Zynga Reviews | Glassdoor

Zynga Reviews

Updated March 23, 2017
101 reviews

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Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau
Frank Gibeau
8 Ratings

101 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Many non-cash benefits such as free breakfast, lunch and dinner; as well as, free starbucks style coffee (in 36 reviews)

  • Benefits - Free food, relaxed work environment, centrally located (in 88 reviews)

Cons
  • Since it's a gaming company there's literally no work life balance (in 60 reviews)

  • Upper management tends to micromanage causing a lot of the thrash (in 38 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Slim but shady"

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

    I worked at Zynga as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks. Great work. Great dogs. The work was definitely interesting and always kept me on my toes. Found that I enjoyed the line of work.

    Cons

    Business practices can be questionable at times. Was let go without any formal exit and wasn't even allowed to take home personal items. Really sketchy about it and didn't tell me why I was let go.

    Advice to Management

    If you can't even tell an employee that they are let go to their face, I don't know how you can succeed at keeping your company stable.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Glorified Customer Service Rep"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - VIP Account Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - VIP Account Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Catered lunch, trips, dog-friendly, happy hour every week or every day depending on how your boss feels, plenty of company outings, work from home, generous vacation and health care benefits. Lots of programs at your fingertips for free.

    Cons

    Constant lay-offs and resignations from the top down, plus lots of misleading objectives. That job description for a new VIP Account Manager is very misleading. Your day to day tasks will primarily involve taking constant calls from gambling addicts (VIPs) with too much free time, that expect you to spend your entire day talking to them. They will call you crying, howling, throwing temper tantrums, create fake illnesses, blast you on social media, stole my Facebook photo and edit it, complain to your boss and write the CEO. Aside from that, you will not be retrieving any revenue reports to assess your efforts, your skills will not grow, you will not become efficient in learning the systems unless you literally teach yourself, provided you have access. In addition, the disconnect between management will make it nearly impossible to provide any form of consistency to your client base. Oh and if you even blink too many times you will be pulled into a coaching to come up with a way for you to stop blinking so much. And meetings, meetings, meetings, meetings... boy will there be impromptu meetings in addition to the ones previously on your calendar. You'll meet to get told-off as a team, and you'll meet to give ideas, only for someone in a higher position to capitalize off of your idea while you receive no credit. To summarize, you will spend most of your day sending emails to the same people about the same issues, talking on the phone non-stop, mostly to the same people several times a day about the same thing again and again. Don't blink too much unless you want to be coached on a solution for that. If you want to deal all with that then please apply.

    Advice to Management

    It's frustrating to work in an environment where our direct manager constantly undermines her boss... the senior director. If I could give it zero stars I would. #Fixit

    Zynga Response

    Mar 13, 2017 – Employee

    Thank you for your feedback. Building relationships with our players is key to this role and we believe that regular coaching sessions with your manager and meetings with the game teams are important ... More


  3. Helpful (3)

    "Not a World Class Game Company- Mud of Newbies"

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

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

    Pros

    New CEO and crew know how to make great games
    CStaff are supportive of initiative

    Cons

    Feel bad for the incoming CEO and crew who are used to working with world class game developers.
     -Zynga is a place of bloated titles, people who failed up to VP status having never shipped a great game fill the company ranks.
    -Shallow CVs and Bloated Titles
    Tons of inexperienced GMs, Directors and Middle Mangers making game decisions wrecking the company yoy.
    A web company that makes games, does not treat them like entertainment
    Questionable accounting
    Operationally unsustainable
    Product Management culture overwhelmingly disrupts greatness

    Advice to Management

    None
    This ship has sailed.


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Good have been great"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Great people to work with, excluding upper management. Great perks.

    Cons

    Unwillingness to take risks. Missed opportunties second guessing themselves.
    No direction from project heads. Lots of thrash.

    Advice to Management

    Put trust in the staff. They have been hired for their skills and knowledge of development. Allow them to succeed and Zynga will succeed.
    Currently there are too many uninvolved making decisions that basically block success.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "If you like CYA this is the right place"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Data driven company, so you can learn a lot about the mechanics of free to play games. Has to pay well for a game company to attract and retain talent.

    Cons

    Too many layers of management - an engineer in my area is 8 steps from the CEO. However none of the managers will actually follow through on any strategy. No one is empowered to make decisions, but individuals and managers are held accountable for the decisions of executives. If you like an environment where CYA is your primary job, then Zynga is a good place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Stop trying to keep everything secret. Set strategies and state problems to be solved, then let your workers solve the problems. Be smart about cost savings - cut half of the layers of management instead of cutting the people actually creating products. Most of all -- listen.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "Frank Gibeau is bringing in his minions to rob the joint"

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

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

    Pros

    Mark Pincus is an easily manipulated doofus who thinks he is a visionary. This allows people with no skills except for politics to easily move up the ranks within the paranoid snake pit.

