Layoffs are a highly emotional topic that evokes strong reactions. It is therefore understandable that the media are treating it in a very biased way. Some things were written about Goodgame Studios as an employer in this context that do not match the facts and have nothing to do with the reality of the situation.
Goodgame Studios is a young company which has created more than 1280 jobs for people from nearly 70 nations within only six years. This makes us very proud.
We continuously adapt our internal processes to requirements that are always changing. Even if our adjustments do not always keep up with the pace of these changes (Deloitte awarded us as fastest-growing tech company in Germany) it is nevertheless a great feeling to be part of such a dynamic company.
At the same time, this period of development offers our employees the opportunity to contribute and have an impact on our journey. We want employees to take on challenges themselves and assume responsibility for the production of our games and the creation of a positive work experience.
Are we the perfect employer? No, we are not. Are we an employer who continuously works on improving itself and towards creating a better work experience? Yes, we are. We would not be Goodgame Studios if we did not learn particularly fast from our mistakes. That is part of the Goodgame DNA.
Allegation: Goodgame Studios pays exploitative and unfair salaries.
Reality: Wrong. Goodgame Studios pays competitive and fair salaries.
We are currently in a worldwide battle for talent. This is why we need to pay competitive salaries. Our average yearly salary is around the German average, and is above average when compared to peers of the same age group.
In our company we employ people from very diverse backgrounds in a wide variety of positions, ranging from a campus driver who connects our two office locations to a marketing expert or a highly specialised developer. Of course, this leads to differences in salaries. However, only three percent of all employees receive minimum wage, and many of these are interns.
The statement that we hire employees from Eastern Europe because they are cheaper is an affront to the great work of these employees. We employ about 120 people from 18 Eastern European countries, so less than 7 per country. To give a comparison, more than 50 of our employees come from Great Britain alone. Hence there can be no question of a mass hire of Eastern Europeans. Salaries of our Eastern European colleagues also match those of colleagues in similar positions.
Allegation: Employees of Goodgame Studios receive the minimum of vacation days.
Reality: Wrong. Employees of Goodgame Studios get at least one week more.
In Germany, the statutory minimum leave is 20 vacation days for a contractually regulated five-day workweek. Every Goodgamer is given 25 vacation days, or five weeks of vacation, every year, and not four as claimed by ver.di: The regular number of vacation days is twenty-four, and Goodgamers receive an additional vacation day this year to take during the company holidays between the years.
Within the context of our employee retention program, every employee will receive an additional vacation day from next year onwards. An additional day will be given for every full year. This means that a maximum of 30 vacation days can be reached. In the next year, every Goodgamer will get on average two more vacation days.
Allegation: Goodgame Studios is forcing employees into fixed-term contracts.
Reality: Wrong. Only some contracts are fixed-term.
To give concrete numbers, we are currently employing 15 percent of our staff on a fixed-term contract. The German average for employees at the age of 25 to 34 who have a fixed-term contract was at 17.2 percent in 2014. With an average age of about 30 years our numbers are therefore just below this average. We have continuously decreased the proportion of fixed-term contracts.
Allegation: Goodgame Studios’ employees have no say in the company’s development.
Reality: Wrong. We offer employees a variety of ways to engage.
Goodgame Studios could only become so successful because of its talented and committed team. We are aware that we can only be successful in the long term if our employees can unleash their full potential. For this reason we are offering a variety of measures in order to enable them to actively take part in the development of the company.
Every month, our management presents itself to the whole company in order to discuss current topics. Any issues that are identified this way will, for instance, be tackled by a specific interdisciplinary work group for employee retention. This committee also investigates further measures in order to continually improve the work situation.
Our four-person Feelgood team offers a variety of counseling services. Individual meetings and weekly consultation hours offer a platform to talk about challenging situations, be they of professional or private nature. Additionally, they consult the Goodgame communities such as Gaymer & Friends in order to cater for specific needs.
Allegation: The working conditions at Goodgame Studios are abysmal.
Reality: Wrong. We offer very good working conditions and a multitude of benefits.
Goodgame Studios offers its employees a variety of benefits that go above and beyond the often quoted cereal and legendary company parties. Among those are flexible working hours with core hours from 10 to 5, which is quite unusual for IT and gaming companies, where crunch times often lead to long working days and mandatory weekend shifts. On top of that, Goodgame Studios offers various language and training courses, subsidized lunches, travel cards and parking slots, prioritized nursery placement on company premises and a multitude of health and preventive measures. Besides which, we offer extensive onboarding benefits, especially for our non-German employees. These include help with administrative processes, and finding accommodation and suitable schools for the children.
Allegation: Goodgame Studios creates a world of make-believe.
Reality: Wrong. We show what we have – and only that.
We do not lure applicants with promises that we cannot fulfill. Because the talented people we hire always have the option to sign on with another employer if their expectations are not met. The experts that we seek to hire come to Hamburg from nearly 70 countries all over the world, because we offer a work environment that fosters their own professional accomplishment. At Goodgame Studios what counts is an open and fair conduct towards one another, the opportunity to drive successful projects together, and to significantly contribute to the development and success of the company – not just a company party, free breakfast, etc.
In our previous post we already spoke about the accusations regarding the layoffs. You can find further information in regard to this here.