Zynga Reviews

Updated 13 September 2014
Updated 13 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

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Hard, but fun...

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

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

    Pros

    Good people, you learn a lot, and perks are good, but diminishing over time.

    Cons

    Management is kinda hit or miss, a lot of missed opportunities, some cronyism at the higher levels

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Meritocracy means not just taking care of your favorites...it means taking care of the best

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Poor Management

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

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits (food, healthcare, fitness) and great employees (the people who are actually making the games)

    Cons

    Management at the team level is sadly terrible. The group of GMs and high level managers that have remained with Zynga are still trying to use strategies from 2008 to determine how to move forward in a completely different game market.

    I have never worked for a more cliquey company in my entire career. I have watched people with little to no experience be promoted to senior and lead positions simply because they had worked with a particular manager on another project. I shouldn't have to hold a "senior" anyone's hand when using Microsoft Word or Perforce.

    Some long-term Zyngites seem oblivious to the troubles the company has had. The frequency in which I heard people brush off layoffs and other cuts in a nonchalant, casual manner was disturbing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When a team has three creative directors but no one to actually implement the vision then perhaps it is time to rethink the org chart.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Bachelor’s in Business Politics

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

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

    Pros

    Used to staff some of the best minds in the business to learn and work with. Now a great place to be working in the industry if you believe the game part of games takes a back seat to business priorities. A data lover's dream. Great perks and benefits including a great vacation policy. If you find the time to use it..

    Cons

    A constraining place to work in a creative capacity…all of it stifled by business priorities. Zynga saw a gradual migration of employees from other industry conglomerates shortly after their big game success who now occupy the upper management ranks. They brought much of the politics they claimed to run from with them. Other company leaders wised up and left long ago. Employees must have worked directly with these managers or risk being layoff targets.

    They hire for the job, not the employee except in very specific cases and job functions (seen them cut top tier engineers but not mediocre product/market analysts). If your game starts failing management will see you as fat to be trimmed rather than investigate whether you were one of the few actively keeping an imminent disaster from happening until it was impossible to prevent. A disaster management probably caused.

    Management did not exercise any professional means of evaluating employees during my time, and in many cases looked to an employee's prior reputation in the industry. It is why the last layoffs in January were done shoddily to save a few dollars and lost most of the top talent not networked with the upper management regime. Now they struggle to retain the remaining true talented employees and many left since the last layoffs.

    After they realized the cuts were too deep trying to satisfy the Street, I was called weeks later with an offer for my old job and it took serious restraint not to hang up.

    Letting go of what they need to satisfy ultra short term business goals is characteristic of the company. There was concern when they replaced the CEO with someone even more conservative and money-minded. After seeing no change in management or investors I share the concerns of my former coworkers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more responsibility but take more risks too.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Got too political

    • 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 3 years

    Pros

    The company had a great culture and great benefits. Was there 3+ years and during its best years it was energetic and exciting (those days are no longer).

    Cons

    Politics, Inappropriate Managerial Level Ups, too much focus on quick-win Quarterly OKR achievement and the premium placed on quarterly level-ups made longer term planning impossible and irrelevant. Also, I watched first-hand, decisions made which hurt their customers in order to squeeze an extra $.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's a marathon not a sprint.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Loved it! Great coworkers-Lots of talent.

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Great games, Free food, bonuses, gym

    Cons

    Upper management treats employees like they are numbers. You never know when your project will get cut and you are out of a job-- no matter how good you are.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Talent and people are HUGE assets. Respect them, they are not mere numbers. They are what drive the company.

    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    Great place thats needs a little more direction

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

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

    Pros

    Smart bright people willing to execute and push hard to deliver on time.

    Cons

    Management leadership is lacking due to experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire industry veterans to drive the very capable engineering staff.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Fun and frustrating place to work

    • 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 3 years

    Pros

    Competitive compensation, excellent food, talented co-workers, rapid knowledge sharing and potential for great opportunities made this an amazing job overall.

    Cons

    the few downsides were - meritocracy was broken from the perspective of an employee that endured a tough work life balance on multiple projects without much opportunity for advancement. Painful to watch executive management during my time there. Products that lacked originality in more than one case. Team direction pivoted so much it was often hard to move forward - ironic because it really was a fast paced environment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep focusing on franchises but go after a truly original and innovative game idea every once in a while.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Pretty okay but could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - QA Engineer  in  Austin, TX (US)
    Former Employee - QA Engineer in Austin, TX (US)

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

    Pros

    - Free lunches and food
    - Fast paced enviroment
    - Good people

    Cons

    - Lots of company politics
    - Not very stable business model

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure there is much to say here. Zynga is built on free-to-play which to me is not a long term business model.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Meh...

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

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

    Pros

    Great comp, and RSUs are great.

    Cons

    Management is continually "pivoting" and doesn't seem to know what direction to go in

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the people you have hired, you have some amazing EPs and GMs and then you completely hamstring them with a craptacular new IP process, and no ability to innovate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    a good company for you to level up your skills

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Product Manager  in  Beijing, Beijing (China)
    Current Employee - Product Manager in Beijing, Beijing (China)

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    the work environment is comparably good
    people you're working with are nice & smart
    you're free to learn more in whatever internal area you're interested

    Cons

    strategy is not correct & speedy enough
    too many titles have been cut in creation
    less opportunities for you to level up in some divisions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    allow employees to gain more personal growth

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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