PeopleFun Employee Spotlight: ‘Everything We Do Is About Making Fun Experiences’
“PeopleFun is really the kind of place that has demonstrated a strong investment in its people. Mentorship and growth have been phenomenal.”—Neal Miniyar, Lead Product Manager.
What do you get when you put together a crew of passionate gamers and problem solvers from colorful and diverse backgrounds? The team at PeopleFun! They’re the masterminds behind global word sensation Wordscapes, along with Word Stacks, Wordscapes Search, and Blockscapes—generating over 200 million downloads. The fast-growing studio is expanding and looking for talent to fill exciting new roles.
PeopleFun is based in Dallas, TX with satellite employees in California. For now, the team is working remotely, but it hasn’t stopped them from continuing to innovate and create wildly popular games while growing their beloved household titles.
To get to know the PeopleFun team and their culture, we spoke with Neal Miniyar, the Product Owner of Blockscapes and Lead Product Manager for Blockscapes and Wordscapes Search. Neal spends his days developing the product roadmap, designing and evaluating A/B tests, surveying the competitive landscape, and managing other product managers and data analysts across both games.
“I love working with a group of highly intelligent and motivated people that all love games– both playing and making them. I get to work with some of the best talent in the industry,” Neal explained.
Neal’s challenges and responsibilities
Hailing from a finance and investing background, Neal said he wanted to transition into a product manager role to align his career with his true interests in tech. A gamer for most of his life, he enjoys tying back roadmap decisions and results of A/B tests to actual customer behavior and making decisions that best balance user experience and business goals.
He added, “We need to be able to tie the data to user behaviors and motivations.”
Product manager in the gaming industry
Neal believes that in order to thrive in a gaming environment you not only need to be passionate about playing games, you also need a strong ability to communicate—not only your own ideas but also an openness and receptivity to different ideas.
When asked about what a seasoned product manager should understand, he responded, “An experienced PM should understand how a game’s core loop and features tie together with the target audience and have a strong comprehension of KPIs to assess how successful the game is achieving its goals. They should also understand the game from a business perspective and how it monetizes. And then they should be able to incorporate all of that and have ideas on how to further improve the product.”
PeopleFun is hiring for many roles right now—including a lead product manager role. A premium game studio like PeopleFun looks for certain candidate qualities.
Neal provided insight into what the team was looking for in a qualified candidate, saying, “A product manager should have a growth mindset, passion for gaming, and strong attention to detail. At a premium game studio like PeopleFun, our games have such a broad reach that you really need to have a high standard for quality—which is actually something that carries over into multiple things about PeopleFun and its culture. The bar for quality for any game release is incredibly high.”
PeopleFun is hiring!
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He continued, “Having natural curiosity and the attitude of a lifelong learner is critical if you want to do well. What separates an average product manager from a really good one? A good product manager takes it upon him or herself to dig into problems and provides solutions.”
What’s it like to work at PeopleFun?
PeopleFun is the kind of place where tenure isn’t what necessarily matters. “It’s about your potential for growth: the quality of work you deliver, ideas you generate, and ability to collaborate with peers. I have an amazing manager that’s invested strongly in my own growth and personal development—and that’s the norm for PeopleFun.”
Quick note: At the time this article was written, Neal was Lead Product Manager. Starting April 2021, Neal’s new title will be Director of Product!
From leadership to his peers, Neal says it’s a joy working with the team. “Our leaders have a great track record of creating games. This is exactly what they’d be doing as a hobby. They’re gamers at heart, approachable, and they’re fun people to be around.”
Neal appreciates working with people from diverse backgrounds, saying, “We’re a studio with people who have experience in casual, core, PC, console, and mobile. We have incredible reach with the number of players in our games—we have over 200 million installs in our games across the world.”
In addition to remote social happy hours and playing video games together during lunch, Neal loves the open-minded atmosphere. He said once a month the team gathers for Idea Day, which is promoted throughout the company to anyone who may have a brilliant concept for a game or feature. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, game designer, product manager, or a coder—if it’s a good game idea, PeopleFun might make it!”
Curious about what opportunities are open at PeopleFun? See their open positions.