users they didnt like - the warmachine discord was full of this
    • community witch hunt about "Non faction players trying to keep us down" - the discord got extremely nasty
    • Developers doing some of the sloppiest testing - Infernals CID is a great example. they changed the core mechanic a few times throughout the cid, refused to extend the cid at all. got to the last 2-3 days and locked in a huge buff that no one had time to test. infernals are now very powerful.
    it was a community and a development disaster. it drove me very far from the game because in the middle of CID frenzies on the discord i would feel very uncomfortable reading the things people had to say about people who rated their faction as 'too strong'
     
  7. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    The only other "open community playtesting" I'm aware of is Firestorm Armada 2nd edition which has similar issues (Aquans were basically a step above anyone else due to shouty player base).

    I'd be interested to know if there any other miniatures games out there that have gone through fully open community playtesting before release. Judging signal/noise ratios on that sort of project seems really hard to me.
     
  8. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Well, MK 2 Warmachine went through a process like that.
     
  9. colbrook

    colbrook Black Fryer

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    How did it turn out? My knowledge of what some in my old group called Boredmasnordes is pretty slim.
     
  10. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    2e overall felt pretty solid up until near the end, from my perspective. It didn't necessarily feel like everything was working right (High-Def Infantry was the Infiltrating Camo Spam of Warmachine) but they added more tools to deal with that as time went on. Fundamentally, though, there were problems that needed to be addressed with a new edition, but they flubbed that transition something fierce.
     
  11. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Epic:Armageddon, in it's fan-supported version.

    Has one person whose job is called 'Army Champion', and is in charge of coming up with new/cool ideas regardless of balance. The ideas can be built up or brought down in power level after playtesting.
     
    Abrilete and chromedog like this.
  12. MikeTheScrivener

    MikeTheScrivener O-12 Peace Kepper

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    After reading OP's post, I got curious and went on their glass door, apparently this type of review or review like this are nothing new.
    It's really disheartening to see, especially if you want to break into this industry
     
    Hecaton likes this.
  13. Hecaton

    Hecaton EI Anger Translator

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    Any time an employer can use your enthusiasm to pay you less, they will.
     
  14. Section9

    Section9 Well-Known Member

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    Sad, but true.