Zynga Reviews

Updated 21 April, 2015
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  1. Helpful (1)

    They paid me well to make products I wasn't too proud to be working on.

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

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

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

    Pros

    It was good pay, and most of the people I interacted with were nice. They did their best, most of the time, to put me on projects that suited my tastes, in theme, anyway.

    Cons

    They seemed slow and reluctant to change, preferring to stick to old product models that appeared to be losing their popularity, while canceling new and different products that I thought had great potential, before giving them a chance,

    Too focused on whether they thought a game was good at "addicting" players rather than on making them want to play because it was a good, fun game.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people who are in the trenches, who know what good games are, and listen less to the accountants. Good games will make money for the long run. Games excessively focused on and motivated by making money may do so in the short term, but not in the long term.

  2. 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

  3. Too many rock stars ruin the work.

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

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

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

    Pros

    Cutting edge technology, or at least it was.

    Cons

    Not everyone wants to live at their job.
    long, long hours, poor pay, too much good old boy poLititz and a "merit" system based more on who can climb over the real worker bees and take credit

    Advice to Management

    Stop with everyone is a CEO BS. Too often the loudest people get heard even though they are often the least knowledgeable. Find your experst and who are your real strategic thinkers and listen to them, not the 1st year programmer who writes code that's bloated and bad. Listen to those who have experience in community management and not to some producer who thinks the game is his. It's not, it belongs to the players and stop trying to tell your users what you want them to want and listen to what they are telling you.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    Lack of true leadership, fun during the good times.

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

    I have been working at Zynga

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

    Pros

    Great workplace perks at HQ, fun environment, bring your dog to work, dynamic industry.

    Cons

    Lack of vision and leadership (original CEO & management team was still there) beyond its initial success. People believed their own hype and didn't invest properly in the future (i.e. mobile) before it was too late. Internal studios didn't work well together. Short term rewards and thinking meant no industry leadership beyond initial successes on Facebook.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in the future in terms of product strategy, values, and people.

  6. Helpful (2)

    Starving the Golden Goose

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Lots of variety of games to work on, some GREAT people there, wonderful talent. I loved the dogs all around, it really made it fun to be there, especially during crunch time. Decent pay for the region, great free food, great teams. Clean neat environment. TEAMS were great, lots of autonomy. Very good "flex time" policies. Yes, GREAT FOOD. Nice in-house gym.

    Cons

    I have a particular sore spot with the so-called "meritocracy" shell game.

    Sure, there WERE deserving people who did over and above the call of duty, and deserved recognition, and the "level-up" was great for them. BUT.... it's easy to "level-up" if the company has an established policy of downgrading your position when you start a new project to a lesser title! I found out by accident that this had happened to me, when I noticed that my job description on my pay stub was not what I was hired for. When I questioned it, first it was described as an error that would soon be corrected. Two months later it was "wait until the end of quarter when we change all the new titles". More weeks waiting it was "sorry, that's just what it is". Then a couple months later, "sorry, that title (the one I was HIRED with!) has a higher pay scale and would need approval." HUH? My HIRED description has a higher pay scale than the downgraded one I discovered I had been labeled with? It took multiple directors standing behind me to restore my original title, and many months. And no, my pay scale was never corrected.

    And I found out that I was one of many who had discovered themselves downgraded in position when they started new projects -- but they were mostly too intimidated to speak up.

    Advice to Management

    Stick to your promises. Never NEVER ask an employee to give back a hiring perk / bonus / stock options! Respect the titles you hired them with. (If you needed and "bought" a Land Rover, but later you just need it to deliver newspapers door to door, you STILL OWN A LAND ROVER, you're just choosing to use it for simpler jobs. For now.)

  7. Great in some ways, lacking in others

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

    I worked at Zynga

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Exceptionally open culture
    - Great data infrastructure
    - Lots of smart people and a hip office make for a fun work environment
    - Good career growth and mobility

    Cons

    - Tough place to get groundbreaking products off ground
    - Hampered by early success in some ways as it's hard for new ideas to start from the ground up
    - Work/life balance can be difficult to achieve, but varies by group
    - Lots of "best practices" make the company slower than before

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on the "fun" part of game design and be careful with making the place too bureaucratic as it may sap creativity and innovation.

  8. Helpful (1)

    Didn't deliver on the promise

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

    I worked at Zynga

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

    Pros

    Great Benefits, cool office, great food.

    Cons

    Product strategy is broken as they cancel more games than they release. Business thinking drives too much of the new product development and they end up with uninspiring fast-follow clones that they end up cancelling. This takes a toll on the creative people that they desperately need to be inspired. A good deal of the best people I worked with here have since left.

    Advice to Management

    Find the balance between business and creative ideas.

  9. Helpful (1)

    Great teams, tired games

    • 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 a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Compensation is good. Currently my work life balance is solid (though there were several bad months last year). I genuinely love working here; headaches and all. As soon as management chooses one path for more than a month in a row, I will raise my ratings to 5 stars.

    Cons

    Coming from mainstream gaming, the Social game creation at Zynga was a surprise. Things have changed in the last year, but when 10+ years of game design experience was overruled by a rookie MBA Product Manager, I seriously questioned my decision to join. However, my new PMs are great and respect flows both ways. The trick is getting with the good ones and avoiding the bad ones.

    Advice to Management

    Pick a direction and let us execute on it. Quit pivoting, please.

  10. Decent place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Allen, TX (US)
    Former Employee - Senior Software Engineer in Allen, TX (US)

    I worked at Zynga

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits and a strong culture, plus competitive pay.

    Cons

    Work-life balance is a struggle to maintain

  11. Helpful (1)

    A company that made good on it's position to promote from within

    • 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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You can work your way up in your own field, or even jump fields if you can prove yourself. There is a strong team feeling, and regular attempts to bring attention to people who were going the extra mile for the team. I have heard my managers making sure I have taken off enough time than be concerned with how much time I'm taking off. They want to keep their employees from burning out and make a concerted effort to encouraging a healthy work life balance as opposed to the 60+ hour weeks start ups are known for. Also, there benefits are awesome.

    Cons

    The company has changed over the years, which means you will find pockets of managers that don't follow the current direction of the company. Similarly games are often compared to the hits, so inexperienced managers try to push for hit numbers before their product is strong enough to support it.

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