Zynga Reviews

Updated October 3, 2014
Updated October 3, 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

61 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 4 people found this helpful  

    The worst possible work environment and culture imaginable.

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

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

    Pros

    There is no good reason to work here. Good food & coffee, free snacks. Video games and nice gym on main campus.

    Cons

    CEO has no idea how to run a large company. Constant thrash and pivots. CEO says stuff like, "When you come to the conversation understanding that I'm always right you'll have a better outcome." This company cannot succeed with current management in place. Highly, highly political environment, not a meritocracy as they say. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not sure what the hype was ever about

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

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

    Pros

    Nice building, food, snacks. Paycheck & benefits OK.

    Cons

    Incompetent management. Pincus does deserve credit for seeing the Facebook wave before everyone else in the lineup, but that's about it. Maybe if he'd spent more time paying attention to what was going on instead of screwing others out of their stock or counting his $ after the best timed secondary offering ever, things would be different. Other big names (Van Natta, Schappert, Cottle, etc.) not worth $100k apiece annually let alone the tens of millions they walked away with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too late...and they wouldn't take good advice anyway.

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

    Do Not Work Here

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

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

    Pros

    really, there are not benefits

    Cons

    political. know nothing about games. disorganized and run by people who ultimately don't care about product.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Too many people with egos work for this company.

    • 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

    Pros

    It was a lot of fun working with a gaming company and communicating with the players.

    Cons

    The biggest issue is the lack of communication between the staff at Zynga. If you send an email, most often they don't even bother replying. My new manager always find time to return emails and expects us to confirm important information always - and the great communication makes for a great work environment. When you tell them what the problem is, based on the voices of hundreds of very angry people, they don't look for a solution to the problem. They instead make excuses...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find real solutions to the real problems. If you have players complaining that they are getting goals for so many houses that they don't even have room to put them - if you can't slow down, at least find a way for players to make the most out of the virtual real estate they have. Learn to work as a team and learn how to communicate with people who are trying to make things better for the company. Listen to your customers, they are telling you what they want and what they hate. With anything technology it's all about keeping up with the rapid pace of change and staying ahead of the game. This is taught in basic programming classes! Zynga has not changed much since it launched besides adding some better graphics. But the games are all the same - and buggy as heck. Learn to value your core members - if you save your core members instead of seeking out new players, you will make at least 5x more profit. The only thing you have shown them is they better not trust you or invest in our company because you'll just shut the game down anyway. There's a lot that needs to happen, and the changes need to take place from the top-down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    There are much better companies to work for in the area

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

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

    Pros

    There are still some good people working for the outfit, so if you are an intern it may be a good way to get industry experience. Otherwise it's a dead end job with a company that is going nowhere fast.

    Cons

    The company is a true and honest sweatshop. Zynga is not an innovator, but a replicator. If you consider yourself creative you have no business working for the company. It's all abou aping other people's games and making a quick buck while you are at it. This is not a sustainable long-term plan, the financials and the stock price show it. Zynga is stingy with salaries and "generous" with stock, that happens to drop like a rock.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pincus should let someone who knows what they are doing run the company. He is clearly not up to the task, nor are any of his lieutenants. Unfortunately, he would rather drive the company into the ground because of his ego.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 9 people found this helpful  

    Waiting for the Apocalypse

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

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

    Pros

    Fun start-up culture and perks but honestly, it's a waste of money.

    Cons

    Management at many levels is confused or misdreicted. Ever changing focus and intiatives. Cronyism is rampant. Lack of transparency. Never saw a review the whole time I was here and most of my one-on-one meetings w manger were cancelled, then he left the company about 8 months after he hired me. Currently working on my exit strategyu, actually, Iahve it already, just enjoying the view as Rome burns.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get some grown-ups in charge, consider selling massive re-org and lay-offs no doubt must be coming.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not a good company.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Good perks. Free food. In the city. Dog friendly.

    Cons

    Long hours. Boring work. Inefficient process. High turn over. Very bad tech. Politics. Ineffective management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    With the stock price at 3 dollars, managers have their own issues.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 7 people found this helpful  

    Too many undelivered promises

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

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

    Pros

    Free food
    Smart people

    I was working on one of the "ville" games and I thought it was going to be a lot more interesting given how many millions of users we had.

    Cons

    Zero passion about the games
    Grueling hours - my manager made me cancel a family vacation once
    Very narrow scope and responsibilities
    Hug team size plummeting stock price - I was told by the recruiter that we should expect $100 stock price a year after IPO. There should be a law against this.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remove Mark as CEO and put someone in his place that actually cares about the products they make.
    Smaller teams and more achievable deadlines.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Lots of opportunity to hone politicking skills

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

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

    Pros

    Huge potential for career growth with the proper networking and connections
    Meritocracy still in place for ENTRY LEVEL positions
    Free food everywhere
    Dynamic work environment for Content Producers

    Cons

    Work-life balance is terrible. Average work weeks = 60-70 hours, more for "crunch" times
    Constant "code red" state for declining game studios
    Focus on quarterly goals promotes poor short-term product/engineering decisions
    Major "pivots" to company/departmental strategy make planning and reliable delivery impossible
    Poor bonuses to "support" departments (infrastructure and tech teams are the worst)
    Constant reorganizations exhaust employees (4 in a year for the team I was in)
    Myopic product focus = huge tech debt
    Waterfall SDLC (morning scrum does not make you Agile)
    Too many high-performing individual contributors elevated to managers w/out training and mentoring
    Impossibly Byzantine departments make it impossible to tackle large tech problems without involving 15 departments

    If you are mid-level in your career, go somewhere else. You likely have a family, who you will feel guilty about neglecting. The pay will be okay, but the perks (free shirts, videogames everywhere, food, etc.) are for kids straight out of college. I'd rather pack a lunch and buy my own clothes - and I don't need videogames anywhere. Prepare for the office politics, which were easily the worst I've ever seen. Take direction well, be an excel wizard (product managers), and you should be fine.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a course and stick to it. Stop the 2nd class citizen structure (game studio v. not), OR stop pretending that Zynga is an egalitarian workplace. Consider the tradeoff between constant content churn and long-term tech benefits.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 4 people found this helpful  

    If you work for Zynga, you have already peaked

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

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

    Pros

    Good salary, free food, great location

    Cons

    Low level of responsibility, severe micromanagement

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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