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'Draw Something', the $180 million game taking the world by storm

Draw Something came out of nowhere in February 2012 to become the fastest-growing social gaming sensation we've yet seen. Available for both iOS and Android, this OMGPOP game accrued over 20 million downloads in its first week of availability and reached a rate of one billion picture uploads per week by mid-March. Such exponential growth was enough for social gaming leader Zynga to not only take notice but also open up its coin purse: OMGPOP was acquired by Zynga on March 21st for $180 million. Although the entire IP portfolio includes 35 other social games, it has been quite clear to all that Zynga is only after Draw Something and the massive audience it managed to build up over such a short period of time.

  • Sam Byford

    Apr 25, 2013

    Sam Byford

    'Draw Something 2' now available in iOS App Store

    draw something 2
    draw something 2

    Draw Something, the Pictionary-style game with a rollercoaster history, now has a sequel. Draw Something 2 for iPhone is available in the US App Store following launches in Canada and Sweden earlier this month. Among other additions, the game promises over 5,000 new words, more drawing tools, and a free draw mode, and can be downloaded as either a $2.99 premium app or a free, ad-supported game.

    The original Draw Something had one of the most successful app launches of all time, leading Zynga to purchase developer OMGPOP for $180 million, but has since suffered a declining userbase. Zynga will now be hoping that Draw Something 2 is the game to turn the company around and make good on a pricey investment. There's no word on when or whether it'll be available on other platforms, but we'll update if we hear more.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Oct 27, 2012

    Andrew Webster

    'Draw Something' launches on Windows Phone, exclusive to Lumia devices for two months

    Windows Phone Draw Something STOCK
    Windows Phone Draw Something STOCK

    Back in June came word that two of Zynga's more popular mobile games were coming to Windows Phone, and now at least one of them is finally available with the launch of Draw Something. Of course, the Pictionary-esque game won't be available for all Windows Phone devices just yet — as Nokia previously revealed, for the first two months after launch the game will be exclusive to Nokia Lumia devices. There's currently no word on when the other announced game, Words With Friends, will be making its way to the platform as well. And for those who own a Nokia device that isn't a Windows Phone, there's still some hope, as the company has previously announced plans to bring both Draw Something and Zynga Poker to its Asha line of budget smartphones at some point in the future.

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  • Louis Goddard

    Aug 17, 2012

    Louis Goddard

    'Draw Something' and 'Zynga Poker' to hit Nokia's budget Asha Touch phones

    Nokia Asha 306
    Nokia Asha 306

    Nokia has announced a renewed partnership with games developer Zynga, aiming to port the popular games Draw Something and Zynga Poker to its touch-enabled Asha smartphones. The news follows a similar partnership designed to ensure that Draw Something and Words With Friends come to Windows Phone in the near future, with the two games slated to receive a two-month exclusivity period on Nokia's Lumia devices.

    Popular in emerging markets such as India, the Asha 311, 306, and 305 run a redesigned version of Nokia's in-house Series 40 operating system, first introduced on featurephones in 1999. According to a Nokia press release, 42 percent of all content downloaded from the Nokia Store between January and April this year was delivered to S40 devices — developing for the platform will allow Zynga to reach more than 100 million users worldwide.

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  • Aaron Souppouris

    Jun 20, 2012

    Aaron Souppouris

    'Draw Something' and 'Words With Friends' coming to Windows Phone (update)

    Draw Something Windows Phone
    Draw Something Windows Phone

    Two of Zynga's most popular games, Draw Something and Word With Friends, are coming to Windows Phone devices soon. The games are Zynga's first on the platform. Both are multiplayer turn-based re-imaginings of classic games: Draw Something is basically a remote multiplayer version of the drawing game Pictionary, whereas Words With Friends borrows heavily from the word game Scrabble.

    Update: Nokia has announced that both games will be available exclusively on Lumia phones for a two-month period before appearing on the wider Windows Marketplace.

