Zynga Reviews

Updated April 21, 2015
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Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (7)

    Company Imploding Under Weight of Incompetent Management

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Good pay. Cool facilities. Generally friendly and competent co-workers, some with a great deal of experience and talent. A good place to work if you're a coder.

    Cons

    Original owner destroyed management structure by listening to sycopants and sharks. Ended up with a company dedicated to sucking the last nickel out of an ever-diminishing client-base and throwing other employees under the bus for personal advancement. Became functionally unable to release decent games or to give a game enough time to grow and find its audience. Began violently restructuring every 10 minutes. I wouldn't work here again until and unless they managed to release several new and interesting and successful games, and I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves. Start with an entire clean slate. Create groups with the authority to make and test and release games without going through the incredibly awful vetting process. Stop rewarding managers for destroying teams.

  2. good company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Developer in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Developer in Seattle, WA

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Feels good to be working here. Games apps etc

    Cons

    Tough deadlines. Wrap up quick

  3. Great experience

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You get to work with some of the brightest talent in the world. Great perks.

    Cons

    Really poor work/life balance and constantly changing priorities.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    Placate them with Money, Trips, Food & Swag

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

    -great networking
    -amazing food, snacks, drinks, and a bar downstairs
    -a social place with lots of clubs and events
    -lots of swag
    -nice building
    -a gym
    -excellent health benefits
    -massages and acupuncture, nutritionist
    -good IT dept. to fix issues
    -community service that actually talks to customers of games and seems to care.
    -dog friendly

    Cons

    -i felt like i was being placated with all of the pros listed above to distract me from incredible intellectual boredom.
    -uninspired game making. jobs are so compartmentalized that the work is dry and boring.
    -office culture very competitive and at times people are willing to throw you under the bus to get ahead. sure, competitiveness is pretty standard at most companies, but when you are surrounded by competitve people all day who are gunning for your job, it gets tiring. i felt that coworkers were more concerned about themselves, their features, their titles and title progression and awards rather than the teamwork and products we were making.
    -a number of incidents of backroom deals for promotions that led to HR advertising to the entire company the jobs available.
    -i witnessed an art director ask every single male on the team for character design ideas except for the three women on the team who were just as equally skilled as the males.
    -little care expressed for your career development, which seems pretty counterproductive for the company and keeping talent around.
    -feels corporate (meetings, meetings to discuss meetings, etc), numerous e mails about setting up calendars and oh what a fantastic job so and so did setting up the calendar... gah!
    -some people I worked with seemed utterly useless. i sat next to someone who texted and surfed the internet all day and yet still managed to hold down a job. another guy had a bottle of whiskey next to his desk, which he drank all day and left at 2:00 unannounced. He also managed to keep his job. totally don't get how some of these people can stay under the radar.
    -stock = a complete waste. empty promises. MP and a handful of people made a ton of money while the rest of us were given empty promises.
    -never once saw a style guide for any game, lead artists non communicative, art teams were very dysfunctional
    -work-life balance completely out of whack. I felt like if I didn't put in a 10-12 hour day I wasn't contributing.
    -HR department can be downright rude. not everyone, but some definite stand outs.
    -Parking is a serious issue. Company refused to address it. I would have gladly traded in my free food and swag for a parking spot or a van carpool from across town.
    -I became sick with the flu right before a free trip for our efforts and couldn't go. Next pay check $1000 was taken out as "punishment". When I complained and even got a dr. note, the money was put back into the next check. I thought the trip was a reward for all of my hard work?
    -Some employees actually got fleas from coworkers dogs! That's terrible but also amusing - maybe dogs should have a note from the vet or something.
    -when i told the nutritionist that i was a vegetarian, she expressed deep concern because i might not be getting enough protein which would make me tired at my desk. LOL

  6. woo hoo

    • 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 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    fun place to work at

    Cons

    only give promotions to top producers.

    Advice to Management

    reward the peons too.

  7. smart people, weird politics

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    smart people to work with

    Cons

    lots of big changes happening all the time.

  8. When I worked there it was a great place to work. Just not as challenging and motivating as it used to be.

    • 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

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

    Pros

    Good work/life balance, lots of perks, resonable PTO policy.

