Zynga Reviews

Updated April 21, 2015
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  1. Sink or swim

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

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

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

    Pros

    Good infrastructure, facilities and perks.
    Smart People
    Excellent food (3 meals per day)
    Good promotions / career trajectory if you fit

    Cons

    Downward trajectory - don't see Zynga recovering former glories
    Tough work-life balance (although I hear it has improved)
    Easy to stagnate if you don't succeed or fit the mould
    Frequent team changes

    Advice to Management

    Become scrappy - release games frequently (Not necessarily the highest quality)

  2. Wasn't always a great job, but they're a great employer

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

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Two meals were catered every day, and special care was taken to accommodate anyone's dietary restrictions.

    I worked in a room full of very experienced game developers from all walks of the industry, including a few legends from my childhood.

    For the most part, everyone was friendly, helpful, and invested in helping you succeed. Even when the whole team is stuck in the office because your update keeps failing QA at midnight, they come to you to see how they can help, rather than complaining.

    Zynga offers unlimited/untracked PTO for vacations and sick leave. Their official vacation policy was "You should probably take some." In an industry notorious for working developers to death, Zynga producers were known for pulling people aside and telling them to go away for a week or two for a vacation. And if a producer asks you to stay late to finish something, they'll sometimes offer you a day or two off in exchange. The whole office basically shuts down from before christmas through the new year.

    Cons

    Not a lot of original IP or creativity, in some aspects of their games. Also, the product managers are making game design decisions based solely on market statistics.

    Advice to Management

    Try to keep on top of bonuses and and leveling up for your teams.

  3. Mismanagement, too many levels of upper execs with too many opinions interfering with product.

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

    Free food, complimentary gym, other perks.

    Cons

    Management, producer to game developer ratio is insane, definitive example of too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Advice to Management

    You don't need 4 managers per employee.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Terrible culture

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

    + Rich in benefits. free massages. free food. free coffee
    + unlimited vacation policy
    + Be you own CEO (you plan and execute). You get to learn alot on your own and learn what you are truly made of.
    + quarterly reviews and bonuses

    Cons

    - Upper management takes 0% blames, 200% credits - that's because they provide no directions. they rely you to be CEO. when things fail, you are at fault. When things succeed, somehow, one of the execs will proudly take your MVP and level-ups. go figure.
    - Terrible central QA team - they don't know what they are doing. terrible unskilled directors/managers lead to terrible QA team. doesn't understand the meaning of QA. can't deliver.
    - discussion making solely on data. no brains usage. which led to poor planning (kill and launch the wrong games).

    Advice to Management

    Upper management needs to play more their zynga games. be a customer and feel the product. if you don't like the game, what makes your customers like your games.

  6. Good people, bad culture.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Analytical skills are honed, especially for optimizing growth. People work hard and there is a no nonsense culture.

    Cons

    Long hours and on call weekends, team members change quickly because of churn, and company is very money-minded instead of product-minded.

  7. Helpful (1)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    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 Management

    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.

  8. 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

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

    Pros

    free food and free snacks

    Cons

    it's full of fresh college guys who know nothing

  9. 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)

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

    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 Management

    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.

  10. Helpful (1)

    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

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

    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 Management

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

  11. Helpful (2)

    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

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 Management

    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.)

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