Zynga Reviews | Glassdoor

Zynga Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
625 reviews

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3.6
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Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau
Frank Gibeau
47 Ratings

625 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 89 reviews)

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

  • Lots of indecision among upper management which comes down as thrash to the different teams (in 38 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (6)

    "My time at Zynga has been Amazing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    People at Zynga are genuinely passionate about their work and share a common vision of connecting the world through social games, and creating meaningful relationships for players. Zynga has great opportunities for growth and learning, especially for high performers. There is a strong “work hard- play hard” mentality across teams and people’s careers are rewarded tremendously. It’s a dynamic environment, surrounded with smart, driven, and motivated people. The office space itself is open and inspiring and they provide amazing benefits to reward employees (gym, 401K match, free food etc.). Benefits and salary are top-notch and highly competitive with other tech leaders in the Bay Area. It’s rare to find a company with such a strong culture and mission.

    Cons

    I feel very optimistic about Zynga’s future.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.


  2. Helpful (8)

    "Where to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Executive Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Executive Producer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    If you put your head down, work hard and don't complain--you will see room for improvement. Do a good job and you will be rewarded. It is a VERY tough environment, not for everyone!

    Cons

    If you need structure and lots of kudoo's this is not the place for you. It is a very harsh work environment--not for the faint of heart.

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to manage in a way the people actually respond to and possibly read or get educated in a way that enriches a work environment.

  3. Helpful (19)

    "Soul crushing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Extensive Perks (lunch, dinner, sometimes breakfast), massage, etc
    Frequent quarterly bonuses
    Great people
    You get to be with a winning company
    If you are only interested in the bottom line, whatever the cost, this is the place for you.

    Cons

    Long hours even when there is no real deadline.
    Insane micro management all the way from CEO down
    If you're single with a dog, you'll be happy, if you have a family you'll be miserable.
    Promotions are based more on how many hours you're willing to work rather than skill or experience.
    If you want to be creative go elsewhere.

    Advice to Management

    It doesn't matter, they'd never believe they need to change anyway.


  4. Helpful (17)

    "No work-life balance, meritocracy for very few, politics over performance."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - UI Designer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Company is successful and well-known
    - Free food, drinks, and snacks
    - Team trips to Vegas and other locations if your group happens to be "killing it".
    - Can bring your dog to work.

    Cons

    - The companies core values are lies.
    - Few positions get ownership over their work and performance
    - Constant politics and backstabbing make it hard for performers to see any real advancement.
    - Management is shuffled around often so promises don't need to be fulfilled and the next person can pump their team up about how they are going to make everything better.
    - Much of the companies management comes from EA, you can basically consider this EA on Facebook when it comes to how employees are treated, they know there is a never ending stream of new employees who want to make games and work at a big name so burning people out isn't a concern.
    - No tangible career path, requirements will never be defined, and opportunities to meet vague requirements are never given even when requested.
    - No formal vacation policy, which sounds good in theory but in reality it means there is always a new deadline and now isn't really a good time for you to abandon the team...
    - Deadlines are never based in reality, unless you consider a 60+ hour work week normal.
    - New hires receive no equity
    - People bring their dogs, some are great, others go to the bathroom everywhere, and add a funk to your work area.

    Advice to Management

    Start treating your employees right, free food is not a substitute for recognition, promotion, and pride in the work you do.


  5. Helpful (17)

    "A place where sucking up to management is the only way to get ahead."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They do provide benefits and salary and (rather mediocre) free food.
    You can work on social games, which some people think is cool.
    If you work really long hours and suck up to everyone possible, you can get ahead.
    You can get lots of free t-shirts, free pizza, and free beer.
    It's a good place if you want to do nothing in your life but work a lot.

    Cons

    You're basically forced to work 60-80 hour weeks.
    You can't actually take advantage of the unlimited vacation policy.
    It's impossible to know what's actually going on if you're not on the inside.
    Pay is not actually that high.
    Managers are completely inept and are only using you to get ahead.
    Not possible to get promoted on self merits, only by using other people.
    Engineering is laughable and of poor quality.
    There is a culture of blame and trying to avoid blame at all costs.
    Upper engineering is basically management, but is still called "engineering."
    Advancement within the company on the engineering track is a dead end,
    people invariably switch to being managers to keep going up, whether it's official
    or unofficial.

    Advice to Management

    If people were not ostracized for not working 2x normal hours, and were actually
    recognized for being smart and helping things as an individual contributor,
    and managers spent more time trying to help their employees, and work/life balance
    was more equal, things would be better.
    Also, cut all of the free food, encourage people to be self sufficient instead of just hiring
    as many new grads and working them till they can't perform and are fired.


  6. Helpful (18)

    "If you want to burn out, work here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    *Lots of "perks" (free food, gym membership, onsite massage, etc.)
    *Dog-friendly workplace
    *Tech company in SF
    *The people you work with are nice and generally care about their coworkers

    Cons

    *Work too much to use the "perks" - employees often look like walking zombies
    *Mandatory 6-day work weeks for some teams
    *Compensation packages not competitive with other private tech companies (esp. the equity)
    *Micro-management at all levels
    *"Recognition" given based on hours worked, not actual skill or contribution
    *"Flexible" vacation policy really just means you can never get time off
    *"Start-up culture" means things change frequently - which is fine, but there's never any awareness that employees have been busting butt on one thing only to be told to make a change and bust butt on something new (i.e. no understanding of how hard people work)
    *No clear career path for lots of roles
    *People are unhappy and tired and management doesn't care
    *No interest in employee feedback
    *No upward feedback on management performance
    *Lots of *really bad* managers

    Advice to Management

    *STOP the micro-management already - you hire competent people so let them do their job
    *Change the work culture and make it so that your employees have lives
    *Get better management in place (ask for feedback)
    *Actually care about employee's happiness (ask for feedback)
    *Stop asking if Mark is a good CEO on a company survey that people fill out over their company-issued computers. Everyone assumes it can be tracked.


