Zynga

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Zynga Reviews

Updated 26 February 2015
Updated 26 February 2015
78 Reviews
2.0
78 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
78 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food & stuff if that is important to you (in 57 reviews)

  • Benefits, cool office environment, in house Gym, breakfast, lunch and dinner (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays (in 42 reviews)

  • Low morale coupled with long hours at my studio (in 27 reviews)

More Highlights

78 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Company Imploding Under Weight of Incompetent Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good pay. Cool facilities. Generally friendly and competent co-workers, some with a great deal of experience and talent. A good place to work if you're a coder.

    Cons

    Original owner destroyed management structure by listening to sycopants and sharks. Ended up with a company dedicated to sucking the last nickel out of an ever-diminishing client-base and throwing other employees under the bus for personal advancement. Became functionally unable to release decent games or to give a game enough time to grow and find its audience. Began violently restructuring every 10 minutes. I wouldn't work here again until and unless they managed to release several new and interesting and successful games, and I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves. Start with an entire clean slate. Create groups with the authority to make and test and release games without going through the incredibly awful vetting process. Stop rewarding managers for destroying teams.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    A Dysfunctional Step Towards Better Pastures

    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor (less than a year)

    Pros

    + If you can successfully do your job here, you can probably successfully do your job anywhere
    + Doglovers' paradise
    + Baristas at the free espresso bar were basically wizards of their craft
    + Actually, the entire culinary team is incredible. Eat their food any chance you get, especially the snacks made in-house: pickles, coconut granola, beef jerky, ice cream, etc. Stuff it in your bag, fill your cheeks with it like a deranged hamster. Their food is so good.
    + Actually actually, the entire facilities team is stupendous! Do you know how hard it is to keep a place as huge as Zynga is clean, secure, and running smoothly? Facilities staff are the unsung heroes of this story, guys.
    + Convenient free shuttles to BART, Caltrain, and down the Peninsula
    + I loved my team. LOVED. Greatest group of people I've ever worked with. Sadly, I'm not evaluating them; I'm evaluating the company.

    Cons

    Look, this place is what it is: a stepping stone; a place to refine one's skills in the fire before heading out for that real dream job - and they know it. The turnover/attrition rate here is unbelievably high - if you've worked at Zynga for a year, you've done some serious time. The recruiting team tries to keep the staffing numbers up and oftentimes relies on bringing in non-local candidates. Zynga's rep in the Bay Area has been torched so badly, the local workforce (and those who are tuned into the goings on of the tech and gaming industries) know to stay away. So we look out-of-state, for candidates who want to move to the Bay Area and just need a way in. Once they get here, work a couple of months and find a place to live, they get the hell out and into a more reputable company.

    I was a contractor for them. A good portion of the "expendable" workers (aka: anyone not a software engineer) are. That way, once leadership looks at its quarterly/EOY reports and decides that it's been bleeding money and needs to tighten up, it's easy to sweep out the chaff, without needing to go through the fuss of actually laying off FT employees and paying severance. My boss had no notice that me and four of my coworkers were going to be cut; she had no say in who was going to be cut.

    As a contractor, I was also sometimes on the outside looking in: I couldn't attend the company holiday party unless I was a FTE's +1, I wasn't allowed to use the (awesome) company gym, and I got none of the supposedly-lovely benefits and generous vacation policy. That's pretty standard for contractor work, I guess. I'm just spoiled and grumping about that.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leadership: I know you know that Zynga is dysfunctional and broken. I know you know your reputation. Why do you continually ignore the fact that you're bleeding out? I was here for a short time, in a limited capacity. If I couldn't even really see the leaders trying to lead, how is the public supposed to see it?

    Assess and address your apathetic and disillusioned workforce and commit to being strong and honest leaders. Don't perform triage anymore; you're beyond that stage and you know it.

    Negative Outlook
  3.  

    Sink or swim

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Good infrastructure, facilities and perks.
    Smart People
    Excellent food (3 meals per day)
    Good promotions / career trajectory if you fit

    Cons

    Downward trajectory - don't see Zynga recovering former glories
    Tough work-life balance (although I hear it has improved)
    Easy to stagnate if you don't succeed or fit the mould
    Frequent team changes

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become scrappy - release games frequently (Not necessarily the highest quality)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Mismanagement, too many levels of upper execs with too many opinions interfering with product.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Free food, complimentary gym, other perks.

    Cons

    Management, producer to game developer ratio is insane, definitive example of too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You don't need 4 managers per employee.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Good people, bad culture.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Analytical skills are honed, especially for optimizing growth. People work hard and there is a no nonsense culture.

    Cons

    Long hours and on call weekends, team members change quickly because of churn, and company is very money-minded instead of product-minded.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    fresh college guys

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    free food and free snacks

    Cons

    it's full of fresh college guys who know nothing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Too many rock stars ruin the work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology, or at least it was.

    Cons

    Not everyone wants to live at their job.
    long, long hours, poor pay, too much good old boy poLititz and a "merit" system based more on who can climb over the real worker bees and take credit

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop with everyone is a CEO BS. Too often the loudest people get heard even though they are often the least knowledgeable. Find your experst and who are your real strategic thinkers and listen to them, not the 1st year programmer who writes code that's bloated and bad. Listen to those who have experience in community management and not to some producer who thinks the game is his. It's not, it belongs to the players and stop trying to tell your users what you want them to want and listen to what they are telling you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of true leadership, fun during the good times.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director, Product Management in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Director, Product Management in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Great workplace perks at HQ, fun environment, bring your dog to work, dynamic industry.

    Cons

    Lack of vision and leadership (original CEO & management team was still there) beyond its initial success. People believed their own hype and didn't invest properly in the future (i.e. mobile) before it was too late. Internal studios didn't work well together. Short term rewards and thinking meant no industry leadership beyond initial successes on Facebook.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in the future in terms of product strategy, values, and people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Didn't deliver on the promise

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Producer in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Great Benefits, cool office, great food.

    Cons

    Product strategy is broken as they cancel more games than they release. Business thinking drives too much of the new product development and they end up with uninspiring fast-follow clones that they end up cancelling. This takes a toll on the creative people that they desperately need to be inspired. A good deal of the best people I worked with here have since left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find the balance between business and creative ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    not good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The only real perks include free junkfood, soda and liquor

    Cons

    Zynga pays far less than majority of their local competitors and does not seem to properly honor people's work experience. Many experienced employees are hired here and given a job title that does not reflect their resume. People in tech services departments are expected to work long hours so that deadlines will be met while management is off at happy hour, Giants games, etc. It's painfully apparent that Zynga will hire people who have virtually no technical skills as long as they have a reference. Furthermore, many people here are not personable and will often go to great lengths to avoid a face-to-face conversation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some managers who know what it means to lead a team. People will not give you 100% effort at work when you are underpaying them and allowing their managers/leads to work from home every day. Get rid of your review system and reward employees based on their contributions to projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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