Zynga confirms Draw Something acquisition

Online game developer buys out maker of the popular mobile drawing game, OMGPOP, for reported pricetag ranging from US$150 million to US$200 million.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Zynga has confirmed it is buying out the maker of widely popular mobile game, Draw Something, but did not reveal actual financial details behind the sale.

In a statement Thursday, the social game company said it acquired New York-based OMGPOP, which will continue to focus on designing new mobile and social games within Zynga.

The brainchild behind Draw Something, which Zynga described as a "cultural hit", OMGPOP also has over 35 social games under its belt, but none as popular as the drawing app which has been downloaded over 35 million times since it debuted six weeks ago. It ranked on Apple App Store as the top word game in 84 countries. More than 1 billion drawings were created in the past week alone, and at its peak, it clocked 3,000 drawings per second.

"Zynga offered us a chance to focus on Draw Something... The game will stay to [players and fans] and what [they] love, and it's my solemn vow that the magic of Draw Something will not change," OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter said in the statement.

With the added resources and Zynga's ability to "innovate at scale", Porter said the drawing app will be further tweaked. "It's going to be drawsome," he promised.

Zynga did not reveal any financial details behind the deal, but various reports put the pricetag at between US$150 million and US$200 million.

The deal ignited much buzz on Twitter. "Zynga purchased Draw Something for possibly $210 million just 6 weeks after it was created. Wish I'd invented it!" said @annehirsch.

"It took AOL 9 years to hit 1 million users, Facebook 9 months, Draw Something 9 days," added @ShaneMac.

One Twitter user @C418, though, expressed dismay: "Ugh, Draw Something devs bought by Zynga. I actually got the paid version thinking 'cool, this is not by Zynga!"

Facebook user Virgules Po, on reading the news, said on ZDNet Asia's page: "Zynga?! Deleting the game now."

Zynga, which is also behind popular social games Farmville and Words With Friends, early this month launched its own games platform on which users can play the company's games as well as other titles from third-party developers. Its initial public offering (IPO) in December raised US$1 billion, pegging its value at US$7 billion.

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