Zynga Just Bought the Developer of Draw Something

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Avatar image for alex
Posted by alex (3410 posts) -

Because this news day refuses to stop crashing wave after wave of craziness upon our heads, we now learn that OMGPOP, the developer of the newly, wildly popular iOS game Draw Something, has just been acquired by professional mobile game developer acquirers Zynga.

In case you were wondering, THIS is why Draw Something is great.
In case you were wondering, THIS is why Draw Something is great.

Rumors had been swirling a bit over the last few weeks, since the game's popularity exploded. Zynga reportedly has a 3pm announcement call scheduled to acknowledge the deal, but All Things D has the early scoop that the Zynga/OMGPOP deal is done, and for around $180 million, with an additional $30 million in employee retention payments.

Draw Something has become a bona fide iOS phenomenon in the last several weeks, so it's no surprise that Zynga would be in a hurry to try and get in on the game's success since, well, that's just kind of what Zynga does.

Hilariously, the sudden popularity of Draw Something seems to even baffle those involved with the title. One of OMGPOP's original financial backers is quoted in the All Things D story saying, "No one had any idea that this would take off, and no one knows why it did." That "why is anything anything?" mentality adds a degree of logic to this sale--after all, if you have no idea why the thing you just put money into is selling so well, why would you object to making a whole bunch more money off of it right now?

Supposedly the OMGPOP team, which is quoted as having around 40 employees based out of New York City, will be sticking around following the deal. As to whether they'll be asked to give Draw Something the "...with Friends" treatment, we do not know. But I wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the near future, those annoying Zynga cartoon people suddenly started showing up in my games to see if I want to buy some new drawing tools. Disappointed, certainly, but not shocked.

Staff
Avatar image for alex
#1 Posted by alex (3410 posts) -

Because this news day refuses to stop crashing wave after wave of craziness upon our heads, we now learn that OMGPOP, the developer of the newly, wildly popular iOS game Draw Something, has just been acquired by professional mobile game developer acquirers Zynga.

In case you were wondering, THIS is why Draw Something is great.
In case you were wondering, THIS is why Draw Something is great.

Rumors had been swirling a bit over the last few weeks, since the game's popularity exploded. Zynga reportedly has a 3pm announcement call scheduled to acknowledge the deal, but All Things D has the early scoop that the Zynga/OMGPOP deal is done, and for around $180 million, with an additional $30 million in employee retention payments.

Draw Something has become a bona fide iOS phenomenon in the last several weeks, so it's no surprise that Zynga would be in a hurry to try and get in on the game's success since, well, that's just kind of what Zynga does.

Hilariously, the sudden popularity of Draw Something seems to even baffle those involved with the title. One of OMGPOP's original financial backers is quoted in the All Things D story saying, "No one had any idea that this would take off, and no one knows why it did." That "why is anything anything?" mentality adds a degree of logic to this sale--after all, if you have no idea why the thing you just put money into is selling so well, why would you object to making a whole bunch more money off of it right now?

Supposedly the OMGPOP team, which is quoted as having around 40 employees based out of New York City, will be sticking around following the deal. As to whether they'll be asked to give Draw Something the "...with Friends" treatment, we do not know. But I wouldn't be shocked if at some point in the near future, those annoying Zynga cartoon people suddenly started showing up in my games to see if I want to buy some new drawing tools. Disappointed, certainly, but not shocked.

Staff
Avatar image for the_dudefather
#2 Posted by the_dudefather (32 posts) -

ZYNNNNGGAGGAAAA!!!!

Avatar image for lordthinktank
#3 Posted by lordthinktank (4 posts) -

Love Draw Something, not sure if I like Zynga. :|

Avatar image for animasta
#4 Posted by Animasta (14849 posts) -

that sounds like an iOS game alright

Avatar image for branthog
#5 Posted by Branthog (5774 posts) -

Today's big money isn't in making awesome quality products with depth, complexity, heart, and focus on serving the player. It's in making a bunch of soulless crap and hoping that eventually one of your ideas will stick and everyone will buy it (or someone like Google or Zynga or Facebook will buy you). We live in a world where starting a successful company and running it for decades isn't the goal. Making something, hitting it big quickly, then selling it to a bigger fish so you can go back to making another thing all over again to sell to another bigger fish is where we are, now. This is the "make a website, get some traffic, sell it on a "start your own business/website" site and earn a few grand from the sale method -- only bigger.

