Zynga Reviews | Glassdoor

Zynga Reviews

Updated July 21, 2017
151 reviews

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151 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 61 reviews)

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

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (13)

    "Everything you've heard is true"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Software Architect"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Good Stepping Stone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    -Learned a lot
    -Has a lot of cash to burn so can afford to make mistakes

    Cons

    -Had terrible management - many people were promoted too early and did not learn how to manage others


  5. Helpful (1)

    "A company of trial and error"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - IT in Concord, CA
    Former Employee - IT in Concord, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Zynga (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great perks, good benefits, not much else.

    Cons

    Low pay compared to market, cold upper management

    Advice to Management

    Your employees are people not operating expenses.


  6. "Product Marketing Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Product Marketing Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    good benefits including the food

    Cons

    in the middle of a massive turnaround


  7. "Potential is there..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

    Great people, good perks, a few really solid games. Depending on the team and the project, working at Zynga can be productive, fun, and educational.

    Cons

    No real apparent investment in training employees. Failing projects are not fun to work on, and the blame get shifted around from group to group.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a path, find some focus, and work to keep the quality people you have. Train them and reward them, or they will continue to leave for better opportunities.

  8. "Great people but poor management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 a year)

    Pros

    The people there are so talented and wonderful. I loved working with my teammates and learned a lot from them. The benefits are also great, free food, gym, quite a bit of workshops. They are pretty relaxed about your daily working hours. As long as you get things done, it's all good.

    Cons

    Upper management is pretty poor. There seems to be a disconnect between team leaders and the executive level. There isn't a lot of transparency. Art is not a priority at this company. Designers are not very good here, imo. Many of their unsuccessful games failed because of poor gameplay. Zynga does not innovate at all.

    Advice to Management

    Start innovating new prototypes and stop copying other games. Don't put so much emphasis on data. Hire better designers that actually make good games. Don't skimp on the art because art is what captures the audience first.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Product Managers are treated like Gods here"

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

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

    Pros

    Having worked at Zynga for over 6 years I was able to see the quick rise of the company until where it stood when I left. Things move fast at Zynga and with that you're exposed to a lot of things. Employees are encouraged to develop their own processes, create innovative ways to produce content faster, smarter, and more efficient. Everyone has access to the wealth of knowledge and tools to deep dive into the company's analytics, making this company a great place to start your foundation in data analytics and reporting.

    Cons

    If you're looking to work for a game company this is probably not the place you want to be. Zynga is a game company last and a data company first. You may find yourself scratching your head wondering why many business decisions are made when it clearly goes against any principles of game design and logic. The company aims to be profitable first rather than build fun games first, followed by profit. Product Managers dictate the entire landscape of this company, that may be a good thing if you're a Product Manager. This causes problems because every decision is driven by one group's ideals and not for the good of the product, engineering input is only second to Product Management and designers are last.

    Advice to Management

    Management is very poor at taking care of their employees when migrating between projects/teams. During my 6 years at Zynga I was given the privilege to work with many game teams spanning across all the genres of the company. The downside to this was that the management and game teams failed to transfer any knowledge from one team to another. This caused a major problem for myself and many folks throughout the company because we would then have to build new foundations with new teams even though we were senior employees.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Engineering Manager"

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

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Salary and benefits were competitive for the time, it was hard to find similar packages without commuting to the Peninsula.

    Each team and product was really a cultural microcosm, depending on what you were working on you could find real passion, fun and camaraderie.

    Cons

    What needs to be said that a hundred tech blog articles already haven't? One of the worst squanderings of opportunity in recent tech history. C level management did not deserve the workforce that they had at their disposal, and watching them fumble year after year was demoralizing.

    Is this place now anything more than a gateway in to the industry for new grads and a green card factory?

    Advice to Management

    Whatever your company vision was in 2007 it now no longer applies, the brand is poison, go back to the drawing board.


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