    Cons

    Redirecting and pivoting led to burnout on projects

    Advice to Management

    Use small motivated teams to build products they care about

  9. Helpful (1)

    No concern for support staff

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Free food was pretty good

    Cons

    Worked as IT Support. Despite on boarding up to 200 people a week during my time, only 3 other hires were made for the support team. A total of 12 people. Management didn't care. No way to advance. I was explicitly told that there was no way to move to a different team and if I was unhappy to look elsewhere for a job. I did. Much happier now.

  10. Baffling place to work

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great health benefits
    "Free" breakfast, lunch & dinner
    Cool building
    New leadership (Mattrick) seems to know what it's doing and has implemented a plan to re-focus the company on it's core strengths before branching out into new territory. Upper management structure was also streamlined, removing unnecessary layers, etc.

    Cons

    Pay for artists is on the low side

    Project level leadership is fickle at best. Project / design leaders frequently jump-ship to other projects that better suit their short term survival instincts, leaving the previous project in limbo until a new project/design leader steps in. The new leader invariably must leave his/her own stamp on the project so a re-design usually follows. Artists are constantly being shuffled from project to project.

    Dog policy encourages many employees to become new dog owners. Many un-socialized and un-trained dogs roam around the office, barking, whining, peeing and pooing. Combined with the open floor plan, the racket is on par with Grand Central or JFK during the holidays.

    Advice to Management

    Focus on your project leads, encourage or enforce a little more discipline and commitment. Your project and design leaders need to stick with it and see their projects through to launch. Invest more heavily in pre-production game design and prototyping. Stop second guessing your seasoned veterans (those few who are still there).

  11. Helpful (5)

    A Dysfunctional Step Towards Better Pastures

    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    + If you can successfully do your job here, you can probably successfully do your job anywhere
    + Doglovers' paradise
    + Baristas at the free espresso bar were basically wizards of their craft
    + Actually, the entire culinary team is incredible. Eat their food any chance you get, especially the snacks made in-house: pickles, coconut granola, beef jerky, ice cream, etc. Stuff it in your bag, fill your cheeks with it like a deranged hamster. Their food is so good.
    + Actually actually, the entire facilities team is stupendous! Do you know how hard it is to keep a place as huge as Zynga is clean, secure, and running smoothly? Facilities staff are the unsung heroes of this story, guys.
    + Convenient free shuttles to BART, Caltrain, and down the Peninsula
    + I loved my team. LOVED. Greatest group of people I've ever worked with. Sadly, I'm not evaluating them; I'm evaluating the company.

    Cons

    Look, this place is what it is: a stepping stone; a place to refine one's skills in the fire before heading out for that real dream job - and they know it. The turnover/attrition rate here is unbelievably high - if you've worked at Zynga for a year, you've done some serious time. The recruiting team tries to keep the staffing numbers up and oftentimes relies on bringing in non-local candidates. Zynga's rep in the Bay Area has been torched so badly, the local workforce (and those who are tuned into the goings on of the tech and gaming industries) know to stay away. So we look out-of-state, for candidates who want to move to the Bay Area and just need a way in. Once they get here, work a couple of months and find a place to live, they get the hell out and into a more reputable company.

    I was a contractor for them. A good portion of the "expendable" workers (aka: anyone not a software engineer) are. That way, once leadership looks at its quarterly/EOY reports and decides that it's been bleeding money and needs to tighten up, it's easy to sweep out the chaff, without needing to go through the fuss of actually laying off FT employees and paying severance. My boss had no notice that me and four of my coworkers were going to be cut; she had no say in who was going to be cut.

    As a contractor, I was also sometimes on the outside looking in: I couldn't attend the company holiday party unless I was a FTE's +1, I wasn't allowed to use the (awesome) company gym, and I got none of the supposedly-lovely benefits and generous vacation policy. That's pretty standard for contractor work, I guess. I'm just spoiled and grumping about that.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership: I know you know that Zynga is dysfunctional and broken. I know you know your reputation. Why do you continually ignore the fact that you're bleeding out? I was here for a short time, in a limited capacity. If I couldn't even really see the leaders trying to lead, how is the public supposed to see it?

    Assess and address your apathetic and disillusioned workforce and commit to being strong and honest leaders. Don't perform triage anymore; you're beyond that stage and you know it.

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