So, make something mom's would enjoy. And grandparents. That's your real money. Don't even be clever about it. Just repackage shit that the rest of the world has been playing for thirty or forty years -- they wont' know any better.

Avatar image for zombie007
#6 Posted by zombie007 (104 posts) -

See success, buy it.

Avatar image for hadestimes
#7 Posted by HadesTimes (947 posts) -

Zynga doesn't need to be creative when they can buy developers that are.

Avatar image for chaihazuki
#8 Posted by chaiHazuki (37 posts) -

I will never support Zynga.

Avatar image for winternet
#9 Posted by Winternet (8370 posts) -

Make that money!!!

Avatar image for theht
#10 Posted by TheHT (14038 posts) -

I was going to try DrawSomething, but it wouldn't let me without my Facebook info. So I said "fuck you very kindly" and played Harbour Master instead.

Avatar image for winsord
#11 Posted by Winsord (1502 posts) -

Don't know that I want to visit OMGPOP anymore following this. If things remain the way they are, then whatever, but this seems like it'll go south fast.

Avatar image for goldanas
#12 Posted by Goldanas (566 posts) -

@HadesTimes said:

Zynga doesn't need to be creative when they can buy developers that are.

@zombie007 said:

See success, buy it.

The same could be said of Valve.

Or any business venture for that matter. Hell, it's what happened with GiantBomb.

Avatar image for crimsonnoir
#13 Posted by CrimsonNoir (413 posts) -

Good for OMGPOP, getting paid for making something quality.

Avatar image for deinos
#14 Posted by deinos (100 posts) -

@TheHT said:

I was going to try DrawSomething, but it wouldn't let me without my Facebook info. So I said "fuck you very kindly" and played Harbour Master instead.

Been playing for awhile, never needed to use my Facebook login....

Avatar image for zombie007
#15 Posted by zombie007 (104 posts) -

@Goldanas: I know. It's a valid business strategy.

Avatar image for mrmazz
#16 Posted by MrMazz (1175 posts) -

I'd take the money and run.

I love how Zynga is reviled in the hardcore space but man moms sure love that stuff.

Avatar image for churrific
#17 Posted by churrific (495 posts) -

That was really fast.

Avatar image for admanb
#18 Posted by admanb (243 posts) -

Cool/sad for the developer. Cool because they are now, hopefully, rich as shit. Sad because everything I've heard suggests Zynga is an awful place to work. Hopefully they got enough money that when they get sick of Zynga and quit they'll be able to start something cool.

Avatar image for fobwashed
#19 Posted by Fobwashed (2707 posts) -

Woo, I'm on the title card here now =P

Avatar image for pop
#20 Posted by Pop (2704 posts) -

aww man, I've been on omgpop.com for a while and kind of know one of the guys working there, he streams on twitch and is really popular hope he doesn't get fired. Also Zynga is evil!!

Avatar image for theht
#21 Posted by TheHT (14038 posts) -

@Deinos said:

@TheHT said:

I was going to try DrawSomething, but it wouldn't let me without my Facebook info. So I said "fuck you very kindly" and played Harbour Master instead.

Been playing for awhile, never needed to use my Facebook login....

I'll try it again then. Maybe I'm thinking of something else.

Avatar image for ezdude
#22 Posted by ezdude (420 posts) -

I like that Zynga's profession is to, solely, acquire mobile developers. I honestly did not think Draw Something was as much of a phenomenon until Zynga acquired them. That's how you always know if a startup company hit a homerun, if Zynga tries to acquire them or not. Zynga is becoming a barometer of mobile industry success.

Avatar image for thuggish
#23 Posted by Thuggish (130 posts) -

@TheHT said:

I was going to try DrawSomething, but it wouldn't let me without my Facebook info. So I said "fuck you very kindly" and played Harbour Master instead.

There is an option to use an email address to create an account and log in instead of Facebook (also lets you create a username in this process that you can hand out to friends).

Avatar image for razielcuts
#24 Posted by RazielCuts (3246 posts) -

surprised Zynga didn't just rip the idea off like they do from every other indie dev.

Avatar image for dezztroy
#25 Posted by Dezztroy (1038 posts) -
@Goldanas said:

@HadesTimes said:

Zynga doesn't need to be creative when they can buy developers that are.

@zombie007 said:

See success, buy it.

