Zynga

  www.zynga.com
  www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews

Updated December 19, 2014
Updated December 19, 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    No direction, broken practices, poor morale

    • 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 5 years)

    Pros

    - Blue Bottle coffee and meals for free
    - Working with creative people
    - Choice of technology

    Cons

    - The meritocracy is flawed between game teams. Two people doing the same position, with equal proficiency are awarded differently by how well the specific game does financially.
    - Too many bosses. Often a person reports directly to their manager, but has "dotted line" managers, who often conflict with the other manager, providing tension to everyday operations.
    - Long hours, exhaustion, some mandatory weekends that are arbitrarily chosen. For example, your game team may announce on a Monday that x amount of people have to work that coming weekend.
    - Hard to have an outside life. With the long hours and short notice for overtime, it's hard to plan a life outside the company.
    - The game teams do not communicate best practices with each other. A game will be made, the issues acknowledged and then a new group of people will make a similar game, without using the learnings from the last game.
    - Different technologies used on different games, sometimes changed mid-project.
    - After a game is launched, it goes into cadence. The detailed prep work to launch the game doesn't carry over into the life of the game.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Every manager should have to take manager training.
    - Do post-mortems of every project and actually implement changes in new projects.
    - Be honest with employees. Don't make inflated, broken promises.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    Politics, nepotism, favoritism and corruption at its best

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    1. Very good engineers to work with, but even there the quality is going down with recent hiring and lot of good people have left due to rampant nepotism
    2. Decent food

    Cons

    1. If you are an engineer this is probably one of the worst places to work. You will often be bossed by people with no skills whasoever. In Zynga they are called Producers. Literally anybody becomes a producer here, any QA, english writers, or so called community specialists, literally anyone who knows the right boots to lick

    2. HRs control too many things. The quarterly evaluation they tell you about is a joke. There is no transparency and Engineering managers have no say in appraisals. It is a close group who always keep getting the best. If you don't know how to play this game of thrones, this is not the place for you

    3. Overall there is no sense of direction and you have very little control on you career direction. Today you are working one one project and tomorrow you will be put to a different project without any direction and no explanations given to you.

    4. There is no transparency in any process they follow.

    5. Many IIM grads. who believe they know everything are actually sinking the company. They all are trained to chase very short term goals here, as a result company is suffering. Add to that these recent graduate can actually make a senior engineer's life tough.

    6. I have not come across a single good game designer in India. This is sort of understandable given there aren't any good game design institutes in India. But, here the problem is that these mediocre people are calling the shots.

    7. Your technical growth stops in this company because you are always chasing short term goals, without a moment to stop and think. At times you are even expected to do data entry kind of work, and then they come up with phrases like Zynga first to justify this.

    8. Best way to grow in this company if you are an engineer is a) Create a problem yourself b) Solve it couple of days later c) Send a big mail as to how you have solved the biggest problem, add in a few made up numbers, tie up with a Product manager to add in an excel sheet with all sort of manipulated information. It never fails to work.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All that glitters is not gold. Have a re-look at your quarterly review process. There are many people in this office being paid for no real work. Stop those expenses rather than cutting out benefits from deserving people

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

    Nice Perks and Benefits, Poor Morale, Meritocracy is Dead

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

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Good pay, great health/vision/dental plan, 401K, ESPP, free gourmet food and buffet and organic snacks, free coffee/gourmet drinks/soda/juices, they rent out several high quality food trucks after every quarterly meeting and it's all you can eat, free gym and classes, unlimited PTO.

    Cons

    I used to believe in their "meritocracy" when I first came on. I was a huge advocate of Zynga for the first year and a half. But recently we've faced major cutbacks, layoffs and restructuring, and found the company will no longer be giving bonuses for the next year and a half. I worked extremely hard but Zynga doesn't recognize hard work; their awards ceremony works like a high school rally in that it's a huge popularity contest. And the higher ups will continue to take credit for the grunts' hard work, no matter how much of an influence you make. Good ideas are shot down if it isn't a tried and true game that makes millions on the market; they speak of innovation year after year but it is still all about fast following for the money. Morale is sinking lower and lower, only the ones who are gung-ho about Zynga Spirit or those that make the most cash for the company (despite lack of innovation) will get that $100,000 stock reward, or $5000 cash plus a 4-day trip to any place in the world, or get to borrow the company Tesla.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give some of the employees you stepped on some recognition with a bonus or at least a verbal mention; we all know you can spare a little if you're spending all this money on other things.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 1 person found this helpful  

    Disrespectful working conditions

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

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

    Pros

    Food and events were terrific. Exciting Game launches

    Cons

    Disrespectful to employees. They demand 24/7 availability and don't hesitate to fire. Managers yell and push people publicly. Common to be put down or disrespected. No value for employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read a management 101 book!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    HONOUR AMONG THIEVES!!!!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bangalore (India)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bangalore (India)

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

    Pros

    If one is a freaher it is a good place to start off with since they pay well to attract talent.
    Food , food, food if you are going to enjoy this please join...
    GM's are extremely talented and a good lot to work with but the corruption is so high that it takes away the pleasure of working with these people.

