Zynga
3.0 of 5 327 reviews
www.zynga.com San Francisco, CA 1000 to 5000 Employees

Zynga Reviews

Updated Jul 3, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.0 327 reviews

                             

56% Approve of the CEO

Zynga CEO Don Mattrick

Don Mattrick

(77 ratings)

47% of employees recommend this company to a friend
64 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    This company doesn't know which way is up

    Senior Sound Designer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsCompetitive salary, good people for the most part. Lots of perks and they will let you bring your dog to the office.

    ConsPoorly structured internally. Chasing competitors rather than trying to innovate despite claiming otherwise. Too many middle management producers. Not enough innovative gameplay or rather good game ideas get canceled due to Zynga style monetization and friend base gameplay structure. Make good games people want to play instead of trying to nickel and dime players.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRestructure where the audio department falls under internal development so there is incentive for internal teams to utilize this valuable resource that makes games more fun.

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

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Clueless upper management and chaotic environment, but still some talented employees left

    Senior Product Manager (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsThere are some really smart and passionate individuals left at Zynga, but they are leaving and will soon if they haven't yet. I am learning a lot from them.

    Depending on the team you work for, there are opportunities to learn and be challenged.

    The food is good.

    ConsLow morale coupled with long hours at my studio.

    Some clueless upper management making cuts to solid performers and then replacing them with people from other teams, whom the rest of the studio has to train. Why bother?

    Some senior managers were promoted too quickly when Zynga was still a start-up, so you have/had 20-something year old GMs who don't know anything about management and make a ton of mistakes.

    Advice to Senior ManagementHow will you make great games if you cannot retain your talent?

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

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    A top heavy company that has it's glory days behind.

    Senior 3D Artist (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsWorked with a great team of people when I was on CityVille

    ConsCopy of a.... copy of a... copy of a...

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

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Great perks, poor management

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsZynga is a fast-paced environment with lots of room for innovation. The employees are incredibly talented and the perks (free food, free gym, flexible hours, vacation time) are fantastic. Salaries are generous and the new executive team seems very competent.

    ConsZynga is a company that grew too fast for its own good. Hiring was done at a rapid rate with no structure or long-term plan in place. The repercussions of this decision are starting to hit hard.

    Middle management at Zynga is incredibly inexperienced, which results in lots of turmoil and very low team morale. You are expected to put in incredibly long hours, but you will not be rewarded for your work as this is the norm at Zynga. Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays.

    Employees are constantly pressured to participate in social activities outside of work (normally drinking and partying) and you are branded "not a team player" if you choose to forego these activities. Its almost impossible to get raises, promotions or bonuses unless you rub shoulders with leadership.

    "Be your own CEO" is one of Zynga's favorite ideals, but unfortunately, it's also the most destructive when combined with inexperienced management. When employees are left to fend for themselves and define their own roles, it results in ruthless politics and an "everyone for themselves" attitude. If you do not have the stomach for politics, stay away. You will not succeed here on hard work alone.

    I believe that the new executive leadership will turn things around, but it is going to be a long, painful process.

    Advice to Senior ManagementPlease get some structure in place and communicate it out to your employees. You have some very talented and loyal employees who are craving clear guidelines and competent management.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Small company that grew too fast for it's own good

    Principal Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsWork hard, play hard attitude towards work. Lot's of motivated young employees who have something to prove. Great place to start a career.

    ConsCompany grew from less than 200 employees to over 3000 very quickly. Quality of hiring suffered as it was more about filing seats as fast as possible. Innovation was not encouraged and it was more about shipping the next game, which is really just a reskinned copy of the last game with a few new features and one new game mechanic. Also became very top heavy with executives and management team. Although recently, this has taken a turn under the new CEO.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBecome lean again. Continue to eliminate levels of management to become more flat. Also focus on a few big bets rather than tons of lower quality games.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Avoid if you can

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsPerks!
    Working From Home
    Salary
    That's it. Really.

    ConsBuilding games -- hate it.
    Future of company is not clear
    PHP (yes, they still use it)
    Flash (yes, they still use it!)

    Advice to Senior ManagementFire more management staff

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, poor management, poor environment, lacking creativity

    Senior 3D Artist (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    ProsYou will meet a lot of people that are very talented. I was quite surprised when I showed up.

