Zynga

www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews

Updated January 30, 2015
Updated January 30, 2015
385 Reviews
3.1
385 Reviews
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Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
107 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

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    fresh college guys

    • 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

    Pros

    free food and free snacks

    Cons

    it's full of fresh college guys who know nothing

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    They paid me well to make products I wasn't too proud to be working on.

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

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

    Pros

    It was good pay, and most of the people I interacted with were nice. They did their best, most of the time, to put me on projects that suited my tastes, in theme, anyway.

    Cons

    They seemed slow and reluctant to change, preferring to stick to old product models that appeared to be losing their popularity, while canceling new and different products that I thought had great potential, before giving them a chance,

    Too focused on whether they thought a game was good at "addicting" players rather than on making them want to play because it was a good, fun game.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to the people who are in the trenches, who know what good games are, and listen less to the accountants. Good games will make money for the long run. Games excessively focused on and motivated by making money may do so in the short term, but not in the long term.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  3.  

    Too many rock stars ruin the work.

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

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

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology, or at least it was.

    Cons

    Not everyone wants to live at their job.
    long, long hours, poor pay, too much good old boy poLititz and a "merit" system based more on who can climb over the real worker bees and take credit

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop with everyone is a CEO BS. Too often the loudest people get heard even though they are often the least knowledgeable. Find your experst and who are your real strategic thinkers and listen to them, not the 1st year programmer who writes code that's bloated and bad. Listen to those who have experience in community management and not to some producer who thinks the game is his. It's not, it belongs to the players and stop trying to tell your users what you want them to want and listen to what they are telling you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great learning experience

    Former Employee - (Software Developer) in Bangalore (India)
    Former Employee - (Software Developer) in Bangalore (India)

    I worked at Zynga as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Friendly atmosphere
    Helpful team members
    Encouragement to think of your own ideas

    Cons

    None that I faced during my internship

  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Lack of true leadership, fun during the good times.

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Pros

    Great workplace perks at HQ, fun environment, bring your dog to work, dynamic industry.

    Cons

    Lack of vision and leadership (original CEO & management team was still there) beyond its initial success. People believed their own hype and didn't invest properly in the future (i.e. mobile) before it was too late. Internal studios didn't work well together. Short term rewards and thinking meant no industry leadership beyond initial successes on Facebook.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in the future in terms of product strategy, values, and people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Great in some ways, lacking in others

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    - Exceptionally open culture
    - Great data infrastructure
    - Lots of smart people and a hip office make for a fun work environment
    - Good career growth and mobility

    Cons

    - Tough place to get groundbreaking products off ground
    - Hampered by early success in some ways as it's hard for new ideas to start from the ground up
    - Work/life balance can be difficult to achieve, but varies by group
    - Lots of "best practices" make the company slower than before

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Focus more on the "fun" part of game design and be careful with making the place too bureaucratic as it may sap creativity and innovation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Sr. software engineer (build & release)

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    fun workplace; pure start-up culture; new technologies

    Cons

    no care to employee
    no work/life balance

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    leave if you can

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Starving the Golden Goose

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Lots of variety of games to work on, some GREAT people there, wonderful talent. I loved the dogs all around, it really made it fun to be there, especially during crunch time. Decent pay for the region, great free food, great teams. Clean neat environment. TEAMS were great, lots of autonomy. Very good "flex time" policies. Yes, GREAT FOOD. Nice in-house gym.

    Cons

    I have a particular sore spot with the so-called "meritocracy" shell game.

    Sure, there WERE deserving people who did over and above the call of duty, and deserved recognition, and the "level-up" was great for them. BUT.... it's easy to "level-up" if the company has an established policy of downgrading your position when you start a new project to a lesser title! I found out by accident that this had happened to me, when I noticed that my job description on my pay stub was not what I was hired for. When I questioned it, first it was described as an error that would soon be corrected. Two months later it was "wait until the end of quarter when we change all the new titles". More weeks waiting it was "sorry, that's just what it is". Then a couple months later, "sorry, that title (the one I was HIRED with!) has a higher pay scale and would need approval." HUH? My HIRED description has a higher pay scale than the downgraded one I discovered I had been labeled with? It took multiple directors standing behind me to restore my original title, and many months. And no, my pay scale was never corrected.

    And I found out that I was one of many who had discovered themselves downgraded in position when they started new projects -- but they were mostly too intimidated to speak up.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick to your promises. Never NEVER ask an employee to give back a hiring perk / bonus / stock options! Respect the titles you hired them with. (If you needed and "bought" a Land Rover, but later you just need it to deliver newspapers door to door, you STILL OWN A LAND ROVER, you're just choosing to use it for simpler jobs. For now.)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 1 person found this helpful  

    Didn't deliver on the promise

    • 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

    Pros

    Great Benefits, cool office, great food.

    Cons

    Product strategy is broken as they cancel more games than they release. Business thinking drives too much of the new product development and they end up with uninspiring fast-follow clones that they end up cancelling. This takes a toll on the creative people that they desperately need to be inspired. A good deal of the best people I worked with here have since left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find the balance between business and creative ideas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Decent place to work.

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Great benefits and a strong culture, plus competitive pay.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is a struggle to maintain

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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