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OMG, Zynga Welcomes a New Member to the Family

by on March 21, 2012

Put down your smartphones and iPads for just a sec. I’ve got some big news. Today I’m excited to tell you about a new addition to the Zynga family, OMGPOP. This New York-based developer of social mobile games has recently received a lot of attention for their smash hit Draw Something. It’s been downloaded over 30 million times. Every second three thousand people draw something in 84 countries throughout the world. By the time you finish this paragraph, there’s a good chance 30,000 drawings have been created – many of them LOTR or Star Wars related.

  OMGPOP

West Coast meets… East Coast

(credit drawsomethingart, Kotaku, and Draw Something’s Facebook Page)

Needless to say Draw Something is an amazing game; I think it’s one of the most social and expressive mobile games ever built. It’s intuitive and fun. It brings out creativity, a sense of nostalgia and child-like wonder. And most importantly, it’s inherently social. You learn about your friends and family as you play, and I love that the most requested feature to date has been people asking for the ability to save not just their own drawings, but those of their friends. Some games try to incorporate user generated content in creative ways; Draw Something IS user generated content in a fun and creative game wrapper.

While Draw Something might seem like an overnight success to many, I know in spending time with OMGPOP’s team that the massive attention they’ve recently seen comes from a deep rooted history in making great social games. Since OMGPOP’s inception in 2006, the company has made over 35 multiplayer social games, including Blockles, Puppy World, and of course my new favorite, Aim For The Nuts.

OMGPOP brings to Zynga an incredible team of industry veterans and a community of highly engaged players. It’s a great industry example of creating games around the ethos of giving people a place to play, meet and make friends. OMGPOP’s existing mobile and platform games will not change. We fully support what they’ve built to date, and we’re going to work hard to give Draw Something and all of their games the resources and tools they need to grow and flourish.

Dan Porter has built an amazing team and culture at OMGPop, and I can’t wait to see what that team builds next. We think we can amplify their efforts, and we’re going to work together to make sure that more players love more of their games, both in the current stable of titles, and new IP we’ll see in the future.

At Zynga we're committed to bringing play to everyone, everywhere, and part of this mission is to build the most fun and most social games for our players. I know that the OMGPOP team will be instrumental in helping us build play for the world, one hilarious drawing at a time. Welcome to the family, guys. I’d like to end this post with a direct note from Dan Porter, CEO of OMGPOP.

Why we partnered with Zynga

Making Draw Something has been a dream come true for me and for all the people at OMGPOP. To make a game that is so popular and has made so many people happy is totally overwhelming. Frankly the only word we could use around here is humbled. To make a game that is owned, created and shared by players themselves is amazing. And to be in an incredibly fun dialogue with players around words like RZA, Katniss and pop culture as a whole has been very fun.

One of our inspirations for the game, from the interface to the asynchronous play, has always been Words with Friends. Words with Friends really blazed the trail for what we have tried to do at OMGPOP – connect people through play. When we started talking to Zynga, our team was very excited about teaming up with the leader in the games and mobile space. After long discussions with the Zynga team, we came to understand that Zynga's interest was in giving us an amazing platform, in terms of resources and talent, to continue to build different, out-of-the-box social games like Draw Something. 

Zynga offered us a chance to focus on Draw Something. They know the power of the game and they planned with us how to let it keep rolling in the same fun, irreverent and social way that it has been. That was really important to us. And they are working with us on everything else –improving performance issues in the game, planning for new games, finding even more developers to work on the game and more. For us, as a small game studio in New York City, which is not at the epicenter of gaming, to find a partner to help us bring our special brand of fun to even more people, is an incredible opportunity.

So to players of the game, don't worry. Nothing’s changing and now all the features you want — chat and sharing and galleries and more – will come even faster. Thank you for everything. And to all future players, you are going to love the things that OMGPOP and Zynga are cooking up together.

Just like Draw Something is a cooperative game where two players work together and have a lot of fun, we hope to replicate that same feeling with OMGPOP and Zynga, It's going to be drawsome 😉

Dan Porter

CEO

OMGPOP

Dan_Dave
David Ko, chief mobile officer, Zynga & Dan Porter, CEO, OMGPOP

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