Zynga feels the Christmas cheer, helps staffers out of a tough spot

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Zynga fireOn Dec. 10, three employees of Zynga's San Francisco headquarters came home to one of their worst nightmares: their apartment in flames. FarmVille development director Eric Matsumura, lead game designer Ben Seck and CityVille lead product manager Bradley Ross lost their apartment (pictured) to an all-consuming fire that sparked in their bottom floor neighbor's home.

When Zynga learned of their ordeal after that horrific weekend had past, the rest of its staff joined forces to help get them back on their feet again. Working behind the scenes ever since, the company called the unfortunate trio into the studio's 6th floor Sweet Shoppe kitchen on Dec. 16 (the same day Zynga went public). It was then that Zynga staffers presented Matsumura, Seck and Ross with $5,000 in cash--all from employee donations--to help soften the blow.

For the time being, Zynga has the employees in temporary housing and offered to dry clean what clothes were salvageable from the fire. "While this could have been a crushing and stressful ordeal, the support from our Zynga brothers and sisters has been amazing," Seck said. "We've always looked at our team as our family, but we never expected this type of over-the-top generosity."

It's refreshing to see such a big company as Zynga come through for its own in a tough spot. Zynga may treat its staff like family in times of need, but what about when things are hunky-dory? Reports from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal suggest otherwise, pointing to an intense corporate culture and threats of termination in exchange for vested stock. Maybe think of Zynga as one of those tough-love fathers from the '50s?

[Image Credit: Zynga]

What do you think of what Zynga did for its fellow man in a hard time? Has your company ever done such a thing? Sound of in the comments. Add Comment.
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