Laid Off Employee Calls Zynga a 'Sinking Ship'
In the thread, he divulged everything from severance packages to company culture, and why Zynga just isn't winning.
The former employee, who called himself a "low-man on the totem pole," said he received a severance package of four months salary, plus an additional week for each partial year worked. He pocketed four and a half months pay, but "can't say for sure that everyone got what I did."
Working for Zynga meant plenty of perks such as an on-ste gym and unlimited vacation days, plus a "free 15-minute massage once a week."
But did the company have a sound business strategy?
"Oh hell no," former_zyngite wrote. "Their business strategy is terrible. They did great when Facebook gaming was on the rise, but now it's declining and mobile is on the rise. They're trying to change over, but employ too many of the same game development 'best practices' that were developed for Facebook games. These just don't translate to the mobile market, which is why they're suffering."
Office politics were also a problem.
"A lot of micro-management from the top down stifles the creativity and hinders the production of many games," he said. "Too many major decisions are quick reactions to sudden changes in the market. If some games jump to the top of the Top Grossing charts then everyone needs to drop everything and change to follow it. Which wastes time, makes for bad design, and ultimately puts projects behind schedule. It just means they're always late to the party."
At this rate, former_zyngite estimates Zynga will be around for three more years, at best.
"They make money and have a lot in the bank," he said. "But they also throw away money like you wouldn't believe."
Despite being laid off, former_zyngite has no hard feelings.
"In general, they're all fairly good guys. However I think there's a lot of the old c-staff that came to Zynga for the money. They're guys who made a name in the industry working on big games, saw an opportunity to make some big bucks in a new market, hopped in, cashed out, and took off."
He added, "The guys that are still around are doing what they can, but it's kind of like trying to sail a sinking ship."
JULIE STRICKLAND | Staff Writer
Julie Strickland covers start-ups, small businesses, and entrepreneurial endeavors of all kinds for Inc. Her work has been published in Brooklyn Based and City Limits in New York, the Free Times in Columbia, SC, Real Travel Magazine in London, and Daegu Pockets in South Korea. She lives in New York City.