Zynga

  www.zynga.com
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Zynga Reviews

Updated Jul 13, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 331 reviews

56% Approve of the CEO

Zynga CEO Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick

(81 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend

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)

66 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
    • Work/Life Balance
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, but lacking direction and career development

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

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

    ConsWhile 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 Senior ManagementYou 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

     

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

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

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

    ConsBroken 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 Senior ManagementMake 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.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    Not really a good place for engineers

    Associate Software Engineer (Current Employee) Bangalore (India)

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

    ConsNot 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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Poor Management

    Lead Game Designer (Current Employee)

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

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

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    A Bachelor’s in Business Politics

    (Former Employee)

    ProsUsed 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..

    ConsA 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 Senior ManagementTake more responsibility but take more risks too.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

    • Culture & Values
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    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Approves of CEO

     

    Good for chilling out , no technical work

    Software Engineer (Former Employee) Bangalore (India)

    ProsAwesome , i think ultimate food
    Good amount of Swags
    Good Salary(Initially when you join)
    Extra curriculars

    ConsNon Technical work , only copy paste(Atleast in India center)
    Pathetic or no salary hikes

    Advice to Senior ManagementWhen you hire people for Bangalore center , tell them exactly what they have to do , I have seen your HRs just making them speak with some people who will tell them lies about work just to make join. This should not be happening.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Senior management makes decisions based on what is best for investor not player or employee!

    Senior Product Manager (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsRelatively high comp for gaming but lower end compared to other tech companies.

    Food is good. Facilities people are super friendly!

    ConsVery top heavy in certain studios where little gets done since everyone wants his/her voice heard.

    Terrible work/life balance.

    Short-term decisions made before end of each quarter to drive revenue. Some of these decisions were not beneficial to the game in the long-term.

    My studio was super cliquey: if you didn't suck up to the GM or senior people, consider yourself a layoffs target despite good performance.

    Layoffs in January were done unthought fully - purely to let investors know we are cutting costs and yet started to hire for the roles right away. Many of the individuals cut were some of the most talented employees we had!

    Advice to Senior ManagementSooner or later, Wall Street will see that you are simply just checking off all the boxes to lift stock prices in the short term.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    The bubble has burst on this place

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    Prosused to be a great place to work with lots of added benefits. these days employees don't get bonuses, christmas parties or offsites like we used to

    Conslack of appreciation for employees
    "be glad you have a job" atmosphere
    increased workload due to massive rounds of layoffs

    Advice to Senior ManagementGet your sh*t together. Appreciate the talent that you have and start compensating them well.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

     

    Frustrating

    Lead Product Manager (Current Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsGreat opportunity to learn about data-driven product management

    ConsManagement doesnt trust the teams to make creative decisions. Lack of creativity results in bad bets that fail

    Advice to Senior ManagementTrust the people you have hired. If you dont trust them, replace them with people you trust.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    Director

    Director (Former Employee) San Francisco, CA (US)

    ProsLot of perks free meals and gym access, beer bust every Friday afternoon

    ConsLack of leadership from top management always changing direction.

    Advice to Senior ManagementWork with your teams to create a long term plan for your staff that will grow them.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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