Zynga Buying OMGPOP, Draw Something Creator, For Reported $200 Million
Farmville creator Zynga is splashing out more green.
The online gaming empire has agreed to buy OMGPOP, the makers of Pictionary-like game Draw Something, the company said in a statement. No price was given, but Bloomberg reported earlier on Wednesday that it would be in the range of $200 million.
Draw Something, released just six weeks ago, has already amassed 35 million downloads and is by far OMGPOP's most popular application; the company has 35 other products.
“The team (at OMGPOP) truly understands how to build for the mobile social experience,” David Ko, chief mobile officer at Zynga, said in a conference call, adding that the OMGPOP games were "culturally relevant."
Zynga, which also makes the game MafiaWars, acquired Newtoy Inc. in 2010, primarily for another popular digital spin on an old board game concept, Words With Friends. The company had a difficult fourth quarter in 2011, with a loss of $435 million and an initial public offering in December that soon saw stock prices take an enormous drop. In March, investors announced that they planned on selling $400 million in stock to stabilize the price.
Zynga raised $1 billion in the IPO, and is clearly using that money to aggressively expand its holdings. As Facebook takes 30% of the profits from the games it hosts, Zynga has launched its own site to host games, with no profit-sharing required. They are also teaming up with Hasbro to create toys and merchandising.
Meanwhile, it was revealed on Wednesday that Rovio, another mobile gaming company, plans to push even more aggressively its Angry Birds franchise, with themed parks and expanded merchandise offerings in addition to an upcoming film.