Zynga

  www.zynga.com
  www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
370 Reviews
3.1
370 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food & stuff if that is important to you (in 57 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

71 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    Director

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

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Lack of leadership from top management always changing direction.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Frustrating

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

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

    Pros

    Great opportunity to learn about data-driven product management

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Trust the people you have hired. If you dont trust them, replace them with people you trust.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    Terrible senior management making awful decisions

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

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

    Pros

    Comp is on the higher end for gaming companies, but on the lower end relative to other public tech companies.

    There are some good folks remaining but they're all leaving like flies.

    It used to have good perks when I started, but they have gotten rid of a lot of them (no more massages, haircuts, they also laid off my trainer in December).

    Cons

    Lowest morale in all of SF and Silicon Valley right now. The last round of layoffs ended up cutting some of the best performers at Zynga (HR and C suite's decision-making abilities are questionable), leaving behind some cheaper but very mediocre performers.

    My studio has too many leads and too political to get anything done.

    All upper management cares about is pleasing the investors (not their players or employees). They haven't been able to ship a good mobile title organically, so they tap into their free cash flow and acquire other mobile gaming companies while cutting headcount. Great for the bottom line temporarily, but terrible in the long-run because some of the top performers are gone and you cannot make great games without them.

    They always claim there will not be more layoffs but a 18% layoffs occurred in May and an 15% layoffs occurred in late January. Do not believe anything upper management says anymore.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your last round of layoffs was done carelessly. You cut some great performers and kept some very medicore performers to save several grand per year for each employee. Now the rest of us is struggling to keep afloat in an already terrible environment.

    Your investors-first policy is only great in inflating the stock price. In a good market like this, most of your talent would not bother staying even if they have not been laid off.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Sr. Manager

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

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

    Pros

    Enjoyed my time at Zynga. Great benefits and smart people.

    Cons

    To many unhappy employees dragging everyone down. Zynga speed is slow. Company needs to step it up to compete with start-up minded competitors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    fun work environment, smart engineers, (very) poor managers

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

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

    Pros

    free food
    flexible vacation policy - if you use it!
    some really smart engineers solving problems as scale
    Don is making decisions which are impacting the stock price in a positive way (atleast for now)

    Cons

    middle and top management highly inexperienced - which fail to motivate high performers, and end up losing them.
    Since IPO has been highly unstable, and too many re-orgs every quarter.
    Compensation might have been good, if stock value had gotten north of IPO price (by comparison other tech startups are trading at 100-150% above IPO)
    office politics & you need to know the right people/ be in the right team to get noticed for your performance - no longer a meritocracy.
    Too many layoffs in the past 6-8 months, and the upper management has failed to deliver a consistent future plan.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Have experienced and stellar engineers as Engineering Managers/Senior Engineering Managers - who are hands on and can motivate team members and steer them towards a strong career in engineering.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7.  

    It was fun in the early days, but has gone down hill since it ipo.

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

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

    Pros

    meals, incredible talent, flexible hours, gym, accupuncture, massage, hair cuts, good commuter benefits,

    Cons

    lacks direction. company is in transition to mobile games, and it still has lots of growing pain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people are what makes the company. The company needs to attract talent or the company will fail.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    This company doesn't know which way is up

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

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor (more than an year)

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Poorly 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 ManagementAdvice

    Restructure 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

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

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    There 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.

    Cons

    Low 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 ManagementAdvice

    How will you make great games if you cannot retain your talent?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

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

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA

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

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Copy of a.... copy of a... copy of a...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great perks, poor management

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Zynga 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.

    Cons

    Zynga 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 ManagementAdvice

    Please 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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