We visited Zynga on the 5th of April 2011, Zynga is a social network game development company located in San Francisco, United States. Most of their games are on Facebook, the predominant ones being Farmville, CityVille etc.
Zynga was founded by Mark Pincus in April 2007 under the name Presidio Medio, Later he named it after his bull dog Zynga.
Zynga established its first major foothold in social gaming with the acquisition of YoVille which was a social network game. It launched its first international office in Bangalore ,India . Currently it has offices in Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, Bangalore, Beijing, and Tokyo.
Zynga is growing at a very fast pace, It has made a large number of acquisitions and the total number of active users on a monthly basis stands at 240 million.
At Zynga, we were given a short tour of the office and then we had a Q & A session with the employees from the different fields of Software Engineering ,UI design and Game Design. We got a good idea on the internal working of Zynga. From what we observed , each game team on Zynga is like its own studio. These game teams work closely together and coordinate to release new features on a daily or weekly basis.
Zynga is a customer-centric company where metrics play a huge role. The success of any feature is based on the feedback (which in most cases is immediate) they get from these metrics.
The Designers have a special place in Zynga, they have to come up features at a very rapid pace and work in tandem with the programmers and artists to release these features.
One of the interesting things we noticed at Zynga was the structure of the workplace, there were no cubicles but long tables on which multiple employees worked . This as per Zynga was to increase cooperation among employees and increase productivity.
Overall it was quite an awesome trip, We learned a lot and saw the differences between social gaming companies when compared to the AAA game companies.