Zynga

  www.zynga.com
  www.zynga.com

Zynga Reviews

Updated 8 October, 2014
Updated 8 October, 2014
363 Reviews
3.1
363 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
99 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Free food & stuff if that is important to you (in 56 reviews)

  • Benefits, cool office environment, in house Gym, breakfast, lunch and dinner (in 22 reviews)


Cons
  • Most employees have a very poor work-life balance, especially around holidays (in 42 reviews)

  • Low morale coupled with long hours at my studio (in 27 reviews)

More Highlights

70 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good at first, downhill after that

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Toronto, ON

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Lots of smart people
    - Very interesting projects
    - Decent enough office
    - Good life work balance, none of the crazy forced hours seen in SF

    Cons

    - Culture, over time, started to become more and more like the one in SF
    - Managers have no idea what their reports are working on
    - Bonuses, awards, etc are all very much tied to how well you can play the game and suck up to those in charge. Hard work gets you nowhere if you don't make sure people know about it
    - The people at the top of the company are an embarrassment who act like children
    - Too many inter-team politics, things are not done for the greater good but rather for the good of various teams and/or individuals

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    People are not happy with how things are run, listen to them or you will keep loosing talent.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    not good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The only real perks include free junkfood, soda and liquor

    Cons

    Zynga pays far less than majority of their local competitors and does not seem to properly honor people's work experience. Many experienced employees are hired here and given a job title that does not reflect their resume. People in tech services departments are expected to work long hours so that deadlines will be met while management is off at happy hour, Giants games, etc. It's painfully apparent that Zynga will hire people who have virtually no technical skills as long as they have a reference. Furthermore, many people here are not personable and will often go to great lengths to avoid a face-to-face conversation.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire some managers who know what it means to lead a team. People will not give you 100% effort at work when you are underpaying them and allowing their managers/leads to work from home every day. Get rid of your review system and reward employees based on their contributions to projects.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Tiring.

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Pros

    Awesome, intelligent people across the teams
    Good salaries, equity has atrophied
    Loss of top talent has left opportunities for quick advancement

    Cons

    Leadership is inconsistent and overpaid
    Very demanding on your life; often tired, stressed
    Many of the best people have left; constant attrition

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Too slow in making games; inconsistent direction

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    Absolutely dreadful.

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Free food, health benefits, decent pay depending on location.

    Cons

    If you do not work for the HQ, do not expect your voice to be recognized. You will be forever stuck in a loop where "US matters more", and none of your projects will ever be considered seriously. There is a LOT of red tape going on, HR despite being nice people are just puppets who hand out forms and don't know how to handle employees who haven't been brainwashed by Zynga's corporate speech. Career opportunities are inexistant unless you are a "yes" man. Never have I felt so useless than when I was working for Zynga.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Why open international offices if you're not willing to take into account the feedback of your international teams? Zynga is a big company and it is somewhat complicated to take everyone's opinions into account, but it looks like everyone in the upper management does their best at ignoring any rising issues and focus on irrelevant metrics. Listen to global feedback.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Exhausting, high-pressure environment

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

    I worked at Zynga full-time

    Pros

    Challenging work, opportunities to work with large-scale analytic data, and a very fast turnaround from ideas to action. Free food & stuff if that is important to you. Fun co-workers.

    Cons

    Very, very tiring. Relentless demands on your time - late nights, weekend work, always feeling like you're behind. Pay was better than other options by say 20%, but easily worked 40% more than other positions = you're getting paid less for your time, which is your life.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great benefits, but lacking direction and career development

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great benefits (medical/dental premium covered 100%, amazing food from the culinary staff, great coffee, snacks)

    Cons

    While Don Mattrick and other executives focus on hiring their friends into senior management positions, we continue to lose tons of talented employees who do the actual work on our products (engineers, PMs, designers).

    Most of the employees I know haven't received a significant title change or real salary bump in more than two years. And I don't see this changing anytime soon.

    Constant reorganizations and priority changes derail any progress teams are making. Teams are expected to be in a constant crunch mode, and we are given very little clarity on the company's priorities. Employees doing the day-to-day work are asked to do more with less—meanwhile the company continues to aggressively hire senior managers and directors who don't actually help with the production of games. This strategy does nothing but add additional layers of unnecessary bureaucracy that make our jobs even harder.

