Working at Failbetter Games

About us

We are a boutique video game studio, devoted to making games with stories at their heart, founded in 2009 by Alexis Kennedy and Paul Arendt. Since, we’ve grown to a team of 16 working out of Southwark, London. Best known for Fallen London, our flagship free-to-play browser game, we launched Sunless Sea in February 2015 as our first full-blown video game for Mac, PC and Linux. We also made Dragon Age: The Last Court for BioWare. We make games that we love, and our profits go back into the studio. We’re in this for the long term.

What we’re looking for

Exceptional people who are self-motivated and comfortable working autonomously. Lots of places say this. We mean it: you’ll be trusted to make decisions about your work on a daily basis and you have to thrive on it. We want to hire people who specifically want to work for us. You don’t need to be a Fallen London megafan, but you need to have concrete reasons for choosing us over any other developer. We aren’t looking for full-time writers at the moment. We do sometimes use freelance writers. If you want to provide an application according to the guidelines here, we’ll put it in the pool we consider when recruiting new freelancers.

Our staff say

“Work your 7 hours with a proper lunch, go home, sleep 7 hours. If you have more work than you can do in the time, talk to me and we will agree what to cut.” – Alexis, the week before we launched Sunless Sea

“Rank video games as your third favourite pasttime? You’ll love it here!” – Liam, director of development, theatre nut

“Since working here, I’ve never woken up and not wanted to go to work, or spent Sunday night worrying about Monday morning.” – Hannah, Comms Director

Culture

We operate a relaxed and open office culture, with realistic expectations of our team. We treat overtime as something to be used only in emergencies. The risk of making mistakes because you’re tired far outweighs the benefits of crunch. We use productivity tools (like Slack) to drastically reduce the amount of time spent in meetings or slaving over a hot inbox. We don’t tolerate harassment of our staff. We run our community with principles of kindness and civility and expect the same in return. We regularly host Failbetter and Friends drinks around London, and have an ongoing Crusader Kings game over semi-regular evenings.

Benefits and Perks

We can’t compete with big developers on free saunas and skiing trips, but we’ll only make you an offer if we can match or improve your salary. We offer 25 days’ holiday a year, and we all work from home one day a week (usually Thursdays, because who can get the hang of Thursdays?). We have BUPA health insurance. We celebrate babies and children! We have better-than-statutory provision for maternity, paternity and adoption leave. We also subscribe to a childcare voucher scheme and offer flexible working for parents. If there’s a conference you’d like to speak at, we will support you to apply and sponsor you to attend. We also send a few people to GDC every year. There is a small annual fund for exceptional staff projects, by application. This could be for anything, providing it’s interesting. There are numerous other perks to working here, not limited to: free games, frequent cake, venetian masks, mystery boxes, miniature pavlovas, rats.

Location

Our office is in a converted Victorian foundry, 5 min from Southwark and 8 min from Waterloo.

If all of this sounds like your cup of tea

Send an email to jobs@failbettergames.com and tell us what you’re interested in. If you’re an international applicant, please make sure you already have a working visa. If you’re a writer or narrative designer, we have a specific submissions process for writer-designer roles. Not there yet? Here’s our advice on getting started in games writing.