The same could be said of Valve.

Or any business venture for that matter. Hell, it's what happened with GiantBomb.

Compare Narbacular Drop and Portal.
Avatar image for skald
#26 Posted by Skald (4427 posts) -

I suggest, "Draw Something with FriendsVille" or vice versa.

Avatar image for theanticitizen
#27 Posted by theanticitizen (363 posts) -

Well...so much for that game. Look what they did to Drop7

Avatar image for unrealdoompiglet
#28 Posted by UnrealDP (1259 posts) -

Could someone enlighten me on how draw something works? As an artist I can't imagine how you'd draw something like that on such a tiny... Oh hang, I guess people are using IPads for that stuff, eh? I was sitting here trying to fathom how I'd draw something like that with my fingers on my IPhone screen. That explains a ton.

Avatar image for atom
#29 Posted by Atom (252 posts) -

"Sketch Anything!" should be out anyday, now

Avatar image for phatmac
#30 Posted by Phatmac (5928 posts) -

Surprised Zynga didn't just copy it and call it something else. Like Draw Anything or Sketch Something.

Avatar image for heatdrive88
#31 Posted by heatDrive88 (2824 posts) -

Sure wish I had $180 million dollars.

Avatar image for little_socrates
#32 Posted by Little_Socrates (5844 posts) -

FUCK OMG POP STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND

Avatar image for jaxboy
#33 Posted by Jaxboy (94 posts) -

@Branthog said:

Today's big money isn't in making awesome quality products with depth, complexity, heart, and focus on serving the player. It's in making a bunch of soulless crap and hoping that eventually one of your ideas will stick and everyone will buy it (or someone like Google or Zynga or Facebook will buy you). We live in a world where starting a successful company and running it for decades isn't the goal. Making something, hitting it big quickly, then selling it to a bigger fish so you can go back to making another thing all over again to sell to another bigger fish is where we are, now. This is the "make a website, get some traffic, sell it on a "start your own business/website" site and earn a few grand from the sale method -- only bigger.

So, make something mom's would enjoy. And grandparents. That's your real money. Don't even be clever about it. Just repackage shit that the rest of the world has been playing for thirty or forty years -- they wont' know any better.

Considering the backlash heaped upon Bioware for Mass Effect 3, I'd say why bother doing anything else?

Avatar image for branthog
#34 Posted by Branthog (5774 posts) -

@Jaxboy said:

@Branthog said:

Today's big money isn't in making awesome quality products with depth, complexity, heart, and focus on serving the player. It's in making a bunch of soulless crap and hoping that eventually one of your ideas will stick and everyone will buy it (or someone like Google or Zynga or Facebook will buy you). We live in a world where starting a successful company and running it for decades isn't the goal. Making something, hitting it big quickly, then selling it to a bigger fish so you can go back to making another thing all over again to sell to another bigger fish is where we are, now. This is the "make a website, get some traffic, sell it on a "start your own business/website" site and earn a few grand from the sale method -- only bigger.

So, make something mom's would enjoy. And grandparents. That's your real money. Don't even be clever about it. Just repackage shit that the rest of the world has been playing for thirty or forty years -- they wont' know any better.

Considering the backlash heaped upon Bioware for Mass Effect 3, I'd say why bother doing anything else?

Pretty much. Why deal with the hassle when you have a vastly larger audience with less experience that doesn't know better and therefor is easily entertained and, easily impressed, and not easily moved to complain right over there?

Avatar image for 234rqsd2323d2
#35 Posted by 234r2we232 (3175 posts) -

If people hate the iOS and Facebooks just because of Zynga, well, okay, but there are plenty of iOS games that they didn't make and they're incredibly good for the price. Just throwing that out there.

Avatar image for branthog
#36 Posted by Branthog (5774 posts) -

@UnrealDP said:

Could someone enlighten me on how draw something works? As an artist I can't imagine how you'd draw something like that on such a tiny... Oh hang, I guess people are using IPads for that stuff, eh? I was sitting here trying to fathom how I'd draw something like that with my fingers on my IPhone screen. That explains a ton.

They just use whatever. iPhone, iPad, Note. And there's not really any "game" to it. You get a word, you draw a picture of it, and the other person tries to guess what it is. There is no time limit and it's pretty easy to guess, because they only give you like eight or ten letters to choose from (so a HUGE hint right off the bat).

