Hispanic Heritage Month Employee Spotlight: Steven Avila
Steven Avila, Director of Strategy and Operations in Publishing and AMIGOZ member, shares his trajectory from politics and government to the world of gaming, why Zynga makes him feel at home, and what mentorship has meant for him.
What is your role within Zynga and how did you get here?
I’m currently a Director of Strategy and Operations under Zynga’s Publishing arm. I get to work on a lot of exciting projects, ranging from the development of new tools and technology across the business, to supporting our marketing and analytics teams and helping our studios and game teams get to the next level.
Tell us how you came to Join Zynga.
I originally joined Take-Two Interactive via the T2 Mobile team and was thrilled to join Zynga once the acquisition was complete. Prior to Zynga, I was an Associate at the consulting firm Mckinsey & Company, where I worked with clients across industries. Before McKinsey, I lived a very different life working in politics and government in the Obama Administration!
How would you describe the people within Zynga?
I love how passionate my colleagues are about everything they do. The energy and passion are contagious — and it also helps that I work with a lot of kind and generous people. When I started, I immediately felt at home.
Do you have any mentors or leaders that have helped or inspired you throughout your career?
Absolutely. Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to have many mentors that not only took the time to develop me, but also helped me to recognize that the sky was the limit and to think big in what I do with my life. Most importantly, however, they all instilled a strong conviction in me to give back and to contribute where I could. Whether it’s helping to review someone’s resume, or engaging in an introductory coffee chat, I always make time for those that reach out — and I try to be intentional about being a proactive mentor and active member in my community, as well.
What is a common misconception your industry faces and what is the reality?
I don’t think most people recognize how large the video game industry is, especially across mobile. Most estimates value the size of the mobile gaming market to be near $187B dollars alone! Just to compare, the global box office generated around $30B in revenue in 2022. There are a ton of opportunities in this space, and you see that by the many non-conventional gaming companies (e.g., The New York Times, Netflix, etc.) investing in gaming experiences. It is a fun and dynamic industry to be a part of!