    Big decisions seem to be made on a whim, causing lots of thrash as teams scramble to comply with the executive "idea of the week" and delay progress on milestones that really matter. It seems like with every project we are reinventing the wheel with respect to the software development process. None of this process, and none of the key questions to ask during that process, should be new to anyone in management at a software company!

    Morale at the company seems to be at an all-time low. You often hear stories about Zynga's earlier years where people were excited to work hard and stay late at the office. It's just not the case now. People cheer with excitement for one another when they hear a friend found a job elsewhere.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You need to understand how much you make teams scramble on a day-to-day basis with strange requests and questions asked on a whim that pull entire teams off important work so their managers and executives can save face.

    We need more quality control and innovation in our products and in our leadership practices.

    Management needs to seriously consider the impact attrition is having on our work culture. When you see great colleagues leaving every week, it makes you really question your position.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Great place to be a PM. Terrible place for creatives.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great food, liberal vacation policy (if you can use it), little red tape, smart people, good location, bike and dog friendly.

    Cons

    Broken design culture, PM dominated decision making, short term focus, poor bonuses, mediocre salaries, brutal workloads, terrible team management, constant barking, high turnover, lots of politics and yes-men.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make games people will love playing and people will love making. Pay employees wages needed to live in San Francisco. Profit share more. Stop wasting your employees. Stop making copies and create something original.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Not really a good place for engineers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)
    Current Employee - Associate Software Engineer in Bangalore (India)

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun Place to Work , Free Food, Good Opportunities for personal growth, you get to work on games played by thousands of players.

    Cons

    Not really a good place for engineers. Most engineers get to work on sunset games transitioned from the US with the aim of keeping the revenue stable for some time.
    Company not doing well ans has had multiple layoffs in the past

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great People, Poor Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Game Designer
    Current Employee - Lead Game Designer

    I have been working at Zynga full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great Benefits (food, healthcare, fitness) and great employees (the people who are actually making the games)

    Cons

    Management at the team level is sadly terrible. The group of GMs and high level managers that have remained with Zynga are still trying to use strategies from 2008 to determine how to move forward in a completely different game market.

    I have never worked for a more cliquey company in my entire career. I have watched people with little to no experience be promoted to senior and lead positions simply because they had worked with a particular manager on another project. I shouldn't have to hold a "senior" anyone's hand when using Microsoft Word or Perforce.

    Some long-term Zyngites seem oblivious to the troubles the company has had. The frequency in which I heard people brush off layoffs and other cuts in a nonchalant, casual manner was disturbing.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    When a team has three creative directors but no one to actually implement the vision then perhaps it is time to rethink the org chart.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    A Bachelor’s in Business Politics

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

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

    Pros

    Used to staff some of the best minds in the business to learn and work with. Now a great place to be working in the industry if you believe the game part of games takes a back seat to business priorities. A data lover's dream. Great perks and benefits including a great vacation policy. If you find the time to use it..

    Cons

    A constraining place to work in a creative capacity…all of it stifled by business priorities. Zynga saw a gradual migration of employees from other industry conglomerates shortly after their big game success who now occupy the upper management ranks. They brought much of the politics they claimed to run from with them. Other company leaders wised up and left long ago. Employees must have worked directly with these managers or risk being layoff targets.

    They hire for the job, not the employee except in very specific cases and job functions (seen them cut top tier engineers but not mediocre product/market analysts). If your game starts failing management will see you as fat to be trimmed rather than investigate whether you were one of the few actively keeping an imminent disaster from happening until it was impossible to prevent. A disaster management probably caused.

    Management did not exercise any professional means of evaluating employees during my time, and in many cases looked to an employee's prior reputation in the industry. It is why the last layoffs in January were done shoddily to save a few dollars and lost most of the top talent not networked with the upper management regime. Now they struggle to retain the remaining true talented employees and many left since the last layoffs.

    After they realized the cuts were too deep trying to satisfy the Street, I was called weeks later with an offer for my old job and it took serious restraint not to hang up.

    Letting go of what they need to satisfy ultra short term business goals is characteristic of the company. There was concern when they replaced the CEO with someone even more conservative and money-minded. After seeing no change in management or investors I share the concerns of my former coworkers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take more responsibility but take more risks too.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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