OMGPOP was founded six years ago, went through a session at Y Combinator, and wound its way through a series of challenges and leadership changes before coming out with the superhit game Draw Something six weeks ago. Draw Something is like Pictionary, except it’s played on a mobile phone and is apparently as addictive as crack. With 35 million downloads, it is by far the largest game OMGPOP has ever made.
“We’re excited to announce Zynga has acquired New York-based OMGPOP,” Dave Ko, Zynga’s chief mobile officer, said on a media call, before praising the “smash hit Draw Something.” “If you haven’t played it already, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s super fun.”
OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter, who raised $17 million in financing and took the company from seven people in 2008 to 40 people today, was announced as the VP and general manager of Zynga New York. “Maybe we can turn New York City into a hotbed of gaming activity as well,” Mr. Porter said.
Peter Kafka of AllThingsD, who was on the story early, reported the acquisition price was “$180 million, plus another $30 million or so in employee-retention payments… Don’t know about cash/stock split.” Zynga isn’t commenting on the price and declined to confirm that this was Zynga’s largest acquisition to date.
CTO E.J. Mablekos was the original creator of the first Draw My Thing, the precursor to Draw Something.
Zynga does not plan to change the name to “Draw Something With Friend.”
It sure looks like Zynga is buying the company for one hit game, one reporter noted. If so, and if the price is as high as reported, is that really a sustainable strategy for the gaming giant?
“It’s a combination of the game, the team and having a shared vision of social,” Mr. Ko said.
OMGPOP was founded as iminlikewithyou by Charles Forman and Dan Albritton; the latter left the company in 2007. Mr. Forman left OMGPOP last year to cofound stealth startup Picturelife with Nate Westheimer.
— Charles Forman (@charlesforman) March 21, 2012
“The OMGPOP team has created a game that’s fun, expressive and engenders real social interaction,” said Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, said in a robotically-worded statement.
Some stats on Draw Something:
· In the last week, more than 1 billion drawings have been created.
· Draw Something had three drawings per second the day the game launched.
· Yesterday, Draw Something has over 3,000 drawings per second at its peak.
· Draw Something is the #1 word game in 84 countries according to the Apple App Store – shout out to Sweden and Norway for being the first two countries to recognize Draw Something’s greatness. Nordic Love!
· The most popular words in Draw Something are: Starfish, pregnant, hangman, six pack, boom box
· The least popular word in Draw Something is latrine
· The best guessed words in Draw Something are: Rainbow, catfish, sun, fish, house, god tornado
· The least guessed words in Draw Something are: Oar, Metroid, Warhol, pounce, polaroid, meathead, Autobots