Earlier we reported that Zynga had made a deal to acquire OMGPOP, and now it is official. The social gaming giant behind such popular games as Words With Friends and Farmville has bought the makers off breakout hit "Draw Something" for and undisclosed amount, although reports are putting the figure at around $200 million.
David Ko, CMO of Zynga, talked about a shared vision between Zynga and OMGPOP - to "connect the world through games." The social aspect of OMGPOP and specifically Draw Something was a major aspect in the acquisition.
Zynga, who currently has over 240 million active players per month, adds the app world's biggest hit, Draw Something, to its growing repertoire of the biggest games in the social realm. During a conference call, Ko said that Draw Something has now been downloaded 35 million times in its 6 weeks of existence and in just the last week alone, over 1 billion drawings were made.
"Needless to say Draw Something is an amazing game; I think it’s one of the most social and expressive mobile games ever built," said Ko. It’s intuitive and fun. It brings out creativity, a sense of nostalgia and child-like wonder. And most importantly, it’s inherently social. You learn about your friends and family as you play, and I love that the most requested feature to date has been people asking for the ability to save not just their own drawings, but those of their friends. Some games try to incorporate user generated content in creative ways; Draw Something IS user generated content in a fun and creative game wrapper.
OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter said that with Draw Something, the OMGPOP team "took a risk, and tried to change the way people think about games." It's true that the game is a bit different from other popular mobile games. I mean, you don't really win or lose. Two players attempt to build the best streak, but it's really not even about that. It's about the fun of seeing just when your teammate (not opponent) guessed your silly drawing of The Lorax or Tupac.
"Now we're a part of Zynga, we have so many more resources," said Porter. He had some more to say over at the Zynga blog:
"Zynga offered us a chance to focus on Draw Something. They know the power of the game and they planned with us how to let it keep rolling in the same fun, irreverent and social way that it has been. That was really important to us. And they are working with us on everything else --improving performance issues in the game, planning for new games, finding even more developers to work on the game and more. For us, as a small game studio in New York City, which is not at the epicenter of gaming, to find a partner to help us bring our special brand of fun to even more people, is an incredible opportunity."
When asked about whether or not Zynga was eyeing OMGPOP before they scored their huge hit with Draw Something, Ko said that he's "always had a tremendous respect for Dan and the team." He went on to say that Zynga has been "huge fans for a while."
And no, don't worry. Draw Something will still be called Draw Something, not Drawing With Friends. But there are some improvements on the horizon.
"Continuing to make the game social" is the main focus said Ko. The ability to save pictures to camera roll, chat functionality, and other gameplay features on the way, however. He said they want to continue to add features around the core part of the game.