The saga of the lone OMGPOP employee to say no to Zynga isn’t over just yet thanks to a couple of acerbic late night tweets from OMGPOP chief executive Dan Porter. Last week, Shay Pierce, a former OMGPOP game developer penned a rather explosive column for Gamasutra about turning down Zynga’s post-acquisition employment offer over a difference of “values.” (The gist: he had them, Zynga didn’t.)
Guess Mr. Porter, now VP of general management at Zynga New York, was not a fan of Mr. Pierce calling his new employer “evil.” Late Friday night, Mr. Porter tweeted: “The one OMGPOP employee who turned down joining Zynga was the weakest one on the whole team. Selfish people make bad games. Good riddance!” In case you weren’t sure who he was talking about, he later added, “What’s so interesting about success is the number of failures who try to ride on your back. Shay Pierce is just one of many . . .”
Geeze, the afterlife of a $180 million cash offer for your one-hit gaming company isn’t as sweet as we thought. Mr. Porter has since deleted the tweets, issued a public apology (of sorts) on Twitter, and sent mea culpa to VentureBeat, “So was my language a little harsh in the tweet. Yes it was. But my point is that it wasn’t about Shay. It was about the 41 other people who made it happen. Those are the people I would throw myself in front of the train for and those are the people I want to celebrate.”
Mr. Porter’s twitburst followed a leak to Business Insider claiming that Mr. Pierce was about to be fired. Betabeat reached out to Mr. Pierce about the leak. He emailed back that it was “water under the bridge,” adding:
“I was offered a job at Zynga and can only assume from that action that they wanted to hire me. Prior to my resignation, I did not have any animosity with the Zynga representatives or with Dan Porter nor did I receive any indication from my manager or company that I was performing poorly and ‘about to be let go.’ There were only four people in the Austin OMGPOP office including myself, and I find it hard to believe that I would not have been given some indication that I was not meeting expectations if the alleged imminent firing is true.
I believe that I was doing good work for the company and cannot speculate beyond that.”
Mr. Pierce’s email came before Mr. Porter called him out on Twitter. But other game developers haven’t responded as well. Yesterday, Shaun Inman tweeted out the following burn, which he called his “final” Draw Something:
According to the latest numbers on AppData, the OMGPOP acquisition increased Zynga’s daily average usage by 25 percent from the 14.6 million Draw Something users alone. Only Zynga has the non-deduplicated number of players who might already have been playing Zynga games like Words with Friends. And as TechCrunch notes, “Draw Something may have a shorter life cycle — Zynga hasn’t had a chance to see how long this type of sketching-sharing game can stick around.” Also unknown: how many potential players–or employees–Mr. Porter lost with those tweets.