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Evony VP Benjamin Gifford: How Top Games Inc. Strives for Excellence through Innovation


Evony has grown from that initial Flash browser game so many years ago, and it has left a tell-tale mark on 4X Strategy Games players can find across the app stores now. Top Games team believes that great ideas can come from anyone, anywhere, and encourage them to explore all aspects of the company to seek improvements. Benjamin Gifford, Evony’s Vice President of Programs, has a unique perspective on managing successful teams and gives us further insight into why evony is successful.


Normally, development teams focus on this idea of perfection, that they won’t let something out in the marketplace if it isn’t 100% perfect. But they realized that while they’re doing thatthey’re being passed by competition who leapfrog beyond whatever iteration of perfection they’re trying to achieve. Perfection is not the goal; excellence should be what they’re striving for.

“Looking at the Leading companies in your field, they might never own a perfect product or service but what they do own is excellence,” Benjamin says.

To achieve excellence, the Top Games Team needs to be methodically, relentlessly, and persistently striving for constant innovation with incremental and sequential roof shots.

This is how to make products and services better and updates more impactful. By passionately pursuing these roof shots, Top Games Inc. identifies and achieves moonshots. Both roof shots and moonshots are valued, desired, and rewarded.

And the only way to keep the goal striving for excellence is to empower the team and make decisions with data so they can fail early, and fail often but learn from failure.

“The team shouldn’t limit themselves into a job protection mode, instead they should stretch their capabilities and grow constantly without satisfaction with current success.” Benjamin insists.

Top Games Inc. teams operate in a lean, open, and flat structure. For the engineering department, every engineer has no more than three Management levels to the CEO while managers and team leaders have more than seven direct reports.

Top Games Inc.’s Leadership under David Guo works hard to ensure all information is shared throughout Top Games freely wherever possible except for legal or privacy reasons since each member of Top Games is a thinker and builder, who need the information to create the best value for players.

Top Games Inc. creates a place where each member always has a sense of ownership and acts in the best interest and culture of Top Games. Everyone has a responsibility to do the right things and ensure the team’s goals and values are maintained. And by giving the team as much information as freely available, supporting their decisions, and empowering them, Top Games expects the team to discover and fix problems proactively. “Top Games team is our greatest resource and thus we heavily invest at first, which helps us create record-setting profits,” Benjamin confirms.

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