Zynga Reviews

Updated 29 August 2014
Updated 29 August 2014
408 Reviews

2.9
408 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
86 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    disrespectful and disappointing

    • 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 for more than a year

    Pros

    Food
    Bring your dog to work

    Cons

    - Very little accountability across all the levels. Layer after layer of bullshitting leads to one after another horrible management decisions. Lack of self-awareness of the business (or forced to jack up the numbers). If you aim for building up your integrity and expertise, this is not where you want to start your career
    - Culture of disrespect creates a hostile atmosphere. If you can't handle personal attack and finger pointing, it's better for you to stay away from zynga
    - No transparency in performance review and promotion. They throw titles at people's face when people want to leave . Thus most people there with the word "Manager" "Director in their titles don't know how to develop and lead a team at all. Ironically, this mid-management team with inflated title will not hesitate to dress their team members down in front of crowds or behind close doors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Show some respect to people's hard work and LISTEN to what people are talking about. At the end of the day, fancy office doesn't matter, the so called zynga speed doesn't matter, how many people got promoted or kicked out doesn't matter. What matters is to make ONE goddamn good game

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    Sweatshopville

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

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

    Pros

    you got free t-shirts and they used to have all the snacks you could eat, but then cut back on that.

    Cons

    they claim to rely heavily on metrics, but ignore the metrics in favor of hoping real hard that things will magically get better. slow to adjust to new information, willing to manipulate and scam users, and devoid of any bold ideas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    close up shop. prior to the new ceo coming in, they were dead in the water. stagnant. afraid. living in the past. culture of "meritocracy" didn't work because middle management stole credit for good ideas and hard work in order to keep their bonuses high, until bonuses were cut anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Exhausting, high-pressure environment

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Challenging work, opportunities to work with large-scale analytic data, and a very fast turnaround from ideas to action. Free food & stuff if that is important to you. Fun co-workers.

    Cons

    Very, very tiring. Relentless demands on your time - late nights, weekend work, always feeling like you're behind. Pay was better than other options by say 20%, but easily worked 40% more than other positions = you're getting paid less for your time, which is your life.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, but lacking direction and career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

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

    Pros

    Great benefits (medical/dental premium covered 100%, amazing food from the culinary staff, great coffee, snacks)

    Cons

    While Don Mattrick and other executives focus on hiring their friends into senior management positions, we continue to lose tons of talented employees who do the actual work on our products (engineers, PMs, designers).

    Most of the employees I know haven't received a significant title change or real salary bump in more than two years. And I don't see this changing anytime soon.

    Constant reorganizations and priority changes derail any progress teams are making. Teams are expected to be in a constant crunch mode, and we are given very little clarity on the company's priorities. Employees doing the day-to-day work are asked to do more with less—meanwhile the company continues to aggressively hire senior managers and directors who don't actually help with the production of games. This strategy does nothing but add additional layers of unnecessary bureaucracy that make our jobs even harder.

    Big decisions seem to be made on a whim, causing lots of thrash as teams scramble to comply with the executive "idea of the week" and delay progress on milestones that really matter. It seems like with every project we are reinventing the wheel with respect to the software development process. None of this process, and none of the key questions to ask during that process, should be new to anyone in management at a software company!

    Morale at the company seems to be at an all-time low. You often hear stories about Zynga's earlier years where people were excited to work hard and stay late at the office. It's just not the case now. People cheer with excitement for one another when they hear a friend found a job elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to understand how much you make teams scramble on a day-to-day basis with strange requests and questions asked on a whim that pull entire teams off important work so their managers and executives can save face.

    We need more quality control and innovation in our products and in our leadership practices.

    Management needs to seriously consider the impact attrition is having on our work culture. When you see great colleagues leaving every week, it makes you really question your position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Great place to be a PM. Terrible place for creatives.

    • 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

    Great food, liberal vacation policy (if you can use it), little red tape, smart people, good location, bike and dog friendly.

    Cons

    Broken design culture, PM dominated decision making, short term focus, poor bonuses, mediocre salaries, brutal workloads, terrible team management, constant barking, high turnover, lots of politics and yes-men.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make games people will love playing and people will love making. Pay employees wages needed to live in San Francisco. Profit share more. Stop wasting your employees. Stop making copies and create something original.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 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
  8.  

    Great resources at your disposal, but plagued with never-ending reorgs.

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

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

    Pros

    Access to real-time data really strengthens the decision-making capabilities. Resources available to do job and perform well. A lot of flexibility given to employees. Lots of great perks (food, gym, dogs, fun building). Fun work environment in a fun building and great city location.

    Cons

    Constantly plagued with reorgs and leadership changes, impeding on team building opportunities and career growth. Bonuses aren't regular or completely transparent. Losing a bit of the work hard / play hard edge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    We need more excitement from our new CEO.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion 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.  

    Terrible culture, terrible people and a terrible product

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Analyst I
    Former Employee - QA Analyst I

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor for less than a year

    Pros

    Free food. Lots of cute puppies around.

    Cons

    Where to start? Upper management is inept. Games are clones of clones (well done clones, but still). Original thought is not wanted nor needed. Terrible terrible place to work at. The company has been suffering some serious brain drain over the past 3 years as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Women and children first. bail sailors, bail bail bail.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    Not really a good place for engineers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer  in  Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)

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

    Pros

    Fun Place to Work , Free Food, Good Opportunities for personal growth, you get to work on games played by thousands of players.

    Cons

    Not really a good place for engineers. Most engineers get to work on sunset games transitioned from the US with the aim of keeping the revenue stable for some time.
    Company not doing well ans has had multiple layoffs in the past

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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