Zynga Reviews

Updated 21 September 2014
Updated 21 September 2014
349 Reviews
3.0
349 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food and snacks are good and did offset some of the salary cut the pre-ipo hired took (in 52 reviews)

  • Benefits, cool office environment, in house Gym, breakfast, lunch and dinner (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays (in 40 reviews)

  • Low morale coupled with long hours at my studio (in 25 reviews)

More Highlights

80 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    A good place to work, but company needs to find its footing in the market again.

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    People were friendly and fun to work with.
    Was treated well and valued by the company over all.
    Good pay overall as Senior -> Principal engineer role over time.

    Cons

    Weekly release feature cadence grinds could get pretty monotonous.
    Engineering work often degraded into repeated Actionscript3 and JSON for feature creation on web based games. Most engineers wanted newer challenges to tackle (understandably).
    Other peoples dogs barking and peeing under my desk repeatedly during work hours. (No I didn't have a dog.)

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more opportunities to innovate and create truly unique products by the people doing the creating.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Better now stronger leadership

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get to work on games, which is cool. The pay is decent and the people can be really fun. the building is nice and new, and it does not feel crowded.

    Cons

    The open door to dogs makes the place smell like a kennel. The overtime can get really bad, and overall burn out is common.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is still too much middle management. There are armies of people making spreadsheets

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    If you can handle it, you'll excel.

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    - People - Love or hate the games, the people behind this company are it's best asset. Smart, driven, fast and always open to help, you'll be pulled forward by them and if you're smart enough to find a good mentor, they'll help you push yourself to new heights. Go for the people!
    - Be your own CEO - Ability to own and impact large areas of whatever you're working on with distributed decision making.
    - Zynga Speed == Pragmatic - To move fast you have to make trade-offs and this place will teach you how to do it better than anyone out there.
    - Zynga First - Egos get pushed aside when someone challenges you with "is that Zynga first?"
    - Meritocracy - Doesn't matter if you're in QA, Documentation or Design, your voice gets heard and the best ideas rise to the top if people have the confidence to speak up.
    - Level Up - If you aspire to move up and can both build and execute upon a plan to grow your career then Zynga will reward you with upwards mobility. Just don't think working REALLY hard is enough, it's not, you need to show results.
    - Innovate - the games might not always show it (see cons) but internally the company is never afraid to change itself, processes, teams or tech in order to move forward. Sometimes that's a messy thing but at least it breaks the old molds and creates new ones.

    Cons

    - Insane hard pace at times, you'll burn out if you can't figure out how to stay healthy (which is your responsibility).
    - Regurgitation - games can be very derivative and there are economies of scale in doing so, move around to make sure you don't get bored, 1 year per team.
    - Ruled by Numbers - sometimes you need to use gut and intuition but those aren't always trusted if there's no comparable numbers to look at it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Address financial matters with transparency and honesty and you'll re-kindle the flame that started Zynga.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Fun company with super smart people.

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    The people are incredibly smart, helpful and collaborative.
    Employees are challenged, but not overworked.
    Great perks- delicious meals and awesome gym on-site, including a basketball court.
    People notice when you do good work and you usually get recognized for it.

    Cons

    It's not as "hot" of a company as it used to be, so it's lost some talented people over the last couple of years.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Work on retaining your top employees.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Great benefits and coworkers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - UI Designer
    Former Employee - UI Designer

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits- health, sick time, competitive salary, etc.
    Great facilities- kitchen, snacks, game rooms, hardware
    Mostly great people - talented and fun coworkers

    Cons

    Lots of restructuring and shifting.
    Industry based on franchise hits.
    Analytics drive EVERYTHING.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great place to work on casual games

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits and everyone works as a team to get things done.

    Cons

    Upper management seems directionless and don't know how to create any new games except for FarmVille.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop copying other games.
    Commit to new ideas.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good benefits

    • 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 full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Lots of smart co-workers.

    Good benefits.

    Company provides breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Happy hours on Fridays.

    Management is reasonable.

    Cons

    Depending on the project teams, some teams need to work longer hours than usual.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Zynga does allow for a high level of autonomy and ownership of product.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Benefits, People, Environment, Perks, Variability

    Cons

    Company is transitioning and the culture, roles and responsibilities are transitioning to more of an EA model.

  10. 4 people found this helpful  

    Company is past its prime but still a decent place to work

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I was at Zynga for more than 4 years. Having joined early, I got to see the company take off and subsequently the recent pains of the past few years.

    Knowing all that, my overall experience here has been fairly positive. Things are better for those who joined early however due to receiving more stock and compensation than those who have joined later. Consequently, it seems like a lot of the older folks are still here while those who have been here for a year or two quickly find something else and leave.

    The company direction isn't great but if you come into grips with the situation and silo yourself within your immediate group, then you'll find passionate people who really care about what they do and also some of the smartest people I've had the pleasure working for.

    And the perks? Awesome. Free food, free gym, shuttles, pretax on transit programs. The culinary department is probably the best performing division and most consistent group within the company. Having been served countless lunches and dinners over the past 4 years, I heartily say thank you to them.

    Cons

    Direction of the company is not great. Company lacks a culture of innovation and products that the company pushes out are lacking and cannot compare with competitors. I don't see that changing anytime soon unfortunately.

    Company has a lot of cash but pivots constantly with constant re-orgs which throw out everything that was previously done. I've had so many teams and managers in the past year that it's frustrating.

    My best advice is to put your head down, get what you can and learn what you can, and to not let it bother you too much. Otherwise the politics will and can kill this place for someone.

    Having to worry about layoffs all the time suck. Having been through both of them, they were huge morale drainers and made a lot of people jaded about staying, almost to the point of just zombie'ing through their career here. People joke about wanting to stay just to get laid off also and get the severence, not the best work environment to be in.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Embrace innovation and focus

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great place to work

    • 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 full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There's a pretty good work-life balance, depending on the team you're on. The benefits and perks offered are great and the teammates I have worked with are awesome. And there's always the chance that you get to work on interesting tasks.

    Cons

    Due to cost reduction, some perks were taken away. There's a huge gap between what management says about promotions and raises to what actually happen. Given the recent major changes at the company, in some situations, promotions have simply stalled.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be mindful about the teams you have and don't go laying off people while hiring for similar positions on other teams.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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