I came back to the game 18 months ago, after a hiatus of 4 years. The first thing that struck me was the change in quality control. I would have a hard time accepting roll outs with known bugs … every single time …
It’s in the natural evolution of companies to grow from “flat, horizontally organized, mutual collaboration based” organizations with lots of individual empowerment and mutual common sense of responsibility to rigid, pyramidal structures that do not allow for fast and spontaneously coordinated action, but where administrative and managerial rules come before the product. The process becomes more important than the product, which usually is quite detrimental for the quality of the product and for the speed with which products are delivered over time.
Even when mimicking a flat and modestly sized organization by using “project teams”, those are difficult to manage centrally (but attempted nevertheless), and usually have several reporting lines to several managers from different departments (making team leads nigh impotent but still responsible for deliverables). The negotiations to build such teams from people belonging to different departments usually lead to situations with unbalanced occupancy in the teams. Why ? Everyone, especially in a creative environment, advocates for his / her own little project of course, everything is important, priorities are endless and ever shifting and there is no one with the final word who actually knows the complete picture or who can still figure out what is need-to-have or merely nice-to-have.
And I’m not even mentioning the fact that they are now owned by another company. Total freedom is not on any table, so expect some influences from time to time.