Zynga goes buy over build with OMGPOP acquisition

Zynga has acquired OMGPOP, adding Draw Something to its list of popular social and mobile gaming titles. Zynga paid OMGPOP $178.5 million, plus another $30 million in employee retention, according to Om Malik, right in line with what he reported last week. That might seem like a lot, but Draw Something is a huge success: The app has more than 35 million downloads and a totally engaged audience of 15 million daily users.
This isn’t the first Zynga acquisition, of course, or even the first major franchise acquisition. It bought the ‘With Friends’ games from Newtoy for about $53 million a few years ago — a price that looks like an absolute steal today. But this is the first purchase of its size for Zynga.
For OMGPOP the deal is a culmination of six years of blood, sweat and tears, as it started primarily as a maker of Flash-based games for the desktop. But mobile and social changes everything: Putting Draw Something on a mobile device, making it accessible wherever and whenever and harnessing the power of Facebook to connect players and their friends has made OMGPOP an overnight powerhouse. And it’s not just Draw Something that Zynga is acquiring — it’s also getting another 35 titles from OMGPOP.
Here are a few key stats and figures from the OMGPOP’s Draw Something success:

  • 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