Zynga Reviews | Glassdoor

Zynga Reviews

Updated April 3, 2017
102 reviews

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102 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. "the thrill is gone"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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

    exciting market, enthusiasm and fun. Culture is focused on having a good work / life balance. Facilities are interesting. Food is terrific.

    Cons

    management is lost. turnover at the top, middle management constantly trying to please inept executives

    Advice to Management

    get focused.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Horror Show for Creatives"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Free breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee bar, gym, shuttle.
    Frequent happy hours and off-site team events.
    Dynamic and intelligent engineering staff.
    Salary competitive.

    Cons

    Awkward location. Expensive parking.
    Continuing inability to innovate, find fun, delivery quality, retain players.
    High turnover. Low morale.
    Brutal, unashamed and divisive politics, "strategic alliances," and empire building creates dysfunctional teams.
    Many leaders with no experience in games or entertainment making creative decisions.
    Product management organization dominated by fear, out of date approach and tools, consultants, cult-like dependence on power point presentations, chronic analysis-paralysis.
    Languid and clubby ex-EA management.
    Many, many boys and girls promoted way over their heads and abilities.
    CEO constantly randomizing and micromanaging teams until they can't function.
    Still just an analytics company masking as a game company.

    Advice to Management

    Liquidate the company, sell off the assets and IP, move on to a new trend.


  3. "Zynga"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Fun environment, great people, excellent benefits.

    Cons

    Difficult company to work for when the focus/priorities change daily.

    Advice to Management

    Find a CEO who is a true leader.


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  5. "Staying Relevant"

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

    I worked at Zynga (More than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to have an impact if you speak up.

    Cons

    Changing priorities. High turnover. Challenge to stay relevant against competition.

    Advice to Management

    Respectful interactions impact performance.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Worse working experience of my life."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Great rank-and-file, decent pay and benefits, good food.

    Cons

    I do not exaggerate when I say that my manager was a psychopath. After a bit of work from various members of the team, she unceremoniously left the company. One day she was talking to us about 6 month plans, and the next day she was gone. It turns out, though, she was not the root cause of the problems, but simply a symptom of the larger issue with the broken leadership.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "The Enron of the gaming world"

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

    Pros

    If you're in San Francisco, the food is very good. Apparently I need to type more positive things to finish this section. I was always impressed by the quality of the food.

    Cons

    I got there in late 2010. Whatever magic was there was gone by then.
    I don't have space to write the novella this deserves. let's try this..

    What should have been easy
    Two Billion to make some games
    Incompetent management

    Advice to Management

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The fish rots from the head down. Worst upper/middle management/C-Staff ever. Self-serving, self-promoting, infighting, affairs, backstabbing. All from a group of people who generally have no formal experience in gaming and really and truly do not understand how to make games. Those that did were/are chased out as quickly as possible. Add copious amounts of Hubris and marinate for seven years... Zynga.
    Can it be fixed? Zynga is so irrelevant to gaming that it probably doesn't matter at this point.
    Game over.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "the dogs were the best part"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    some talented and nice people, good food, good location, nice building, DOGS

    Cons

    unlimited vacation is a lie (trust me, expect just 2 weeks if that), expect to work weekends and late nights more than you'd want to, lots of turnover because people get burnt out, immature leadership - middle managers actually lie to subordinates regularly to make themselves look better to upper management

    Advice to Management

    Look at the teams with high attrition and connect those reasons to the ones collected at HR interviews and not what managers report.


  9. Helpful (8)

    "Top-heavy mess of a company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • 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
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The people who actually work here are amazing. I have never known such talented and hard-working engineers, artists, producers, QA-- and yes, even the PM's. They are the main reason I come in every morning. That, and the perks are pretty good, with a free gym (for FTE) and free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone, including the security guards and custodians. The location is also pretty good, in SF and not far from lots of public transit lines. Team offsites are frequent enough, and forced socializing with smart, talented, ambitious people is a big plus.

    Cons

    The management throughout the company is a disaster. Layoffs happen a couple of times a year in lazy efforts to get the sinking stock up quarter after disappointing quarter, and you can bet that they always cut the workers, rarely the management or execs--unless it's one of the sudden CEO changes Zynga is becoming known for, in which case the head gets a shave and it's "meet the new boss, same as the old boss!" These constant layoffs have resulted in high turnover, more outsourcing of talent, more leads than actual workers, and many Director of-, Executive Producer, and Manager roles that leave many scratching their heads as to what these skilled survivors actually do day to day. Many of them "manage" people who are already thoroughly over-managed, leaving said managers to spend most of their days making presentations about "efficiency" and " outsourcing solutions," basically being seen and heard--or, as some like to call it, being "upward-facing."

