Zynga is reportedly looking at picking off its newest rival in OMGPOP, maker of the new hit mobile app Draw Something. According to TechCrunch, who quoted a person with direct knowledge of discussions between the two companies, Zynga is looking into acquiring the New York-based OMGPOP, which just hit 30 million downloads of Draw Something on Friday.
If true, this makes absolute sense. Zynga bought Words with Friends maker New Toy in December 2010, giving its evolving mobile gaming strategy a big boost. Draw Something is a turn-based app that plays off the game Pictionary, similar to how Words with Friends built off Scrabble. The game would fit right into Zynga’s With Friends series of games and would continue the company’s expansion into mobile as it lessens its reliance on Facebook. But as I noted in my story on Friday, Draw Something stands out because it’s not a real game in that it doesn’t emphasize scores or competition. It’s about collaboration.
Dan Porter, OMGPOP’s CEO and the designer of Draw Something, downplayed competition with Zynga when we spoke on Friday. But the company has clearly got a winner and a big revenue source on its hands now with Draw Something. It’s making six figures each day in revenue, far ahead of any other game the company has put out. As Porter told the New York Times, the company is now pulling in as much revenue in one day that it did in a month. That’s extremely appealing and so is the level of engagement. Porter told me that in about five weeks, users had created 2 billion pictures and more than half of all users were still active daily. TV show producers have also started approaching OMGPOP about creating a game show out of the app.
Zynga would give OMGPOP more resources to grow. OMGPOP has a handful of games on tap and is deciding whether to build more versions of Draw Something or branch out and create games that leverage some of the same collaboration mechanic. Porter told me that a lot of the OMGPOP team has shifted to support Draw Something but there are still tradeoffs being made between handling more advertising or creating new features. Zynga could certainly provide big help in that way. And as Mark Pincus, Zynga’s founder and CEO told Om, he’s very much interested in mobile and thinks there’s a lot of room to grow there.
TechCrunch said other foreign investors are in the mix so OMGPOP could end up in other hands as well. The company raised $17 million from Spark Capital, Baseline Ventures and others, but it burned through most of the money before Draw Something became a huge hit.
Do investors and company leaders want to get paid out quickly or see if OMGPOP can become a greater success as a company? I imagine we’ll find out soon enough.