Sunday, October 20 2019

Lowering the bar… Kixeye recruiting video is *@$# funny

Today, I stumbled upon a ridiculously funny video by San Francisco-based hardcore social games company, Kixeye.

In a video laced with profanity, the company promotes its culture where as it claims game developers can excel and reach their creative potential. If you are reading this post and wonder who Kixeye is, you are not alone. Formerly Casual Collective, Kixeye is a developer of online strategy and combat games with roughly 4.8 million monthly active users on Facebook compared to Zynga‘s 240+ million. But don’t let its size fool you. The start-up is one of the most profitable game companies on the social network due to its well-thought-out and well-executed “FREE” strategy. It creates free-to-play games (i.e. Battle Pirates – 1.1M monthly active users, War Commander – 2.4M) that generate solid revenue stream from sales of virtual goods.

The recruiting video, however, spares no competitor of this 200 employee company lobbing F- bombs at its competitors.
It advertises the company’s workplace as one that “copies no one” and “compromises nothing” and “has a fucking blast doing it.” Indeed, a quick glance on reveals that Kixeye is an absolutely kick-ass place to work: Unlimited PTO, company-wide bonus system and fun work culture.

But there is the rub. Numerous employee reviews seem to confirm word on the streets that its chief (seen at the end of this video) “rubs >80% of the company the wrong way” (review).

Video Cast

You may find the following cast description useful when watching this video:

Zygna KixeyeJanka: The Janka CEO is an obnoxious kid reigning from behind the desk and boasting that he has each of your balls (aka personal data) in his hands. Over his head is a picture of dogs boinking one another. Does it look like a company’s logo you happen to know, …Zynga?
Electronic Arts (EA) kixeyeEARRP: business on life support that has no regard for game quality and reminiscenting good old days of gaming.

Electronic Arts, perhaps?
Kerpoop: Possibly Kabam?, Kixeye’s closest competitor. Portrayed as dull, knowing how to talk and slide-deck social media.
In the video’s final scene Will Harbin, Kixeye CEO, appears with his personal pitch “make games by gamers for gamers.” He then makes promise: “You can say to your grandchildren, I made games that kicked serious ass. Mind-blowing games that left virtual farmers crapping their virtual pants in fear.”

Final Thoughts

Video game developers are becoming a scarce commodity in Silicon Valley mostly due to a very unique blend of skills including; their analytical prowess, agile coding, and godlike creativity. Indeed, the recruiting video illustrates that the war for talent is on, forcing even small players like Kixeye to use aggressive strategies against such hardcore social game giants as Zygna to lure top-notch talent.

Entrepreneur, award-winning start-up founder

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