Zynga Reviews

Updated July 17, 2015
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2.0
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Mark Pincus
4 Ratings

Pros
  • dogs at work, compensation, free food (in 57 reviews)

  • Great perks, including great health insurance and free lunch and dinner (in 22 reviews)

Cons
  • work life balance gets affected (in 42 reviews)

  • 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 (in 27 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

87 Employee Reviews

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  1. Good job experience

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    good employers, excellent work space, I had a very good experience here

    Cons

    it is a very high stress workplace, very competitive within employer workplace

    Advice to Management

    get more usefull interns, with more experience and more energy


  2. Helpful (4)

    great pay, but a soul sucking place to work for creative talent

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist/Animator in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Artist/Animator in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Zynga (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    very casual environment and easy work. Lots of food, snack, and treats provided if your game makes them money. Its totally out of your control if your game makes money, but if it happens to make a ton you get all kinds of goodies. I recommend it only to friends because its easy and good money.

    Cons

    You have to abandon any real pride at the door if you are an artist and work here. The pay is great and the work and workload is easy, but the games you work on are hideous, the gameplay is bad, and dont try and change anything because everyone in charge thinks what they are working on is the most amazing and stunning thing ever, its kind of hilarious. Draw your pizza, cows, trees in the bland clipart style they demand, and you will be fine. Its also a total brofest working there, lots of graphic designers and failed animators masking as illustrators with art directors that have no actual artistic talent, immediately realized that is why things look the way they do with anything zynga does. Any talent is repressed and its kinda tragic to see someone new with actual skills take charge only to get knocked down and return to whats easy. Every game while working there was just ripping off another studios game, then thinking of the way to make the most money till users lost interest and then the game team would close up and get outsourced while you moved on to the next boring thing. I had some amazing artists that went on to do stunning work at other companies, but zynga beats you down so you just stop caring and do what the boss wants.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on creativity and hire some talented people to lead. Make games that are actually fun and you wont have to stress out every month about why people are not spending enough money on add-on junk for a bad game.


  3. Loads of perks to make terrible Management seem less awful

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Game Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Zynga

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free meals great gym great health benefits good bonuses

    Cons

    Most of the upper management has no idea what they are doing and they are insanely overpaid "leaders" that are always absent, vacationing, clueless about the market they are chasing, and ask for constant last minute changes. Not tiny changes... but full blown core redesign changes, then they refuse to allow extra dev time. Micro-Managey ceo who completely ignores roadmaps and new IP promises... does not respect creatives at all.

    Advice to Management

    Advice to anyone that wants to actually make something new, or try something new, avoid this place like the plague. This company solely wants to play it safe for the investors and rip people off.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    A lot of good things happen(d)

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Zynga (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great learning opportunity and high energy, growth environment in the early years

    Cons

    Depends on role, team and time of employment.


  6. Zynga Review

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Technical Program Manager in San Francisco, NM
    Former Employee - Technical Program Manager in San Francisco, NM

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Use to move really fast

    Cons

    Got taken over by process junkies


  7. Product Manager

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Got to work with some really great, smart people. Exciting time launching knew games

    Cons

    Tough culture. Lots and lots of pressure.

    Advice to Management

    Commit to a few well known game mechanics. Put out lots of tests of new games.


  8. Helpful (1)

    Revolving Door of Executives

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Worker Bee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Worker Bee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great Food, Great people, you can bring your dog to work. Fantastic basement gym. Onsite Massage. Any snack you want.

    Cons

    Grueling hours for most employees. The stock offering was a plane wreck. Low pay for non-management roles. On-site useless 'health and wellness' practices of acupuncture and reflexology. The executives who are giving those big, flashy presentations on how to course-correct the company? Don't really listen to them because they won't be there for long. In a few months they will be gone, probably leaving much richer.

    Advice to Management

    Management can't choose a good plan and stick to it. The major players of the company always leave, so no plan will be adhered to.


  9. Helpful (7)

    Company Imploding Under Weight of Incompetent Management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Game Designer in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than 5 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay. Cool facilities. Generally friendly and competent co-workers, some with a great deal of experience and talent. A good place to work if you're a coder.

    Cons

    Original owner destroyed management structure by listening to sycopants and sharks. Ended up with a company dedicated to sucking the last nickel out of an ever-diminishing client-base and throwing other employees under the bus for personal advancement. Became functionally unable to release decent games or to give a game enough time to grow and find its audience. Began violently restructuring every 10 minutes. I wouldn't work here again until and unless they managed to release several new and interesting and successful games, and I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves. Start with an entire clean slate. Create groups with the authority to make and test and release games without going through the incredibly awful vetting process. Stop rewarding managers for destroying teams.


  10. Helpful (5)

    A Dysfunctional Step Towards Better Pastures

    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    + If you can successfully do your job here, you can probably successfully do your job anywhere + Doglovers' paradise + Baristas at the free espresso bar were basically wizards of their craft + Actually, the entire culinary team is incredible. Eat their food any chance you get, especially the snacks made in-house: pickles, coconut granola, beef jerky, ice cream, etc. Stuff it in your bag, fill your cheeks with it like a deranged hamster. Their food is so good. + Actually actually, the entire facilities team is stupendous! Do you know how hard it is to keep a place as huge as Zynga is clean, secure, and running smoothly? Facilities staff are the unsung heroes of this story, guys. + Convenient free shuttles to BART, Caltrain, and down the Peninsula + I loved my team. LOVED. Greatest group of people I've ever worked with. Sadly, I'm not evaluating them; I'm evaluating the company.

    Cons

    Look, this place is what it is: a stepping stone; a place to refine one's skills in the fire before heading out for that real dream job - and they know it. The turnover/attrition rate here is unbelievably high - if you've worked at Zynga for a year, you've done some serious time. The recruiting team tries to keep the staffing numbers up and oftentimes relies on bringing in non-local candidates. Zynga's rep in the Bay Area has been torched so badly, the local workforce (and those who are tuned into the goings on of the tech and gaming industries) know to stay away. So we look out-of-state, for candidates who want to move to the Bay Area and just need a way in. Once they get here, work a couple of months and find a place to live, they get the hell out and into a more reputable company. I was a contractor for them. A good portion of the "expendable" workers (aka: anyone not a software engineer) are. That way, once leadership looks at its quarterly/EOY reports and decides that it's been bleeding money and needs to tighten up, it's easy to sweep out the chaff, without needing to go through the fuss of actually laying off FT employees and paying severance. My boss had no notice that me and four of my coworkers were going to be cut; she had no say in who was going to be cut. As a contractor, I was also sometimes on the outside looking in: I couldn't attend the company holiday party unless I was a FTE's +1, I wasn't allowed to use the (awesome) company gym, and I got none of the supposedly-lovely benefits and generous vacation policy. That's pretty standard for contractor work, I guess. I'm just spoiled and grumping about that.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership: I know you know that Zynga is dysfunctional and broken. I know you know your reputation. Why do you continually ignore the fact that you're bleeding out? I was here for a short time, in a limited capacity. If I couldn't even really see the leaders trying to lead, how is the public supposed to see it? Assess and address your apathetic and disillusioned workforce and commit to being strong and honest leaders. Don't perform triage anymore; you're beyond that stage and you know it.


  11. Sink or swim

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good infrastructure, facilities and perks. Smart People Excellent food (3 meals per day) Good promotions / career trajectory if you fit

    Cons

    Downward trajectory - don't see Zynga recovering former glories Tough work-life balance (although I hear it has improved) Easy to stagnate if you don't succeed or fit the mould Frequent team changes

    Advice to Management

    Become scrappy - release games frequently (Not necessarily the highest quality)



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