Zynga Reviews

Updated 21 October 2014
Updated 21 October 2014
358 Reviews
3.0
358 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food & stuff if that is important to you (in 56 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 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 (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
  2.  

    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
  3.  

    Clueless Monster

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

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

    Pros

    A gaming giant inevitably - Who can forget FarmVille? Who doesn't know Country Escape?

    Cons

    Recently it all came down to money. If it generates money - Retain. If it doesn't - Close. Politics is everywhere but for sure in this place its very intense. Meritocracy applies for favorites, not for performers. Most, if not all managers are clueless on what and how the frontliners are doing. They are merely email respondents telling to follow up a request.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some people from your other sites and or BPO partners! Learn how to appreciate and retain talent and value them!

    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 (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. 1 person found this helpful  

    Was an amazing ride... until.

    • 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 (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was one of the first 300 employees and was upwardly mobile for quite sometime
    Bonuses, perks galore, travel, stocks as hiring bonus....

    ...(which split 4 times)

    Cons

    Never got the raise and the title I was promised once they went public!
    I was told that because I had real stock then that was considered against my wage and that I should feel lucky! It was a hiring bonus in lieu of not being paid market!!!! Disgruntled

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management at Zynga was like a revolving door of Egotistical jerks after my original manager left.
    IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T CONTINUE TO TRY AND FIX IT!!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 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 (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
  8.  

    Good for chilling out , no technical work

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time

    Pros

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

    Food is good. Facilities people are super friendly!

    Cons

    Very 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 ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    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 (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
  11.  

    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 (less than an 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

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