Zynga Reviews

Updated 21 April, 2015
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Zynga CEO Don Mattrick
Don Mattrick
29 Ratings

81 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (2)

    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 a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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

  2. Product Manager

    • 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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Got to work with some really great, smart people.
    Exciting time launching knew games

    Cons

    Tough culture. Lots and lots of pressure.

    Advice to Management

    Commit to a few well known game mechanics.
    Put out lots of tests of new games.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Revolving Door of Executives

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

    I worked at Zynga (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Great Food, Great people, you can bring your dog to work. Fantastic basement gym. Onsite Massage. Any snack you want.

    Cons

    Grueling hours for most employees. The stock offering was a plane wreck. Low pay for non-management roles. On-site useless 'health and wellness' practices of acupuncture and reflexology. The executives who are giving those big, flashy presentations on how to course-correct the company? Don't really listen to them because they won't be there for long. In a few months they will be gone, probably leaving much richer.

    Advice to Management

    Management can't choose a good plan and stick to it. The major players of the company always leave, so no plan will be adhered to.

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  5. Helpful (7)

    Company Imploding Under Weight of Incompetent Management

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Good pay. Cool facilities. Generally friendly and competent co-workers, some with a great deal of experience and talent. A good place to work if you're a coder.

    Cons

    Original owner destroyed management structure by listening to sycopants and sharks. Ended up with a company dedicated to sucking the last nickel out of an ever-diminishing client-base and throwing other employees under the bus for personal advancement. Became functionally unable to release decent games or to give a game enough time to grow and find its audience. Began violently restructuring every 10 minutes. I wouldn't work here again until and unless they managed to release several new and interesting and successful games, and I don't think that's ever going to happen.

    Advice to Management

    Fire yourselves. Start with an entire clean slate. Create groups with the authority to make and test and release games without going through the incredibly awful vetting process. Stop rewarding managers for destroying teams.

  6. Not a good company to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Indi, Karnataka (India)
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Indi, Karnataka (India)

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    some good perks and free stuff

    Cons

    You have to work like a dog to make dog happy

    Advice to Management

    Treat engineers like engineers not as slave !

  7. Helpful (5)

    A Dysfunctional Step Towards Better Pastures

    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Former Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

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

    Negative Outlook
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    + If you can successfully do your job here, you can probably successfully do your job anywhere
    + Doglovers' paradise
    + Baristas at the free espresso bar were basically wizards of their craft
    + Actually, the entire culinary team is incredible. Eat their food any chance you get, especially the snacks made in-house: pickles, coconut granola, beef jerky, ice cream, etc. Stuff it in your bag, fill your cheeks with it like a deranged hamster. Their food is so good.
    + Actually actually, the entire facilities team is stupendous! Do you know how hard it is to keep a place as huge as Zynga is clean, secure, and running smoothly? Facilities staff are the unsung heroes of this story, guys.
    + Convenient free shuttles to BART, Caltrain, and down the Peninsula
    + I loved my team. LOVED. Greatest group of people I've ever worked with. Sadly, I'm not evaluating them; I'm evaluating the company.

    Cons

    Look, this place is what it is: a stepping stone; a place to refine one's skills in the fire before heading out for that real dream job - and they know it. The turnover/attrition rate here is unbelievably high - if you've worked at Zynga for a year, you've done some serious time. The recruiting team tries to keep the staffing numbers up and oftentimes relies on bringing in non-local candidates. Zynga's rep in the Bay Area has been torched so badly, the local workforce (and those who are tuned into the goings on of the tech and gaming industries) know to stay away. So we look out-of-state, for candidates who want to move to the Bay Area and just need a way in. Once they get here, work a couple of months and find a place to live, they get the hell out and into a more reputable company.

    I was a contractor for them. A good portion of the "expendable" workers (aka: anyone not a software engineer) are. That way, once leadership looks at its quarterly/EOY reports and decides that it's been bleeding money and needs to tighten up, it's easy to sweep out the chaff, without needing to go through the fuss of actually laying off FT employees and paying severance. My boss had no notice that me and four of my coworkers were going to be cut; she had no say in who was going to be cut.

    As a contractor, I was also sometimes on the outside looking in: I couldn't attend the company holiday party unless I was a FTE's +1, I wasn't allowed to use the (awesome) company gym, and I got none of the supposedly-lovely benefits and generous vacation policy. That's pretty standard for contractor work, I guess. I'm just spoiled and grumping about that.

    Advice to Management

    Leadership: I know you know that Zynga is dysfunctional and broken. I know you know your reputation. Why do you continually ignore the fact that you're bleeding out? I was here for a short time, in a limited capacity. If I couldn't even really see the leaders trying to lead, how is the public supposed to see it?

    Assess and address your apathetic and disillusioned workforce and commit to being strong and honest leaders. Don't perform triage anymore; you're beyond that stage and you know it.

  8. Sink or swim

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good infrastructure, facilities and perks.
    Smart People
    Excellent food (3 meals per day)
    Good promotions / career trajectory if you fit

    Cons

    Downward trajectory - don't see Zynga recovering former glories
    Tough work-life balance (although I hear it has improved)
    Easy to stagnate if you don't succeed or fit the mould
    Frequent team changes

    Advice to Management

    Become scrappy - release games frequently (Not necessarily the highest quality)

  9. Mismanagement, too many levels of upper execs with too many opinions interfering with product.

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Free food, complimentary gym, other perks.

    Cons

    Management, producer to game developer ratio is insane, definitive example of too many cooks in the kitchen.

    Advice to Management

    You don't need 4 managers per employee.

  10. Good people, bad culture.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Analytical skills are honed, especially for optimizing growth. People work hard and there is a no nonsense culture.

    Cons

    Long hours and on call weekends, team members change quickly because of churn, and company is very money-minded instead of product-minded.

  11. fresh college guys

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

    I have been working at Zynga

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    free food and free snacks

    Cons

    it's full of fresh college guys who know nothing

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