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  • Nathan Ingraham

    May 3, 2012

    Nathan Ingraham

    'Draw Something' will start including brands among draw-able items

    Draw Something Android
    Draw Something Android

    Zynga's looking to further monetize Draw Something by further integrating ads into the game — the company is reportedly selling advertisers the option to include their branded terms in the core gameplay experience. Typically, Draw Something lets players pick from one of three words to draw and have their opponent guess, and now advertisers can have their branded term be one of the options. According to an AdAge report, the NHL was one of the first advertisers to buy hockey-related terms; the league is making the game social by encouraging players to share their drawings with the #DrawNHL hashtag on Twitter and by posting selections on a Pinterest board.

    While no other brands were mentioned as Draw Something advertisers, this new ad product apparently came up from Zynga testing popular brand terms like Nike, KFC, and Doritos in the game to see how players responded — so far, it appears there hasn't been much negative backlash. According to former OMGPOP CEO and current VP of Zynga mobile Dan Porter, "people loved to draw the Colonel and bags of Doritos." It's not yet clear if these in-game brand terms will roll out to the paid version of the app as well as the free one, but it wouldn't surprise us to see all players given the option to draw a bag of chips or pair of sneakers soon.

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  • Dante D'Orazio

    Apr 18, 2012

    Dante D'Orazio

    'Draw Something' updated with undo, comments, and notifications

    Draw Something Android
    Draw Something Android

    If you were afraid that Zynga's $180 million purchase of Draw Something creator OMGPOP would result in a long delay before the popular Pictionary-like game received an update, we've got some good news: both the iOS and Android version of the app got upgraded with some much needed features today. The highlight is that there's now an oh-so-simple but oh-so-necessary "undo" button that'll remove your last-drawn line — something that'll prove very useful to anyone who's forgotten to change the brush stroke size when changing colors and destroyed their beautiful creation. There's also a new option that'll let you comment to your drawings, and there's also a new refresh button on the main page. While it's not in the changelog, the latest Android version also adds a notification option in the settings menu that should ping you to let you know when it's your turn. iOS users get a couple of additional features that let you save your drawings to the camera roll and share them on Facebook and Twitter. The update's available now, so get downloading.

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  • Andrew Webster

    Apr 5, 2012

    Andrew Webster

    'Draw Something' sees 50 million downloads in first 50 days

    Verge Draw Something stock
    Verge Draw Something stock

    Zynga's acquisition of OMGPOP hasn't slowed down Draw Something's success, as the game has now been downloaded 50 million times in just 50 days. The asynchronous, Pictionary-like hit managed to reach 20 million downloads after its first five weeks, so this latest milestone suggests that the title is actually picking up steam. It was only yesterday that the game unseated Angry Birds Space atop the paid app charts for iPhone and iPad, which in comparison managed to move 10 million downloads in its first three days (though developer Rovio hasn't announced any stats since that time). Draw Something at its busiest sees more than 3,000 pictures a second, and so far around six billion drawings have been created. That's good news for Zynga, which spent $180 million to add OMGPOP to its growing stable of developers.

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  • Adi Robertson

    Apr 4, 2012

    Adi Robertson

    'Draw Something' beats 'Angry Birds Space' for top paid and free iPhone app

    Draw Something, OMGPOP's social gaming phenomenon, has already gotten 20 million downloads in five weeks and taken the top spot on Facebook Connect, and now it may have unseated the Angry Birds franchise to become the top iPhone app. Last week, the app was first on the free charts for both iPhone and iPad, but it was still behind Angry Birds Space in paid ones. When we check the iTunes store now, however, Draw Something is listed as the top-selling paid app for iPhone.

    The latest numbers show that Draw Something is still gaining users at a steady clip, so it may not be long before we see it topping the iPad charts as well. For what it's worth, you'll have to go to iTunes to check these numbers — the charts shown on the web don't seem to match up at all to what's selling, not even placing Angry Birds Space in the top 100. Regardless, we imagine Zynga is feeling pretty good about that $180 million acquisition.

