Zynga

  www.zynga.com
  www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews

Updated December 12, 2014
Updated December 12, 2014
370 Reviews
3.1
370 Reviews
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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. 2 people found this helpful  

    You can work with very talented colleagues, but very difficult to find experienced and solid mentors and managers.

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

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

    Pros

    You are surrounded with very very talented and motivated colleagues who inspires to work more and achieve more! As long as you bring strong work ethic, quality work, and collaborative attitude, you will meet amazing talents and get to be part of great team.

    Cons

    Very very hard to find good mentors and managers. I personally had a horrible management experience at Zynga which basically made me look elsewhere and got a job. A company that puts "Be your own CEO" and "Meritocracy" should eward on employee on performance. I sadly saw lots of politics which made things harder to make things happen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Dinosaur game making process.

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits along with some great people you meet along the way.

    Cons

    The game making process is not evolving fast enough. Too much following of what's trending right now instead of being innovative and unique. Management seems to think there is a formula to make a successful game but they forget the number one factor of a successful game is the fun factor. Too much focus is made on their amazing ability to gather data, which makes them over reliant on it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You have some great teams over there, start believing that they can make games without all the ridiculous approval proccess. It stifles creativity and just makes teams cater games to what you guys want instead of the players.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    A Learning experience

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

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

    Pros

    As the title said it was a learning experience. The scale of the games gives you immense opportunity to learn if you are on the back end services team. We used relatively new tech stack such as redis, node.js, coffeescript while it was still a up and coming thing. Free food and snacks are good and did offset some of the salary cut the pre-ipo hired took. No limits on hardware and quality equipment to work with.

    Cons

    I personally felt the cons outweighed the pros and thats why I decided to leave.

    * While the learnings were fun, it was a short lived experience. The learnings stopped once I realized that the company tends to repeat itself again and again and is not keen on taking a step back to realize what might or might not be working.
    * Company is risk averse w.r.t technology. Proven numbers around performance with modern stack was dismissed in favor of PHP only because the company had lots of PHP developers/ops and thought they OPS might not be able to support it.
    * Working in a remote studio was absolutely painful as we got work that SFO didnt want or didnt care(this was fatal as it meant your quarterly bonus was non existant)
    * Merit increases were highly political. It went to SFO people always and unless your manager had good impressions about you, you end up getting nothing.
    * Product managers and directors can be extremely political. Our remote office clearly felt the directory preferred young engineers as they put more time at work that than the ones that had families.
    * Not all perks werent matched as SFO even for a US satellite office. No parking match.
    * Zynga does not value engineers at all. I would be surprised if any thing like a Spanner, Hive, HipHop, Kafka or any such innovative tech stack come out of Zynga as its just not valued or rewarded. If you did a quick fix that ticked unique users up in a month then you will be recognized as a star or an atlas or whatever crap they paraded in company meeting. On the other hand you spent weeks to improve a bad PHP code base and reduced server count, you get nothing.
    * unprofessional executives - The way the chief people officer behaved was shocking. Their on stage interactions with other executives on quarterly company meetings was awkward and embarrassing.
    * Mark Pincus - Extremely reactive founder. It doesnt take much to spook him and he will quickly change directions. For instance when the Sims took off he killed projects to put those folks on "the Ville" game only to realize in a month Sims dying off. Ville met the same end.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start valuing engineers..you spend a lot to hire the best yet you dont listen to them. Product managers run the ship and their focus on short term returns is coming back to hurt you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Some solid people, but not solid practices

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

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

    Pros

    Free gym, food, snacks, enough soda to turn you diabetic.
    A lot of people are willing to teach you things if you ask.

    Cons

    Raises and bonuses are based loosely on a merit system that is reliant on goals set by your manager (who might or might not even understand what you do). Even meeting and surpassing goals can you get nothing.
    Internal structure is designed to keep you in your job you were hired for, almost impossible to get into another department.
    There is always lots of churn, hard to keep anything stable for more than a 3 month time frame.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    This company is disorganized

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Good perks, free food, snacks and drinks

    Cons

    Horrible internal structure, quarterly based fiscally, no cohesion

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Needs complete restructure internally

  7.  

    The startup experience was great but once we got big things started to fall through the cracks.

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

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

    Pros

    As a full time employee you receive awesome benefits, free gym membership, free lunch, dinner and snacks.

    Cons

    Dishonest employees taking advantage of the system and getting away with it, and with the knowledge of the manager.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Some of the supervisors should be monitored more closely as they were seen harassing their employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Best worst job opportunity ever

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

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

    Pros

    It is a big company with big brands. You will learn a lot about how to run a successful business and how to keep users entertained with as much content as their hearts desire.

    Cons

    You may experience poor management that has risen to the top a bit too quickly due to the massive turnover of talent. You may also experience a lack of focus on quality design and innovation due to our fast following methodology and analytically focused design principles. This can be a great place to work but also can make you feel a bit stuck. It really depends on your job title.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would recommend creative types stay clear away. Designers, artists etc... This is not the place for you nor will you be accommodated with an aggressive salary or career path. If it's your first job then yes take it but if it isn't go elsewhere. There are better places to work where you get the same if not better experience.

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

    Very talented workers - but very poor management

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    I met some very talented, passionate folks that deeply cared about making good games. Get on the right team with the right manager and the right project - you could have a very good experience. And if you really care about little perks like free soda and LOTS of t-shirts, you'll find that too.

    Cons

    The management is poor. What leadership says to the company often doesn't reflect what actually happens. They don't know when to kill a bad game pre-launch nor how to pick fresh ideas to enliven the haggard portfolio. They reward people for doing very short-term-gain things that hurt the games (and therefore, the company) in the long run. And worst of all: management never grasped the core need to make fun games, and make fun the priority. All game design decisions were trumped by the financial, and many good games were strangled to death by the management-mandated addition of "social features" and other revenue-based mechanics.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Empower more employees to make original games. They can, and want to. Little incubation groups. There was internal lip service about this before (never went anywhere). You cannot rely on the flagship -Ville games forever. Unleash your best employees, let them show you the way. Or they will leave...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Bad, no respect for technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    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

    Free food, good bonus, no vacation limits

    Cons

    Fast work is valued more than smart/good work

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

    Great learning experience, but not everything i learned was worth learning.

    • 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

    - Free food & coffee! Bring your dogs to work!
    - Get to work on games that millions of people play.
    - Young, energetic culture.

    Cons

    - Lack of true long-term strategy. Arguably hit its peak already.
    - Poor management at all levels.
    - Very short-term decision making and constant "pivots".
    - Lack of creativity & imagination. Primarily numbers driven decision-making.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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