Draw Something draws in 50 million downloads and $210 million from Zynga

Will the acquisition of OMGPOP's Draw Something be a smart move for Zynga - or will the pursuit of extra gamers over platform excellence, performance and choice cloud its vision?

It has been a whirlwind few weeks for OMGPOP, creators of the mobile social game Draw Something.  In less than two months it has been downloaded over 50 million times and is believed to be the 'fastest growing original mobile game' of all time.

OMGPOP, the New York based games company sold Draw Something to Zynga in March after the game knocked Zynga off the top of the social game charts.

The premise of Draw Something is simple enough. Think Pictionary for the iPhone, iPad or Android.  Draw an image on your device and your friends try to guess what you have drawn.

Some of the eye-popping stats from Zynga include:

Credit: OMGPOP

Credit: OMGPOP

More than six billion drawings have been created. There were three drawings per second the day the game launched. At its peak, Draw Something had over 3,000 drawings per second. It is the #1 word game in 84 countries according to the Apple App Store The most popular words are: Starfish, pregnant, hangman, six pack, boom box The least popular word is latrine The best guessed words are: Rainbow, catfish, sun, fish, house, god, tornado The least guessed words are: Oar, Metroid, Warhol, pounce, polaroid, meathead, Autobots

The popularity of the game exploded, with people sharing their drawings on Twitter and Facebook. More and more people downloaded the game. With 14,300,000 daily users accessing Draw Something, it is still well ahead of its nearest Zynga rival, Words with Friends

Zynga paid $180 million in cash and a further $30 million 'earn out payment'.  It acted really quickly too to make sure that no one jumped ship during the process.

The deal was announced on 21st March, and by the next day all 40 employees were working for Zynga. Zynga had to move fast, to prevent any of the talent migrating to its competitors.

OMGPOP will remain headquartered in New York and Dan Porter, now Zyngas general manager of operations will report to David Ko, Chief Mobile Officer of Zynga.

Social mobile games

Draw Something is certainly an interesting addition to the Zynga stable.  Strategically, simple social mobile games are the way things are going.  Zynga obviously has recognised this, and is pursuing acquisitions to enhance its gaming portfolio and cement its place in the mobile market.

Zynga also will benefit from the influx of users onto its platform, who might be persuaded to try its other offerings.  After all, there are numerous games to tempt you every time you log on to your current game of Words with Friends or or Castleville.

But our social future is mobile.

Will this acquisition be the first of many smart mobile moves for Zynga -- or will its pursuit of extra potential gamers over platform excellence, performance and choice, cloud its strategic vision?

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