Zynga has scheduled a press call for 3PM ET today, which AllThingsD has already managed to confirm will be to discuss the acquisition of OMGPOP, the company behind the spectacularly successful Draw Something iOS and Android game. The price is expected to be in the region of $200 million, a number that falls right in the middle of the $150m to $250m range outlined by TechCrunch, who first reported that talks were ongoing between the two companies.
Draw Something very recently became the most popular Facebook Connect game, ousting Zynga's Words With Friends, which obviously wasn't a situation the latter company was willing to tolerate for long. Zynga's symbiotic relationship with Facebook relies on it being the undisputed champion of social games, so buying out its most dangerous new competitor seems like a logical move. As to OMGPOP, a small team with a huge hit on its hands, the lure of a big cash payout and the related threat of having Zynga simply duplicating its game must have been too mighty a combination to ignore.
Update: AllThingD's Peter Kafka notes that the deal will cost Zynga $180m to take ownership of OMGPOP and an additional $30m in "employee retention payouts."
Update 2: Zynga has just made it official. The press release notes that Zynga is acquiring a portfolio of over 35 social games beyond Draw Something and the takeover is effective immediately. Dan Porter, current CEO of OMGPOP, is to become Vice President and General Manager of Zynga New York. The financial details of the deal aren't being revealed, but there are plenty of mind-boggling stats about the popularity of Draw Something, including one billion drawings having been uploaded in the last week and 3,000 per second during yesterday's peak.
The name of the game will not be changing, with Dan Porter very pointedly answering the question by saying, "no, the name will not be changing to Drawing With Friends." As to the future direction of the game, Dan says there's already a substantial list of feature requests, which is being worked on and a roadmap for rolling out more options for users. So, at least in the near term, nothing about the development of Draw Something will differ from the path it was already on. After that? Only Zynga knows for sure.