Zynga Just Bought the Developer of Draw Something

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Posted by Alex (2036 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.

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
#1 Posted by Alex (2036 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.

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
#2 Posted by the_dudefather (35 posts) -

ZYNNNNGGAGGAAAA!!!!

#3 Posted by lordthinktank (3 posts) -

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

#4 Posted by Animasta (14673 posts) -

that sounds like an iOS game alright

#5 Posted by Branthog (7574 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.

#6 Posted by zombie007 (102 posts) -

See success, buy it.

#7 Posted by HadesTimes (804 posts) -

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

#8 Posted by chaiHazuki (32 posts) -

I will never support Zynga.

#9 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

Make that money!!!

#10 Posted by TheHT (11133 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.

#11 Posted by Winsord (1207 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.

#12 Posted by Goldanas (546 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.

#13 Posted by CrimsonNoir (401 posts) -

Good for OMGPOP, getting paid for making something quality.

#14 Posted by Deinos (89 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....

#15 Posted by zombie007 (102 posts) -

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

#16 Posted by MrMazz (953 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.

#17 Posted by churrific (478 posts) -

That was really fast.

#18 Posted by admanb (225 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.

#19 Posted by Fobwashed (1985 posts) -

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

#20 Posted by Pop (2625 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!!

#21 Posted by TheHT (11133 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.

#22 Posted by ezdude (393 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.

#23 Posted by Thuggish (103 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).

#24 Posted by RazielCuts (2949 posts) -

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

#25 Posted by Dezztroy (787 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.
#26 Posted by Skald (4367 posts) -

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

#27 Posted by theanticitizen (266 posts) -

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

#28 Posted by UnrealDP (1222 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.

#29 Posted by Atom (198 posts) -

"Sketch Anything!" should be out anyday, now

#30 Posted by Phatmac (5725 posts) -

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

#31 Posted by heatDrive88 (2310 posts) -

Sure wish I had $180 million dollars.

#32 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

FUCK OMG POP STRAIGHT FROM THE UNDERGROUND

#33 Posted by Jaxboy (88 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?

#34 Posted by Branthog (7574 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?

#35 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 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.

#36 Posted by Branthog (7574 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).

#37 Edited by Enai (188 posts) -

This bubble will burst at some point...

#38 Posted by Branthog (7574 posts) -

@CrimsonNoir said:

Good for OMGPOP, getting paid for making something

Fixed that for ya.

#39 Posted by jozzy (2042 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.

#40 Posted by Hector (3359 posts) -

@chaiHazuki said:

I will never support Zynga.

Niether will I.

#41 Posted by dudewhat (71 posts) -

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

#42 Posted by Butano (1731 posts) -

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

#43 Posted by ManicMyna (64 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.

#44 Posted by Abendlaender (2785 posts) -

professional mobile game developer acquirers Zynga

God bless you Alex

#45 Posted by doobie (605 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

#46 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 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.

#47 Posted by lithiumproject (32 posts) -

@Goldanas: thread/close

#48 Posted by FreakAche (2952 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.

#49 Posted by UnrealDP (1222 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.

#50 Posted by evilrazer (481 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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