Playdom Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback

From Everything.Sucks

Playdom was an online social network game developer popular on Facebook, Google+ and Myspace. The company was founded in the San Francisco Bay Area by University of California, Berkeley graduates Ling Xiao and Chris Wang and Swarthmore College graduate Dan Yue. In 2009, the market for games played on social networking sites was valued at $300 million, consisting mostly of online sales of virtual goods.

A disappointed customer shared this on TrustPilot "I play a Playdom game called 'Gardens of Time' on iPad. It's a hidden object game with a storyline and can be fun to play. However, the game is riddled with bugs, inconsistencies and glitches. In addition, the latest chapters cannot be opened as they require more points than gamers can achieve. The virtual currency is ridiculously expensive, for example, $6.99 in real money would buy a single hidden object scene. Furthermore, virtual currency is liable to disappear for no apparent reason, even if players have used real money to buy it. What makes this worse is that the customer service team takes a long time to reply to support requests and the replies are often irrelevant or unhelpful. I see that there are a number of poor reviews of Playdom on the web and suggest avoiding games made by this company".


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Current Employee - Development Lead says

"Unrealistic deadlines, unreasonable (and occasionally abusive) management. Everything recently said about the post-Disney culture change is true. It used to feel agile and like a startup, but the structure and management style has shifted considerably in the last few years."


"Horrible HR management! HR team is the worst, too dramatic! They think they own the place. No respect, they treat adults like children. Micro-managers, don't trust their own team members and behave like spoilt rotten rich kids."

Former Employee - Product says

"1. Negative Social Value of the Product. There are two types of people at Playdom. Those who are uncomfortable with the revenue model (e.g., overcharging bored middle-aged housewives for value-less virtual goods) and those who love it, aka, the sociopaths. I learned an important lesson about myself at Playdom - loathing the product that I work on does awful things to my job satisfaction and sense of self-worth. 2. Lack of Mentorship. Playdom hired a shitload of PMs who had no idea how to make games. The idea was, "This is a consumer web product, we want people who would excel at Silicon Valley-style startups." You should already see the problem. Making games is fundamentally different from making other web products. The result was that there was really no one around on the ground level who could mentor PMs on how to run game teams or hold a good vision for a game product. This IMO was the fundamental reason why so many of our products failed shortly after launch. We were just guessing about design direction. 3. Technology. I'm not super technical, so this is mostly second hand from the engineers I respected. We made terrible decisions with regards to tech. Considering the vast amount of shared tech required across games, it was astounding how frequently we had to reinvent the wheel. This is in stark contrast to Zynga, known for having 'Gameville' - a game project which contained all the code to get a FB game up and running with standard Zynga features. Sharing and organization was just atrocious. 4. Tech Decisions. One thing I could see for myself was how ridiculous it was for Creative Directors to make tech decisions. CDs would hear something about a tech and decide that entitled them to decide what tech stacks should be used. Invariably, when a tech was forced on a team from management, the results were disastrous. 5. Psychopathic Managers. The level of office politics really transcended the normal, everyday shadiness inevitably present in competitive office settings. There were managers at Playdom so used to lying that if you basically assumed the opposite whenever they told you anything and you'd be right 9/10 times. People who would tell you to your face that your project is doing great and everything is on track, and then cause problems for you to upper management. People who encouraged YOU to lie to YOUR teams because it was the only way to keep morale up. Just a sickening environment."

Former Employee - Game Programmer says

"This company has invested in some of the worst technology that I have ever seen."

Former Employee - Producer says

"Gives Disney a bad name. Upper management insincere. Inability to communicate effectively. Tech unwieldy and outdated. Uninformed decision makers."

Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"bad vision from management, un-reasonable expectations"


"Upper management is rude. Management spreads rumors about employees. HR shares private information among employees freely."

Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says

"I think this is a pretty common problem with startups: when the money's coming in without a clear structure, things get sloppy, issues get ignored, managers' egos get out of hand etc.. This company was definitely that, which while I was paid well and really appreciated the perks, there was too little damage control over fear of rocking the boat. For example, someone with far less adequate experience than I and others on our team, got promoted and paid more than us (I heard from a coworker) on account of likely nepotism. A much more qualified team member who just had a baby got fired on account of this person, who I'd literally see sneering and talking behind people's backs, just for their appearance. It was kind of traumatic, and I'd never dealt with a situation this bad in my almost decade long career then, having worked for global agencies and networks. I had to bite the bullet and quit even before finding work elsewhere. I don't blame this person as much as management and HR, who I expressed this issue to and saw no follow through. Of course these were isolated incidents, but I also knew it was a bad sign when a newly hired industry veteran quit, after their first meeting with one of the founders. I definitely heard similar complaints about structure though, and it felt like "every man for himself". Overall it was not much unlike the Titanic, where people were too busy having a good time, to steer clear of the inevitable downfall."

Current Employee - Software Engineer says

"Old boys club: Many low level management are protected by upper management making open-door policies a joke. Looking to the future: Not enough foresight as to what viable platforms are for new titles. Making bad decisions and not correcting course until its too late. Very stressful release schedule. Low pay when compare to other employers offering like positions. Management loves to pass blame down the ladder and act like they are doing it all right."

Current Employee - Development Lead says

"Bad Management and very bad career options."

Ray Ramirez says

"This company likes to drop their games like a hot tamale. Don't waste your money trying to get ahead! It'll all go to waste."

Bent A Mikkelsen says

"If you find a bug, they dont care about it"

Michael Madsen says

"Play there for free but dont ever think about buying gold or silver at this site, the support level is extremly slow it takes days to get any reply even as a paying customer, and i would allmost go as far to say they will scam you out of your money, you can pay alot to reach a goal but then they stop you from reaching it by closing down your option to deposit and come up with some weird reasons for closing it, they did that to me 2 days before reaching the goal in pvp, heres one of my weird messages, "paypal has declined your deposit" even though you have money in there and when you go to your paypal account it will tell you that playdom stopped the deposit, i dont know how they expect to keep customers with a buissness plan like this, feels like a scam make you pay up to a day or two before a tournament ends and then stop you from completing it."