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Zynga staff vent over stock price collapse

One takes to Quora to share devastation and disappointment

A number of Quora users claiming to be Zynga employees have shared their feelings about the recent stock price collapse, with one claiming to witness alcoholism, substance abuse and 11 hour days.

The anonymous writer claimed to be part of a start up acquired by Zynga, which lead to long working hours, especially in the 6 weeks before launch.

"I watched alcoholism and substance abuse skyrocket, relationships crumble (including my own), people slept on office couches, two developers got divorced, one nervous breakdown," said the writer.

"They attempted to smooth this over with more stock, free food and t-shirts. Free food doesn't do you much good when you've lost fifteen pounds from not eating."

He said the game failed to perform, leading to no bonuses and even more work to improve it, but that they were told it would all be worth it once the IPO came through.

"We were told point blank in one studio-wide meeting that we would IPO 'around $20 a share', and could expect $100 a share within a year if we 'launched one or two more successful titles'. A quick analysis of the company fundamentals placed it closer to $10. It now sits at $2.90."

That original post received 700 positive votes, but has since been deleted. It can still be seen at TechCruch.

The posts came in answer to a Quora question, "how do Zynga employees feel about the company's summer 2012 stock price drop?" While the strong answers have stirred up media interest, it has to be pointed out that those posts are not verified, and a number of people have taken to the site to argue against them.

"This post is either a gross exaggeration or possibly fabricated account of what it is like to work at Zynga," posted Niko Vuori, Zynga general manager, while another anonymous writer who claimed to have worked for the company for two years said the angry posters seemed "pissed because they were actually expected to work hard, assimilate into the Zynga culture, and deliver a Zynga product."

"Are we happy about the stock price? Of course not. But we came here to make games-not to cash out, flip everyone off and go vacation in the Bahamas. None of us are going anywhere."

Another said "people that come into this company aren't tricked. They don't believe it's going to be a dream job where hours are 9-5 and family life is valued above all else."

Vuori had concluded with what he felt was the "bottom line."

"NO ONE IS FORCING ANYONE TO WORK HERE AGAINST THEIR WILL. If you are a top performer, you WILL be rewarded (no politics required). If you are not a top performer, it might suck a little bit. But you can vote with your feet, and just take off."

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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