  7. Helpful (14)

    "STAY AWAY FROM THIS PLACE! FARRRRRR AWAY FROM THIS PLACE!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - Your mom plays their games
    - Dogs allowed (which is kind of a con if you don't bring/have one)

    Cons

    - Stay away, the equity you will gain here now will be nothing this late in the game and certainly not worth the cost it will be to you: your soul.
    - Bonuses are advertised but really make up for what they pay under industry average.

    Advice to Management

    - Drive performance from metrics and not by how much someone stays in the office, shows up to preach in a meeting, or how many emails they send patting themselves on the back.
    - Take a day to investigate the people who are REALLY pulling all of the weight for your team and not just the person who yammers a lot and has some fancy ideas and give THEM a merit bonus.

  8. Helpful (17)

    "A very poor career experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Pace (but see below); reach (millions of users - for now)

    Cons

    * No sense of company direction; Zynga cannot come up with a strategy to overcome the fact that it is entirely dependent on Facebook.
    * It is a loose collection of "studios" with little or no sharing of resources between them, resulting in serious inefficiency.
    * Disingenuousness is pervasive and seeps down all the way from the very top.
    * Zynga is not a meritocratic organization. Pettiness, paranoia, fear and back-stabbing win the day; those who "play the game" float to the top.
    * One of the company values is something called "Zynga Speed", which means accepting that quality will be sacrificed and long hours will be expected, over and over again. For employees aged over 25 this means your years of experience in your field will be routinely ignored; just to get the job done, you will be expected to abandon just about every principle you have learned as a skilled professional.
    * Deadlines are arbitrary and extremely aggressive, yet in some cases slip by several months as strategies change on a whim at the top level.
    * Expect to find yourself micromanaged by someone much less skilled than you, and who also has no skills in management.
    * A large proportion of the employees are in their first job and are treated like slaves; they will stay there until they burn out and discover a life outside Zynga. This is challenging for experienced people as the same is expected of them too.
    * Seasoned workers are open and vocal about their dissatisfaction with working there (read other Glassdoor reviews for confirmation).
    * The "no vacation policy" sounds good on the face of it, but basically it means your manager will decide not to let you take time off.
    * The games themselves are of dubious value. Do you want to believe in your company's products?

    Advice to Management

    Take a serious look at the negative feedback you're getting, including that from your past and present employees.


  9. Helpful (16)

    "On the second day, they told us "we will fire anyone we feel is useless"."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Austin, TX
    Former Employee - QA Tester in Austin, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Every day you got a Free lunch, which was cooked daily by a great chef. It was a very fast moving environment.

    Cons

    Treated worse than cogs. Management style based on fear not praise (or worse, based on endless optimism that turns to blame when things fail). Employees pitted against each other.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating employees like children that need to be controlled. Let people work and balance both family time and don't just schedule people like a limitless resource.


  10. Helpful (13)

    "Why Would Anybody with Any Skills or Experience Want to Work Here Now?"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • 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
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    -Free lunch and dinner
    -Can bring dogs to work
    -Pre-IPO (although if you joined after 2009 you won't get much)
    -Gain large-scale web application experience
    -Lots of free beer
    -Opportunity to network with some pretty smart people

    Cons

    -Anybody that joined after April 2011 are all misinformed and will get peanuts for equity. In fact, if you joined after December of 09, you have missed out on several stock splits already. Stock might be single digits per share.
    -No automatic annual pay increase, so you better level up if you want your salary to go up.
    -Very fast pace with a lot of internal competition.
    -People are pushed to the max with aggressive deadlines, but employees often don't believe in the products they are working day and night to deliver.
    -Incompetent managers
    -Company spends money like crazy, but no necessarily to the liking of the mass.
    -The whole culture is very stressful with little in terms of nurturing the right type of employee motivation.
    -Terrible work life balance
    -No free parking around building
    -Very unprofessional HR department
    -Actively slashing employees
    -Hack jobs instead of good designs often rule the day
    -*******WILL KILL YOUR SOCIAL LIFE!!!********

    -First company going public to have mainly RSU. Management is screwing over employees big time in terms of equity value, but few actually realize this. Issuing RSU and deducting 40% for tax reasons is essentially the company forcing employees to sell stocks back to the company at a price that the company determines.

    Advice to Management

    Survey employees about HR, in particular the RMO - Most unprofessional individual(s) ever! I believe 70% of the HR team needs to get fired for incompetence and rudeness.

    People will be more loyal to the company if such harsh rules such as converting to RSU instead of ISO and forcing employees to give up 40%+ of their stocks and having to pay taxes later on on stocks with an artificially low basis. People will eventually realize how much their take-home amount is and will quit in masses. It is also very unethical to over-hire, only to cut people to make your numbers.


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