Zynga Reviews | Glassdoor

Zynga Reviews

Updated February 5, 2017
147 reviews

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147 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)

    "leadership muddled, but some strong teams"

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

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You may be put on a team with strong engineers who work well together.
    Compensation is good out of the gate.
    Quality of life is mostly good.

    Cons

    Leadership is still confused about what to do. Hopes for long term company performance are low. Exec micromanagement may hit your project if you're not lucky.


  2. "Former"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Solid starting ground for new grads or the inexperienced. You're able to learn a lot about how the industry functions and basic pieces of related tech.

    Cons

    Red tape ties up a lot of development and several teams have poor directions. There's a bizarre culture of failing up and good engineers can face a task drought.


  3. "SFA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SFA
    Former Employee - SFA

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

    Pros

    Great culture, smart people, fun environment.

    Cons

    Management was in disarray, long nights, some people rude.


  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Zynga"

    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
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Great food, you can bring your dog, gym, shuttle, great people, some departmental growth, meritocracy.

    Cons

    Typical business cons (empty appreciation, layoffs, granular management metrics), typical gaming cons (long hours, tons of churn, takes a long time to spin up important processes), meritocracy (i.e. you won't move up unless you are amazing), little cross discipline training.

    Advice to Management

    Stop taking so long to ship products. Getting a product into the market and making some money is infinitely greater than spinning your tires forever and then shutting down the project 3 months later.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Okay for contract work."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

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

    Pros

    Flexible hours. Reasonable goals. Work from home.

    Cons

    Unsteady projects and unfocused management.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Hurting at the Leadership Level"

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

    Pros

    Great company to start in, with many avenues of opportunity to grow if you work hard enough. Lots of great talent surrounding you on the game teams.

    Cons

    Upper level management needs work. Lots of political battles with leftover senior management that moved up way too quickly, with little management experience. Don't look for your career to grow much further from senior level, once you hit the ceiling of politics and favoritism.

    Advice to Management

    Value your employees. We are not all replaceable. Listen to them and help them grow into larger roles. Do not simply "empower" them by throwing your work at them, and then fault them through their mistakes. Get out of the clouds and come back down to earth.


  8. "QA"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The company does take care of its people. Probably one of the best locations in the bay area for gaming QA

    Cons

    We have been going through restructuring but things seem to be improving.


  9. Helpful (13)

    "Everything you've heard is true"

    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

    I worked at Zynga (More than a year)

    Pros

    Unbeatable benefits. Top tier pay, bonuses, and stock options for higher level employees. Free breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Dog-friendly environment. Flexible work hours. Opportunities to work from home. Work with a diverse, international team. Company is so huge you're bound to make a couple friends.

    Cons

    People in the industry whisper stories about Zynga like cautionary tales, and most of what they say is correct. It's a dysfunctional company caught between its start-up roots and a burgeoning traditional American corporate culture. There's a huge disconnect between the corporate-oriented aspects of the business and the game-making oriented aspects of the business. It's possible to slide into a job at Zynga and be ignored for *years*. Opportunities to advance are uneven or plateau quickly. The company won't hesitate to can your project even on the edge of completion. Shipping a game at Zynga is a constant challenge—I know people who worked on several different games teams for 5-6 years and couldn't put a single shipped title on their resumes.

    All that said, every department and every team is different. I had great managers in a department that lacked direction, but that didn't make up for the overall low pay and inability to advance. People might go to bat for you when necessary (like anywhere else), but their ability to change your circumstances are limited. Managers caught in the middle have very little power and are getting pushed around just as much as folks lower on the ladder.

    It can be very challenging to make lateral move into a new role if you decide you want to be involved in a different aspect of game development. Don't be afraid to befriend your team's upper managers and HR Business Partner—having them on your side can go a long way toward you receiving the bonuses, raises, title changes, etc. you need to advance your career.

    Bottom line: complacency will kill your career at Zynga. The best way to survive a dysfunctional company is refuse to engage in the dysfunction. Come to the business hungry—with strong goals and a calculating, looking-out-for-#1-attitude—and do everything you can to meet them. Then, leave.

    Advice to Management

    Create an ocean of calm in the sea of chaos. Look for passionate and talented people everywhere in the company—not just on your team or in your new hire pool—and steal them, then promote them. Often, the folks without the Ivy League or Public Ivy educations and connections are the hungriest people out there because they know they've got the most to overcome in the "meritocracy" of Silicone Valley. Earn their loyalty and they'll bust their butts for you.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Software Architect"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Chief Technology Officer/Senior Architect in Orlando, FL
    Current Employee - Chief Technology Officer/Senior Architect in Orlando, FL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    A lot of smart people, great products, brand recognition. Get to work on world class games with a lot of users.

    Cons

    A lot of management layers to get through and can get stuck working on something that you are not interested in. Lacking in transparency about key decisions. Less focused on finding success in the market and more focused on internal politics.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, stay focused on making games a success and less focus on internal politics.


  11. "They treated us well but we had no input on the direction of the games"

    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
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Decent salaries
    Good parties
    Free lunch and dinner

    Cons

    No input on the direction of the games
    Occasionally asked to do nighttime server babysitting duty
    General sense that we were there to generate as much revenue from the customers as possible and trick them into spending money

    Advice to Management

    Focus on building a community around your games
    Build out features that allow people to actually work together in tending their virtual farms and cafes and the other villes. De-emphasize the focus on monetizing every last possible corner of each game.

    By building a community, you will survive longer as a company.



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