The working environment at Zynga, the social gaming company behind such hits as Farmville and Mafia Wars, leaves much to be desired if many emails by employees and even PopCaps decision to merge with EA games instead of them are to be believed.
The digital communication from employees was all aimed at the head of the company, Mr. Pincus, who received over 1,600 complaint emails during a company staff survey. Many of these were focused around the cut throat work environment, that sees those not considered to be pulling their weight demoted or let go and those that log rediculous hours getting promotions, holidays and increased pay packets. While this has obviously contributed to the company’s rapid success, it’s also had impacts outside the firm too.
Earlier this year, Zynga offered just under a billion dollars for PopCap games, but was turned down as the founders of the casual gaming company who felt the poor reputation of Zynga’s work place wouldn’t gel well with their style of management. Instead the heads of PopCap took an offer from EA Games that turned out to be $200 million less; though there is still the potential for another half billion if certain targets are met.
Zynga are in the process of going public, with many employees said to be holding on to their positions with the idea to sell their stock once the company begins tradin and then jump ship.
“I expect a lot of game and tech companies will begin recruiting Zynga’s talent after their equity becomes liquid,” said Gabrielle Toledano, head of human resources for Electronic Arts. “Competitors will make the case that they offer much more compelling opportunities for creative people.”
EA Games wern’t the only company not to do business with the social gaming firm. The developer of Angry birds was purportedly offered some $2.25 billion in cash and stock but turned it down.