Recently, we heard about how Zynga laid off 520 of its employees (18% of its total workforce), and closed down three studios in the process. In an effort to most likely raise awareness of the situation, one of the laid-off employees took the time to answer questions on Reddit about Zynga’s “games, processes, culture, infamous game copying, etc.”
One of the more fleshed-out answers that the anonymous former Zyngite gave focused on the company’s business strategy, saying that it “is terrible,” and one of the big issues is the “inability to adjust to the changing market.” The laid-off employee (who goes by the screen name “former_zyngite”) says that Zynga did great when Facebook games were on the rise, but now that the popularity is sinking, the company is able to adjust.
He also mentioned that there was “an over reliance on every game being a blockbuster hit which makes the fun aspect of games suffer while making the money grabbing tactics all too transparent to the users.” Zynga quickly lost its ability to create fun games and focused more on how to make money rather than improving on its gameplay models to make them more entertaining for players.
former_zyngite also noted that there were “lots of other issues internally,” including “a lot of micro-management from the top down that stifles the creativity and hinders the production of many games.” In general, he says that there was “a serious lack of foresight overall,” citing that the company made too many “quick reactions to sudden changes in the market,” and major decisions weren’t thought through.
He finishes his answer by concluding that Zynga relies “too much on reacting to what is making money now, and too much on their own data. They don’t strive to make anything new or innovative and that’s no way to excel in the games market.” However, it seems like it wasn’t all bad at Zynga headquarters, as the former employee says that there are “lots of perks,” including a gym, free meals, happy hour every Friday with free booze, unlimited vacation days, and free 15 minute massages once a week.