    Execs come and go as they please, like deranged fairy godfathers, derailing project after project with just a touch of the wand, giving conflicting and incoherent direction to game teams that are hastily assembled, understaffed (more on that later), and often run into the ground by the aforementioned narcissistic personalities who then get to help decide whom to blame for it (artists! junior designers! QA!) and there swings the axe, yet again. Engineers, because they have lots of other job opportunities in the Bay Area, don't stay long, lucky ducks. Very, very high turnover in engineering, which is severely disruptive to game production, obviously. Oftentimes, after laying off a particularly hard-working person, management will realize that this little person actually did something very crucial to the team, and will, in a panic, hire brand new people to do that same task, often for even more money. Legality of things doesn't seem to bother Zynga, they have lawyers who are really good with loopholes, as was evidenced some years ago when the execs dumped hundreds of millions in stocks, leaving the lowly employees holding worthless stock while the official trading window was still closed. Look it up.

    Headcount is kept artificially low on game teams, because smaller studios are zooming past Zynga, releasing hit after hit with just one tenth of the employees. This pressures the operators at Zynga to keep a tight grip on team size, and to resort to shoddy outsourcing or the rent-an-artist scheme that is known as Source, the brainchild of a Director-of-something who needed to justify his rather vague job title by repeating his failure from another company. Source is where your soul goes to die, and it is where Zynga is inevitably putting all of its artists. The few artists I know are aware that it is a death sentence, where one sits like a duck waiting for an assignment on some random team that will never take you on full time, then, when you're done busting your knuckles for them, there comes the chop. Teams can borrow your highly skilled labor for a short period of time without increasing their precious headcount, then they can boast that they performed this or that with only 12 full time team members, when in fact, it's more like 30, one Source-y bit at a time. Thus the the next poor game team that tries to create something is held to the artificial, lower, number. Because who's counting? Certainly not the guy who's getting paid $200K to create meetings that keep us all away from our desks!

    In the past few months, since Pincus returned, axe a-swingin' as always, I have seen many talented people leave voluntarily, sickened by the layoffs and tired after years (yes, years) spent spinning wheels on simple enough games that management pivot frontwards and backwards and sidewards trying to please the fickle execs. And Pincus thinks a $10M building redecoration will boost the toxic morale. I don't know how much money the people who were laid off made, but I doubt it came even close to $10M. (Well, except the flash in the pan that was Don Mattrick. He took home $60M or so for under 2 years at the company.) My advice is simple: don't waste your time working here unless you just want a nice paycheck and are able to not care about what you work on. I have spent an unspeakable amount of time talking myself into not caring, because that is the only way you will survive this place. Many of my colleagues have completely given up, praying for a small Finnish competitor to start hiring locally, or for the merciful chop that awaits us all.

    Advice to Management

    Run Zynga as 10 different studios, instead of one big company. Let studios take risks and be creative, instead of giving speech after speech about how originality doesn't pay off. Nobody wants to hear that, and it's not because it's the truth. It is the equivalent of saying "nothing you do here makes any difference," especially if you are employing creative people.

    Ah but who are we kidding. You don't take advice.


  10. Helpful (4)

    "Zynga--DON"

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

    I have been working at Zynga (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great parties
    INtellegent, FUNNY co-workers
    Sometimes interesting projects

    Cons

    Total Chaos--Re-orgs every 3 MONTHS, with NO reasons given
    Incompetent management, senior and middle
    NO long-range strategic planning

    Advice to Management

    Fire all middle managers -they are USELESS
    Actively try to retain good employees---they have choices, yo know


  11. "QA Engineer"

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

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

    Pros

    None for contractors !!!! but being a full time QA, you can get some good perks,food and studio offsite.

    Cons

    QA is treated at the lowest end and no respect for contractors . Every moment you will be reminded that you are a contractor and they will count every 5 mins even if you are going to the bathroom .Pay is way lesser than you can imagine . There is a discrimination between full time QA and contractors.. If you have family, then you can't take off if your child is hospitalized or work from home. If you are sick, coughing badly, still go there 😀😀

    Advice to Management

    Please hire knowledgeable QA not just anybody playing a sort of game .It's rather to have good technical QA people who understands technology , who can understand what developers are saying not just playing the game . Improve the mentality of certain QA leads who became the control freaks in the long run and firing hard working people to hire their own favorites .


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