    Cons

    The crime party - Country Manager, Ops managers, HR head, HR manager..... If you would like to understand how corruption works Zynga is the best place to get this information... The management here mainly takes care of their own pockets and ensures that the lions share of bonuses fall into their pockets. The crime party never lets down each other.... The vendors they use are all names sakes of the crime party and they make a killing in each and every deal.
    HR openly supports fraud and prides sexual harrassment... and you can succeed in this place only if ypu are one amongst them. TRANSPARENCY is non existent in any of the dictionaries of the management..They like to make the US feel that "ALL IS WELL".
    The management lacks maturity in dealing with any any situations. Escalations go to the Country Manager and HR Head who are not people who cannot think independently and take decisions, their decisions are based on favouritism and the degree of consequence depends on how well an employee licks these peoples boots.......
    Its a mini version of how politicians work in our country for their own benefit.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let Zynga make some money please!!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    Don't lay off your best talent

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

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

    Pros

    While it lasted, it was a great gig. The perks were nice and the people were fun to work with.

    Cons

    Their recent round of layoffs were "wrong place, wrong time" with no consideration made to skills, positions, seniority, value, etc. The company blindly cut teams right and left giving no consideration to who/what/when/why.

    Company sent an entire team to Hawaii not one month prior to laying off 500+ employees.

    If you are currently there or one of the new hires (Yes they are still hiring....explain that...) you need to get yourself on the Poker or FarmVille 2 teams as quickly as possible. It doesn't matter if you think another team has potential...Poker is the safest place to be. The company is crumbling one team at a time and those will be the last to go.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Layoffs have to happen, we understand that. Don't screw over your most passionate, loyal, and skilled workers (unless you were actually doing us some kind of favor by letting us out early before the entire place shuts down)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful  

    The worst possible work environment and culture imaginable.

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

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

    Pros

    There is no good reason to work here. Good food & coffee, free snacks. Video games and nice gym on main campus.

    Cons

    CEO has no idea how to run a large company. Constant thrash and pivots. CEO says stuff like, "When you come to the conversation understanding that I'm always right you'll have a better outcome." This company cannot succeed with current management in place. Highly, highly political environment, not a meritocracy as they say. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Fire yourselves.

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

    Do Not Work Here

    • 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 full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    really, there are not benefits

    Cons

    political. know nothing about games. disorganized and run by people who ultimately don't care about product.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Not sure what the hype was ever about

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

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

    Pros

    Nice building, food, snacks. Paycheck & benefits OK.

    Cons

    Incompetent management. Pincus does deserve credit for seeing the Facebook wave before everyone else in the lineup, but that's about it. Maybe if he'd spent more time paying attention to what was going on instead of screwing others out of their stock or counting his $ after the best timed secondary offering ever, things would be different. Other big names (Van Natta, Schappert, Cottle, etc.) not worth $100k apiece annually let alone the tens of millions they walked away with.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too late...and they wouldn't take good advice anyway.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Too many people with egos work for this company.

    • 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

    Pros

    It was a lot of fun working with a gaming company and communicating with the players.

    Cons

    The biggest issue is the lack of communication between the staff at Zynga. If you send an email, most often they don't even bother replying. My new manager always find time to return emails and expects us to confirm important information always - and the great communication makes for a great work environment. When you tell them what the problem is, based on the voices of hundreds of very angry people, they don't look for a solution to the problem. They instead make excuses...

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find real solutions to the real problems. If you have players complaining that they are getting goals for so many houses that they don't even have room to put them - if you can't slow down, at least find a way for players to make the most out of the virtual real estate they have. Learn to work as a team and learn how to communicate with people who are trying to make things better for the company. Listen to your customers, they are telling you what they want and what they hate. With anything technology it's all about keeping up with the rapid pace of change and staying ahead of the game. This is taught in basic programming classes! Zynga has not changed much since it launched besides adding some better graphics. But the games are all the same - and buggy as heck. Learn to value your core members - if you save your core members instead of seeking out new players, you will make at least 5x more profit. The only thing you have shown them is they better not trust you or invest in our company because you'll just shut the game down anyway. There's a lot that needs to happen, and the changes need to take place from the top-down.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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