    Cons

    You literally will spend a lot of time and effort and skills to what will most likely culminate in a rash and short-sighted decision. Ask anyone that has worked on any of the 100's of canceled projects that were underfunded in the first place. Frank Gibeau (who claims to have saved EA even though his main contribution to mobile [which he was demoted to after he was passed over by the board] was Plants v. Zombies 2, the steaming trainwreck. He was saved by Simpsons Tapped Out, but ask anyone on the nightmare that was the original launch of that product and you will know what a terrible leader Gibeau truly is. He has brought his failure friends from EA to drive down costs in SF to make it look like he turned Zynga into profit, even though the end result is a brain drain of epic proportions while funding Toronto and Oxford. Just a scam, but Pincus is too weak and dull to be able to stop it (just as Don Mattrick walked all over him as well).

    Advice to Management

    Mark: Just close down the company. You don't even like video games. You should dissolve everything and try and do some kind of social media venture. Zynga is a broken idea based on your marketing foresight in Facebook days. Give up. Stop doing this to people. You are failing because you don't even want to be in this industry.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Horrible"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Perks such as free lunch and dinner, not that good though

    Cons

    Super political, HR was completely corrupt and played favors, totally opaque review process


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Temp to perm contractor in datacenter"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Datacenter Technician in Ashburn, VA
    Former Employee - Datacenter Technician in Ashburn, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of great people in the Ops dept. All very easy to work with. Free snacks.

    Cons

    I was told by management that their hiring freeze would end and I would be hired on. Their hiring freeze never ended and my year contract expired. The DC I was working at started downsizing shortly after the company stock tanked after their IPO. Looking back, i didn't miss out on anything. I also heard nightmare stories about their creative depart.

    Advice to Management

    No one likes being lied to. It leads to poor reviews. As a datacetner employee, we were pretty much kept in the dark in terms of the organization.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Still cannot get their act together"

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

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

    Pros

    Zynga has had some GREAT product. Also some good people.

    Cons

    Too many silo's. So many good people have left. A boys club. I feel sorry for women leaders there. Become another extension of Electronic Arts. I often heard, "I left EA, already".

    Advice to Management

    Hire more EXPERIENCED leaders. Stop micro-managing. FOCUS.


  11. Helpful (2)

    "So Much Potential Wasted By Greedy Excec's and PM's"

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

    Pros

    -Amazing amenities (while they lasted, since I left they've cut a few): x3 meals a day, stocked kitchens on all the floors, lots of activities on campus and off, and a freaking brew master on site!!!

    -Really talented artists and developers, with tons of diverse experiences to learn from

    -Good pay for artists

    -Great insurance and health benefits

    Cons

    -Focused solely on metrics and the thought that all will fall in line (art, fun, etc.) if the metrics and focus testing says so.

    -Absentee Exec staff, upper management were hands off with the teams, placing burdens on middle/lower management that they usually weren't skilled for. Until when things went wrong and blaming the Individual Contributors on their failures, or when things went right and patting themselves on the backs with large bonus' for themselves only while ignoring the teams themselves for the hard work.

    -Art management is 25/75: A quarter of the art management team cares, mostly, about their teams and the projects the work on. The rest could care less. Some have open resentment for the art teams they manage and have no interest in games or gaming outside of their day job. These are a majority at the company, people managing creatives who make games, but have never owned a console or played any games outside of that one time they downloaded Candy Crush and played it on the train one. Really quite demoralizing.

    -Art Directors/Creative Directors are mostly checked out, could care less or are completely out of touch with their teams and or industry. With few exceptions, the art management, all the way to the top comes across misguided and aloof. Spending time focusing on ideas concepts that are either unclear in their benefits to the projects and teams, or outright pandering to upper management that is mandating tasks based off buzzwords they heard at some conference.

    -Limited job growth for creatives. The teams options have been narrowing down to casino/gambling games leaving less and less options for creatives to go to, once their game has been shut down or sunsetted to India.

    -Product Managers being told they are the designers and creators of the games, and given carte blanche in the say of how games are made. To watch 22 year olds straight out of college, getting paid 25,000-50,000 dollars more than you to interpret a spreadsheet and then tell you how to make games is quite demoralizing. Especially watching the consistent failure rate of that business model. When I left, they were only hiring more PMs and giving them more stake in the overall choices made for the games.

    -Massive Attrition. People coming and going and a constant and regular rate. And the layoffs are hugely demoralizing. Everyone is constantly aware that it could happen at any moment, and thus people are never able to relax and just work the best they can. They often working to just not get laid off.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your teams. Stop throwing money at your problems. Give the talented programmers, developers, designers and artists more freedom to create something new and better. STOP giving Product Managers Carte Blanche in designing your games, or you'll never do better than the game you're copying. You have some of the most talented people working for you, and if you don't scare them away, you have all the ingredients to make the next best thing. If only you weren't your worst enemy in that pursuit.



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