    ConsThe management is terrible, never leaving room in the schedule to be creative. You will be forced to follow orders and work late nights. It feels like a factory instead of a creative environment.

    Advice to Senior ManagementDUDES. LET YOUR ARTISTS AND DEVELOPERS BE CREATIVE.

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    6 people found this helpful  

    this dog stinks

    Engineering Manager (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros+ Free lunch and dinner, free blue bottles coffee all day
    + no one there will help you set goals but yourself. if you like this kind of freedom, this place is for you.

    Cons- zero focus: change directions all the time because either management don't care or they don't know what's going on. clueless or just plain lazy. that's "Be your ceo" model. you make upper management left to do nothing but collecting paychecks.

    - HR dept is the most worthless , shameful dept i ever met. they build backbones around college grads. and only top game studios gets the bread. the rest of us gets the crumbs / weak hires. they failed to provide any real helps to make a dept successful. they suck, period.

    - Central QA is a joke. the whole dept is made of game testers and they were unqualified to force to test complex platforms. couldn't catch any critical bugs but central qa and their QA managers kept saying central qa is great for the studio. bs. look at how many bugs you couldn't find because you are not capable. and of course, it falls outside of the scope of qa coverage so it didn't count as misses. another bs. worthless team. should hire real QAs with computer science degrees.

    - PMs are jokes there. no freaking confidences on what they are producing. so they decide to run 10 to 20 different experiments to our customers for given releases.

    Advice to Senior Managementstep up and take ownership.

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

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    Perpetual movement within the company. Feels Unstable. Morale down.

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros- Fun people and fun culture.
    - Awesome coffee + culinary team.
    - very helpful HR (People OPs). One of the best HR/payroll teams I worked with. Extremely responsive, helpful and pro-active. Never had an issue.
    - Maternity benefits ( as of mid-2013) : you will get around 14-18 weeks maternity leave of which ~7 weeks would be 100% paid and rest would be ~66% paid. you can also get 6 additional weeks of unpaid leave under the state law. Most of this is supported by CA law.
    - Benefits: good medical/dental. RSUs instead of options (but the stock is not worth much right now).

    Cons- Take vacation anytime.. doesn't feel that open. since there is nothing mandated, some people feel guilty taking time off.
    - too many org changes. I worked for 4 different teams in one year.
    - has quarterly evaluations and priorities. This makes the company very short sighted. projects with highest priority one quarter are cared less the next. or might even be dumped. So all the work on the projects is a waste.
    - have a sense of unpredictability within the company and feel like management is confused about their goals. Don has been the CEO for not long, so have to see if he makes a difference. There have been a lot of ORG changes since he came as well, but not sure if its the last of them.
    - Benefits: NO 401K match

    Advice to Senior Managementrethink your quarterly compensation and OKR policy. Thats making the company very short sighted. or if you think the idea is still good, find a way to implement it better than how it is right now.

    and the good talent is leaving everyday. find a way to keep the morale by not making too many changes and make the current employees feel more stable about their jobs. unless you find a way to do this, you will lose more good talent since we don't know if we'll have a job tomorrow.

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

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    3 people found this helpful  

    almost everything wrong with Zynga

    Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee)
    San Francisco, CA

    Pros* Perks and benefits;
    * free meals (but they were much better couple of years ago);
    * still a lot of bright engineers and artists

    Cons* top and mid management (they just don't know what they want, no long term vision, nobody wants to take responsibility);
    * strategy changing every time;
    * permanent reorg (probably good if you want new manager every month);
    * Pincus: he ruined a lot of good games. His smartest decision was resignation;
    * leadership principles just don't work;
    * fast follow approach for new games, no original IP;
    * no central tech (almost all central tech attempts, including zcloud, failed, thanks to Cadir);
    * stupid strategic decisions (zynga.com disconnected from facebook, 2nd version of everything)
    * best engineers leaving;
    * lack of execution, some games in development for years without any results;

    Advice to Senior ManagementZynga has some chances to survive with Don Mattrick.

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

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Glassdoor is your free inside look at Zynga reviews and ratings — including employee satisfaction and approval rating for Zynga CEO Don Mattrick. All 64 reviews posted anonymously by Zynga employees.