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  • Nathan Ingraham

    Mar 23, 2012

    Nathan Ingraham

    Zynga paid $180 million for 'Draw Something,' OMGPOP

    Draw Something Zynga
    Draw Something Zynga

    An SEC filing has revealed that Zynga paid $180 million for OMGPOP, the creator of Draw Something for iOS and Android. This comes just a few days after Zynga officially announced the sale; at the time, most were speculating that the company paid closer to $200 million — thought Peter Kafka from All Things D correctly noted the $180 million price on Twitter. The filing was released in conjunction with Zynga's secondary offering of its stock — the company is putting nearly 43 million shares back on the market. CEO Mark Pincus is personally selling 16.5 million of his shares, which will reduce his voting share from 36.5 percent to 35.9 percent. While this sale comes in at some $20 million less than initially speculated, we'll have to wait and see if Zynga gets a good return on that large investment.

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  • Mar 21, 2012

    Vlad Savov

    Zynga buys 'Draw Something' maker OMGPOP

    Zynga Draw Something
    Zynga Draw Something

    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.

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  • Sam Byford

    Mar 20, 2012

    Sam Byford

    Zynga planning to buy 'Draw Something' creator OMGPOP?

    draw something
    draw something

    After ratcheting up more than 20 million downloads, OMGPOP's Draw Something recently overtook Zynga's Words With Friends to become the most popular Facebook Connect game — and it looks like the larger company is taking notice. TechCrunch reports that Zynga has initiated talks to buy OMGPOP outright, with other social gaming firms like Japan's GREE also lining up bids. With OMGPOP bringing in six-figure revenue every day, TechCrunch expects the deal to be worth anywhere from $150-250 million.

    Zynga could, of course, quite easily develop its own pictionary-style game — "Drawing With Friends" would seem the obvious way to go — but it might be too late with such a large userbase for OMGPOP's game already in place. It's also worth noting that Draw Something isn't the first pictionary-style mobile game, with others like Charadium finding earlier success on a much smaller scale, so it may well be that OMGPOP has caught lightning in a bottle that would be difficult to replicate.

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  • Mar 19, 2012

    Vlad Savov

    'Draw Something' beats 'Words With Friends,' now most popular Facebook Connect game

    draw something
    draw something

    The latest stats from AppData show just how popular Draw Something has become: the Pictionary-style game has now overcome Words With Friends to become the most-played game with Facebook Connect. AppData's measure of daily active users logged in with their Facebook accounts puts Draw Something at 12.2 million, comfortably eclipsing the eight million daily users achieved by Zynga's most popular game. The change in leadership happened over this past week, when Draw Something gained a healthy 3.5 million more daily users and Words With Friends lost a million. Microsoft Live and Yahoo! are still shown as the most widely used Facebook Connect apps, but that's unlikely to trouble OMGPOP, the developer of Draw Something, whose simple but addictive drawing game has seen unprecedented growth since launching early last month.

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  • Sam Byford

    Mar 13, 2012

    Sam Byford

    'Draw Something' gets 20 million downloads in just five weeks

    draw something
    draw something

    Draw Something is a Pictionary-style game for iOS and Android that has shown an incredible rate of growth since its launch on February 1st. Developer OMGPOP's CEO Dan Porter told Business Insider that the app has racked up over 20 million downloads in only five weeks — almost as much as Instagram's entire 27 million users, and more than the 15 million Foursquare has managed in over three years. Over a billion pictures have been drawn in the game, with this past Sunday seeing more than 3,000 being sent every second.

    It's worth noting that the game is two-player only, so a lot of the downloads will have been the result of encouragement from friends seeking for partners, but that sounds like a good business model to us. Word-of-mouth can be an unbeatable form of advertising, and it's working out for OMGPOP — while the company hasn't spent anything on marketing since launch week, the ad-supported freemium game is apparently generating revenue of six figures by the day.

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