Zynga - It pays the bills | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Zynga
There are newer employer reviews for Zynga

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Helpful (2)

"It pays the bills"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Current Employee - Senior Artist in San Francisco, CA
Current Employee - Senior Artist in San Francisco, CA
Recommends
Neutral Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

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

Pros

There are some very talented people working here and the culture is generally fun. Food and onsite gym is a plus.

Cons

There are too many missed opportunities when it comes to making quality games. The company is lagging behind our competition with innovation, fun and mass market appeal. There is extreme favoritism when getting bonuses and level ups, you need to be willing to play the game.

Advice to Management

You talk innovation yet you stay in the safe zone and fast follow our competition. How about you actually give us the opportunity to make new and original titles?

Other Employee Reviews for Zynga

  1. Helpful (2)

    "You can work with very talented colleagues, but very difficult to find experienced and solid mentors and managers."

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

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

    Pros

    You are surrounded with very very talented and motivated colleagues who inspires to work more and achieve more! As long as you bring strong work ethic, quality work, and collaborative attitude, you will meet amazing talents and get to be part of great team.

    Cons

    Very very hard to find good mentors and managers. I personally had a horrible management experience at Zynga which basically made me look elsewhere and got a job. A company that puts "Be your own CEO" and "Meritocracy" should eward on employee on performance. I sadly saw lots of politics which made things harder to make things happen.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Well-compensated, and recognized at the company; killed it at the expense of my work-life balance. Unsure of its future."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Baltimore, MD
    Former Employee - Senior Artist in Baltimore, MD
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    -Compensation + generous perks. Zynga has a lot of financial resources and the ability to make Blockbuster titles. Whether they use those resources intelligently is another story. Free lunches, dinners, gym, health care, etc.
    -Opportunity for advancement - a lot of it, if you can manage to get recognized by the right people. That last sentence is key.
    -Average production cycle is a lot shorter than working in console development, which means more shipped titles in less time (if your team does it right)
    -Dynamic workforce - fairly easy to transfer within the company.
    -Has gotten better at recognizing games that won't succeed, and killing projects early. This could still use some improvement.
    -All star IT department that bends over backwards for employees.
    -Dog friendly environment usually makes it a joy to come to work (as long as the dogs on your team are well-behaved)
    -Overall, I really liked my experience with Zynga. I was lucky to be well-recognized within the company, and felt like my voice mattered and that I was contributing a lot to the projects I was on. The sense of ownership diminished substantially over the the 3.5 years that I was with the company, in part because of rapidly growing team size, and in part from the increasingly negative morale that permeated the office.

    Cons

    -If you're not a programmer, product manager, or high-ranking designer, you're a second tier citizen. The company not value each discipline equally. From a ground level, you can see this in the referral bonus drives (2x bonus modifier on getting a PM or Developer (engineer) hired versus any other discipline).
    -Hectic and disorganized. It's hard to filter the noise sometimes; games in my experience have never shipped on time; we constantly thought we were two weeks out from shipping, which meant a lot of crunch towards the launch of the project.
    -Company size has grown substantially and explosively since I started; because of the lack of organization and general chaos, I don't think we grew intelligently. This resulted in several studio closures after a very aggressive.
    -Work environment encourages politicking. Meritocracy = sometimes you get recognized for your skills and contributions, but you better make sure the right person sees it. Can be cutthroat, to the detriment of the quality of the game, as individuals plan terrible, un-fun features that maximize quick revenue but ultimately tank the game as we bleed users who can't put up with it anymore.
    -Impossible to get recognized if you're not on a succeeding project. Zynga funnels resources into its blockbuster teams, and the pool for bonuses/promotions/etc seems dependent on how well your game is doing (monetization, DAU, etc).
    -Extremely hard to get recognized at a remote branch, unless you're working a lot with people at HQ who can vouch for your talents. May be a moot point, anyways, since many remote studios were closed.
    -Cynicism, jadedness seems to have infected a good portion of the workforce; depending on your team, morale can be a bummer.
    -Thrash. A lot. There's been a ton of reorganization among upper management; I think part of it was to reduce the churn in projects to get fewer dissonant voices in on the greenlight process.
    -Tendency to let projects run on for too long, with too many resources, only to can it 9+ months later.
    -Extremely risk-adverse. "Innovation" is a joke, as every project seems to have Frankenstein'd each successful element of every previous title until games are hard to differentiate from each other and mechanics don't make sense in context; seems like stuff makes it in just to satisfy the green light checkboxes.
    -Work/life balance is what you make of it. It's easy to live at work when you get catered lunch and dinner.
    -Feature cadence on live games can get unreasonable. Your team needs to be good about recognizing when to dial it back; if you've got an aggressive General Manager who's 100% about meeting numbers, enjoy sleeping at Zynga.
    -Weird animosity between departments, depending on your team: Product Managers and Designers don't seem to get along. You should be working in tandem to make a game that is both fun and profitable, not against each other to get your way.

    Advice to Management

    I think you're at a crossroads - you have the opportunity to succeed in a major way, following the successes of your former titles. But if you don't wake up and take some risks, a smaller, more agile company is going to smoke you. Get back to your roots with smaller team sizes; the huge teams are too disorganized and not everyone's able to contribute 100%. Throwing as many people as you can on a project does not make it wrap up any faster or better; recognize those diminishing margining returns and keep your teams leaner. Get over the IPO. Just, get over it and don't fret about the near-term stock price- if you start looking more towards the future.

    Or you can keep doing what you're doing; but I don't think it'll continue to work. I think the company's values aren't aligned with its employees' anymore, and you need to address that. Some of your top talent is being ignored simply because they aren't actively working on your biggest hit, and that's a shame. I'm pretty sure you can see the iceberg in the horizon - it's not too late to steer the boat in a different direction. Don't be the Titanic.

    Also: Consider reducing the swag budget. By a lot. After over three years with the company, I'm pretty sure I could go a month without doing laundry solely by how many Zynga-branded t-shirts I own.

There are newer employer reviews for Zynga
There are newer employer reviews for Zynga

See Most Recent

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