Avatar image for enai
#37 Edited by Enai (256 posts) -

This bubble will burst at some point...

Avatar image for branthog
#38 Posted by Branthog (5774 posts) -

@CrimsonNoir said:

Good for OMGPOP, getting paid for making something

Fixed that for ya.

Avatar image for jozzy
#39 Posted by jozzy (2053 posts) -
Hilariously, the sudden popularity of Draw Something seems to even baffle those involved with the title. One of OMGPOP's original financial backers is quoted in the All Things D story saying, "No one had any idea that this would take off, and no one knows why it did." That "why is anything anything?" mentality adds a degree of logic to this sale--after all, if you have no idea why the thing you just put money into is selling so well, why would you object to making a whole bunch more money off of it right now?

I love the honesty here, not saying "Yeah, it's better for the players out there because now we have the backing of a bigger company". Nope, just the smart move of cashing in on your unexpected success.

Avatar image for hector
#40 Posted by Hector (3546 posts) -

@chaiHazuki said:

I will never support Zynga.

Niether will I.

Avatar image for dudewhat
#41 Posted by dudewhat (160 posts) -

Just PM'd you a news tip Alex, as I don't see a way to submit news tips through the website.

Avatar image for butano
#42 Posted by Butano (1992 posts) -

I'm surprised it took 5 years for a pictionary game to be released onto smartphones. That's what really baffles me.

Avatar image for manicmyna
#43 Posted by ManicMyna (103 posts) -

well I certainly won't be looking at getting the game now, & the bonus of that is I'll never see the the underhanded ways they'll try to wring money out of the players. they managed to even ruin hold'em with ads for a free hi-lo game just sending you to the store

I came to the conclusion that Zynga can go fuck themselves & their rather anti-social social game players can do the same too.

Avatar image for abendlaender
#44 Posted by Abendlaender (3052 posts) -

professional mobile game developer acquirers Zynga

God bless you Alex

Avatar image for doobie
#45 Posted by doobie (612 posts) -

@Branthog said:

@UnrealDP said:

Could someone enlighten me on how draw something works? As an artist I can't imagine how you'd draw something like that on such a tiny... Oh hang, I guess people are using IPads for that stuff, eh? I was sitting here trying to fathom how I'd draw something like that with my fingers on my IPhone screen. That explains a ton.

They just use whatever. iPhone, iPad, Note. And there's not really any "game" to it. You get a word, you draw a picture of it, and the other person tries to guess what it is. There is no time limit and it's pretty easy to guess, because they only give you like eight or ten letters to choose from (so a HUGE hint right off the bat).

but it is fun

Avatar image for willthemagicasian
#46 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1548 posts) -

@Dezztroy said:

@Goldanas said:

@HadesTimes said:

Zynga doesn't need to be creative when they can buy developers that are.

@zombie007 said:

See success, buy it.

The same could be said of Valve.

Or any business venture for that matter. Hell, it's what happened with GiantBomb.

Compare Narbacular Drop and Portal.

Nope, even before that, try Team Fortress and Counter-Strike.

Avatar image for lithiumproject
#47 Posted by lithiumproject (41 posts) -

@Goldanas: thread/close

Avatar image for freakache
#48 Posted by FreakAche (3046 posts) -

I hate this game. Although that probably has more to do with the fact that I can't draw than it does with the game's actual quality.

Avatar image for unrealdoompiglet
#49 Posted by UnrealDP (1259 posts) -

@doobie said:

@Branthog said:

@UnrealDP said:

Could someone enlighten me on how draw something works? As an artist I can't imagine how you'd draw something like that on such a tiny... Oh hang, I guess people are using IPads for that stuff, eh? I was sitting here trying to fathom how I'd draw something like that with my fingers on my IPhone screen. That explains a ton.

They just use whatever. iPhone, iPad, Note. And there's not really any "game" to it. You get a word, you draw a picture of it, and the other person tries to guess what it is. There is no time limit and it's pretty easy to guess, because they only give you like eight or ten letters to choose from (so a HUGE hint right off the bat).

but it is fun

Er, indeed. Just got it and it seems pretty cool and fun, but damn do I wish my IPhone had a bigger screen.

Avatar image for evilrazer
#50 Posted by evilrazer (547 posts) -

I like playing Draw Something when I have a free minute. Weirdest people out there, but they are still cool.

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