In what is perhaps the most Drawsome deal in Internet history, Words With Friends maker Zynga has purchased Draw Something maker OMGPOP. The deal was announced on a conference call with the press on Wednesday afternoon; though financial terms were not disclosed, Peter Kafka of AllThingsD reports that Zynga paid $180 million for OMGPOP, plus $30 million to retain OMGPOP's 40+ employees.
“The OMGPOP team has created a game that’s fun, expressive and engenders real social interaction,” Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga, said in a statement. “Draw Something has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world. We love the way they’ve worked playful and relevant culture into their games from Devo to Daft Punk, from Lin to Beckham. We’re honored to have the opportunity to partner with and support such an innovative team of creative inventors.”
Between the two companies, Zynga and OMGPOP distribute some of the largest and most popular mobile, Internet and Facebook games in the world. Zynga is the studio behind massive hits like Words With Friends, Farmville and Cityville, which attract 60 million daily users and more than 230 million users per month worldwide, according to company filings. OMGPOP, meanwhile, burst onto the scene with a game for iPhone and Android called Draw Something, a cooperative Pictionary-like game that has amassed more than 35 million downloads and more than a billion downloads in just over 6 weeks after its release. It recently overtook Zynga's Words With Friends as the most popular game using Facebook's Friend Connect for sign-ups.
OMGPOP also produces several Internet-based games, including Hover Kart Racing, Aim For The Nuts, and a desktop version of its hit mobile game called Draw My Thing.
The big draw for Zynga, however, was no doubt Draw Something, which OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter says won't change much after the acquisition:
"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, social way that it has been. That was really important to us,” Porter, who will also become vice president and general manager of Zynga with the deal, said in a statement. “The game will stay true to you and what you love, and it’s my solemn vow that the magic of Draw Something will not change."
"I've spent a long time talking to Mark Pincus and Dave Ko, and it was clear to me that they really got it," Porter said during a phone call with the press, adding, "Now that we're part of Zynga, we can bring [more new features] online much faster."
"Just like Draw Something is a cooperative game where two players work together and have a lot of fun," Porter wrote in a blog post announcing the deal, "we hope to replicate that same feeling with OMGPOP and Zynga, It's going to be drawsome."
This is Zynga's first acquisition since its massive IPO in December, which the company underwent at a valuation of $7 billion. The reported $210 million dollar acquisition is Zynga's largest ever, far surpassing its previous reported high, a $53.3 million deal for Words With Friends Maker Newtoy Inc. in 2010.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Zynga's largest reported acquisition before OMGPOP was of Challenger Games. Zynga's acquisition was actually of Newtoy Inc.