Zynga Reviews

Updated July 20, 2015
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419 Employee Reviews

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  1. Director of Global player experience

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Design and complexity of games with established franchise winners.

    Cons

    Focus needed on player experience,me specially in the global market place.


  2. Great People, suffering market space

    • 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)

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

    Pros

    The people I worked with became really good friends, amenities are great, the office is great, the social culture was great

    Cons

    The social gaming market space is hard to survive in, constant uphill battle in explaining numbers (growth revenue), leadership was not stable


  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 (2)

    Engineering Manager

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

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    Salary and benefits were competitive for the time, it was hard to find similar packages without commuting to the Peninsula. Each team and product was really a cultural microcosm, depending on what you were working on you could find real passion, fun and camaraderie.

    Cons

    What needs to be said that a hundred tech blog articles already haven't? One of the worst squanderings of opportunity in recent tech history. C level management did not deserve the workforce that they had at their disposal, and watching them fumble year after year was demoralizing. Is this place now anything more than a gateway in to the industry for new grads and a green card factory?

    Advice to Management

    Whatever your company vision was in 2007 it now no longer applies, the brand is poison, go back to the drawing board.


  6. Helpful (5)

    Top-heavy mess of a company

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The people who actually work here are amazing. I have never known such talented and hard-working engineers, artists, producers, QA-- and yes, even the PM's. They are the main reason I come in every morning. That, and the perks are pretty good, with a free gym (for FTE) and free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone, including the security guards and custodians. The location is also pretty good, in SF and not far from lots of public transit lines. Team offsites are frequent enough, and forced socializing with smart, talented, ambitious people is a big plus.

    Cons

    The management throughout the company is a disaster. Layoffs happen a couple of times a year in lazy efforts to get the sinking stock up quarter after disappointing quarter, and you can bet that they always cut the workers, rarely the management or execs--unless it's one of the sudden CEO changes Zynga is becoming known for, in which case the head gets a shave and it's "meet the new boss, same as the old boss!" These constant layoffs have resulted in high turnover, more outsourcing of talent, more leads than actual workers, and many Director of-, Executive Producer, and Manager roles that leave many scratching their heads as to what these skilled survivors actually do day to day. Many of them "manage" people who are already thoroughly over-managed, leaving said managers to spend most of their days making presentations about "efficiency" and " outsourcing solutions," basically being seen and heard--or, as some like to call it, being "upward-facing." Execs come and go as they please, like deranged fairy godfathers, derailing project after project with just a touch of the wand, giving conflicting and incoherent direction to game teams that are hastily assembled, understaffed (more on that later), and often run into the ground by the aforementioned narcissistic personalities who then get to help decide whom to blame for it (artists! junior designers! QA!) and there swings the axe, yet again. Engineers, because they have lots of other job opportunities in the Bay Area, don't stay long, lucky ducks. Very, very high turnover in engineering, which is severely disruptive to game production, obviously. Oftentimes, after laying off a particularly hard-working person, management will realize that this little person actually did something very crucial to the team, and will, in a panic, hire brand new people to do that same task, often for even more money. Legality of things doesn't seem to bother Zynga, they have lawyers who are really good with loopholes, as was evidenced some years ago when the execs dumped hundreds of millions in stocks, leaving the lowly employees holding worthless stock while the official trading window was still closed. Look it up. Headcount is kept artificially low on game teams, because smaller studios are zooming past Zynga, releasing hit after hit with just one tenth of the employees. This pressures the operators at Zynga to keep a tight grip on team size, and to resort to shoddy outsourcing or the rent-an-artist scheme that is known as Source, the brainchild of a Director-of-something who needed to justify his rather vague job title by repeating his failure from another company. Source is where your soul goes to die, and it is where Zynga is inevitably putting all of its artists. The few artists I know are aware that it is a death sentence, where one sits like a duck waiting for an assignment on some random team that will never take you on full time, then, when you're done busting your knuckles for them, there comes the chop. Teams can borrow your highly skilled labor for a short period of time without increasing their precious headcount, then they can boast that they performed this or that with only 12 full time team members, when in fact, it's more like 30, one Source-y bit at a time. Thus the the next poor game team that tries to create something is held to the artificial, lower, number. Because who's counting? Certainly not the guy who's getting paid $200K to create meetings that keep us all away from our desks! In the past few months, since Pincus returned, axe a-swingin' as always, I have seen many talented people leave voluntarily, sickened by the layoffs and tired after years (yes, years) spent spinning wheels on simple enough games that management pivot frontwards and backwards and sidewards trying to please the fickle execs. And Pincus thinks a $10M building redecoration will boost the toxic morale. I don't know how much money the people who were laid off made, but I doubt it came even close to $10M. (Well, except the flash in the pan that was Don Mattrick. He took home $60M or so for under 2 years at the company.) My advice is simple: don't waste your time working here unless you just want a nice paycheck and are able to not care about what you work on. I have spent an unspeakable amount of time talking myself into not caring, because that is the only way you will survive this place. Many of my colleagues have completely given up, praying for a small Finnish competitor to start hiring locally, or for the merciful chop that awaits us all.

    Advice to Management

    Run Zynga as 10 different studios, instead of one big company. Let studios take risks and be creative, instead of giving speech after speech about how originality doesn't pay off. Nobody wants to hear that, and it's not because it's the truth. It is the equivalent of saying "nothing you do here makes any difference," especially if you are employing creative people. Ah but who are we kidding. You don't take advice.


  7. 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.


  8. Helpful (4)

    Zynga--DON

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

    I have been working at Zynga (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Great parties INtellegent, FUNNY co-workers Sometimes interesting projects

    Cons

    Total Chaos--Re-orgs every 3 MONTHS, with NO reasons given Incompetent management, senior and middle NO long-range strategic planning

    Advice to Management

    Fire all middle managers -they are USELESS Actively try to retain good employees---they have choices, yo know


  9. Great People, confused leadership

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The teams I have worked for have been made up of great folks. And of course, there's the free food, fabulous coffee, gym accessibility, and good medical coverage.

    Cons

    Management seems to go through much churning. Pick a path and stick to it, people! Also, the teams I have been on seem to be heavily skewed towards the engineering side, with art and design sometimes being given short shrift. Also, the advancement plan seems haphazard and unclear, and now that the quarterly bonuses are not being given, no real effort has been made to provide any kind of cost-of-living pay increases, even though we live in one of the most expensive parts of the country.

    Advice to Management

    Don't wait for people to jump up and down in front of you to give kudos. Be aware of ALL of your staff, and at least reward them with thanks for hard work and loyalty.


  10. Great for Career Advancement

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

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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great people to work with Great benefits Lots of opportunity for career advancement Lunch/dinner provided daily Work is fun

    Cons

    Company outlook is trending downward Lots of layoffs Decreased morale as of late

    Advice to Management

    Take more time to analyze the impact of individuals you're laying off to ensure you keep the people that will really make the difference.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Technical non-engineering silo

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Zynga had a great general working culture, lots of fun, good comp, various silos worked well together before the FB to Mobile market implosion.

    Cons

    Engineering teams pushed too hard eventually lead to timelines for everything breaking. Senior management was a nightmare. Long term planning didn't exist.

    Advice to Management

    Dear god whatever you do don't put Pinkus back in charge. It would probably cause the whole building to implode and ruin all of SOMA.



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