Benjamin Gifford: How Top Games Drives Excellence and Innovation

Benjamin and team management

Evony: The King’s Return, a popular mid-core game, has recently ranked #5 on Data.ai’s list of top ten US-headquartered mid-core games. Benjamin Gifford, the Vice Development Director of Evony and Vice President of its publisher Top Games Inc., attributes this success to the company’s focus on excellence, innovation, and empowering its team. In a recent interview, Benjamin shed light on how Top Games has been able to maintain its position as a leader in the industry by fostering a culture of continuous improvement, data-driven decision-making, and a flat organizational structure.

Benjamin and team management

Shifting from Perfection to Excellence

Gifford believes that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, and encourages team members to explore all aspects of the company in search of improvements. The development team at Top Games has shifted its focus from achieving perfection to striving for excellence. They realized that constantly striving for perfection can hinder progress, as competitors quickly move forward with updates and innovations. Instead, the team passionately pursues incremental and sequential improvements, referred to as “roof shots,” as well as ambitious and revolutionary ideas that aim for significant change, known as “moonshots.” Both roof shots and moonshots are valued, desired, and rewarded at Top Games.

Empowering the Team and Making Data-Driven Decisions

A key factor in the success of Evony: The King’s Return is Top Games’ approach to empowering its team and making data-driven decisions. The company operates under a lean, open, and flat structure, where every engineer has no more than three management levels to the CEO, and managers and team leaders have more than seven direct reports. This allows for the free flow of information throughout the organization, enabling team members to make informed decisions and take ownership of their work. Top Games encourages its team to fail early and often but learn from those failures, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and growth. Data-driven decision-making is a cornerstone of Top Games’ approach, allowing the team to make informed choices based on data and analytics, rather than relying solely on intuition or guesswork.

Cultivating Ownership and Responsibility

At Top Games, every team member has a sense of ownership and acts in the best interest of the company’s values. The company creates a culture where everyone is encouraged to explore and grow, and ownership and responsibility are highly valued. Team members are empowered with information, supported in their decisions, and expected to proactively identify and fix problems. “The Top Games team is our greatest resource, and thus we invest heavily in it, which helps us create record-setting profits,” says Gifford. By fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility among its team members, Top Games has created a collaborative and innovative environment that has contributed to the success of Evony: The King’s Return.

Top Games has maintained its position as a leader in the industry. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, Top Games remains dedicated to its core values, driving its continued success in the highly competitive mid-core gaming market.

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