Zynga Reviews

Updated August 27, 2015
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434 Employee Reviews

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  1. Baffling place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Artist
    Former Employee - Senior Artist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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).


  2. Sink or swim

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    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)


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

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

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

    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.


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

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


  6. Helpful (1)

    Terrible culture

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QE Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - QE Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  7. Good people, bad culture.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Product Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


  8. Helpful (1)

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

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Artist in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    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 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.


  9. fresh college guys

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


  10. Too many rock stars ruin the work.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    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 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.


  11. Helpful (1)

    Lack of true leadership, fun during the good times.

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



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