Zynga Reviews

Updated August 27, 2014
Updated August 27, 2014
407 Reviews

3.0
407 Reviews
Rating Trends

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

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)

More Highlights

77 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1.  

    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 for more than a 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
  2.  

    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 for 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
  3.  

    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 for more than a 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
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  5.  

    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 for more than a 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
  6. 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 for more than a 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
  7.  

    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 for 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
  8. 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
  9. 3 people found this helpful  

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

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

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

    Cons

    Company 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 ManagementAdvice

    Become 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.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Avoid if you can

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time for more than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

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

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire more management staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great people, poor management, poor environment, lacking creativity

    Current Employee - Senior 3D Artist  in  San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior 3D Artist in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Zynga full-time for less than a year

    Pros

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

    Cons

    The 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 ManagementAdvice

    DUDES. LET YOUR ARTISTS AND DEVELOPERS BE CREATIVE.

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